Through this new Diversity Fellowship Program, students will get to perform with the CSO while completing a graduate degree at CCM.

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Awarded $900,000 by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) are honored to announce the two institutions are the combined recipient of a $900,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This grant will be used to pilot a groundbreaking collaborative fellowship program aimed at developing young, graduate-level musicians from underrepresented populations and preparing them for the professional orchestra world.

The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Program responds to a need among American orchestras and professional music conservatories, which face issues of underrepresentation, and is driven by the mutual desire of the CSO and CCM to foster a more inclusive environment in the orchestral industry. Selected graduate school Fellows from underrepresented populations will participate in a specialized two-year program that is already garnering attention among leaders throughout the music world. This educational opportunity will consist of frequent performances with the CSO, focused mentorship by professional CSO musicians, and simultaneous enrollment in a master’s or artist diploma degree program at CCM where fellows will be guided by CCM’s illustrious faculty.

Learn more at Cincinnati.com.

Learn more at Cincinnati.com.

“We looked at the data and saw that only four percent of American orchestra musicians were African-American or Latino, a figure that is also reflected in conservatory settings,” said Trey Devey, CSO President. “The CSO and CCM felt it essential to address this issue head-on and provide life-changing experiences within a highly creative and multidisciplinary artistic environment for graduate-level musicians across the country.”

“There are many fine programs designed to address underrepresentation in our industry, but none of those experiences include both a major American symphony orchestra and a major conservatory. Together, CCM and the CSO will provide unparalleled experiential learning opportunities for young musicians on the verge of a professional career,” said CCM Dean Peter Landgren.

“CCM and the CSO are perfectly positioned for this initiative. Our organizations’ recent partnership with the Cincinnati World Piano Competition, our joint Conducting Fellowship, as well as the large number of CSO musicians who are CCM alumni and serve as CCM faculty, speak to the deep connections between our two institutions. As the birthplace of cooperative education, the University of Cincinnati also serves as the perfect backdrop for this new approach to professional mentorship for musicians,” said Mr. Landgren.

CCM's Concert Orchestra, performing at the annual Moveable Feast gala event.

CCM’s Concert Orchestra, performing at the annual Moveable Feast gala event.

How the Fellowship Works
The four-year pilot program, as funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will graduate two classes of up to five Fellows each through June 2019. Fellows will consist of graduate level string musicians who are simultaneously enrolled in CCM’s master’s or artist diploma degree programs. Each class of Fellows will include up to two violins, and one each of viola, cello and double bass. They will perform 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.

These Fellows will be provided with a unique support system built on intensive professional mentorship. In addition to the community formed with other Fellows, they will receive focused mentorship by CSO musicians, which includes advance coaching sessions prior to a rehearsal cycle, ongoing stand partner coaching throughout rehearsal weeks and post-performance feedback. There will also be structured time for non-performance related mentorship such as career counseling and audition preparation.

Additionally, Fellows will receive a CCM Fellowship Stipend and one time Graduate Dean’s Excellence Award, with opportunities for additional performing and non-performing community engagement activities through CCM, eight career development seminars including mock auditions and full tuition scholarships.

Application procedures and deadlines will be announced at a later date.

The Anticipated Impact
It is anticipated this new fellowship opportunity will attract talented young musicians from throughout the nation.

“I think I speak for all the musicians of the CSO, and particularly those of us who will be deeply involved in mentoring, that in seeking to identify and prepare more underrepresented musicians for orchestral auditions, we will be helping make American orchestras richer,” said Stacey Woolley, CSO violinist. “There is such a varied career path available to musicians in every facet of professional music, and fostering this awareness with the next generation will continue to serve orchestras and communities for decades to come.”

An alumnus of CCM, Landgren has a first-hand understanding of the life changing opportunities this new initiative will provide. “As a student at CCM, I had the rare privilege of performing as an extra musician with the CSO. That transformative learning experience led to my 29-year career as a musician with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,” he explained. “When I returned to CCM as the Dean, developing a program to provide similar opportunities for tomorrow’s professional musicians became a driving priority.”

