CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Macbeth.' Photo by Mark Lyons.

Apply Now for CCM’s Summer Playwrights Conference

UC’s College-Conservatory of Music presents the Playwrights Conference from June 12-17, 2017. Now in its second year, this program is organized by CCM Assistant Professor of Acting Brant Russell and is open to aspiring and experienced playwrights alike.

“This year’s conference will host writers from all backgrounds and levels of experience,” Russell said. “Whether you’re a seasoned writer or a theater-lover who wants a boot-camp experience in the fundamentals of playwriting, we’d love to hear from you.  The community we create over the week-long conference is supportive, diverse and artistically adventurous.”

Participants in CCM’s 2016 Playwrights Conference work on their plays during a group session.

During the Playwrights Conference participants will write, take master classes with industry professionals and attend readings of their works. The week-long program offers a Development Track for participants who already have a play that they want to work on during the conference, along with a Fundamentals Track for participants who want to learn the nuts and bolts of playwriting.

Participants will also get to hear their work read a loud by CCM actors during nightly “Play Barn” sessions, lead by CCM Acting Chair Richard Hess. The ensemble of actors will bring the plays to life at the program’s 10-Minute-Play Festival, a public performance of the new works scheduled for the final night of the conference.

Conference participants will have an opportunity to work with a host of renowned theatre professionals, including award-winning playwright MJ Kaufman and Huntington Theatre Company director of new work Lisa Timmel.

Timmel will serve as the conference’s lead instructor and resident dramaturg, while Kaufman will serve as playwright-in-residence. Kaufman has been commissioned to write a new play for this year’s conference, which will allow participants to witness this new work develop over the course of the program.

CCM’s 2017 Playwrights Conference is now accepting applications. The application deadline is April 15, 2017.

To learn more about how you can bring your ideas from page to stage, please visit ccm.uc.edu/summer/playwrights.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

CCM Piano Series Presents Annual Bearcat Piano Festival and Piano-POW-Looza

CCM spotlights world-class pianists this spring with the return of the annual Bearcat Piano Festival! The festivities begin on Friday, March 31 and conclude on Sunday, April 2 with the Piano-POW-Looza concert, featuring CCM’s own talented student performers. All events will take place in the Robert J. Werner Recital Hall.

Launched in 2010 by CCM Professor of Piano and Artist-in-Residence Awadagin Pratt, this year’s Bearcat Piano festival invites several internationally acclaimed artists to the stage. Pianist John Perry opens the festival with a master class at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 31. Perry has won numerous awards including the highest prizes in both the Busoni and Viotti international piano competitions in Italy and special honors at the Marguerite Long International Competition in Paris.

Traveling all the way from China, students of Shandong University perform a special program of Chinese classical music at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 31. Also joining the festival this year are University of Michigan students, who visit CCM to perform at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 1.

Winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, pianist Paul Schenly will teach a master class at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 1. Schenly has toured twice in the United States with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and toured with the same orchestra in Europe. He has been a soloist with the Atlanta Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and New York Philharmonic.

Finally, the 2017 Bearcat Piano Festival comes to a close with Piano-POW-looza at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 2. Organized by Piano Department Chair Michael Chertock, the event spotlights the talents of a select few from CCM’s nearly 100 dazzling piano majors. This year’s concert features a special tribute to the beloved musicians who have passed away in recent months.

Schedule of Events

 2 p.m. Friday, March 31
• Bearcat Piano Festival •
Master Class with John Perry, piano
Location:
Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE
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8 p.m. Friday, March 31
• Bearcat Piano Festival •
Shandong University Student Recital
The Bearcat Piano Festival welcomes student pianists from Shandong University for a special recital of Chinese classical music.
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE
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 2 p.m. Saturday, April 1
• Bearcat Piano Festival •
Master Class with Paul Schenly, piano
Location:
Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE
____

