The logo for CET's "arts Bridge" television program.

CET Spotlights Revolutionary New iPad App Developed by CCM and DAAP Faculty Members

Two University of Cincinnati faculty members will appear on local PBS member station CET at 6 p.m. this Saturday, July 18, to discuss a revolutionary new project that could change the world of psychiatry.

The CET program arts Bridge will feature CCM Assistant Professor of Electronic Media John Hebbeler and DAAP Assistant Professor of Design Emily Verba. The duo are developing an iPad application entitled Brain to Screen, which is a visual and auditory interactive tool for patients diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder as well as their psychotherapists.

The proposed app converges cross-disciplinary expertise in design, sound, psychology, neuroscience and software development in order to deliver immersive, interactive experiences. The Brain to Screen app works in conjunction with a biofeedback headset and allows patients complete control of all visuals and sounds on their iPad screen using only their brainwaves.

The two UC professors and co-investigators bring a great deal of professional experience and expertise to this ambitious project. Professor Hebbeler has over a decade of experience in sound, video and web production, and 10 years of teaching experience in a variety of production-based courses. His area of expertise is creating interactive trans-media compositions that integrate a wide range of technological devices. His focus in this project is the sound development of Brain to Screen, as well as its interaction with the biofeedback headset.

Meanwhile, Professor Verba brings several years of experience in the field of graphic design and design education to this empirical research project. Her area of expertise and research focus is data visualization — the simplified depiction of complex content for ease of understanding by the masses. She is spearheading the visualization of biofeedback headset data and the design of an interface for psychotherapists to access and interpret the information collected from the app.

The arts Bridge segment will also bring Hebbeler together with several current and former students from CCM’s Division of Electronic Media and UC Blue Ash’s Department of Electronic Media Communications. Alumnus Don Hancock (BFA Electronic Media, 2006) is producing the story, and Deshon Able (AAS Electronic Media Technology, 2013) acts as the production assistant; furthermore, current E-Media student Ari Kruger is also working at CET as an intern, writer and editor.

arts Bridge is a locally-produced program that is part of a unique public television collaboration. Features about Cincinnati area arts and artists are paired with stories from across the country. In addition, Cincinnati area segments from arts Bridge are made available to public television stations nationally, extending the reach of greater Cincinnati arts well beyond southwest Ohio.

For more information, please make sure to visit

The Brain to Screen segment will premiere at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 18, on CET (Channel 13 or 1013 on Time Warner Cable; Channel 48 on DirectTV). There will also be several repeat airings:

  • 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday, July 19 (Channel 16 Time Warner and Direct TV)
  • 8 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday, July 20 (Channel 987 Time Warner)
  • 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tuesday July 21 (Channel 987 Time Warner)

Learn more about CCM E-Media by visiting

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Students in UC's Production Master Class documenting 'Expedition Alaska 2015.'

UC Production Master Class Films 2015 Expedition Alaska Adventure Race

This summer, the University of Cincinnati’s Production Master Class changes venues from California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range to the pristine wilderness of Alaska to document Expedition Alaska 2015, a 350 mile, seven day non-stop adventure race from June 28 to July 5.

A crew of seven UC students is in Alaska now, working with media professionals to develop a documentary film covering this extraordinary sporting event!

A premier qualifying race for the Adventure Racing World Series, Expedition Alaska 2015 features ocean kayaking, whitewater rafting, glacier trekking, rock climbing and mountain biking. Four person teams, comprised of the world’s best endurance athletes, will navigate by map and compass through the stunning scenery of the world’s most remote, famous and beautiful terrain, the Kenai Peninsula.

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

Since 2012, the UC Production Master Class has involved over 90 UC students hailing from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

UC Production Master Class.Developed by CCM Professor Kevin Burke and UC Alumnus and Emmy award-winning producer Brian J. Leitten (BFA, 2001), the UC Production Master Course was first funded by a three-year grant from the UC Forward Collaborative, an initiative that supports experiential learning and is part of the UC Academic Master Plan. Earlier this year, UC President Santa Ono pledged additional funding, which allowed the production to continue beyond its initial three-year grant period.

The goal was to create a transformative, “hands-on” experience for the students by taking them out of the classroom and into the field to produce the documentary series that could be distributed to a national television audience.

The project’s initial three years focused on the Gold Rush Expedition Race, a grueling 275-mile race through the California wilderness. Three 90-minute films were produced to document that race. All three films have aired nationally on NBC’s Universal Sports Network.

