Graduating Musical Theatre Major Eric Geil Joins ‘The Book of Mormon’ National Tour

CCM Musical Theatre student Eric Geil.

CCM Musical Theatre student Eric Geil.

We are delighted to report that senior musical theatre major Eric Geil will join the national tour of The Book of Mormon as Elder Church beginning May 12, 2015!

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Geil has been seen at Cardinal Stage as Enjolras in Les Misérables, at Musical Theater Heritage in Gypsy, and at Kansas City Starlight in The Sound of Music.

Geil’s CCM credits include Marius in Les Misérables, Tommy Ross in Carrie, Frankie Epps in Parade and in the companies of Legally Blonde, Spring Awakening, The Civil War, Street Scene and Chess.

Geil was a featured vocalist in the 2014 Fort Wayne Philharmonic Holiday Pops Concert. He is a proud member of AEA.

Congratulations Eric! Learn more about CCM Musical Theatre’s Class of 2015 here.

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CCM Chamber Choir and Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra perform Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610. Photo by Andrew Higley/University of Cincinnati.

CCM Performances Make Critics’ “Best of 2014” Lists

In case you missed it, Music for All Seasons Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Enquirer and Music in Cincinnati have each published “year in review” stories, looking back on the great performances of 2014.

Rafael de Acha selected 10 special performances from 2014 for Music for All Seasons Cincinnati, including:

  • Professor Emeritus Frank Weinstock‘s return to the CCM stage as part of the 2014 Bearcat Piano Festival;
  • Guest artist Andreas Scholl‘s all-Lieder recital at CCM;
  • CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Les Misérables, which “won them a fine judgment from judicious lovers of the musical,” according to de Acha;
  • CCM’s Studio Series production of Chabrier’s L’ étoile;
  • CCM’s Opera d’arte Series production of Ravel’s L’ enfant et les sortilèges;
  • and CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Don Pasquale, directed by the-graudate student Omer Ben-Seadia, who was in “full command of the style that infuses the spirit of Donizetti’s masterpiece,” by de Acha’s estimation.

Janelle Gelfand picked her 14 highlights of 2014 for the Enquirer, including:

Mary Ellyn Hutton widened her selection to 21 highlights for 2014 for Music In Cincinnati, including:

The magic continues in 2015, as CCM presents over 125 major public performances during UC’s Spring Semester, beginning with a faculty artist recital by Pat Linhart and Julie Spangler on Sunday, Jan. 18, and concluding with the CCM Prep Jazz Extravaganza concert on Sunday, May 17!

See a full schedule of events at ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/spring-2015-calendar-of-events!

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Broadway's Cinderella.

CCM Alumna Stephanie Jae Park Performs in National Tour of ‘Cinderella’

CCM alumna Stephanie Jae Park.

CCM alumna Stephanie Jae Park.

We are thrilled to report that CCM alumna Stephanie Jae Park (BFA Musical Theatre, 2014) has been cast in the national tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, which is due at Cincinnati’s Aronoff Center early next year!

The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical from the creators of Oklahoma! and The King and I will delight local audiences Jan. 6 – 18, 2015.

Park’s previous credits include Tuptim in The King and I at the St. Louis Muny. At CCM, she played the role of Cosette in the acclaimed Mainstage Series production of Les Misérables. She also played Marcy Park in the Showboat Majestic’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Learn more by visiting www.stephaniejaepark.com.

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CCM Productions Win Big at League of Cincinnati Theatres’ 2014 Awards Ceremony

League of Cincinnati TheatresWinners of the League of Cincinnati Theatres’ (LCT) 2013-14 Season Awards were announced on Monday night, with CCM faculty members, students and productions taking home a number of awards, including:

  • Best Musical (Tie): CCM’s Les Miserables (tied with Carnegie Theatre’s Chicago)
  • Choreography (Tie): Diane Lala and Patti James for CCM’s Singin’ in the Rain (tied with David Baum for Carnegie Theatre’s Chicago)
  • Music Direction: Steve Goers for CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Scenic Design: Mark Halpin for CCM’s Singin’ in the Rain
  • Ensemble in a Musical: CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Lead Actor in a Musical: Blaine Krauss in CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Featured Actor in a Musical: Matthew Paul Hill in CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Featured Actress in a Musical: Jenny Hickman in CCM’s Carrie

Faculty member Kelly Yurko also received a Special Contribution Award for her prosthetic design for Clifton Players’ production of The Whale. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!

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League of Cincinnati Theatres Announces 2014 Awards Finalists

League of Cincinnati TheatresThe League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) has announced the finalists for this year’s LCT Awards Celebration and we are delighted to report that CCM productions have received a staggering 23 nominations (CCM Professor Kelly Yurko and CCM student Brianna Barnes also received nods for work on non-CCM productions this year, bringing our unofficial tally up to 25 nominations)!

