CCM Preparatory Offers Performing Arts Experiences For All

University of Cincinnati CCM student perform during the CCM's Prep Year End Festival at College-Conservatory of Music. UC/Joseph Fuqua II

CCM Prep offers a wide variety of music, dance and theatre arts programs for youth, teens and adults. Register now or sign up for auditions for CCM Prep’s 2018-19 programs!

Arts enthusiasts of all ages and abilities are invited to register now for 2018-19 music, dance and theatre arts programs offered through Preparatory and Community Engagement at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM Prep).

CCM Prep’s 2018-19 programs begin in September! Students and families can register online now for select performing arts experiences at ccm.uc.edu/prep.

CCM Prep provides enjoyable and accessible arts opportunities within a highly creative environment that educate and inspire the whole student — including youth, teens and adults. Courses are taught by CCM Prep faculty members and guest artists.

Registration is not yet open for the programs listed below that require auditions or placements. These will be open for registration after auditions and placement results are announced. Please see individual listings below to sign up for auditions or visit the CCM Prep website for audition information.

Visit CCM Prep’s website for complete program offerings: ccm.uc.edu/prep.

YOUTH PROGRAMS

ACTING: INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED (Ages 10-15)

Class begins on Sept. 8, 2018
Acting classes emphasize basic acting skills including improvisation, characterization, movement, vocal production, script analysis and scene study. All classes require audition or approval by instructor. New students must audition for placement within the Intermediate/Advanced Class.
Audition and tuition information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/theatre_arts/classes
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BALLET (Ages 7-13)
Class begins on Sept. 4, 2018
Open ballet class for returning and new students! The philosophy of this program is that every student deserves careful and individualized training from qualified instructors. Classes are small and instructors are specially trained to teach for appropriate ages and skill levels. This class requires all students to audition for placement within the program.
Audition and tuition information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/dance/classes
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CINCINNATI JUNIOR STRINGS (5th-9th grades)
Class begins on Sept. 16, 2018

Cincinnati Junior Strings is a high-achieving, performing orchestra designed to augment area private studios and public school string programs in training young players. This class requires all students to audition for acceptance into the program.
Audition and tuition information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/music/ensemble/cjs
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JAZZ EXPLOSION! (7th-10th grades)
Class begins on Sept. 23, 2018

This ensemble is especially for students who have a strong interest in learning both jazz improvisation and authentic jazz styles. Open to any instrumentalist, but some limitations may be made for certain sections of the group. This class requires all students to audition for acceptance into the program.
Audition and tuition information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/music/ensemble/Jazz
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JUNIOR CINCINNATI YOUTH WIND ENSEMBLE (6th-8th grades)
Class begins on Sept. 16, 2018

Junior CYWE is designed to be an enhancing and enriching experience for area students, and is designed to supplement (not replace)
students’ experience in their own school bands. This class requires all students to audition for acceptance into the program.
Audition and tuition information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/music/ensemble/jrcywe
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JUNIOR MUSICAL THEATRE INTENSIVE (Ages 9-14)
Class begins on Sept. 8, 2018

Junior Musical Theatre Intensive (Jr. MTI) provides a challenging and disciplined educational experience for students ages 9-14 who have a special interest in musical theatre. The students receive instruction in audition preparation, vocal music, dance and performance technique while working toward a full-scale musical production. This class requires an online audition for acceptance into the program. Submit audition materials through CCM Prep’s Get Acceptd online portal by Aug. 17, 2018.
Audition and tuition information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/theatre_arts/jrmti
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TEEN PROGRAMS


ACTING CERTIFICATE I & II (9th-12th grades)
Class begins on Sept. 8, 2018

Students will develop skills and processes essential for their work on stage, and take a variety of courses, including Shakespeare, characterization, movement, vocal technique, improvisation, scene work and Meisner Technique. This class requires all students to audition for acceptance into the program.
Audition and tuition information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/theatre_arts/theatreprograms
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BALLET (Intermediate levels 5 and up)
Class begins on Sept. 8, 2018

