CCM Professor Kevin Burke with UC students Joe Walsh and Jack Fitzgerald. Photography by Kaori Funahashi.

Next Installment of Student-Produced ‘Gold Rush Expedition Race’ Film Series Premieres on May 27 on the Universal Sports Network

The newest installment of the University of Cincinnati‘s student-produced Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film series will receive its national broadcast premiere on NBC’s Universal Sports Network at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27.

Created by UC’s Production Master Class, the 90-minute long documentary film is part of a three-year series about the Gold Rush Expedition Race, one of the world’s premier expedition races. The race features an international field of 50 elite athletes as they trek, mountain bike, climb and kayak along a grueling 275 mile course admits the beauty of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The race is part of the Adventure Racing World Series.

The 2014 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary will air 10 times on USN. The cable network aired the 2012 and 2013 installments of this action-packed documentary series last October. You can learn more about those initial broadcasts by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/student-produced-film-series-airs-on-universal-sports-network.

The UC Production Master Class involves an interdisciplinary group of students and faculty who work with nationally recognized television and film professionals to produce digital media content that reaches a national and global audience.

Since 2012, it has involved three UC Professors, a UC alumnus, a cadre of media professionals and over 90 students from nine different academic programs at CCMDAAP and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information about the 2014 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary’s broadcast schedule, please visit goldrushracedoc.com/2014-premiere.

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Kevin McCollum talks to CCM musical theatre students at a master class.

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer Kevin McCollum Joins CCM’s Faculty as Distinguished Visiting Professor

Peter Landgren, dean and Thomas James Kelly professor of music at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), has appointed leading Broadway producer Kevin McCollum to the position of Distinguished Visiting Professor. McCollum’s initial appointment will be for three years and will become effective in August of 2015.

Alumnus and Distinguished Visiting Professor Kevin McCollum.

Alumnus and Distinguished Visiting Professor Kevin McCollum.

A distinguished alumnus of the University of Cincinnati, McCollum (BFA Musical Theatre, 1984; HonDoc, 2005) is the Tony Award-winning producer of RentAvenue QIn the HeightsMotown the Musical and many other acclaimed Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring productions. Earlier this spring, McCollum received two more Tony nominations for his current productions of Something Rotten! (Best Musical) and Hand to God (Best Play). He also received 12 Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, and nine Drama Desk nominations, including Outstanding Musical.

As a Distinguished Visiting Professor at CCM, McCollum’s influence on the college’s students and programs will be broad, focusing his work on musical theatre, although his entrepreneurial expertise will also be applied to aspects of auditioning, career development, arts administration and more.

Through this new appointment, McCollum will also work with faculty and administrators to develop a new musical theatre incubator program at CCM. A collaborative venture between CCM and Alchemation, McCollum’s Broadway producing office, this incubator will be designed to support the creation of new musical theatre works, utilizing McCollum’s entrepreneurial expertise and CCM’s abundance of talent.

“We are very excited to bring Kevin back to CCM as a member of our faculty,” says Dean Landgren. “Kevin is arguably the most accomplished and successful producer working in theatre today. Given his diverse background and his proven expertise in the business of the performing arts, his presence on our faculty will enhance the already world-class training that our students receive.”

“CCM was an essential part of my professional training and I am thrilled to return to such a top-notch institution,” says McCollum. “There are many things that attracted me to this position on CCM’s faculty; Peter Landgren’s bold leadership and openness to collaboration, the level of excellence found in the faculty, the highly accomplished young artists and the state-of-the-art facilities of my Alma Mater. I am proud to be counted amongst the internationally renowned faculty of this great institution. CCM has a longstanding commitment to presenting new works, and I am equally proud to help develop a program that will usher in the next generation of musical theatre artists.”

Speaking of the significance of an incubator program for musical theatre, Landgren explains, “Keeping with the University of Cincinnati’s proud tradition of cooperative education and experiential learning, this collaboration with Kevin and Alchemation will present our students with extraordinary opportunities to hone their craft while working to develop future theatre classics. Developing Broadway’s blockbusters-of-tomorrow with CCM’s stars-of-tomorrow is a win-win.”

Kevin McCollum (center) with CCM Musical Theatre's Class of 2015 after his seminar at Pearl Studios in New York.

Kevin McCollum (center) with CCM Musical Theatre’s Class of 2015 after his seminar at Pearl Studios in New York.