The annual LCT Award Celebration is designed to honor the best of Cincinnati professional theatre each season.

CCM’s 2013-14 productions of Carrie, Singin’ in the Rain, MetamorphosesLes Misérables, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Living Dead in Denmark all received nominations in at least one category.

CCM faculty members Aubrey Berg, Vince DeGeorge, Steve Goers, Mark Halpin, Patti James, k. Jenny Jones, Diane Lala, Reba Senske and Kelly Yurko each received nominations in at least one category.

CCM students singled out in this year’s nominations included Brianna Barnes, Sara Bishop, Hannah Freeman, Dana Hall, Jenny Hickman, Matt Hill, Colin Kessler, Blaine Krauss, Wes Richter and Ryan Sigurdson.

Finalists were chosen from the nominations made by trusted panelists who saw the shows during the year. One winner from each category will be announced at the Awards Party on Monday, June 16, at Arnold’s Bar and Grill in Cincinnati.

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Three CCM Students Named As League of Cincinnati Theatres’ 2014 Rising Stars

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The League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) has announced its 2014 Rising Star Award-recipients and this year’s winners include current and former CCM students Kaitlyn Adams, Blaine Krauss and Kevin Semancik, along with recent Xavier University graduate Patrick Phillips. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!

All four young artists have been awarded for their exemplary contributions to local theatre courtesy of Diet Dr. Pepper and Pepsi Beverages. This year’s winners were chosen from a pool of nominees recommended by their university or a theatre they have worked for. CCM’s Matt Hill and Shaun Sutton were runners up.

Rising Stars must be under 25 years of age and are nominated for their body of work by academic and theatre personnel. The award was created to recognize talented young people who have and will contribute to professional theatre in Cincinnati and the industry at large.

This year’s committee was chaired by LCT Board Members Cathy Springfield and Kirk Sheppard. Each winner receives $1000 to help them as they continue their careers courtesy of Diet Dr. Pepper and Pepsi Beverages, facilitated by Rick Gill.

You can learn more about Kaitlyn Adams, Blaine Krauss and Kevin Semancik below!

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CCM Alumni Featured on Stage and Behind the Scenes of Eight Tony Nominated Productions

Tony Awards LogoNominations for the 2014 American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards were announced earlier this week and more than a dozen CCM alumni are involved in this year’s nominated productions!

Composer Stephen Flaherty (BM, 1982) scored the musical adaptation of Rocky, which received four nominations this year.

Josh Prince (BFA, 1996) choreographed Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which also features alumni Alysha Deslorieux (BFA, 2012), Daniel Torres (BFA, 2001), Sara Sheperd (BFA, 2008) and Melvin Tunstall III (BFA, 1998) in the cast.

Pamela Bob (BFA, 1999) is in the cast of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which leads the Tony nominations with 10 nods.

Alums Eric Santagata (BFA, 2004), Betsy Wolfe (BFA, 2004) and Preston Boyd (BFA, 2008) are all in the cast of Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway, which received six nominations.

Alumnus Damian Baldet (BFA, 1995) is featured in the cast of Machinal, which received four nominations.

The revival of Les Misérables features Max Quinlan (BFA, 2008) and Adam Monley (BFA, 2000) in its cast.

Katie Klaus (BFA, 2006) is in the cast of The Bridges of Madison County and Leeds Hill (BFA, 2011) is in the cast of Cabaret, where he recently filled in for Alan Cumming in the iconic role of the Emcee.

The 68th Annual Tony Awards will be broadcast live at 8/7 central on Sunday, June 8, on CBS. Hugh Jackman returns to host this year’s ceremony. Find out more by visiting www.tonyawards.com/en_US/nominees.

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UC’s College-Conservatory of Music Receives $1 Million Gift from the Corbett Foundation

Patricia Corbett was named a great Living Cincinnatian in 1994. She died on January 28, 2008, and was honored with a special memorial concert at Music Hall performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the CCM Musical Theatre program.

Patricia Corbett was named a great Living Cincinnatian in 1994. She died on January 28, 2008, and was honored with a special memorial concert at Music Hall performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the CCM Musical Theatre program.

We are honored to announce that the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) has received a $1 million gift from the Corbett Foundation, designed to enhance the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre, the first chair of its kind in the world.

“CCM cannot be more grateful to the Corbett Foundation for this significant gift,” says Peter Landgren, Dean and Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music at CCM. “This gift will allow the musical theatre program to increase existing focus on student scholarship, enhance relationships with professionals in the field by bringing them to campus for master classes and support the senior showcase experience in New York City, which is the most important audition for graduating seniors in our musical theatre program.”