Open ballet class for returning students, new placements and company auditions. The Youth Ballet Company performs two fully produced concerts each year. To audition for ballet companies, students must be enrolled in our leveled ballet classes. This class requires all students to audition for acceptance into the program.
Audition and tuition information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/dance/ballet-companies
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CINCINNATI YOUTH JAZZ ORCHESTRA (10th-12th grades)
Class begins on Sept. 30, 2018

The Cincinnati Youth Jazz Orchestra offers a high-level challenge in a big band setting. Emphasis will be placed on developing professional musical, improvisational and performance skills. CYJO performs a wide array of styles within the big band genre, with performances held on and off campus. Members will also get opportunities to perform and work with local, collegiate and international jazz artists. Any student playing an instrument within standard big band instrumentation, as well as vocalists, are encouraged to audition for this group. This class requires all students to audition for acceptance into the program.
Audition and tuition information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/music/ensemble/Jazz
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CINCINNATI YOUTH WIND ENSEMBLE (9th-12th grades)
Class begins on Sept. 16, 2018

In partnership with CCM’s Collegiate Wind Studies program and the Music Education division, CCM Preparatory presents the only wind ensemble for high school students in the greater Cincinnati area. This class requires all students to audition for acceptance into the program.
Audition and tuition information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/music/ensemble/CYWE
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DANCE STYLES (Ages 10-18)
Class begins on Sept. 8, 2018

Open dance class for Dance Styles placement. Dance Styles is designed for the musical theatre and acting students. During this 90-minute weekly class, students will work in tap, musical theatre dance, fundamentals and/or street styles. This class requires all students to audition for placement within the program.
Audition and tuition information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/dance/youth-dance
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HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ COMBO (10th-12th grades)
Class begins on Sept. 9, 2018

The members of the jazz combos will learn jazz standards and contemporary tunes with a primary emphasis on improvisation and small-group interaction. There will be on and off campus performance opportunities throughout the year. This class requires all students to audition for acceptance into the program.
Audition and tuition information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/music/ensemble/Jazz
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HONORS HIGH SCHOOL ACTING (9th-12th grades)
Class begins on Sept. 8, 2018
High School Honors Acting is an intensive one year pre-professional/pre-collegiate program designed to create well-rounded, curious and thoughtful theatre artists. This class requires all students to audition for acceptance into the program.
Audition and tuition information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/theatre_arts/theatreprograms
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MUSICAL THEATRE INTENSIVE (9th-12th grades)
Class begins on Sept. 8, 2018

Students serious about musical theatre are encouraged to audition for acceptance into CCM Prep’s Musical Theatre Intensive, which runs through May 2019. Training focuses on musical theatre dance, acting, vocal performance and seminar/rehearsal. Audition preparation is a major component, along with master classes and seminars led by working professional artists.
Audition and tuition information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/theatre_arts/theatreprograms
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ADULT PROGRAMS

ADULT JAZZ COMBO (18 and up)
Class begins Sept. 23, 2018

The members of the jazz combos will learn jazz standards and contemporary tunes with a primary emphasis on improvisation and small-group interaction. There will be on- and off-campus performance opportunities throughout the year. This class requires all students to audition for acceptance into the program.
Audition and tuition information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/music/ensemble/Jazz
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NEW HORIZONS ORCHESTRA (Adults over 50)
Class begins on Sept. 8, 2018

New Horizons Music programs provide entry points to music-making for people over age 50, including those with no musical experience at all and adults who were active in school music programs, but have been inactive for a long period.
More information: ccm.uc.edu/prep/music/ensemble/horizons

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Jazz Studies Alumni Accept Faculty Positions in Tennessee and Texas

Two CCM alumni have accepted faculty positions at major universities; Michael Schults (MM Jazz Studies, 2012) is now an Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Memphis, and Thomas Zinninger (MM Jazz Studies, 2009; DMA Saxophone, 2013) is an Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Jazz at Texas A&M University–Kingsville.

Michael Shults

Michael Shults

For the past four years, Schults has been an Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. During his time as a graduate student at CCM, he taught improvisation and coached jazz combos and bands. He studied with James Bunte, Rick VanMatre, Phil DeGreg and Kim Pensyl.

