A photo of the entrance to the CCM Atrium on UC's campus. Photo/UC Creative + Brand.

CCM Alumna Karen Zhang Wins Prestigious MTNA Teacher Fellowship

CCM alumna Karen Zhang (BM Piano Performance, ’16; MM Piano Performance, ’18) is the 2020 recipient of the Music Teachers National Association’s MarySue Harris Studio Teacher Fellowship. This $3,000 grant, funded by the MarySue Harris Endowment Fund, is presented annually to a recently graduated independent studio music teacher who demonstrates commitment to the music teaching profession and outstanding studio development.

Karen ZhangDuring her time at CCM, Zhang studied with CCM Professor of Piano Eugene Pridonoff and Associate Professor of Piano Soyeon Kate Lee. Zhang was a winner of CCM’s Van Cliburn Scholarship Competition and the Glenn Miller Society Scholarship Competition, as well as the first-place winner of the $9,400 prize at Three Arts Scholarship Competition. She also participated in the 2017 Pianofest, held in Hampton, New York. As a CCM master’s degree student, she was a graduate assistant in secondary piano.

After graduation, Zhang and her husband Jaesung Kim founded their Cincinnati-based piano studio, Musical Moments. Her students have been winners of numerous competitions, including the University of Kentucky’s Nathaniel Patch Piano Competition, OhioMTA Auditions Festival and the 88 Tri-State Piano Concerto Competition. Many of her students have also been recognized with Distinction-level certificates from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Zhang has been invited to teach and perform in numerous pre-colleges and venues in Asia, including those in Seoul, Chengdu, Chongqing, Taishan and Beijing.

Zhang has also taught through the City Gospel Mission’s Whiz Kids Music Program, an after-school program that gives music classes and lessons to students in the Cincinnati area whose schools do not offer music classes. CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement connects collegiate students with teaching and mentoring opportunities through the CCM AfterSchool program, which has partnered with Whiz Kids, Cincinnati Public Schools and other education and community organizations.

About MTNA and MarySue Harris

MTNA is a nonprofit organization of some 20,000 independent and collegiate music teachers committed to furthering the art of music through teaching, performance, composition and scholarly research. Founded in 1876, MTNA is the oldest professional music teachers’ association in the United States.

MarySue Harris, a long-time MTNA member from Nebraska, has devoted her teaching career to nurturing young music students. Her commitment to pedagogy and the beginning music teacher led to her establishment of the MarySue Harris Endowment Fund.


Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

Featured image at top: Memorial Hall, which is part of the CCM Village on UC’s campus. Photo/UC Creative + Brand.

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CCM Student Bradley Harris Wins East Central Division in MTNA Composition Competition

Composer and CCM graduate student Bradley Harris.

Composer and CCM graduate student Bradley Harris.

We are delighted to report that Bradley Shane Harris is the East Central Division Winner in the Music Teachers National Association‘s (MTNA) Student Composition Competitions! Harris will now advance to the national level of the competitions, alongside six other young artists. You can view a complete list of national finalists here.

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Harris is a second year master’s degree student at CCM, where he studies with Douglas Knehans, Norman Dinerstein Professor of Composition Scholar.

In 2013, Harris’ piece for alto saxophone and piano (Perspectives) garnered a first prize award in the Collegiate Division of the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs’ (OFMC) Composition Competition.

During that same year, Harris received a grant that allowed him to study in Milna, Croatia, with CCM Professor of Composition Joel Hoffman. With his spare time, Harris enjoys racquetball and volunteering at the local soup kitchen.

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Starling Chamber Orchestra’s Josh Halpern Takes Top Honors at MTNA Senior String Competition

Congratulations to Josh Halpern, who won top honors at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Senior String Competition.

Halpern, 17, is a junior at Oakwood High School. He is principal cellist of the Starling Chamber Orchestra, part of CCM’s pre-college program for advanced strings students. At Starling, Halpern is also a member of The Polaris String Quartet, which performed in Salzburg, Austria last month and will compete in the prestigious Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in South Bend, Indiana this month.

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