CCM Slideshows: 150th Birthday Bash

 

Students, faculty and staff enjoyed CCM’s 150th anniversary birthday picnic. Photo by Joseph Fuqua II.

CCM began its yearlong Sesquicentennial Celebration with a Birthday Bash Picnic on August 25. Thanks to the students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends who joined us for the celebration!

View the slideshow below to see highlights from CCM’s birthday picnic:

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The celebration continues throughout CCM’s 2017-18 season with nearly 1000 public performances and special events! Join the CCM Philharmonia for its season-opening concert at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8 in Patricia Corbett Theater.

You can learn more about CCM’s fall schedule of performing and media arts events by picking up a Fall 2017 Calendar of Major Events at the CCM Box Office.

You can also view a digital copy of CCM’s Fall Calendar of Events by visiting issuu.com/ccmpr/docs/ccmfall2017calendarbooklet.

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CCM Village at night. Photo by Jay Yocis.

CCM Celebrates 150th Anniversary With Must-See Mainstage Series

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) marks the 150th anniversary of its founding with a year-long Sesquicentennial Celebration beginning in the fall of 2017. Commemorating a tradition of innovation and excellence dating back to the founding of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in 1867, CCM’s Sesquicentennial programming includes eight must-see masterworks presented as part of the 2017-18 Mainstage Series.

Click the graphic for more information.

Click the graphic for more information.

Between Sept. 27, 2017, and April 14, 2018, CCM’s stars of tomorrow and world-class faculty and staff members will stage eight diverse productions. This year’s Mainstage Series includes cherished classics like William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Leonard Bernstein’s Candide and Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar.

CCM’s Sesquicentennial lineup also includes an opera double-bill featuring Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica, two mixed-repertoire ballet productions and the Mainstage Series debuts of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens’ Seussical and Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information.

The Mainstage Series is just one part of the yearlong CCM Sesquicentennial Celebration, which will also include world premieres, guest artist performances, a series of off-campus concerts and a one-of-a-kind alumni showcase event. For an initial overview of CCM’s 150th anniversary programming, please visit ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/sesquicentennial-celebration.

The complete 2017-18 Mainstage Series lineup is listed below. Titles and dates are subject to change – rights pending. For the most current calendar of events, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

Additional Information
Single tickets go on sale beginning Sept. 5, 2017, but subscribing is the best way to guarantee your seats for CCM’s Mainstage Series! Fully customizable renewal subscriptions are on sale now with priority seating before July 7, 2017. Subscription packages for new subscribers go on sale July 10, 2017.

To order subscriptions, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or boxoff@uc.edu.
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CCM’S 150TH ANNIVERSARY MAINSTAGE SERIES
Acting, Musical Theatre, Opera, Dance

HAMLET
Written by William Shakespeare
Susan Felder, director

CCM’s anniversary season opens with one of Shakespeare’s most classic tragedies. Hamlet returns from college to find something rotten in his hometown. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues between Hamlet and his uncle, the King. Shakespeare’s thriller plunges audiences into the madness of family disillusionment, lost romance, betrayal, murder, suicide and the existential question of what it means to be human. “What a piece of work is a man!”

Performance Dates: Sept. 27 (preview), Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2017
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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SEUSSICAL
Book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Co-conceived by Eric Idle
Based on the works of Dr. Seuss
Vince DeGeorge, director and co-choreographer
Luke Flood, musical director
Christopher Kelley, co-choreographer

The CCM Sesquicentennial celebrates the work of distinguished alumnus Stephen Flaherty (BM Composition, 1982)! Now one of the most performed shows in America, Seussical is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza. The Tony Award-winning team of Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Anastasia, Once on This Island, Ragtime) have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination – Jojo. This colorful cast of characters transports us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos.

Performance Dates: Oct. 19-22 and Oct. 25-29, 2017
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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CANDIDE
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Book by Hugh Wheeler, after Voltaire
Lyrics by Richard Wilbur, Stephen Sondheim, John La Touche, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker and Leonard Bernstein
Mark Gibson, conductor
Emma Griffin, director

Now lauded as one of Bernstein’s most characteristic theatrical creations, CCM’s stars of tomorrow proudly present Candide as part of a world-wide celebration leading up to Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday. CCM’s highly innovative staging of the opera utilizes a stark, one-room set design that leans into the theatricality of the show. The artistry of CCM students and Leonard Bernstein’s extraordinary score will guide audiences’ imagination as they journey through Voltaire’s “best of all possible worlds” with verve and satirical humor. Presented in conjunction with the official Leonard Bernstein at 100 centennial celebration.