Both the CSO and CCM extend sincere gratitude to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its extraordinary impact in making this Diversity Fellowship Program a reality.

“Without the extraordinary support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this groundbreaking new fellowship program simply wouldn’t be possible,” said Mr. Devey. “It advances the Orchestra’s already strong and award winning commitment to more inclusiveness, a goal we share with the community we serve.”

“This generous gift from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will enhance the already world-class UC College-Conservatory of Music and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra by enabling a unique partnership between two great Cincinnati institutions,” said UC Foundation President Rodney Grabowski. “The collaboration is a great example of the university’s commitment to inclusion initiatives, focus on the cooperative education and dedication to the performing arts.”

For more information about about this historic announcement, check out Janelle Gelfand’s coverage on Cincinnati.com today and be sure to pick up the Sunday, July 19, edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer for the full story!

CCM News
J. Ralph and Patricia A. Corbett overlooking CCM Village in May of 1972.

Corbett Foundation’s Final Gift Benefits UC’s College-Conservatory of Music

The Corbett Foundation, established in 1955 by J. Ralph and Patricia Corbett, has donated $1 million to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) to benefit the J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera. The gift is the final one to be dispersed by the Corbett Foundation, which closed its doors in August.

“This final act of generosity by the Corbett Foundation, which announced its closure earlier this fall, will strengthen an already unparalleled opera program at CCM,” said Peter Landgren, Dean and Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music at CCM.

“For decades, the Corbetts’ support has helped to usher countless students from the CCM stage to the stages of some of the world’s most famous opera houses and concert halls,” said Landgren. “This gift will ensure that generations of students enrolled in CCM’s opera program will follow in the footsteps of some of CCM’s most accomplished alumni. We are eternally grateful to the Corbett Foundation.”

The internationally renowned opera department at CCM boasts one of the most comprehensive training programs for opera singers, coaches and directors in the United States. In 1982, the Corbett Foundation made a gift to establish the J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera, which was the first chair of its kind at any university in the United States.

The chair provides scholarships for graduate students studying voice and coach accompanying, support for touring productions, an archive and partial funding of a distinguished professional in opera. Accomplished Metropolitan Opera stage director Robin Guarino has held the position since August 2008.

“CCM ranks among the top schools for performing arts in the nation, and its success is thanks in large part to donors like the Corbett family,” said UC President Santa J. Ono. “I am thankful for the Corbetts’ support and proud of the achievements of our faculty, staff, alumni and students who inspire us onstage and behind-the-scenes with their talents.”

The Corbett Foundation has left an incredible legacy that will be felt for years to come at UC. Over the years its gifts to the university have created the Corbett Center for the Performing Arts, Corbett Auditorium, Patricia Corbett Theater, the J. Ralph Corbett Audio Production Center, the Robert J. Werner Recital Hall, several distinguished chairs and an endowment for the theatre design and production program.

“The Corbett family is a tremendous example of the impact private support can have not only on UC but on the entire Greater Cincinnati community,” said Rodney Grabowski, UC Foundation president. “Thank you to everyone who has been involved with the Corbett Foundation over the years. UC is stronger because of you.”

J. Ralph Corbett, founder of the electrical manufacturing company NuTone and later the Corbett Foundation, was a staunch patron of the performing arts, medicine and education. In 1963, he was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from UC and was recognized with a Great Living Cincinnatian award in 1970. He passed away in 1988, but his legacy lives on at CCM and the Cincinnati arts community.

Combined, the foundation has donated more than $70 million to Cincinnati arts organizations including CCM, Music Hall, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Riverbend Music Center & PNC Pavilion, CET programming and a theater and string quartet-in-residence at Northern Kentucky.

For more information, please visit the UC Foundation’s website.

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