CCM Horn Student Named 2017 Yamaha Young Performing Artist

CCM student Michelle Hembree is one of 10 winners of the 2017 Yamaha Young Performing Artists (YYPA) Competition. Hembree is a third-year undergraduate horn student who studies with CCM Winds and Percussion Department Chair Randy Gardner.

“Michelle Hembree is one of the most musically gifted and intellectually brilliant students I’ve had the privilege to teach during my long career,” says Gardner. “She is also an upbeat, friendly and enthusiastic person who is respected by and popular with her fellow students and faculty alike.”

As a winner of the competition, Hembree will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the YYPA Celebration Weekend June 24-27, 2017, which will take place during the Music for All Summer Symposium, to be held at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, from June 24-July 1, 2017. Winners will receive a once-in-a-lifetime performance opportunity in front of thousands, national press coverage and will participate in workshops designed to launch a professional music career.

Hembree will perform Eugene Bozza’s En Foret at Ball State this summer. As a Yamaha Young Performing Artist, Hembree will receive a professional recording of the performance, a professional photography session and services and support from Yamaha Artist Relations.

“I am excited to perform this summer,” says Hembree. “En Foret is a fun piece with a little bit of everything in it. This is a great opportunity to network and meet other musicians, as well as learn more about the performance and education industry.”

Hembree joins a distinguished company of more than 250 talented musicians who have been recognized since the program’s inception. CCM alumnus Austin Larson (BM Horn, 2012) became a Yamaha Young Performing Artist in 2011; he is now a member of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Many winners have established successful music careers, both as performers and educators, including Ricardo Morales, principal clarinetist of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Alex Han, saxophonist with Marcus Miller; Otis Murphy, professor, Indiana University; Conrad Jones, principal trumpeter with the Indianapolis Symphony; and Aaron Parks, acclaimed jazz pianist.

“The YYPA Program is a significant opportunity for young musicians who are embarking on careers as professionals, and one of the most visible and distinctive ways that Yamaha offers valuable support for music education,” said John Wittmann, director of education and artist relations, Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis. “We are pleased to honor Michelle at this pivotal stage in her career.”

For more information about the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program, visit http://4wrd.it/YYPA.

About Michelle Hembree
Hembree has received numerous awards and accolades during the course of her young career. She is the CCM Kemp Horn scholar of her class and has won numerous awards including second place in the Three Arts Scholarship Competition, the CCM Undergraduate Instrumentalist Solo Contest, YoungArts Merit award, Meridian Symphony Solo Competition and Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Solo Competition. She has participated in several ensembles including the Sarasota Music Festival, National Youth Orchestra of the U.S.A., Voksenasen Norwegian Summer Academy and Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. In the spring of 2016, Hembree performed first horn on Schumann’s “Konzertstück for Four Horns” with Seven Hills Sinfonietta. Hembree has played with renowned artists including Valery Gergiev, Larry Rachleff, Joshua Bell and Nicholas McGean. Her previous teachers include Dr. David Saunders and Lawrence Johnson.

About Yamaha
Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) is one of the largest subsidiaries of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of award-winning musical instruments, sound reinforcement, commercial installation and home entertainment products to the U.S. market. Products include: Yamaha acoustic, digital and hybrid pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio equipment, Steinberg recording products and NEXO commercial audio products, as well as AV receivers, amplifiers, MusicCast wireless multiroom audio systems, Blu-ray/CD players, earphones, headphones, home-theater-in-a-box systems, sound bars and its exclusive line of Digital Sound Projectors. YCA markets innovative, finely crafted technology and entertainment products and musical instruments targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, music, professional audio installation and consumer markets.

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Story by CCM graduate assistant Charlotte Kies

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Alums and Students in #TheatreCompany Premiere Short Film Starring Diane Kvapil

For the past two years, alumni and students from UC’s College-Conservatory of Music have worked to write and produce a new short film starring one of Cincinnati’s most beloved artists, Emeritus Professor Diane Kvapil. Presented by the #TheatreCompany, A Thankless Child premieres on Thursday, April 27, at UC’s MainStreet Cinema in the Tangeman University Center.

A Thankless Child is the story of a family haunted by a huge secret and the victims left in its wake. It is an absurdist take on the burdens and responsibilities of being a part of a family. This film was made possible by the generous contributions to the #thedianemovie crowd-funding campaign and CCMpower.