Performance Dates: Nov. 16-19, 2017
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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THE ART OF MOTION
Jiang Qi and Deirdre Carberry, co-directors
Alexandria Black, conductor

CCM’s Department of Dance opens this anniversary season with a concert of mixed repertoire featuring the enchanting The Little Mermaid choreographed by guest artist and Missouri Ballet Theatre director Adam Sage with music by Léo Delibes and Antonín Dvoràk. The concert also showcases Paquita (Act II) with music by Ludwig Minkus, restaged by Deirdre Carberry. Additional highlights include the world premiere of Shaker Loops, choreographed by André Megerdichian and featuring music by John Adams performed by CCM’s Café MoMus ensemble. This premiere will also include an illuminated collaboration with DAAP faculty member Henry Hildebrandt.

Performance Dates: Nov. 30-Dec. 3, 2017
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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LOVE AND INFORMATION
Written by Caryl Churchill
Brant Russell, directo
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Described by the New York Times as “thought-churning” and “deeply poignant,” Love and Information premiered in London’s Royal Court Theatre in 2012. In this fast-moving kaleidoscope, more than 100 characters try to make sense of what they know. The play explores the prevalence of technology in today’s culture, the thirst for knowledge and the importance of human connection.

Performance Dates: Feb. 7 (preview), Feb. 8-11, 2018
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Diane Lala, director and choreographer
Roger Grodsky, musical director

What’s the buzz? The first musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to be produced for the professional stage, Jesus Christ Superstar has wowed audiences for over 40 years. A timeless work, the rock opera is based on the last week of Jesus’ life. Set against the backdrop of an extraordinary and universally-known series of events, the story is told through the eyes of Judas Iscariot. A true global phenomenon, the iconic 1970s rock score contains such well-known numbers as “Superstar,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” and “Gethsemane.”

Performance Dates: Feb. 22-25 and Feb. 28-March 4, 2018
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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OPERA DOUBLE BILL: GIANNI SCHICCHI & SUOR ANGELICA
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Giovacchino Forzano
Mark Gibson, conductor
Andreas Hagar, director (Gianni Schicchi)
Meredith Kitz, director (Suor Angelica)

The CCM Sesquicentennial pairs two of Puccini’s most popular operas for one can’t-miss Mainstage Series production! CCM’s stars of tomorrow present the farcical Gianni Schicchi and the moving Suor Angelica as a double-bill highlighting Puccini’s mastery of emotional storytelling.

Performance Dates: March 22-25, 2018
Location: Patricia Corbett Theater
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LEGENDS OF DANCE
Jiang Qi, director
Aik Khai Pung, music director and conductor

Celebrate spring’s arrival with the CCM Ballet Ensemble as they present an exciting mixed bill accompanied by the CCM Concert Orchestra. The program includes one of the most celebrated excerpts in all classical ballets, “The Kingdom of the Shades” from La Bayadére, staged by CCM faculty member Deirdre Carberry with music by Ludwig Minkus. In addition, guest artist Pablo Francisco Ruvalcaba will restage José Limón’s masterful A Choreographic Offering set to music by J. S. Bach. The program’s rousing finale features The Sleeping Beauty (Act III), after Marius Petipa’s classical ballet with music by Tchaikovsky.

Performance Dates: April 12-14, 2018
Location: Corbett Auditorium
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Mainstage Series Subscriptions
The 2017-18 CCM Mainstage Series of acting, musical theatre, opera and dance productions includes subscription packages for combinations of six-or-more shows, four-shows or three-shows.

Renewal subscription packages are on sale now. CCM’s fully customizable subscription packages range in price from $69 – $188. Subscribers to CCM’s 2016-17 Mainstage Series can receive priority access to seating by renewing their subscriptions by July 7, 2017.

Subscription packages for new subscribers go on sale July 10, 2017. Single tickets go on sale beginning Sept. 5, 2017.

To order subscriptions, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183.

CCM Sesquicentennial Performances and Concert Series Options

CCM will present additional special events and public performances celebrating its Sesquicentennial throughout the 2017-18 concert season. As the largest single source of performing arts events in Ohio, CCM will also present its typical lineup of chamber music, choral, jazz, orchestra, percussion, piano and wind ensemble concerts each season.