About Kevin McCollum
With a career spanning 25 years in the theatre industry, Kevin McCollum remains one of the most prolific and successful producers on Broadway today. He has received the Tony Award for Best Musical for In the Heights (2008), Avenue Q (2004) and Rent (1996), which also won the Pulitzer Prize. He produced Motown the Musical (Broadway and National Tour), The Drowsy Chaperone in 2006, which won five Tony Awards, Baz Luhrmann’s production of Puccini’s La Boheme in 2002, [title of show] in 2008, the touring and Broadway productions of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, the off-Broadway hit De La Guarda, the recent hit revival of West Side Story and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.

In 1995 McCollum co-founded the Producing Office, and has since created Alchemation, a theatrical and media producing company committed to new work. In addition to his training at CCM, McCollum earned his Master’s degree in film producing from the Peter Stark Program at the University of Southern California.

In 1995, McCollum received the Robert Whitehead Award for Outstanding Commercial Theatre Producing. In 2005, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Cincinnati. He is represented on Broadway this spring with the original musical Something Rotten! and the New American Play Hand to God. His wife is actress and fellow UC graduate Lynette Perry-McCollum (BM Musical Theatre, 1985).

About Alchemation
Founded in 2012, Alchemation is a theatre and media company under McCollum’s leadership. Productions under the Alchemation banner include Motown the Musical, Something Rotten!Hand to God and the third season of theatrical web-series Submissions Only. In the summer of 2013, McCollum entered a joint venture with 20th Century Fox to develop titles from the Fox catalogue into stage properties.

About CCM
Nationally ranked and internationally renowned, the University of Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music (CCM) is a preeminent institution for the performing and media arts. Declared “one of the nation’s leading conservatories” by the New York Times, CCM provides life-changing experiences within a highly creative and multidisciplinary artistic environment.

CCM’s educational roots date back to 1867, and a solid, visionary instruction has been at our core since that time. The synergy created by housing CCM within a comprehensive public university gives the college its unique character and defines its objective: to educate and inspire the whole artist and scholar for positions on the world’s stage.

CCM’s faculty and staff and its state-of-the-art facilities make possible the professional training and exceptional education on which CCM believes the future of the arts relies. The school’s roster of eminent faculty regularly receives distinguished honors for creative and scholarly work, and its alumni have achieved notable success in the performing and media arts.

More than 150 internationally recognized faculty members work with students from around the world, specializing in the areas of Composition, Musicology and Theory; Electronic Media; Ensembles and Conducting; Keyboard Studies; Music Education; Performance Studies and Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration.

The largest single source of performing arts events in the state of Ohio, CCM presents nearly 1000 major public performances each year, ranging from faculty and guest artist concerts to fully supported opera, musical theatre, drama and dance productions.

For more information about the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

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CCM Village in the spring of 2014. Photography by Dottie Stover.

CCM Welcomes Diane Petrella as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies

Diane Helfers Petrella, incoming  Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies at CCM.

Diane Helfers Petrella, incoming Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies at CCM.

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of Diane Helfers Petrella to the position of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies. This appointment becomes effective in August of 2015.

Petrella comes to CCM from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, where she served as Associate Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy, Chair of the Keyboard Studies Division and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. During this appointment, she also served as President of the Missouri Music Teachers Association from 2010 to 2012.

“Through the interview process, I found Dr. Petrella to be an individual who is committed to excellence, a collaborative and creative thinker, an unflappable multi-tasker and one who is eager to work with all constituents through the full spectrum of disciplines housed within CCM,” Dean Landgren commented.

Prior to her tenure in Kansas City, Petrella held a similar teaching appointment at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan from 2001 to 2006. She has also taught at Texas Wesleyan University, the University of North Texas and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she was on the piano faculty of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp for ten years, serving as chairperson of the camp’s piano department from 2000 to 2002.

Petrella and her husband—percussionist Nick Petrella —formed the Petrella Ensemble in 2002, which has since taught and performed throughout the United States and in Mexico, Poland, Austria and the Czech Republic, actively performing and commissioning new music. In 2006, the duo published The Musicians Toolbox: Thoughts on Teaching and Learning Music, which has been embraced by NAMM, supportmusic.com and other music advocacy organizations, and was contracted for distribution by Alfred Publications in 2012.  The Petrellas also collaborated on “I’ve Got Rhythm, I’ve Got Phrasing,” an article published in the August/September 2012 issue of American Music Teacher.