Shults was a finalist in the 2012 North American Saxophone Alliance Jazz Artist Competition and was the winner of the Graduate College Soloist category in the 2012 Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards Issue. He has performed by invitation as a featured soloist at the North American Saxophone Alliance biennial conference, the Jazz Education Network conference, the Wisconsin Music Educator’s Association conference and the Minnesota Music Educator’s Association conference.  He is a founding faculty member of the Kansas City Saxophone Workshop, along with Zach Shemon, alto saxophonist of the PRISM Quartet. Shults has also served on the faculty of the Eugene Rousseau Saxophone Workshop at Shell Lake Arts Center. He is currently the alto saxophone chair in the Coalescent Quartet.

Zinninger moves to Texas A&M-Kingsville from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, where he taught saxophone and led the jazz ensemble. He was both a graduate student and a faculty member while he was at CCM, where he taught courses in jazz improvisation and jazz appreciation.

His performance credits include the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Frank Simon Band, Chamber Winds of Louisville, Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, RL Big Band and the Don Krekel Orchestra. As a soloist, he premiered new arrangements for saxophone at the 16th World Saxophone Congress in St. Andrews, Scotland as well as the 2012, 2014 and 2017 North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences.

Congratulations to both of these CCM graduates for their success!

Are you a CCM alum with news? Stay in touch by sharing your story with us!
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News
Samson McCrady in the title role of CCM's Mainstage Production of "Gianni Schicchi," directed by Andreas Hager.

CCM Opera and Voice Alumni Win Prestigious Fellowships

Samson McCrady in the title role of CCM's Mainstage Production of "Gianni Schicchi," directed by Andreas Hager.

CCM Voice alumnus Samson McCrady in the title role of CCM’s Mainstage Production of Gianni Schicchi, directed by CCM Opera alumnus Andreas Hager.

Two of CCM’s stars of tomorrow recently received prestigious positions in the world of opera. Alumnus Andreas Hager (AD Opera Directing, 2018) was awarded one of two JoElyn Wakefield-Wright Stage Director Fellowships from the National Opera Association. Additionally, Washington National Opera selected CCM Voice alumnus Samson McCrady, baritone, to fill one of only 11 spots for vocalists in its prestigious Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. Cincinnati audiences saw their artistry in action during CCM’s recent Mainstage production of Gianni Schicchi, in which McCrady performed the title role and Hager directed.

Hager was selected as a JoElyn Wakefield-Wright Stage Director Fellow for his summer 2018 work with Wolf Trap Opera, during which he will assist on productions of Idomeneo and Rigoletto. The fellowship includes a stipend to attend an opera stage directing program, and the opportunity to offer a presentation on their fellowship experience at a subsequent NOA National Conference.

Hager’s directorial work spans opera, film, theatre and alternate reality games. Recent directing credits include Il barbiere di Siviglia (Houston Grand Opera), Gianni Schicchi (CCM) and La belle Hélène (Opera North). In addition, he has worked with Opera Philadelphia, the New York Philharmonic, Cincinnati Opera and Opera Columbus. He recently graduated from CCM with an Artist Diploma in Opera Directing and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Cinema Studies from Oberlin College, where he also studied piano performance. He is a winner of Opera America’s Director-Designer Showcase and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.

As a Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist, McCrady will perform the roles of Elk/Camel/Butcher in Tesori’s The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me, Wagner in Gounod’s Faust and Sciarrone in Puccini’s Tosca during the Washington National Opera’s 2018-19 season. McCrady will also sing in WNO’s “A Concert of Comic Masterpieces.”

Because many young artists return for a second season, the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program only accepts a handful of new vocalists each season. This year the program welcomed seven new singers and four returning singers, as well as one new and one returning pianist, out of hundreds of applicants.

The artists in this program have an abundance of performance opportunities, including extensive performances at the Kennedy Center and in community-oriented events. They participate in the WNO’s major performances as supporting characters, including free preview performances that will be live streamed on the Kennedy Center’s website.

McCrady and the other Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists will also perform in recitals in Washington, D.C. art galleries and museums, as well as a series of master classes at the Kennedy Center and elsewhere. They will be seen onstage during the WNO’s American Opera Initiative Festival, during which they will have the opportunity to work with living composers and librettists on brand-new works.