The film gives Kvapil an opportunity to get back in front of the arts community that she has fostered and loved for more than 40 years. Locally, Kvapil has performed at Playhouse in the Park, Edgecliffe Theatre and the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in numerous productions since 1957. She was a treasured CCM Acting faculty member from 1977 until her retirement in 2015.

At CCM, Kvapil directed productions of Trojan Women (with original music by Richard Oberacker), Our Town, Three Sisters (Acclaim Award winner for Outstanding Ensemble) and Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia. In 2011 she was named Outstanding Theatre Educator by the ACCLAIM Awards in Cincinnati.

Diane Kvapil throughout her years in the performing arts.

A sample of Diane Kvapil’s work throughout her years in the performing arts.

“Diane is the definition of a passionate life-long artist and educator,” says #TheatreCompany co-founder AC Horton (BFA Acting, 2015). “She is moved by her immense love of the work and storytelling and her dedication to passing that love on to her students.”

The idea for A Thankless Child started with a joke made by CCM Acting student Katie Langham during a performance at Kvapil’s home in March 2015.

“The energy was palpable,” remembers Langham, co-founder of #TheatreCompany. “Just a moment in her home and you can feel the stories around you. I asked Diane if she would be open to making a short film in the home upon her retirement. Thinking that it was never going to happen, she half-jokingly said ‘yes.’ Unfortunately for her, I never half-joke.”

At the time, Langham and AC Horton were working with fellow students and alumni in the #TheatreCompany, a new company of young theatre professionals dedicated to creating honest, exciting and contemporary work. The company was born at CCM when Horton used #TheatreCompany to refer to the one-night-only shows she directed in classrooms. The company grew to produce an original piece, The Gospel of Fat Kathy, which was performed in New York City.

Langham, Horton and John Patrick Maddock (BFA Acting, 2014) wrote the script for A Thankless Child as they worked on The Gospel of Fat Kathy in New York. The entire cast, crew and creative team for A Thankless Child is made of former and current students from CCM’s Acting, Theatre Design and Production, E-Media and Commercial Music Production programs.

“When Katie first asked me to do it, I almost said no,” Horton recalls. “The idea was absolutely terrifying. But, I agreed that if she could get Diane to do it, I would do it. One thing I learned during my time at CCM is that you have to follow the fear.”

Kate Wilford in "A Thankless Child."

Kate Wilford in “A Thankless Child.”

Horton directs the film, which stars Kvapil and her daughter, Kate Wilford. It marks the first time the mother-daughter duo have acted together. Langham plays Kvapil’s estranged granddaughter and serves as the film’s Executive Producer.

“I would not have had the courage or faith in myself to lead a project of this size without the lessons taught to me by my CCM professors, specifically Richard Hess,” Langham says. “He has taught me how to find the heart of a project and how to be fearless and generous every step of the way. Without CCM I would not be the ‘woman in art’ I am today.”

“Working on this film has been an incredible, life-changing learning experience,” Langham says. “Not only did I get to act alongside my mentor, teacher and very good friend Diane Kvapil, but I worked with a crew that was gifted, patient and eager to be in the room.”

A Thankless Child premieres at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 27 at UC’s MainStreet Cinema in the Tangeman University Center. The UC Alumni Association will host a reception with light snacks and refreshments at 6:30 p.m.

The reception and premiere are free; please RSVP online at alumni.uc.edu/ccm/thedianemovie.

PRODUCTION TEAM
Director/Writer – AC Horton (BFA Acting, 2015)
Executive Producer/Writer/Maddie Steele – Katie Langham* (CCM Acting)
Writer/Producer/Andy Steele – John Patrick Maddock (BFA Acting, 2014)
Genevieve Clark – Diane Kvapil
Cynthia Steele – Kate Wilford
V.O. David Steele – D’Arcy Smith, CCM Acting professor
Director of Photography – Zacharias Muller (BFA E-Media, 2015)
Camera 2 – Asa Featherstone IV (BA Communications, E-Media Minor, 2016)
Script Supervisor/Assistant Director – Danielle Kokochak* (E-Media Minor)
Lighting Designer – Josh Davenport (CCM Theatre Design and Production, 2014-2014)
Set Design/Props – Logan Greenwell* (CCM Theatre Design and Production)
Hair & Make-up – Danae Jimenez* (CCM Theatre Design and Production)
Production Assistant – Jacob Berry* (CCM E-Media)
Production Assistant – Clare Bradley Combest* (CCM Acting)
Audio Engineer – Haley Wolf (BFA E-Media, 2015)
Audio Engineer – Lauren Osinski (BFA E-Media, 2016)
Artistic Mentor – Shaun S. Sutton (BFA Acting, 2014)