7 p.m. Saturday, April 1
• Bearcat Piano Festival •
PROGRAM CHANGE: John Perry’s guest artist performance has been cancelled. In his place CCM welcomes University of Michigan Student Pianists.
Guest artists from the University of Michigan perform as part of this year’s annual Bearcat Piano Festival!
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Admission: FREE
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7 p.m. Sunday, April 2
• Piano Series •
PIANO-POW-LOOZA: FINGERS OF FIRE
Some of CCM’s award-winning piano students and alumni demonstrate their amazing talents at one, two and three pianos. This concert also features a surprise tribute!
Location: Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
Tickets: $15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE
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Event Information
All events listed take place on the campus of the University of Cincinnati unless otherwise indicated. The Piano-POW-looza Student Showcase concert requires paid admission. All other Bearcat Piano Festival events are free and open to the general public.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-Box Office! Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.

All event dates and programs are subject to change. Visit ccm.uc.edu or contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 for the most current event information.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
____________________

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

All-Steinway School Sponsor: The Corbett Endowment at CCM

CCM is proud to be an All-Steinway School
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Charlotte Kies

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes
A screenshot from 'Standard Definition' featuring CCM Musical Theatre graduates Ben Biggers and Chris Collins-Pisano.

UC Student Film Accepted into Cleveland International Film Festival

Electronic Media majors Tim Young and Elliot Feltner filmed Standard Definition with their classmates for a school project last spring. Now it will be shown alongside 216 short films from around the world.

Last spring, former University of Cincinnati students Tim Young and Elliot Feltner created a short film for their capstone class that any aspiring filmmaker can relate to. The comedic story focuses on two Cincinnati-based film students who argue about the necessity of spending money on film projects — until they find a magical camera that makes everything it captures appear beautiful.

Nearly a year later, Young and Feltner’s Standard Definition is set to be screened at the 2017 Cleveland International Film Festival.

“It is unreal that our film was chosen to be screened at the Cleveland International Film Festival,” Young said. “When we first started shooting and cutting it together, we had no plans to enter it into any festivals. We just wanted to make something that we could be proud of and show to our friends and families.”

The 41-year-old film festival will screen 200 feature films and 216 short films from 71 countries between March 29 and April 9. Standard Definition will play at the festival on April 6.

Roommates Young and Feltner were enrolled in the Electronic Media program at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music when they filmed Standard Definition for Kevin Burke’s “Advanced Video Production” capstone course. They both graduated with bachelor of fine arts degrees in 2016.

They had to present Burke with a pre-production plan and a list of group members before the class began, which helped ease the filming process. “Once the class started in January, we had all of the tools necessary to start filming,” said Young, director and co-producer of Standard Definition.

The two film students enlisted help from fellow e-media majors Fritz Pape, Katie Laird and Yiyang Xu, and from other programs across CCM. Lead actors Chris Collins-Pisano, Ben Biggers and Raven Thomas are all 2016 graduates of the Musical Theatre program.

Young was the teaching assistant in Biggers and Collins-Pisano’s “Acting for the Camera” class, taught by Robert Pavlovich. The group applied the acting techniques they learned in class while working on the film, Young said.

From left to right: 'Standard Definition' filmmakers Yiyang Xu, Katie Laird, Tim Young, Elliot Feltner and Fritz Pape.

From left to right: ‘Standard Definition’ filmmakers Yiyang Xu, Katie Laird, Tim Young, Elliot Feltner and Fritz Pape.

“I couldn’t have made the film without the help of our other group members,” Young said. “This project was a collaborative effort, and the film would not exist without them. We had a small crew to make this film compared to others, but the people in our group are so skilled and multi-talented that we were able to pull it off.”

The short film debuted at Tangeman University Center’s MainStreet Cinema last spring and received an “incredible response from the audience,” Young said. They worked with Burke as well as professors Kristyn Benedyk and Matt Irvine from UC’s Digital Media Collaborative program to submit Standard Definition to a handful of festivals and will continue to do so throughout the coming months.