Additionally, the program has an exchange program with Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre Young Artists Opera Program, which includes a few students from each program visiting the other and performing with their newfound peers.  Next summer, the WNO will send several of its young artists to Moscow for this exchange, culminating in two concerts with the Bolshoi Theatre’s young artists.

During his time at CCM, McCrady studied with Voice Professor Bill McGraw. He performed the title role in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, the King of Scotland in Handel’s Ariodante and Jesus in a staged version of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Outside of CCM, McCrady performed the Mandarin in a semi-staged version of Puccini’s Turandot (Kentucky Symphony Orchestra), Alidoro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Queen City Opera), Edward G. Robinson in Robert Xavier-Rodriguez’s Frida (Cincinnati Opera) and Geronimo in Cimarosa’s Il matrimonio segreto (Cincinnati Chamber Opera). Before he came to CCM, McCrady received a Bachelor of Music from Roberts Wesleyan College.

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Student Salutes

Two Cincinnati Middle School Students Win Grants to Attend the CCM Experience Camp

Two Cincinnati students who participated in the Educational Theatre Association’s JumpStart Theatre program will have the opportunity to attend the CCM Experience performing arts camp at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Thanks to a generous gift to CCM from the Cincinnati Symphony Club, JumpStart Theatre students Keyshawn Townsend from Aiken New Tech High School and Tychod “Jay” Smith from Oyler School will each receive a grant that will cover camp tuition for the students to attend July 9-20.

Tychod “Jay” Smith at JumpStart Theatre.

Tychod “Jay” Smith at JumpStart Theatre.

JumpStart Theatre is a three-year scalable program designed to bring musical theatre into schools that currently do not have a performing arts program, created by the Cincinnati-based national association, Educational Theatre Association, in collaboration with New York City-based companies iTheatrics and Music Theatre International (MTI). Townsend and Smith participated in the program during the 2017-18 school year, which culminated in a showcase performance at Memorial Hall in May.

CCM has contributed to JumpStart Theatre by sharing resources of costumes and props for student productions. The two organizations are also connected through CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement (CCM Prep) instructors Becca Kloha Strand and Dee Anne Bryll, who are both program coordinators at JumpStart Theatre. Strand is the director of the musical theatre track at the CCM Experience, where Bryll is a guest artist. CCM Prep Coordinator of Special Projects and Programs Amy Dennison is the director of the summer arts camp.

Keyshawn Townsend at JumpStart Theatre.

Keyshawn Townsend at JumpStart Theatre.

Strand said, “Keyshawn performed the role of Horton the Elephant in Seussical, Jr. last year at Aiken New Tech, as a part of the JumpStart Theatre program. As a leader both on stage and off, he truly embodied the role of Horton. The CCM Experience camp will be a wonderful opportunity for Keyshawn to exercise and grow his talents as a younger performer.”

Tiffaney Hamm, enrichment program manager at Oyler said, “Tychod is a special young man with a lot of talent. We chose him for this camp because his dream is to perform on stage, as he wants to have a life of acting and performing. This was Jay’s first year at Oyler and he came alive, forming great connections with his cast mates and peers. He continues to work hard in school even when obstacles get in the way. He is a really great kid, and I am proud to have him as a student.”

Offered through CCM Prep, the CCM Experience is an exciting new two-week summer program that combines dance, theatre and music for students ages 8-15. Students study at one of the finest performing arts schools in the country and take classes in multiple areas of concentration including instrumental music, acting, musical theatre, voice or dance. Each day students will have the opportunity to try something new, take a tour, make their own props, costumes and instruments, and learn more about how to be a professional artist. The program culminates with a fantastic showcase where students are put front and center on one of CCM’s stages.

“We look forward to our first CCM Experience Camp and are excited to welcome the two Cincinnati Symphony Club scholarship recipients from JumpStart Theatre,” said John Martin, Assistant Dean of CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement. “CCM Prep, the Cincinnati Symphony Club and the Educational Theatre Association share the same goal — to support excellence in the performing arts and provide engaging and accessible arts education to the community at large.”

Learn more about the Educational Theatre Association online at schooltheatre.org/about/mission.