Beginning in January of 2018, the CCM Sesquicentennial will celebrate Leonard Bernstein’s centennial with a collection of performances by students and faculty artists from throughout the college. Subscribers get first access to the Leonard Bernstein Experience, which includes concerts and special events held in the spring and fall of 2018 as part of a world-wide celebration of Bernstein’s 100th birthday.

CCM’s Mainstage subscribers receive priority access to the Bernstein Experience, Ariel Quartet subscription packages, CCM Concert Series flex ticket packages, prepaid parking and other exclusive perks.

Full programming and package details for CCM’s Sesquicentennial Special Event Series, 2017-18 Ariel Quartet Series and Concert Series will be announced in July. Visit ccm.uc.edu for more information.
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Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

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Xinghai Concert Hall. Photo by 慕尼黑啤酒.

Musical Theatre Students Travel to China for Valentine’s Day Performance

CCM Director of Orchestra Studies Mark Gibson and four musical theatre students are taking a whirlwind trip to China to perform with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra at the Xinghai Concert Hall on Valentine’s Day.

Students Michelle Coben, David Paul Schwensen, Emily Morris and Zach Erhardt will head to China with Gibson on Friday, Feb. 10. They will rehearse over the weekend and present the program, “A Valentine to New York,” on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

michellecoben

Michelle Coben.

david-paul-schwensen

David Paul Schwensen.

emilymorris

Emily Morris.

zach-erhardt

Zach Erhardt.

 

 

 

 

The program includes excerpts from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls and How to Success In Business Without Really Trying and Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate. The concert will also feature George Gershwin’s Overture to Girl Crazy and Jule Styne’s Overture to Gypsy. 

“This will be a first for the GSO, a first for CCM as a school, a first for each of the gifted students involved and, frankly, a first for me — my very first all-Broadway concert,” Gibson says.

The trip began with an invitation from CCM alumna Huan Jing (MM Orchestral Conducting, 2010), who studied under Gibson and was also a visiting faculty member at CCM. Jing is the resident conductor of the prestigious Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, the only Chinese orchestra to tour and perform on five continents.

“The Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra is one of the half-dozen top orchestras in China,” Gibson says.  “Huan Jing is not the only CCM alumna in the orchestra. CCM alumna Nicole Leong is the GSO’s new principal harpist, making this a true family affair!”

CCM Musical Theatre professor Roger Grodsky prepared the students for the concert with assistance from Luke Flood, a master’s of music student in Orchestral Conducting. Gibson and the students will return to Cincinnati on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

“We are going to rock Guangzhou!” Gibson says. “Thanks to Huan Jing, Roger Grodsky, Aubrey Berg, Interim Provost Peter Landgren, Interim Dean bruce mcclung, Patti Hall and many more for making this all possible!

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The Application Deadline is Approaching for the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship!

Time is running out to apply for the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship! The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra are accepting applications for the next class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows through Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2016!

Diversity Fellow Emilio Carlo in rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Diversity Fellow Emilio Carlo in rehearsal with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this one-of-a-kind program provides an unparalleled learning experience for violin, viola, violoncello and double bass players coming from populations that are historically underrepresented in classical music. The inaugural class of fellows are halfway through their first year in the program; read more about them in this UC Magazine feature story.

Fellows receive full tuition scholarship support while earning a Master of Music or Artist Diploma degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

The inaugural class of Diversity Fellows with CSO music director Louis Langrée.

The inaugural class of Diversity Fellows with CSO music director Louis Langrée.

Fellows perform the equivalent of five weeks per season with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Each fellow receives compensation of $8,000 per season while performing with the CSO.

Fellows receive a $10,000 per year graduate stipend and one-time Graduate School Dean’s Excellence Award of $3,000 from CCM.

The deadline to apply is Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. For application and audition requirements, visit us at ccm.uc.edu/chance2perform.

Apply online now at ccm.uc.edu/admissions/application/gradapplication.

Questions? Email us at ccmadmis@uc.edu.

CCM News
Peter Landgren, Dean of the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM)

A Message From Peter Landgren

Dear CCM Community,

The power of CCM, which is fueled by you – the college’s faculty, staff, students, alumni, volunteers, donors and advisors – is as strong as ever at the University of Cincinnati. As such, I have accepted an offer from Interim President Beverly Davenport to fill the role of Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, paralleling her interim presidency. You can learn more about this appointment here.