Diane Petrella is also extremely active as a solo performer and clinician. She has presented at the national conferences of the College Music Society, Music Teachers National Association, and the National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum. She has appeared as a soloist with several regional orchestras and is active as a soloist, collaborative pianist, speaker and adjudicator throughout North America, including her recent appointment to the College of Examiners of the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, Canada. Petrella served as a member of the Program Committee for the 2014 National Conference of the College Music Society and as Chair of the Collegiate Chapter Award Committee for the Music Teachers National Association. For her service, the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance awarded her the Kauffman Award for Outstanding Service in the spring of 2015.

Petrella holds a DMA in Piano Performance from the University of North Texas, an Artist Diploma from Texas Christian University, an MM in Piano Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BM in Piano Performance and Music Education (magna cum laude) from Eastern Illinois University.

Please join us in welcoming Diane Petrella to the CCM family!

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Participants from the Music for Youth in Cincinnati's (MYCincinnati's) free youth orchestra program in Price Hill.

CCM Hosts Gathering of Midwestern “El Sistema” Inspired Programs This Weekend

This Saturday, May 9, CCM will welcome “El Sistema” inspired programs from throughout the region for the Fourth Annual Midwestern Seminario.

Hosted by CCM’s Preparatory Department and Office of Community Engagement, the event will draw nearly 200 young performing artists who are involved in programs inspired by “El Sistema,” Venezuela’s National Network of Youth and Children Orchestras. Over the past 35 years, El Sistema has evolved into a world-renowned youth development program, which uses music as a vehicle for social change. El Sistema’s success in helping children build better futures has led to the creation of similar programs in over 30 countries around the world.

Participating programs include North Limestone Music Works (Lexington, KY), Shift: Englewood Youth Orchestra (Chicago), Q the Music (Dayton, Ohio), MYCincinnati (Cincinnati) and the Avondale Youth Orchestra (Cincinnati).

The Seminario‘s guest speakers will include CCM Dean Peter Landgren and UC President Santa J. Ono.

The program on Saturday, May 9, will culminate with a participant’s concert at 4 p.m. in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the general public!

The concert will be conducted by CCM alumni Eddy Kwon (BM Jazz Studies, 2011) and Isaac Selya (DMA Orchestral Conducting, 2014), along with Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras Artistic Director Daniel Chetel.

“We believe in the power of the arts to bring people together to create a strong, vibrant community,”  explains CCM Director of Community Engagement Anne Cushing-Reid. “This gathering reflects our ongoing commitment to community engagement and collaboration. We are also proud to support the efforts of the CCM students and alumni who are working locally with MYCincinnati, through a grant provided by ArtsWave.”

You can learn more about the other community engagement initiatives fueled by ArtsWave’s grant support here.

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Accomplished Director and Choreographer Vince DeGeorge is Named Joseph Weinberger Chair of Acting for the Lyric Stage at CCM

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of Vince DeGeorge to the position of Assistant Professor and Joseph Weinberger Chair of Acting for the Lyric Stage, a faculty position shared by CCM’s Department of Musical Theatre and Department of Opera. DeGeorge first joined CCM as a Visiting Professor in the fall of 2013. His new appointment becomes effective on August 15, 2015.

CCM Assistant Professor and Joseph Weinberger Chair of Acting Vince DeGeorge.

CCM Assistant Professor and Joseph Weinberger Chair of Acting Vince DeGeorge.

“I would like to thank Dean Peter Landgren, Musical Theatre Chair Aubrey Berg and Opera Chair Robin Guarino for selecting me for this important post,” DeGeorge remarked on his new appointment. “I would also like to thank my colleagues at CCM for welcoming me so graciously. I am grateful and excited to begin this new challenge.”

DeGeorge made a considerable impact during his tenure as a Visiting Professor, directing and/or choreographing seven CCM productions during the last two seasons. Most recently, he served as director and choreographer on CCM’s acclaimed Studio Series production of Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones’ rarely produced 110 in the Shade. “DeGeorge infuses action into a story which could easily be presented in a stagnant fashion,” theatre critic Scott Cain observed in his review of the musical for Talkin’ Broadway, ultimately calling the show, “a praiseworthy one, with strong direction and first-rate performances.”

Local audiences will not have to wait long to see DeGeorge’s next project for the CCM stage. This summer, in addition to directing a feature length film (entitled 18 Mornings), DeGeorge will serve as stage director for the Opera Studio Summer Workshop. He will then direct two productions during CCM’s 2015-16 performance season: a Studio Series production of William Hauptman’s musical Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in October of 2015 and a Mainstage Series production of Leoš Janácek’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen in April of 2016.