POST PRODUCTION TEAM
Soundtrack – Jennifer Rowecamp (BFA Commercial Music Production, 2016)
Editor – Bradley Theodore Thompson* (CCM E-Media)
Editor – Sam Medert (BFA E-Media, 2016)
Audio Editor – Lindsey Singleton Ballou* (CCM E-Media)

*CCM student

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Preparatory Ballet Concert. Photography by Kyuran Ann Choe.

CCM Preparatory Presents the Spring Youth Ballet Concert

CCM Preparatory students perform traditional and contemporary works at the annual Spring Youth Ballet Concert. Directed by Jonnie Lynn Jacobs-Percer, the ballet concert is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29, in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

The program features a partially restaged performance of Act III of Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty, with choreography by Marius Petipa and restaging by CCM Prep Ballet faculty.

Other highlights include three works performed and choreographed by graduating high school seniors in the CCM Prep Ballet program.

The CCM Prep Youth Ballet program is open to any dancer ages 9-18. “Our goal is to expose our young dancers to many of the classic ballets, which helps develop their performance skills and ballet technique,” said Jacobs-Percer, who teaches in CCM’s collegiate Dance Department and serves as the ballet director in CCM Prep.

For more information about CCM Prep Dance, visit ccm.uc.edu/prep/dance.

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Performance Times
7:30 p.m. Friday, April 28
7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to CCM Prep’s Spring Youth Ballet Concert are $15 general, $10 non-UC students and FREE for UC students with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-Box Office! Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.

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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

Photography by Kyuran Ann Choe

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CCM Studio Acting Presents World Premiere of ‘Very Dumb Kids’

CCM Presents "Very Dumb Kids" April 20-22. Photo by Adam Zeek.

CCM Presents ‘Very Dumb Kids’ April 20-22. Photo by Adam Zeek.

Written by rising New York playwright Gracie Gardner, Very Dumb Kids was workshopped by acting students last spring at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music. The CCM Studio Series presents the staged world premiere of the play on April 20-22 in Cohen Family Studio Theater. The play is directed by CCM Acting Professor Brant Russell.

The drama tells the tale of foreign correspondent Sarah Nehal, who is tragically murdered in New Delhi. While Sarah was busy confronting the world, her college friends sat calmly at home in the U.S., streaming T.V. shows on the internet and peddling their esoteric skill sets. One year after her funeral, Sarah’s friends meet for their annual Fourth of July reunion.

Very Dumb Kids explores entitlement and its effects on the disenfranchised as well as the privileged in the millennial era. The play also focuses on empowerment and how to live responsibly in an irresponsible universe.

This is the inaugural production of CCM Acting’s new play-commissioning initiative, which focuses on plays that speak to the unique experience of being young in America. The plays, written for and about students, will enrapture a new generation of artists and audiences. They will go on to be produced by educational institutions and professional theatre companies all over the country to expand CCM’s reach and reputation as a preeminent institution for the performing arts.

Very Dumb Kids runs from Thursday, April 20 through Saturday, April 22 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. With free admission and limited seating, CCM’s Studio Series productions remain one of the hottest tickets in town. Learn more about how secure your tickets by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/did-you-know/how-to-studio-series.

You can read more about Very Dumb Kids online through the Cincinnati Enquirer and CityBeat.
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Cast List
Lauren Carter
Carter LaCava
Jacqueline Daaleman
Nick Heffelfinger
Isaac Hickox-Young
Madeline Page-Schmit
Olivia Passafiume
Graham Rogers

Performance Times

8 p.m. Thursday, April 20
8 p.m. Friday, April 21
2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, April 22

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Tickets
Admission is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, April 17. Visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. Limit two tickets per order.