Not everything came easy for the filmmakers, though. In August 2016, Feltner was in a severe car crash on Interstate 75, caused by a man who was later indicted on a charge of driving under the influence of illegal drugs.

Feltner, who had been an avid amateur inline skater as well as a filmmaker, barely escaped the ordeal with his life. He was injured so badly that he technically died twice, and police were dispatched to his parents’ home to notify them of their son’s death. However, due to quick medical care from nurses who happened to witness the crash, Feltner was resuscitated and airlifted to a nearby hospital. He suffered brain trauma and multiple spinal cord injuries.

For months, he has been in rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Denver, which specializes in treating spinal cord injuries. He recently returned to Cincinnati and will continue outpatient rehabilitation here.

Young said Feltner is getting better every day. Before the car crash, the roommates saw each other every day and worked on Standard Definition together. After the crash, they were separated as Feltner focused on rehabilitation.

“I basically wrote the film about the two of us, or film students just like us,” said Young, reflecting on how the crash impacted his perspective of the time they spent creating Standard Definition. “Every day after shooting we would come home and stay up late editing together rough cuts of the scenes. It was so exciting and rewarding to see all of our hard work turning into something tangible that we could be proud of.”

“After his accident I only saw Elliot a few times over the course of months as he dealt with his injuries. Going from spending every day and night together to not speaking for weeks at a time was really difficult and really made me appreciate how special our time making Standard Definition together really was.”

Standard Definition plays at the Cleveland International Film Festival on Thursday, April 6 at 9:35 p.m. at Tower City Cinemas, 230 West Huron Road in Cleveland.
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Student Salutes
Binge watch for summer credit at CCM.

CCM Summer Electives Bring Arts Experiences to All

Do you need to fulfill your fine arts credits? Have you always wanted to learn to dance but couldn’t get over the stage fright? Do you have free time this summer to jam with a virtual band on your laptop or study the music of The Beatles, all while earning class credit?

This summer, you can complete your arts elective requirements on campus or online. UC’s College-Conservatory of Music offers more than 30 different general studies and fine arts elective courses during six different sessions this summer. These credit-granting courses cover a wide range of topics and are open to UC and non-UC students alike!

Learn the basics of modern dance or ballet in on campus or online classes designed for beginners or experienced dancers. Study the history of classic Hollywood films or learn about the modern evolution of Japanese Pop, anime and video game music in movie and media appreciation courses. You can also learn how to create your own videos or study entertainment culture at large.

CCM’s music appreciation courses cover genres from jazz and pop to rock ‘n’ roll, including the music of The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Talking Heads. You can also turn your laptop into a musical instrument, or you can learn to play the piano with hands-on music performance classes.

On-Campus and Online arts courses are just a click away: visit ccm.uc.edu/summer/finearts to learn more!

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Opera Presents Mozart’s Heroic Greek Tragedy, ‘Idomeneo’

A model of the scenic design for CCM's production of 'Idomeneo.'

A model of the scenic design for CCM’s production of ‘Idomeneo.’ Photo by Marcus Shields. Set Design by Matthew Hamel.

The Opera Department at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music presents an epic tale of love, war and sacrifice on March 30-April 2 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Hailed as Mozart’s first great opera seria, Idomeneo takes place in the aftermath of the fabled Trojan War.

Artist Diploma student Marcus Shields directs the CCM’s production of Idomeneo. Teetering on the edge between student and professional, Shields finds that he and the cast have a lot in common with Mozart, who composed this opera at the ripe young age of 25.

“This is essentially Mozart’s graduate thesis on the world,” says Shields. “It’s an amazing thing that he wrote this when he was 25, and we should be humbled by that fact. We’re all in the exact same place. In writing this challenging opera, Mozart was trying to prove himself — just like we are now.”

Idomeneo is a classic story of unrequited love, sacrifice and revenge. The plot revolves around King Idomeneo who is lost at sea during his journey home from war. To survive, he strikes a deal with vengeful god Neptune, but the king is then faced with an impossible decision — to sacrifice his entire nation or his son, Idamante. The King banishes his son from the kingdom, which separates the young prince from the two women who are in love with him.