The 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film was recently nominated for an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the professional category of Best Documentary – Cultural/Topical. You can learn more about that nomination by visiting

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The 2013 UC Gold Rush team at Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

UC Production Master Class Documentary Film Receives Regional Emmy Nomination

We are happy to report that the University of Cincinnati student-produced 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film has been nominated for an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences! The nomination is in the professional category of Best Documentary – Cultural/Topical.

UC Production Master Class.A three-year project of the UC Production Master Class, the Gold Rush Expedition Race documentaries chronicle one of the foremost expedition races in the world. Each 90-minute documentary features an international field of 50 elite athletes tackling a grueling 275-mile course through the California wilderness as they test their mental and physical limits in the toughest competition in North America. All three films have aired nationally on NBC’s Universal Sports Network (you can view upcoming broadcast times here).

Since 2012, the UC Production Master Class has involved over 90 UC students hailing from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

The project was conceived by CCM Division of Electronic Media Professor Kevin Burke and professional television director/producer and distinguished CCM alumnus Brian J. Leitten (BFA, 2001), who advise the project and provide professional guidance and feedback to the students during all phases of the documentaries development.

Student teams shoot, edit, script and produce the Gold Rush Expedition Race films on location in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. “Although there is professional mentoring and oversight during the project,” Burke explains, “it is primarily produced and edited by the students, which makes it a unique example of successful experiential learning and interdisciplinary collaboration.”

The UC Production Master Course was first funded by a three-year grant from the UC Forward Collaborative, an initiative that supports experiential learning and is part of the UC Academic Master Plan. Earlier this year, UC President Santa Ono pledged additional funding, which will allow the production to continue beyond its initial three-year grant period. The presidential investment represents Ono’s ongoing support of interdisciplinary digital media projects and experiential learning at the University of Cincinnati.

“We are delighted with this nomination and are grateful to President Ono, UC Provost Beverly Davenport and the UC Forward Collaborative for their support of yet another successful example of experiential learning at UC,” says Burke.

Burke and Leitten served as Executive Producers on the 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race, alongside UC students Callie Peters and Ben Proctor.

The 51st Annual Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Awards will be held at the Keeneland Entertainment Center in Lexington, Ky. Winners will be announced on July 25. The Ohio Valley Region includes Cincinnati, Columbus, Louisville, Lexington, most of West Virginia, southern Indiana, southern half of Ohio and northern half of Kentucky. Learn more by visiting

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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

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

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Talya Lieberman in CCM's Mainstage Series production of 'Hansel and Gretel.' Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Artist Diploma Student Talya Lieberman Wins Outstanding Performance Award at 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition

CCM artist diploma student Talya Lieberman.

CCM artist diploma student Talya Lieberman.

We are happy to report that soprano Talya Lieberman, an Artist Diploma candidate in CCM’s Opera program, won the Lys Symonette Award for Outstanding Performance of an Individual Number during the final round of the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition.

Sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, this year’s competition was held at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music on April 18. Named in honor of Weill’s musical assistant on Broadway, the Lys Symonette Award comes with a cash prize of $3,500.

Now in its 18th year, the Lotte Lenya Competition is an international theatre singing contest that recognizes exceptionally talented young singer/actors, ages 19-32, who are dramatically and musically convincing in a wide range of repertoire, from opera and operetta to contemporary Broadway musicals, with a focus on the works of Kurt Weill. The judges of this year’s competition were Rebecca Luker, James Holmes and Theodore S. Chapin. You can view a full list of this year’s competition winners by visiting

Lieberman is the latest in a long line of CCM-trained singers to take home top honors at the Lotte Lenya Competition. CCM alumna Lauren Roesner (BFA Musical Theatre, 2013) took Third Prize in the 2013 installment of this prestigious international theater singing contest. CCM alumna Caitlin Mathes (MM Voice, 2009; Artist Diploma in Opera, 2010) earned First Prize in 2011 and fellow alumna Alisa Suzanne Jordheim (BM Voice, 2008; MM Voice, 2010; DMA candidate) progressed to the final round of the competition that same year.

About Talya Lieberman
Originally from Forest Hills, New York, Talya Ilana Lieberman is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at CCM as a student of CCM Professor of Voice William McGraw.

A soprano, Lieberman will be singing Susanna in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro with Wolf Trap Opera as a Filene Young Artist this coming summer. She has been invited to make her recital debut with the San Francisco Opera Center as part of their Schwabacher Debut Recital series this spring. She was most recently seen performing Gretel in CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel.