An alumnus of CCM, DeGeorge (BFA Musical Theatre, 1992) recently completed his MFA in Directing and Public Dialogue at Virginia Tech. Following his graduation from CCM, DeGeorge performed as an actor and dancer in regional theaters across the country and was a member of the New York based contemporary dance company dre.dance under artistic directors and choreographers Taye Diggs and Andrew Palermo.

DeGeorge directed numerous works during his time in New York. Highlights include the musical revue Nashville, which he co-wrote and directed in 2009. The production won Nightlife, Bistro and Mac Awards that year. In 2011, DeGeorge directed New York City’s first fully staged production of The Exonerated to critical acclaim.

At Virginia Tech, DeGeorge directed and designed A Dream Play by August Strindberg, and productions of Chekhov’s The Vagabond and Three Sisters. He also developed, directed and designed The Jo Carson Project, a new musical based on the writings and theories of the Appalachian storyteller and playwright, Jo Carson.

During his studies at Virginia Tech, DeGeorge was also a company member of Building Home, a participatory theatre and music engagement project, led by Bob Leonard along with Jon Catherwood-Ginn. Building Home uses theater to foster healthy civic dialogue among the citizens of the New River Valley concerning pressing regional issues and planning for sustainable communities.

As a part of the Blacksburg Summer Arts Festival 2014, DeGeorge was engaged to design and build Life In The Trees – an art installation, purposed as both a gallery exhibition and the theatrical setting for two performance pieces, adapted and directed by DeGeorge as well.  While working on Life In The Trees, DeGeorge collaborated with Alaskan artist Kesler Woodard, as well as novelist Tom Gardner.

DeGeorge has spent the last 14 years researching and developing the Theatrical Awareness Practice, a somatic and experiential theater technique that trains the actor to live fully in their experiential mind/body. This practice consists of deeply researched and highly structured improvisational explorations that are designed to reacquaint the artist with the infinite intelligence and creative capacity of their own human body experience.

You can learn even more about Vince DeGeorge by clicking here. Please join us in congratulating him on his new appointment.

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CCM's Concert Orchestra.

Award-Winning Conductor and Educator Aik Khai Pung is Named Assistant Professor of Orchestral Studies at CCM

Aik Khai Pung, Assistant Professor of Music in Orchestral Conducting at CCM.

Aik Khai Pung, Assistant Professor of Music in Orchestral Conducting at CCM.

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of Aik Khai Pung to the position of Assistant Professor of Music in CCM’s Department of Orchestral StudiesPung first joined CCM’s faculty on a visiting basis in 2014. His new appointment becomes effective on August 15, 2015.

An all-around conductor and educator, Pung is music director of the CCM Concert Orchestra, NANOWorks Opera and Café MoMus, CCM’s contemporary music ensemble.

An alumnus of CCM, Pung (MM Orchestral Conducting, 2009; DMA Orchestral Conducting, 2014) studied under Mark Gibson, Annunziata Tomaro, Xu Xin, Zhang Yi and Ulrich Nicolai. He has also worked with Gustav Meier and JoAnn Falletta. Pung holds a BA from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing in addition to his degrees from CCM.

Prior to his engagement at CCM, Pung taught at Earlham College in Indiana, Akademie der Chinesische Bunte Blätter in Munich and Peking University in Beijing. He has served as head instructor of the Orchestral, Choir and Opera Conducting Workshop in Malaysia, and was a clinician for Montclair State University John J. Cali School of Music Orchestra Festival in New Jersey.

On top of his passion for teaching, Pung is actively involved in music festivals around the world such as Lincoln Center Festival (New York), Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston, S.C.), CCM Spoleto (Spoleto, Italy), Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca (Lucca, Italy), Georgetown Festival (Penang, Malaysia) and Luminato Festival (Toronto, Canada) where he conducts and assists opera productions as well as symphonic concerts.

As a multi-instrumentalist, Pung plays the piano, violin, Er-hu (Chinese traditional fiddle), Chinese dulcimer and viola da gamba. On top of instrumental music, he is equally involved with vocal music. He programs and performs new operas as the music director of NANOWorks Opera. Aside from the music from the Classical and Romantic eras, Pung has conducted his research on the music of Guo Wenjing, Toshio Hosokawa, Nico Muhly, John Adams, Philip Glass and young composers such as CCM alumna Jennifer Jolley (MM Composition, 2009; DMA Composition, 2012), Danny Clay, Eric Knechtges, Li ShaoSheng and Marie Incontrera, among others.

