CCM alumnus Alex Smith accompanies Lady Gaga on a performance of the national anthem before Super Bowl 50. (Photo: Cary Edmondson, Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY Sports)

CCM Alumni Help Make Super Bowl 50 Performances a Hit

If you were one of the estimated 167 million viewers watching last Sunday’s Super Bowl 50, then you caught two CCM graduates in action!

For her buzzed-about rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” pop singer/songwriter Lady Gaga was joined on piano by CCM alumnus Alex Smith (BM Jazz Studies, 2001).

CCM alumna Lindsey Grebeldinger-Stewart (MM Voice, 2013) was also featured in the pre-game performances, singing “America the Beautiful” as an alto vocalist with the United States Armed Forces Chorus.

USA Today caught up with Smith after his well-received performance and reported on how the pianist and Soundview Preparatory School music teacher prepared for the most-viewed performance of his career.

“Some of my experience with Gaga had primed me a little bit,” Smith explained to reporter Kevin Phelan. “Doing a nationally broadcast television show with her; that was really nerve wracking for me at the time. And getting to play with Tony Bennett was a huge honor and thrill and was also something that created sort of a nerve-wracking experience for me in terms of wanting to do well for someone who’s such a legend… those moments really provided good practice for something like this.”

As previously reported, Smith is a member of the Brian Newman Quintet, which also includes CCM alumni Brian Newman (CCM, 1999-2003), saxophonist Steve Kortyka (BM Jazz, 2004) and bassist Scott Ritchie (BM, 2003). Newman knew Lady Gaga “before she was famous” and his Quintet first performed with her on the 2011 ABC Holiday Special A Very Gaga Thanksgiving, before playing on Gaga’s duet album with Tony Bennett, Cheek to CheekThe quintet also toured North America and Europe with the duo this past summer.

You can read USA Today‘s profile of Alex Smith here.

You can read Billboard‘s report on the Armed Forces Chorus’ rendition of “America the Beautiful” here.

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CCM Alumnus Randy Edelman Receives 2014 BMI Spotlight Award

 

CCM alumnus Randy Edelman (far right) with composers Michael Penn and George S. Clinton at the 2014 BMI Film/TV Awards.

CCM alumnus Randy Edelman (far right) with composers Michael Penn and George S. Clinton at the 2014 BMI Film/TV Awards.

Distinguished UC alumnus Randy Edelman (CCM ’69, HonDoc ’04) was recently honored alongside other top composers at the 2014 BMI Film/TV Awards, which were held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on May 14, 2014.

Edelman, who has composed for films including The Last of the MohicansGods and GeneralsWhile You Were Sleeping and The Mask, received the BMI Spotlight Award in recognition of the use of his theme for The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. in games of the Olympiads spanning nearly two decades. You can learn more about the history of this composition here.

In 2003 Edelman received BMI’s highest honor, the Richard Kirk Award for Outstanding Career Achievement. Founded in 1939, BMI is now the largest music rights organization in the US. Operating on a non-profit-making basis, the organization still nurtures new talent and new music.

Last January, Edelman returned to the stage of Corbett Auditorium for a special performance with CCM’s Philharmonia and Jazz Ensemble. Learn more about his recent return to campus courtesy of UC Magazine.

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CCM Alumni Perform National Anthem Tour at NFL Games

CCM alumni Tom and Jenn Korbee.

CCM alumni Tom and Jenn Korbee.

CCM alumni Tom Korbee (BFA in Drama, 2002) and Jenn Korbee (née Peterson-Hind; BFA in Musical Theatre, 2002) are in the midst of a National Anthem tour as the musical duo KORBEE.

Their first stop on Oct. 27 was at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia with the Eagles playing the New York Giants! The duo’s tour will next take them to Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Nov. 10, where the Packers will play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Tom and Jenn Korbee were seen on American Idol Season 8, where they were the first married couple to become finalists.

You can listen to KORBEE’s latest EP, Great Escape, by visiting korbeemusic.com or download the album on iTunes here.

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