About Jumpstart Theatre
The JumpStart Theatre pilot started in Cincinnati in the 2015-16 school year, and three schools moved to self-sustainability this year after completing three years in the program: Holmes Middle School, Finneytown Middle School, and James N. Gamble Montessori High School. In November 2017, the first expansion to St. Louis and San Diego was announced, and in June, 2018 an expansion to Atlanta for the 2019-20 school year was announced. In total 39 middle schools will have sustainable musical theatre programs where there previously were none.

About CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement
CCM Prep offers a wide variety of programs in music, dance and theatre arts for all ages and levels — pre-professional students preparing for a future in the performing arts and arts enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. Programs are offered throughout the year for youth, teens and adults at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and through numerous satellite locations and community partnerships. We aim to provide excellent and accessible arts opportunities within a highly creative environment that educates and inspires the whole student, serving as a catalyst for transforming and empowering our communities. Learn more at ccm.uc.edu/prep or contact CCM Prep directly by emailing ccmprep@uc.edu or calling 513-556-2595.

CCM News Student Salutes

Sensory Percussion: Q&A with Alumnus Ben Sloan on His Work with The National

Ben Sloan is a musician, producer and teacher who is passionate about making music accessible to all. Last year People’s Liberty awarded the CCM alumnus with a $10,000 grant to build Percussion Park in East Price Hill. This year he’s experimenting with sensory percussion, which led to a performance as Artist-in-Residence at The National’s Homecoming Music Festival in April and a short tour with the rock band.

Ben Sloan. Photo by Ryan Back.

Ben Sloan. Photo by Ryan Back.

Sloan (BM Jazz Studies, 2011) is grateful for the opportunity to tour with The National and thinks they will work together again in the future. He’s now on a two-week tour with local ensemble A Delicate Motor, which releases a new album Fellover My Own on June 29. Later this summer, Sloan will travel to Berlin to participate in an experimental music festival called PEOPLE.

When he isn’t performing, Sloan works as a teaching artist at MYCincinnati, an after school youth orchestra program directed by CCM alumnus Eddy Kwon (BM Jazz Studies, 2011). He teaches the pre-orchestra students, ages 5-10, in a class that combines singing, movement and percussion.

We caught up with the busy alumnus to talk about his work with sensory percussion and his experience with The National.

What is sensory percussion? When did you start working it?
Sensory Percussion is amazing, and that’s about 90% of what you need to know. It was developed by Sunhouse, and though it’s making the rounds with musicians all over, it is still a relatively new technology. Sensory Percussion is essentially a collection of sensors (you can use up to four), which attach to a drum. Using a corresponding software, the sensors analyze the vibrations of the drum to determine where the player is hitting, i.e. the center, the rim, the shell, the edge, etc.

It’s up to the player to “teach” the sensors how and where one prefers to hit the drum — it is a very individualized system. This “mapping” of the drum allows the player to specifically pinpoint quadrants of the drum and assign samples, midi data, effects and a host of other functions. The result is a totally dynamic and fluid interplay between electronic, sample-based sound and acoustic drumming. I’ve had the sensors for about a year now, and over the past few months I’ve been really digging into them. They are so powerful, it’s incredible. I think the open ended nature of the software, makes the sensors so compelling. No one really sounds the same, because it’s up to the player to set the musical palette and craft the sounds.

How do you incorporate sensory percussion in your work with music groups and local projects?
Since they are still a bit new, I haven’t fully utilized them with any projects other than my own. For the longest time I sort of felt that the music I created through recording and manipulating samples wouldn’t or couldn’t be realized in a live context, but with the sensors, I can take a lot of that material and produce it live, or even embellish the sound. They are just really dynamic instruments.

I’ve brought them to MYCincinnati for our students to use, but because this technology is so new and exciting to play it makes normal drums less enticing. I have to win them back over by playing something really fast or loud — it only kind of works.

You also brought this percussion style to the National’s Homecoming Festival. How did you get involved in the festival?
I ended up using sensory percussion pretty heavily at Homecoming. I was working with A Delicate Motor ensemble to write a set of new music, but I knew I wanted to do something entirely on my own, which was impetus for writing some music with the sensors. The process was an endless tweaking of a sound palette until I could improvise an entire piece. From those improvisations, I would distill whatever I thought was good, and cut out the rest.