Pung won second prize in the Taiwan Chinese Orchestra (TCO) International Conducting Competition (2015) and was the Special Award winner for Conducting Chinese Music at the First Hong Kong International Conducting Competition (2011).

He was the first international conducting student to be accepted to the prestigious Central Conservatory of Music, the top conservatory in China, where he was awarded outstanding student in 2005.

You can learn even more about Aik Khai Pung by clicking herePlease join us in congratulating him on his new appointment.

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Daniel Weeks, Associate Professor of Music in CCM's Department of Voice.

Accomplished Tenor Daniel Weeks Joins CCM’s Voice Faculty

CCM Dean Peter Landgren has announced the appointment of Daniel Weeks, tenor, to the position of Associate Professor of Music in CCM’s Department of Voice. Weeks’ appointment becomes effective on August 15, 2015.

Daniel Weeks, Associate Professor of Music in CCM's Department of Voice.

Daniel Weeks, Associate Professor of Music in CCM’s Department of Voice.

Praised for his Italianate timbre and sensitive musicianship, Daniel Weeks maintains an active performing schedule including opera, oratorio and recitals. As a concert artist, Weeks has sung with the Houston Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Columbus Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Huntsville Symphony, the Oratorio Society of New York, the Winter Park Bach Festival, the Bozeman Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the National Symphony of Mexico, the National Symphony of Costa Rica, the Xalapa Symphony (Mexico) and the National Youth Orchestra of Caracas (Venezuela). On the operatic stage, he has performed with the Florentine Opera, Kentucky Opera, Mercury Opera, Nevada Opera and in 2001 toured the US in Mozart’s Così fan tutte with San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theater.

Conductors with whom he has performed include Steuart Bedford, Christoph Campestrini, Hal France, Stefan Lano, Jane Glover, Christopher Larken, Hans Graf, Gustav Meier, Junkchi Hirokami, Vladimir Spivakov, Alessandro Siciliani, John Keenan, John Rutter, Jorge Mester, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Eduardo Müller, Gregory Vajda, Stefan Sanderling, Ari Pelto, Lyndon Woodside, Uriel Segal, Robin Stamper, Mark Gibson and Joe Mechavich. Stage directors with whom he has worked include Linda Brovsky, Michael Cavanaugh, Leonard Foglia, David Gately, Casey Stangl, Nicholas Muni, Donald Westwood and John Davies. In 2009, Weeks was honored by his alma mater, Belmont University in Nashville, TN, with their Second Annual “Encore Alumni Award” for excellence in the field of classical music.

A passionate advocate for Art Song recitals, Weeks taught the Vocal Literature seminars at the University of Louisville after joining the voice faculty in 1998. In 1999, he was a National Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions and was also named Young Artist by the National Federation of Music Clubs. In October 1999, he made his New York recital debut with CCM Accompanist-in-Residence Donna Loewy on the Judith Raskin Memorial Concert Series. In February 2000, Weeks was the “On Wings of Song” recitalist with Loewy under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation. For the next three years, he and Loewy presented recitals and school presentations for the Horne Foundation across the country.

Additionally, Weeks has collaborated with such notable pianists as Timothy Cheek, Valerie Trujillo and Douglas Fisher. Additionally, he and pianist, Naomi Oliphant have given over 150 performances throughout the US, Canada and Europe since 2002. These performances include recitals in Katowice, Poland, Brno, CZ and an appearance in Toronto, Canada, at the 2007 Collaborative Conference hosted jointly by the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association, the Music Teachers National Association and the Royal Conservatory of Music.

In 2009, Weeks and Naomi Oliphant released their album Women of Firsts: A Recording of Art Songs by Lili Boulanger, Amy Beach, Grażyna Bacewicz, and Vítězslava Kaprálová on the Centaur Records label. Critically acclaimed in the US and Europe, this recording showcases art songs by women who were the first in their respective countries to achieve national and international recognition for composition. He and Dr. Oliphant recorded their second album entitled The Lieder of Franz Liszt, which is scheduled for release with Centaur Records in 2015.

You can learn even more about Daniel Weeks by visiting www.tenorweeks.com. Please join us in welcoming him to the CCM family!

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