While Idomeneo might not be as familiar as Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte, The Magic Flute or The Marriage of Figaro, the opera is just as exciting and inspired, Shields says. The work mostly adheres to the opera seria structure, which is known for its formulaic librettos and serious tone. However, Mozart “shatters the genre” in Idomeneo.

“The music is so amazing and virtuosic,” says Shields, “Mozart’s tap-dancing as hard as he can as he fights against the typical opera seria structure. It seems a bit stuffier on the outside because of the genre but it’s actually way more urgent and young.”

Mozart’s quest to infuse his own style in opera seria is similar to Shields’ unique vision for CCM’s production of Idomeneo. The opera is not set in a specific time period and has an abstract set, with lighting effects and costumes by CCM’s Theatre Design and Production Department. Shields uses costumes to represent the great division the characters feel from each other. Some cast members don stiff button-up coats reminiscent of the late eighteenth century and others wear full Greco-Roman attire.

“We are using the lighting, costumes and set to show people how to actually listen to the music,” Shields says. “It’s a beautiful harmonization of everything that this school can do.”

CCM’s production of Idomeneo is conducted by Assistant Professor of Music Aik Khai Pung, it is sung in Italian with English supertitles.
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IDOMENEO
Composed by W.A. Mozart
Libretto by Giovanni Battista Varesco
Aik Khai Pung, conductor
Marcus Shields, director

Performance Times
8 p.m. Thursday, Mar. 30
8 p.m. Friday, Mar. 31
8 p.m. Saturday, April 1
2 p.m. Sunday, April 2

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Idomeneo are $31-35 for adults, $22-25 for non-UC students and $18-21 for UC students with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/idomeneo.html.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Charlotte Kies
CCM News Student Salutes
TNNUA students and CCM Prep Assistant Dean John Martin at Cincinnati's Buca di Beppo restaurant.

CCM Prep Hosts Music Students from Tainan National University of the Arts

Twelve instrumental music students from the Tainan National University of the Arts (TNNUA) in Taiwan are visiting UC’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) this week to study with faculty members, attend CCM events and perform throughout Greater Cincinnati. The trip marks the beginning of a partnership between TNNUA and CCM’s Preparatory and Community Engagement Department (CCM Prep) to foster global understanding and share learning pathways between international students.

The students, who range in age from 16-18, are part of a unique seven-year program where they can complete both high school and college at TNNUA. While they are in Cincinnati, the young musicians will hold free concerts at the Twin Towers Retirement Community, Cincinnati Art Museum and the Seasons Retirement Community, among additional locations throughout Greater Cincinnati.

They will also perform with CCM Prep students in a joint recital on Saturday, March 11 at 12:30 p.m. at CCM’s Watson Recital Hall. More information on this free recital at CCM is below.

In November, Assistant Dean of CCM Prep John Martin and voice faculty member Trio Jeng visited TNNUA to discuss a partnership between the two programs. TNNUA administrators hope to bring CCM faculty and students to Taiwan in the future.

TNNUA Music Department Chair Dr. Ching-Tzy Ko is escorting the students during their visit to Cincinnati. The twelve students include Juo-Yan Chiou, Wan-Lun Kao, Shih-En Hung, Yeh-Chun Lin, Jeng-Gang Han, Yi-Te Chiu, Cuei-Han Liu, Hsuan-Ting Yeh, Yun-Chu Chen, Pin-Yun Lai and Ting-Wei Shao and Meng-Chi Wu.

While they are in Cincinnati, the students will participate in lessons with CCM’s renowned faculty members and will attend rehearsals with CCM ensembles. They will also attend a Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra concert at Taft Theater on Thursday and the Ariel Quartet’s concert at CCM on Friday. The students return to Taiwan on Monday.

“They have already been quite busy and have a full week of lessons, coaching sessions, rehearsals, observations and performances ahead,” Martin said. “As you see them around campus, please extend a warm welcome.”