Parking and Directions

Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
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Acting Studio Series Sponsor: Neil Artman & Margaret Straub

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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

Photo by Adam Zeek

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Behind-the-Scenes: Dancing in Masterworks and Beyond

Shae Combs, a photojournalism student from UC’s McMicken College, films behind-the-scenes as CCM Dance faculty and students prepare for the Mainstage production of Masterworks and Beyond. Co-directed by Dance Department Chair Jiang Qi and Professor Deirdre Carberry, performances run Thursday, April 13-Saturday, April 15, in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

Masterworks and Beyond is a collection of diverse works, which showcase the versatility of the students and faculty in CCM’s Department of Dance. Combs focuses her lens on the creation of Day of Wakening Over the Sea of Night, which premieres during Masterworks and Beyond. The new ballet is choreographed by CCM Professor André Megerdichian and set to music by CCM composition alumnus and accompanist Bradley Harris. CCM Dance student Dominique Neff is featured in Combs’ work.

“Working with everyone in CCM has been a dream,” said Combs, who interns at the Cincinnati Enquirer this summer. “From the stage manager Chelsea Taylor, to André, Dominique and the rest of the dancers, I’ve received nothing but warm welcomes and excitement. I’ve loved getting to watch and document everything come together in the last couple of weeks. You can truly see the hard work and dedication that went into the piece.”

View Combs’ photos and video for an inside look at the final 2016-17 CCM Mainstage Series production. Masterworks and Beyond opens at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 13 and continues through Saturday at CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

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Performance Times
8 p.m. Thursday, April 13
8 p.m. Friday, April 14
2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, April 15

Please note: UC’s Nippert Stadium will also host an FC|Cincinnati game at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 15, 2017. The full FC|Cincinnati Soccer game schedule can be found at www.fccincinnati.com/2017-schedule.

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Masterworks and Beyond are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 for UC students with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/masterworks-and-beyond.html.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
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CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Dance Sponsor: Rosemary & Mark Schlachter

The Dance Department gratefully acknowledges the support of the Corbett Endowment at CCM

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Brett Scott leading CCM's Chorale at this year's Moveable Feast gala event.

Professor Douglas Knehans’ New Choral Music Album Receives Rave Reviews

Lux Dei features new works for choir composed by CCM Norman Dinerstein Professor of Composition Scholar Douglas Knehans and sung by the CCM Chorale, under the direction of CCM Professor Brett Scott. Recently released by ABLAZE Records, the new album has garnered praise in multiple music reviews for its accessibility and beauty. 

Knehans' "Lux Dei" choral music album is available for purchase through Ablaze Records.

Knehans’ “Lux Dei” choral music album is available for purchase through ABLAZE Records.

“I’ve always admired composers who can write music that sounds modern but feels ancient,” wrote Jean-Yves Duperron in a review of Lux Dei published by the Classical Music Sentinel. “The contemporary style and technique make it seem new, different and fresh, while the general character of the writing allows for an overall outlook that takes you back through the centuries to the days of early music.”

The review applauds Knehans’ music for being “well rooted and accessible and always seems to hit an emotional nerve.” Duperron concludes that the new album “should be of great appeal to anyone interested in new choral music.”

Fanfare Magazine published Colin Clarke’s glowing review of Lux Dei in the March/April edition of the magazine. The review spotlights the CCM Chorale for its “rich, sonorous blend” in the “beautifully balanced recording.”

Clarke praises each of the album’s six stellar works, which includes Knehans’ Three Psalms — a prizewinner at the First International Sacred Choral Music Festival in the Czech Republic. Lux Dei also showcases Knehans’ Panis Angelicus, Epicideum Hathumode, Two Looks at Silence and Symbolum Apostolorum. Organist Christina Haan joins the CCM Chorale on Missa brevis, the album’s only accompanied piece.

“This is a radiant disc of music by a composer who is blessed with a tremendous imagination and who clearly has great affinity with writing for choir,” Clarke wrote. “There is a huge amount of beauty to be found here. Put simply, Knehans locates and amplifies the spiritual within the religious.”

Click to read the full reviews by Classical Music Sentinel and Fanfare Magazine.

Douglas Knehans. Photo by Tina Gutierrez.

Douglas Knehans. Photo by Tina Gutierrez.

About Douglas Knehans
Douglas Knehans is the Norman Dinerstein Professor of Composition Scholar at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has received awards from the American Music Center, the NEA, the Australia Council Performing Arts Board, Yale University, the MacDowell Colony, Opera Australia, The Cannes Film Festival, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The National Symphony Orchestra, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Meet the Composer and a host of others.

His music has been praised by the Washington Post as “beautiful,” by the Miami Herald as “wildly inventive,” by the Australian as “brilliantly catchy and eerily bright” and by Fanfare Magazine as “…effective…incisive… and hauntingly beautiful.”