This is an interim role for me, I’m not going far – just a few buildings away from the CCM Village – and CCM will have an excellent individual at the helm as Interim Dean.

brucce mcclung will be Interim Dean at CCMWe are fortunate to have a leader amongst leaders who has agreed to serve as CCM’s Interim Dean, Dr. bruce mcclung. A member of CCM’s faculty since 1992, Dr. mcclung has most recently served as head of the Division of Composition, Musicology and Theory. Dr. mcclung is a highly respected musicologist, a consummate researcher, pedagogue, advisor and mentor. He is detail-oriented, focused on excellence and possesses a watchful eye on fiscal health. He is a strong communicator and a leader who naturally turns listening and collaboration into action.

Dr. mcclung received his bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory, two master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music and his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. He has been awarded several campus-wide accolades from the University of Cincinnati, including the A. B. “Dolly” Cohen Award for Distinguished Excellence in Teaching in 2013, the UC Graduate School Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring Award in 2009 and was elected to the University’s Academy for Fellows of Teaching and Learning. You can read the official announcement of bruce’s interim appointment here.

When I asked if he would fill the role as CCM’s Interim Dean, bruce’s first question to me revealed his insight and dedication as a leader and creative individual: How could he continue to propel the ONECCM initiative forward during this interim period? Yes, there were other questions to follow, yet this lead enquiry told me a great deal about bruce’s desire to maintain the positive trajectory that the college has enjoyed. I am confident that bruce will assist each of you who hold an individual role in propelling the college beyond all imagination.

As a university community, we are equally fortunate to have a compassionate and compelling leader in Dr. Davenport. I cannot thank Dr. Davenport enough for her confidence in my leadership abilities. As Interim Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, I will support her as Interim President in a unified vision for UC, and will assist all of the university’s deans and colleges in attaining or superseding their goals. My term will begin today and parallel Interim President Davenport’s.

Please join me in thanking bruce as he steps into this new role of intellectual and artistic guidance at CCM. I also want to thank you – the CCM community – for supporting Interim Dean mcclung, Interim President Davenport and me as each of us enter new positions to guide our university forward.

CCM is the college that has given me my career. I will always be a proud alum of this great college, and my pride and respect extends to each of you. Both CCM and UC have made great strides in recent years. Working together, we will continue to build upon those accomplishments and achieve even greater successes.

Sincerely yours,

DeanSignature
Peter Landgren, Dean
Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music
College-Conservatory of Music
University of Cincinnati

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CCM Slideshows: Graduation Convocation 2016

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CCM celebrated the Class of 2016 with a luncheon and Graduation Convocation Ceremony on April 30. The ceremony featured students receiving baccalaureate, masters, doctoral, and artist diploma degrees and recognized this year’s distinguished alumni and service award recipients.

Dean Peter Landgren began the ceremony with a welcome address and recognition awards. Steve Shin (MM Trombone 2013, MA/MBA Arts Administration 2016) received the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award. The Distinguished Alumnus Award went to David Daniels (BM Voice, 1990) and Trish Bryan was recognized with the Distinguished Service Award.

Congratulations to all of the 2016 graduates of the UC College-Conservatory of Music! We can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the years ahead.

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CCM and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Announce the Inaugural Class of Diversity Fellows

Following a rigorous application and audition process, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) have selected five outstanding string musicians for the inaugural class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows. Born out of a mutual desire to make American orchestras more inclusive, this groundbreaking fellowship program is made possible by a generous $900,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The inaugural CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows are: Emilio Carlo, 21 (viola); Diana Flores, 26 (cello); Blake-Anthony Johnson, 25 (cello); Vijeta Sathyaraj, 27 (violin); and Maurice Todd, 37 (double bass). The Fellows were selected through a rigorous series of auditions, which saw more than 100 talented musicians audition for CCM faculty members. Twelve string players were invited back to Cincinnati for a final round of auditions for CSO musicians on March 14, 2016.

“For this inaugural class, we have selected a cohort of astonishingly talented musicians, who come to us from a wide variety of backgrounds,” said CCM Dean Peter Landgren. “Our Fellows hail from New York, Georgia, Kentucky, Costa Rica and Hong Kong, and represent the future of American orchestras. Working in close collaboration with our partners at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, we will prepare these Fellows for long and fruitful artistic careers, while challenging the status quo of our industry.”