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Performance Information

12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 11
Joint Recital with TNNUA Musicians and CCM Prep students
HONG: Dusk on Dansui River
MARCELLO: Sonata in G Minor
BEETHOVEN: Romance, Op. 40, No. 1 in G Major
KUHLAU: Duets Op. 10, No. 1
BRUCH: Romance, Op. 85
BÉRIOT: Duo Concertant, Op. 57, No. 3
POPPER: Hungarian Rhapsody, Op. 68
LISZT: Transcendental Etude, No. 6 (Vision)
Location: CCM’s Watson Recital Hall
Admission: Free and open to the general public

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes

CCM Announces 2017 Opera Scholarship Competition Results

Artist Diploma candidate Yi Li with Mark Gibson and the CCM Philharmonia.

Five voice students were named winners of CCM’s 2017 Opera Scholarship Competition, which was held on Saturday, Feb. 25, in UC’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

Since its inauguration in 1976, the annual competition welcomes current and incoming CCM voice students to compete for scholarships and cash prizes, and a panel of judges composed of opera industry professionals selects each year’s class of prizewinners.

The 2017 CCM Opera Scholarship Competition winners are:

Nicolette Book (first year Artist Diploma student)
From Minneapolis, Minnesota, studying with William McGraw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Corbett Award ($15,000)
The Corbett Award is supported by the Corbett Foundation in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Caitlin Gotimer (second year Master of Music student)
From Long Island, New York, studying with Kenneth Shaw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Italo Tajo Memorial Award ($15,000)
This award is supported by the Italo Tajo Memorial Scholarship Fund (established by Mr. Tajo’s wife, Mrs. Inelda Tajo) in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Chelsea Duval-Major (second year Master of Music student)
From Ithaca, New York, studying with Thomas Baresel
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Andrew White Memorial Award ($12,500)
This award is supported by the Andrew White Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Karis Tucker (first year Master of Music student)
From Brussels, Belgium, studying with Amy Johnson
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Seybold-Russell Award ($10,000)
The Seybold-Russell Award is supported by the Seybold-Russell Scholarship Fund in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Eric Heatley (second year Master of Music student)
From Tulsa, Oklahoma, studying with William McGraw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the John Alexander Memorial Award ($10,000)
This award is sponsored by the John Alexander Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

The judges panel for CCM’s 2017 Opera Scholarship Competition included:

  • Benita Valente, an acclaimed American soprano who has performed and recorded with some of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century
  • Roberto Mauro, Director of Music and Artistic Administration for the Canadian Opera Company
  • Stephen Lord, Music director of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and the principal conductor of Michigan Opera Theatre in the 2018-19 season

About CCM Opera
The Department of Opera at CCM boasts one of the most comprehensive training programs for opera singers, coaches and directors in the United States. Students at CCM work with some of the most renowned teachers and artists active in opera today.

CCM students frequently advance to the final rounds of the Metropolitan Opera National Council AuditionsAs reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer, four singers with ties to CCM advanced to the semi-final round of the 2016 Met Auditions. This year, four more alumni advanced to the semi-final round of the Met Auditions: Summer Hassan (MM Voice, 2014), Cody Quattlebaum (BM Voice, 2015), Andrew Manea (MM Voice, 2016) and Jessica Faselt (MM Voice, 2016).

In addition, CCM’s Mainstage Opera and Studio Opera Series have received some of the National Opera Association Production Competition’s highest honors throughout the years, taking home six of the 18 non-professional prizes awarded in 2010 and four prizes in 2011.

CCM Opera graduates have performed on the stages of the world’s greatest opera companies, including Cincinnati Opera, Metropolitan Opera (New York), Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera (London), La Scala (Italy) and more.

CCM’s 2016-17 Mainstage Opera season concludes next month with Mozart’s Idomeneo, conducted by Aik Khai Pung with stage direction by Marcus Shields. The production runs from March 30 through April 2. Learn more about the production at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/idomeneo.

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes