Program Spotlight: Organ Studies at CCM

Named one of the nation’s leading conservatories by the New York Times, CCM offers an Organ Studies program that blends past traditions with contemporary training for professional musicians of the 21st century. Undergraduate and graduate curricula includes studies in organ literature, sacred music and choral/instrumental ensembles. Applications are still open to join CCM’s Fall 2018 class!

A photo of the Noack Organ Company’s Opus 144 (2003) at Lakeside Presbyterian Church. Photo by David Ziser.

CCM students have access to organs in the community, including Noack Organ Company’s Opus 144 (2003) at Lakeside Presbyterian Church. Photo by David Ziser.

Incoming graduate-level applicants are eligible to receive financial aid through the Strader Organ Scholarship Competition and Graduate Assistantships. Sacred Music Internships are also available in Cincinnati-area churches.

CCM Organ Studies majors study with acclaimed faculty, including Michael Unger, Stephan Casurella, John Deaver and Roberta Gary. At CCM, students have access to 200 pianos; a fortepiano; a clavichord; eight harpsichords by Dowd, Martin and Wolf; and studio pipe organs by Juget-Sinclair, Wilhelm and C.B. Fisk.

Students can also access diverse pipe organs in the Cincinnati region, including instruments by Noack Organ Company, Taylor and Boody, E.M. Skinner, Karl Wilhelm and C.B. Fisk. New organ installations include C.B. Fisk Opus 148 (2018); Richards, Fowkes and Company Opus 24 (2019); and Paul Fritts and Company Opus 43 (2019).

Beyond the Classroom
Located in the heart of Cincinnati, CCM’s urban campus is perfectly positioned to connect students with professional experiences. Cincinnati’s rich artistic landscape includes the world-class Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Ballet, as well as numerous community music ensembles and cultural museums.

Applications and Additional Information
CCM is now accepting applications for Fall 2018. Learn more at ccm.uc.edu/apply.

For more information, please visit ccm.uc.edu/music/keyboard or contact CCM Admissions at 513-556-9478 or email ccmadmis@uc.edu.

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CCM Alumnus in France creates online harpsichord training method for beginners of all ages

As a Professor Emeritus of harpsichord at Paris’ Conservatory of the 18th precinct and Organist Emeritus at Saint-Jean de Montmartre Church, Frank Mento (MM Organ, 1974) has helped numerous students develop their skills and abilities in keyboard music. Now, the CCM alumnus has ventured into helping newcomers to the harpsichord get off to a strong start — regardless of whether they are six or 60 years old.

Frank Mento

Frank Mento

Mento, who studied at CCM under organ professor Wayne Fisher, has created a comprehensive online training method for the instrument that is meant as a surrogate for 10 years of training. The first nine volumes covering nine years are currently available for purchase. The tenth and final volume is expected to become available soon.

“I teach beginners having no previous musical knowledge by a method that [encompasses] education by the eye, ear, muscle, and drawing,” Mento stated of his pedagogical approach. “This is learning based on relative reading, singing, motor skills, and three-dimensional geometry transferred to two dimensions. It is a realistic and living approach. Pupils learn how to read music like a design or drawing.”

Part of his motivation came from observing and experimenting for the better part of 12 years in areas where accessible education on harpsichord is extremely limited due to economic, social and other factors. Students of any age receive training that ranges from learning the most commonly played notes to advanced improvisational techniques involving the variation of melodies, Baroque-style ornamentation and creating musical lines based upon basso continuo. For Mento, this improvisation is key to the success of his approach.

“A long time ago, in order to ornate and vary the music, musicians had a habit of inventing little melodies, which made the piece more joyous, expressive, and prettier,” Mento wrote. “This tradition of ornamentation and improvisation based on a melody died in the early 19th century as far as ‘classical’ music is concerned. Now, only Jazz musicians and musicians of traditional music practice it fluently.”

He also provides free downloadable copies of public domain scores from famed Renaissance and Baroque composers including Johann Sebastian Bach, Handel, William Byrd and others. These scores also feature notes on them that inform the musician to which volume of the method each is applicable. Owing to his stated desire for accessibility regardless of age, he readily encourages redistributing the scores to others to further his pedagogical goals.

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Story by CCM graduate Kevin Norton (DMA Saxophone, 2015)

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Recently Retired CCM Professor Roberta Gary Honored with Special Conference

Join us for a celebration of recently retired faculty member Roberta Gary's career on Oct. 25 and 26, 2013.

Join us for a celebration of recently retired faculty member Roberta Gary’s career on Oct. 25 and 26, 2013.

CCM helps pay tribute to beloved faculty member Roberta Gary on the occasion of her retirement with a conference entitled “For the Love of Teaching,” running Oct. 25-26 at North Presbyterian Church, Lakeside Presbyterian Church and CCM’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts.

A full schedule for “For the Love of Teaching” is listed below. The conference will include performances by students, faculty and alumni of CCM, along with guest lectures and master classes. Conference guests include Gregory Crowell, Martha Folts, William Porter, Michael Bauer and Barbara Conable. All events are free and open to the public, save for the 7 p.m. banquet on Friday, Oct. 25.

Please see individual listings below for additional information on the conference’s public events, including pricing information for Friday’s banquet.