With this innovative Fellowship program, CCM and the CSO are providing new opportunities for underrepresented musicians, while simultaneously fostering a more inclusive environment in the world of professional orchestras. According to the League of American Orchestras, just over four percent of orchestra musicians are African-American or Latino. With that statistic in mind, the CSO and CCM want to foster an environment that promotes greater diversity on the stages of American orchestras. The program’s tagline – Bravos Without Barriers – gets to the heart of this mission.

This new two-year program, that is already garnering attention among leaders throughout the music world, consists of frequent performances with the CSO, focused mentorship by professional CSO musicians, and simultaneous instruction by CCM’s illustrious faculty.

“The level of musicianship on display during our final round of auditions is a testament to the merit of this program,” said CSO President Trey Devey. “Through our partnership with CCM and with the extraordinary support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we can provide a truly transformative experience for these exceptional performers at a crucial time in their careers. We look forward to welcoming our inaugural Fellows to Cincinnati this fall and we can’t wait to share their talents with the Greater Cincinnati community.”

How the Fellowship works

The inaugural class of Diversity Fellows will officially arrive in Cincinnati this August. CCM and the CSO will welcome a second class of five Diversity Fellows in the fall of 2017, bringing the number of Fellows in the program to ten during the 2017-18 academic year and orchestra season.

Each Fellow receives full tuition scholarship support from CCM, in addition to a $10,000 per year graduate stipend and a one-time Graduate School Dean’s Excellence Award of $3,000. Each Fellow also receives compensation of $8,000 per season while performing with the CSO. They will perform the equivalent of five weeks per season with the CSO in a progressive sequence of concert weeks based on program difficulty, with one week focused on community engagement and educational activities.

This unique educational opportunity is the first of its kind to pair a major conservatory with a major orchestra, bridging the pre-professional gap while also fostering a more inclusive environment within professional orchestras. The Sphinx Organization, a Detroit-based national organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts, will serve as an external evaluator and advisor.

Along with the professional performance experience, Fellows will receive focused mentorship from CSO musicians on top of regular instruction and guidance from CCM’s illustrious faculty. Their mentorship includes coaching sessions before each rehearsal cycle, ongoing stand partner coaching and post-performance feedback. There will also be non- performance related career counseling to prepare the Fellows for their future.

When asked about what made this new program so distinctive, incoming Fellow Emilio Carlo commented:

“Being raised in the Bronx, I would’ve never thought my future would involve classical music. When I attend orchestra concerts, there aren’t many musicians of color seen on stage. In fact, it’s always an ‘aha’ moment when I see a Latino or African American musician playing in a symphony. I knew the Fellowship was my top choice as soon as I read their mission statement: ‘We want to change the face of the American symphony.’”

Meet the Fellows

Emilio Carlo

Emilio Carlo. Photo by Andrew Higley.

Emilio Carlo, Artist Diploma Viola
Emilio Carlo is a native of the Bronx, New York, and currently resides in Washington D.C. He is a first-year Artist Diploma student at CCM and recently graduated from the conservatory with a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance. He previously studied with Catharine Carroll-Lees and Masao Kawasaki and is currently under the tutelage of Jan Grüning of the Ariel Quartet.

In previous years, he has attended the Aspen Music Festival and Japan’s Pacific Music Festival. He was also appointed as Principal Viola for a concert tour under the direction of Maestro Yutaka Sado. Outside of music, his hobbies include attending jazz concerts, cooking and exercising.

Carlo is a 2012 recipient of the Brewster Award for young artists from the John. F Kennedy Center for the performing arts. He is honored to be a member of the inaugural class of the Diversity Fellowship, which he feels will prepare him to win a professional orchestra audition in the near future.

Diana Flores

Diana Flores. Photo by Andrew Higley.

Diana Flores, Artist Diploma Cello
Cellist Diana Flores has performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Brazil, China and her home country of Costa Rica. At age nine, she started playing cello at the Instituto Nacional de Musica in San José. Ten years later, Flores moved to Boston to complete her undergraduate studies at the Longy School of Music, where she studied under Mihail Jojatu.

During her years in Boston she performed with the Boston Pops and Boston Philharmonic Orchestras. She was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in the summers of 2012 and 2013 and is a former member of Youth Orchestra of the Americas. She also traveled to Japan to participate in the Pacific Music Festival.

