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.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News

In Memoriam: Emeritus Faculty Member Richard Morris

We are saddened to share news of the passing of CCM Professor Emeritus Richard Morris, a piano faculty member from 1976 to 2004 and former chair of the Piano Department. He is survived by his wife, Joyce, and two adult children Kevin and Kerry.

Professor Morris accepts a plaque signifying him as an "honorary alumnus of CCM" thanks to his work as faculty coordinator of the CCM Alumni Association.

Professor Morris accepts a plaque signifying him as an “honorary alumnus of CCM” thanks to his work as faculty coordinator of the CCM Alumni Association.

Morris earned his BM and MM from Indiana University and was a soloist with the university’s Philharmonic for three consecutive years. He studied with Walter Robert, Bruno Eisner and Sidney Foster.

Before coming to CCM in 1976, Morris taught at the University of Missouri-Columbia for 16 years, where he also served as head of the piano faculty. He was also a past president of the Music Teachers National Association. His former students hold faculty positions throughout the United States and Europe.

A featured clinician, adjudicator and master teacher, Morris performed extensively both as a chamber musician and with orchestras, acquiring a repertoire of 30 different concerti spanning from Bach to Norman Dello Joio.  As a genre recitalist, he performed the 24 Chopin Études and the 24 Debussy Préludes numerous times and was often asked to give workshops on either set.

Professor Morris was a beloved member of the CCM family for nearly three decades. In 1979, he was honored by the CCM Alumni Association for his instrumental work in regrouping that organization. To celebrate his life and legacy, the CCM Piano Department has planned a memorial concert and reception on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 4 p.m. in the Robert J. Werner Recital Hall.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Professor Morris’ family and friends during this time.

Faculty Fanfare

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.

CCM News Student Salutes

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.

CCM News