About Roberta Gary
A Professor of Organ and Chair of the Department of Keyboard Studies at CCM, Gary retired from UC this August. She had been a member of CCM’s faculty since 1967 and served as Keyboard Studies Division Head from 1989 until her retirement. During that time, she also taught organ, a graduate seminar in organ literature and organ pedagogy.

An alumna of CCM, Gary completed a Bachelor of Music in Piano and a Master of Music in Organ at what was then the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM would merge with the University of Cincinnati in 1962). Gary completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts and Performer’s Certificate in Organ from the Eastman School of Music.

Gary studied piano with Olga Conus and organ with Wayne Fisher, David Craighead, Arthur Poister, Bernard Lagacé, William Porter, Harald Vogel and Edward Parmentier.

CCM News

CCM Student Matthew Phelps Places Third in National Pipe Organ Performance Competition

Choral Conducting DMA Student Matthew Phelps.

Choral Conducting DMA Student Matthew Phelps.

We are happy to report that Choral Conducting DMA candidate Matthew Phelps has placed third in the Rodgers North American Classical Organ Competition. Finals were held at the Rodgers Instruments Corporation on Friday, Oct. 4, in front of a live audience.

Phelps was also featured on this week’s episode of NPR’s Pipe Dreams. He and trumpeter Lorraine Cohen performed “Trumpets of Light” by Dan Locklair at the Reformed Church of Bronxville.

At CCM, Phelps studies Choral Conducting with Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers. He is also director of the Xavier University Concert Choir and is the Minister of Music at Assumption Church in Mount Healthy. In 2012 he was a finalist for the American Prize in Choral Conducting, and his Chancel Choir at the Reformed Church of Bronxville was a finalist for the American Prize in the Ensemble division.

As an organist, Phelps is regularly engaged across the eastern United States. He is the Artist-in-Residence at Saint Frances Xavier Church in New York, NY, and is a regular guest recitalist at Saint Mary the Virgin Times Square, in New York, NY. He is currently studying with CCM Assistant Professor of Organ and Harpsichord Michael Unger.

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CCM Jazz Presents Duke Ellington’s First Sacred Concert On April 29

CCM's jazz ensembles and Chamber Choir welcome special guest Bobby Floyd on Sunday, April 29.

CCM's jazz ensembles and Chamber Choir welcome special guest Bobby Floyd on Sunday, April 29.

CCM’s Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band and Chamber Choir welcome virtuoso B-3 organist Bobby Floyd for a rare performance of Duke Ellington’s first Sacred Concert at 7 p.m. this Sunday, April 29 in Patricia Corbett Theater.

Conducted by Scott Belck, Earl Rivers and Dominic Marino, this unforgettable night of inspirational music is sponsored in part by CCM’s Tangeman Sacred Music Center.

CCM News

CCM Hosts Historical Keyboard Festival March 21-25

Keyboard enthusiasts and music lovers have the opportunity to experience a celebration of harpsichord innovations through the years as CCM hosts the 2012 Joint Meeting and Festival of the Midwestern and Southeastern Historical Keyboard Societies.

Antiqua/Nova: Celebrating the Harpsichord Across the Centuries will take place March 21-25 at various locations within CCM Village and the city of Cincinnati.

CCM News

CCM Provides Splendid 400th for Monteverdi’s Landmark Vespers of 1610

On Sunday, Nov. 21, CCM held its first Subscriber Thank You Event of the year at Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati. The CCM Chamber Choir and Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra performed Montevderi’s Vespers of 1610 at this very special concert. Music in Cincinnati‘s Mary Ellyn Hutton provides an excellent review of the concert here.

CCM’s next Subscriber Thank You Event will be held on Sunday, May 22. Mainstage subscription packages are still available for the remainder of our 2010-11 season. Contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 for more information.

CCM News

Monteverdi’s “Vespers” Previewed by Enquirer

Today, Janelle Gelfand provides us with a preview of this Sunday’s concert commemorating the 400th anniversary of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. You can read Janelle’s story here.

Sponsored by CCM’s Tangeman Sacred Music Center, the concert will be held at Christ Church Cathedral on Fourth and Sycamore in downtown Cincinnati at 5 p.m on Nov. 21. Admission to the concert is free. CCM will host a special reception for our Mainstage Subscribers post-concert. You can learn more about the concert here.

CCM News

View Rehearsals for 400th Anniversary Celebration of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610

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Today, CCM Electronic Media student Matthew Ray provides us with a video preview of this weekend’s Chamber Choir and Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra concert celebrating the 400th Anniversary of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. You can learn more about this very special performance here.

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CCM Commemorates the 400th Anniversary of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610

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On Sunday, Nov. 21, CCM’s Choral and Orchestral Departments present a concert commemorating the 400th Anniversary of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. The core large-scale masterwork in the international repertory of the Early Music movement, Monteverdi’s masterpiece will be performed by the CCM Chamber Choir and Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra. This lavish presentation will be embellished with guest period instrument artists playing cornettos, theorbo, gamba and Baroque harp. Earl Rivers conducts. Sponsored by CCM’s Tangeman Sacred Music Center, the concert will be held at Christ Church Cathedral on Fourth and Sycamore in downtown Cincinnati at 5 p.m on Nov. 21. Admission to the concert is free. CCM will host a special reception for our Mainstage Subscribers post-concert. More details after the jump.

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