After moving to Chicago in 2013, she became a member of the Civic Orchestra, a two-year training program with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. While there, she joined the MusiCorps String Quartet, a music education and advocacy program in which she performed in many Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Park Districts. Flores is finishing her Masters Degree at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, studying under Richard Hirschl.

Blake-Anthony Johnson

Blake-Anthony Johnson. Photo by Andrew Higley.

Blake-Anthony Johnson, Artist Diploma Cello
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Blake-Anthony Johnson began playing cello at age 12 and was self-taught until the age of 18. He has performed and recorded works by Richard Danielpour, Claudio Gabriele, Adam Schoenberg and Poul Ruders. As a soloist and guest Principal cellist, he has worked with conductors across the United States including JoAnn Falletta, David S. Wiley and Carl Topilow. Passionate about chamber music, Johnson is a founding member and former cellist in the Läc Quartet. As the recipient of the Vanderbilt Music Académie grant, the quartet received commissions and residency in Festival d’Aix held in Aix-en-Provence, France.

Additional performances include both orchestral and chamber music at the Spoleto Music Festival, Lev Aronson Legacy Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, National Music Festival and Brevard Music Festival. He is the former chair and founding member of the Music Education and Youth Initiative, which served underprivileged children in the greater Metropolitan area of Nashville, Tennessee. Johnson was a prizewinner in the MTNA Young Artist Competition, the World Competition; the Daniel Rains, and Brevard Music Festival Concerto competitions.

Johnson received his Bachelor of Music degree under Felix Wang and Kathryn Plummer at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and later studied under Bryan Dumm and Alan Harrell of the Cleveland Orchestra for his Master of Music diploma. His most recent education was in the prestigious Orchestral Program at the Manhattan School of Music studying with Alan Stepansky with additional studies under David Geber and Wolfram Koessel.

Vijeta Sathyaraj

Vijeta Sathyaraj. Photo by Andrew Higley.

Vijeta Sathyaraj, Artist Diploma Violin
Born in Macau, China, Vijeta Sathyaraj began violin studies in the Philippines at the age of 3.  By age 6, she was featured on the Philippine National Broadcast and was studying with Basilio Manalo.  She went on to study with Fan Ting at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, and later took lessons from Dennis Kim. Sathyaraj graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy, where she studied with Vesna Gruppman. She later earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin Conservatory and her Master of Music degree from Lynn Conservatory.

Sathyaraj has performed solo recitals in Denmark, India, Hong Kong and the United States. In 2001, she was featured in a CNN broadcast, and in 2004, she organized and performed in a piano trio to raise $3,000 for development work in Hanoi, Vietnam. She has performed in the Idyllwild Arts Festival Orchestra and she joined the Oberlin Symphony for a performance in Carnegie Hall under Robert Spano in 2007. She has attended the Meadowmount School of Music, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival.

Sathyaraj recently completed her Professional Performance Certificate at Lynn University where she studies under Carol Cole. Former mentors include Milan Vitek, Andrew Jennings, Sally Thomas, Ann Setzer, and Midori. Sathyaraj’s commitment to outreach and diversifying audiences to Western classical music led her to apply to CCM.

Maurice Todd

Maurice Todd. Photo by Andrew Higley.

Maurice Todd, Artist Diploma Double Bass
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Maurice Todd received his Bachelor of Music in Double Bass Performance from CCM. He is a current section bassist in the Lexington Philharmonic. In addition to being a seven-time Aspen Fellowship recipient, Todd previously won the Dayton Philharmonic Minority Fellowship, was the low string winner of the CCM concerto competition, earned the National Symphony Orchestra League Scholarship and was a fellowship recipient in the Spoleto Italy Opera Festival. Most recently, he received the distinguished Excellence in Teaching Award from the UC Graduate School.

Todd has performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, Grand Rapids Symphony, Richmond Symphony and Kentucky Symphony. He has been a soloist with the Louisville Orchestra, Seven Hills Sinfonietta, Wired and the CCM Concert Orchestra.

This year, Todd will graduate from CCM with a Master’s Degree in Double Bass Performance, where he serves as the graduate assistant for the double bass studio under the tutelage of Professor Albert Laszlo. His former mentors include Owen Lee, Edgar Meyer, Chris Hanulik, Bruce Bransby, Rob Oppelt, Eugene Levinson and Hal Robinson.

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