Knehans’ music is available on ERM Media, Crystal Records, Move Records, New World Records and ABLAZE Records. His full biography is available online at douglasknehans.com.

For more information on CCM’s Division of Composition, Musicology and Theory visit ccm.uc.edu/music/cmt.

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Story by CCM graduate assistant Charlotte Kies

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Melodic Connections musicians on stage during a concert. Photo provided by Melodic Connections.

CCM Gives Back: Volunteer at Melodic Connections on April 8

Melodic Connections, a music therapy studio founded by alumna Betsey Zenk Nuseibeh, needs help painting its new studio space after a storm ravaged its previous location. Join University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music alumni and friends for a day of service at the new studio, located at 6940 Plainfield Road, on Saturday, April 8.

The CCM Gives Back volunteer event is organized by the UC Alumni Association, which will provide a pizza lunch for all participants. Volunteers will meet at Melodic Connections on Plainfield Road from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday to paint the new studio space. Please RSVP online at alumni.uc.edu/CCMgivesback.

Damaged instruments after the flash flood. Photo provided by Melodic Connections.

Damaged instruments after the flash flood. Photo provided by Melodic Connections.

Flash flooding caused by a storm devastated the original Melodic Connections studio on August 28. The studio, which provides music therapy services to people of all ages and abilities, was destroyed along with instruments, furniture and equipment.

“We lost everything,” said Betsey Zenk Nuseibeh, who graduated from UC with an MM in Oboe Performance in 2002 and an MEd in Special Education in 2002.

Vans floated in four feet of water in the Melodic Connections parking lot. The piano was knocked on its back when water flowed through the studio. Instruments and sound equipment, which were stored on the ground level of the studio, were destroyed along with years of teaching materials. Music therapists poured water out of handmade ukuleles, which had been recently donated from Hawaii.

“Our music therapists were heartbroken,” Nuseibeh said. “The students were calling, offering support and wondering when they would be able to return to their music home. We couldn’t answer. We didn’t know.”

The organization rallied after the storm, with tremendous support from the Greater Cincinnati community. Calls of support, instruments and monetary donations were made to help revitalize Melodic Connections.

“In our darkest moments, we found that our beloved city and community wouldn’t let us stop making music,” Nuseibeh said.

With its original studio in shambles, Melodic Connections had to find a new space for its programs. Now the organization is working to move to its new location so it can continue offering music therapy services to Greater Cincinnati.

Nuseibeh founded Melodic Connections in 2008 after she worked with an autistic student who struggled to communicate with others. She realized that he behaved differently in music class and introduced him to piano. Music gave him a new way of communicating with others. He sang commercial jingles to students in the hallway — his way of saying “hi.” He even sang the Beatles’ Get Back to his teachers to let them know when they were standing too close.

In high school he began taking lessons through CCM’s Preparatory and Community Engagement Program. Now as a young man in his 20s, he is part of the Melodic Connections studio.

“Music has given him a means through which to communicate his beautiful thoughts with the world,” Nuseibeh said.

Melodic Connections offers this opportunity to people of all ages and abilities throughout Greater Cincinnati. Offerings include Adult Programs, Afternoon Classes, Summer Camps and Music in the Schools.

CCMpower provided funding for the Music in the Schools program, which brings music therapy-based learning into 24 area special education classrooms. These programs will still be offered through the new Melodic Connections studio on Plainfield Road.

“This new building will signify a beautiful new Melodic Connections,” Nuseibeh said. “So many more people know now who we are and what we do, so this space will now represent our weaving into the fabric of the Cincinnati music community. It will be a place to build skills so that we can be a part of the rich music culture in this city.”

Melodic Connections students in class. Photo provided by Melodic Connections.

Melodic Connections students in class. Photo provided by Melodic Connections.

The new Melodic Connections studio is taking shape but still needs some work before it opens its doors. Volunteers at the CCM Gives Back event will help paint the walls of this new space, which will soon be filled with music.

Volunteers will meet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 8 at Melodic Connections, located at 6940 Plainfield Road. If you plan to participate, please RSVP online at alumni.uc.edu/CCMgivesback.

“I am proud of the education I received from CCM,” Nuseibeh said. “In addition to the high standards and beautiful music I was able to create with others in ensemble there, it also created within me a resiliency, grit and determination to achieve great things through music. I know there are other alum that feel the same way and I am truly looking forward to joining them in community on April 8.”

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