When Mrs. Corbett established the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre more than 20 years ago, it was the first chair of its kind in the United States. Mrs. Corbett allowed CCM to “do it first and do it best.” Her vision has guided musical theatre students to audition in New York City, to compete successfully on Broadway and national touring stages, and ultimately to win the coveted Tony, Drama Desk and Fred Astaire Dance Awards.

“I wish to extend a personal word of gratitude to Karen McKim, Executive Director of the Corbett Foundation, for her stewardship of the love and support that the Corbett’s have showered upon CCM for many decades,” says Landgren.

About the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre at CCM
Since its establishment in 1991, the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre has provided invaluable support for the Musical Theatre Program at CCM. At the time of its inception, it was the only academic chair of its kind in the United States, the American equivalent of the Chair in Musical Theatre endowed by Cameron Macintosh in honor of Stephen Sondheim at Oxford one year later.

Mrs. Corbett’s generosity has helped scores of students with scholarship aid, enabled the program to invite master teachers to campus, established New York and Chicago showcases for graduating seniors and underwritten admission-free Studio productions, CCM’s gift to the Cincinnati theatre-going community.

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CCM Musical Theatre Presents Annual Senior Showcase on March 13 and 15

Moveable Feast 2012, Musical Theatre Choir

CCM’s Class of 2014 in Musical Theatre, performing during CCM’s 2012 Moveable Feast. Photography by Dottie Stover.

Cincinnati audiences will get a sneak peek of an original showcase created by the 2014 graduating class from CCM’s Department of Musical Theatre during the annual “Not Famous Yet” Showcase, which runs on March 13 (Friends of CCM benefit performance) and March 15 in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

The March 13 benefit performance starts at 7 p.m. and features dinner by the bite and a post-performance celebration. Tickets for this benefit event are on sale now. For tickets and additional information, click here.

The March 15 performances take place at 5 and 8 p.m. and are free, but reservations are required. Tickets for these free performances become available at noon on Monday, March 10.

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CCM Review Round-Up: ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘El Niño’

The critics can’t stop talking about CCM’s productions of Les Misérables and El Niño! Catch up with the latest “buzz” in today’s review round-up!

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical "Les Misérables," playing Feb. 27 - March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents a new production of the iconic musical “Les Misérables,” playing Feb. 27 – March 9, 2014. Photography by Mark Lyons.

  • Rick Pender calls CCM’s new production of Les Misérables “magnificent” in his CityBeat review, concluding, “Peeled back to its raw essence, CCM’s staging of Les Misérables is powerful and memorable, one of the best musical theater productions on a Cincinnati stage this season.” Read the full review here.
  • Paige Malott reviews the production for iSPYCiNCY and observes, “Capturing the larger-than-life Les Misérables with perfection, CCM put on a better-than-Broadway performance that is guaranteed 2-4-6-0-fun.” Read the full review here.
  • In his Talkin’ Broadway review, Scott Cain explains, “Musicals presented at… CCM always feature splendidly talented student performers who rarely disappoint. Their current production, Les Misérables, is no exception and does showcase many stunning voices and meticulously detailed acting.” Read the full review here.
  • In his review for The Sappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard suggests, “I’ve seen a lot of shows in Cincinnati over the last couple of years… [and] CCM’s Les Misérables just might be the greatest production I’ve ever seen.” Read the full review here.
  • Rafael de Acha reviews the production for Seen and Heard International and writes, “Keeping the entire undertaking tightly reined in and mercifully devoid of any Broadway clichés, [Aubrey] Berg delivers a fresh and finely-wrought production.” Read the full review here.
  • Emily Begely reviews Les Misérables for UC’s News Record and concludes, “An exemplary cast, a familiar plot and simple props created an unforgettable work of art.” Read the full review here.
Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams' EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

Earl Rivers leads the CCM Philharmonia in a rehearsal for John Adams’ EL NINO. Photography by Lisa Ventre/University of Cincinnati.

  • Janelle Gelfand reviews CCM’s “powerful” performance of John Adams’ El Niño for the Cincinnati Enquirer, and observes, “[Earl] Rivers balanced the work’s intimate emotions against powerful ones, propelled tempos well and drew excellent playing from the orchestra.” Read her full review here.
  • Mary Ellyn Hutton reviews El Niño for ConcertoNet and writes, “John Adams’ oratorio El Niño had its regional premiere in Cincinnati March 2, and it couldn’t have been in better hands. ” Read the full review here.

Performances of Les Misérables resume this evening (Tuesday, March 4) and run through Sunday, March 9. Learn more by visiting ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/lesmiserables.

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