This past summer she sang the title role in Handel’s Semele as part of the Schwabacher Concert Series (Merola Opera Program). Highlights from 2013-14 include performing selections from Canteloube’s “Chants d’Auverge” with the CCM Philharmonia, as well as performing David del Tredici’s “Haddock’s Eyes” with CCM’s Café MoMus ensemble. She won the Irma M. Cooper Vocal Competition (Columbus Opera, 2014) and Alida Vane International Voice Competition (2013) in Latvia, where she studied on a Fulbright scholarship for the 2012-13 school year.

Lieberman made her New York City debut prior to departing for Latvia, singing in concert with Schubert & Co. In the summer of 2012 she participated in the voice program at the Chautauqua School of Music, where she was featured in Villa-Lobos’ “Bachianas Brasileiras” with the cello studio.

Lieberman is a convert from the orchestra pit and started singing after receiving her master’s degree in trumpet performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the tutelage of Judith Saxton. She completed her BA at Duke University with highest distinction in linguistics (Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude). She is a two-time winner of full tuition and stipend—winning the Russell-Seybold Award and Italo Tajo Award, respectively—at CCM’s annual Opera Scholarship Competition.

Lieberman has lived a few lives before coming to opera full-time; she worked on sleep apnea research as a research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, served as program coordinator for the El Sistema inspired program Play On, Philly!, and had a short stint as a singer-songwriter. She is an avid student of contact improvisation and various forms of meditation. She loves reading, writing, editing, working with children, teaching and being an aunt.

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CCM's Class of 2015 in Musical Theatre: Alison Bagli, Sarah Bishop, Eric Geil, Tyler Huckstep, Nathaniel Irvin, Thomas Knapp, John McGill, Charlie Meredith, Christopher Morrissey, Kaela O'Connor, Dallas Padoven, DJ Plunkett, Madeleine Spacapan, Emily Trumble, Lawson Young and Hannah Zazzaro.

Graduating Musical Theatre Major Eric Geil Joins ‘The Book of Mormon’ National Tour

CCM Musical Theatre student Eric Geil.

CCM Musical Theatre student Eric Geil.

We are delighted to report that senior musical theatre major Eric Geil will join the national tour of The Book of Mormon as Elder Church beginning May 12, 2015!

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Geil has been seen at Cardinal Stage as Enjolras in Les Misérables, at Musical Theater Heritage in Gypsy, and at Kansas City Starlight in The Sound of Music.

Geil’s CCM credits include Marius in Les Misérables, Tommy Ross in Carrie, Frankie Epps in Parade and in the companies of Legally Blonde, Spring Awakening, The Civil War, Street Scene and Chess.

Geil was a featured vocalist in the 2014 Fort Wayne Philharmonic Holiday Pops Concert. He is a proud member of AEA.

Congratulations Eric! Learn more about CCM Musical Theatre’s Class of 2015 here.

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CCM Drama and E-Media film collaboration.

CCM Drama and E-Media Announce New Film Collaboration

We are thrilled to announce that CCM’s Department of Drama and Division of Electronic Media have launched a new collaborative project, which will bring original scripted films to CCM’s performance season beginning next spring!

Utilizing the expertise and resources of both programs, students will receive hands-on experience in the development of a new film by serving as screenwriters, actors, directors, cinematographers and film editors, as well as location scouts, prop masters, costume designers and more.

“This exciting new film project will allow CCM students to collaborate across departments in the creation of a new and original film,” explains CCM’s A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance Richard Hess. “Our students have artistic voices and artistic visions that they need to practice articulating. What a fantastic opportunity.”

Scripts for this project’s inaugural film were solicited from students in January and February of 2015, with submissions coming from not only CCM Drama and E-Media students, but also from students in McMicken College and UC Clermont.

CCM Drama student Owen Alderson.

CCM Drama student Owen Alderson.

This year’s winning submission – entitled Binary – was written by sophomore drama major Owen Alderson.

A coming of age tale set in a private boarding school in Massachusetts, Binary is the story of a character named Emmett as he begins to transition to his true self, Julia.

Binary will be cast, rehearsed and filmed in the fall of 2015. The film will be edited in the spring of 2016 and will have a special showing in April of 2016 at UC’s MainStreet Cinema.

Stay tuned to The Village News for more information on Binary‘s production.

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