I got involved with the festival through Bryan Devendorf, drummer of The National. He’s always been inviting, and over the years we’ve gotten to know each other a bit. He reached out to meet while I was touring with the band WHY? and since then we’ve stayed in touch. He asked if I would be interested in being this year’s artist-in-residence at the Homecoming Music Festival, something they hadn’t done in the past, and I said ‘yes, like duh, of course!’

What was performing with The National at the festival like? Any plans to reconnect with The National in the future?
It was affirming. I spend a lot of time being critical of my work and my abilities, but when artists on that level invite me to play, it’s feels like a major validation of the hours put in. It’s also time to step up and not look like a doofus on stage! I mean, I totally ‘look’ like a doofus, cause that’s how drummers look when they play, but I think it sounded good.

Ben Sloan at The National's Homecoming Festival in April 2018.

Ben Sloan at The National’s Homecoming Festival in April 2018.

After the Sunday night show, The National invited me out for a short tour, so I ended up hopping on the bus for a few days with them. It was a treat to spend some time with the band, and see everything behind the scenes — touring on that scale is crazy! They had such a big crew, all of whom were kind and patient. I’m still reflecting on it all. I’m just grateful. I’m not sure how or when, but I think we will work together again!

What else are you working on right now?
A Delicate Motor started a two-week tour on June 18. We have a lot of momentum from the festival, and the record Fellover My Own is due to be released on Sofaburn later this month. Our album release is June 29 at Northside Tavern. I’m trying to invest as much time in my solo project as possible. It’s still so fresh, but I hope to put out an EP in the coming months.

Later this summer, Price Hill Will/MYCincinnati, in collaboration with The Contemporary Arts Center is hosting the third annual Price Hill Creative Community Festival, which is an ever-evolving and beautiful festival. Each year we host artists-in-residence to work collaboratively with MYC students for two very intense weeks. Along with the artists in residence, the festival curates a huge array of great performers to come do their thing. This year we are hosting cellist and composer Tomeka Reid, who has cultivated some powerful momentum in the Chicago improvisation and jazz scene. I strongly encourage you to go check her work immediately! We also have Josiah Wolf (CCM alum), multi-disciplinary arts collective Collaborative, Jarrod Cann and Paradox Teatro. The full list of artists, and their work is listed online at creativecommunityfestival.org/artists.

That Price Hill Creative Community Festival usually consumes me in the best possible way. It’s happening on August 3-4, the performances are unique and sometimes challenging, it’s all ages, we have great local food and admission completely free!

 

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and CCM Announce 2018-20 Class of Diversity Fellows

Four outstanding string players have been selected for the next class of the prestigious diversity fellowship program.

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) have selected four outstanding musicians for the next class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows. Born out of a mutual desire to make American orchestras more inclusive, this prestigious performance fellowship program launched in 2015 with a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Foundation approved a renewal grant of $850,000 in 2017, providing funding for the innovative program through June 2021.

With this collaborative Fellowship program, CCM and the CSO hope to provide new opportunities for under-served musicians, while simultaneously fostering a more inclusive environment in the orchestral industry.

“Orchestras must better reflect the communities they serve, and this program exemplifies our commitment,” said CSO President Jonathan Martin. “We welcome the new class of Fellows, look forward to the artistic contributions of the continuing class, and congratulate the inaugural Fellows who are now graduating.”

The incoming class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows is Camellia Aftahi, 22 (double bass), Yan Izquierdo, 33 (violin), Arman Nasrinpay, 23 (violin) and Alexis Shambley, 22 (violin).

“Thanks to the generosity and support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we can continue to recruit highly qualified CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows candidates,” said CCM Interim Dean bruce mcclung. “In turn, these outstanding early-career musicians are helping inspire the next generation of multicultural young artists, which will allow us to continue making American orchestras better reflect the variety of their communities.”

These four exceptional string players will officially join the two-year fellowship program in August 2018 bringing the total number of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows to eight for the 2018-19 academic year and performance season.

The inaugural class of Diversity Fellows, which is comprised of Emilio Carlo, Diana Flores, Vijeta Sathyaraj and Maurice Todd, have recently graduated.

“I have gained valuable experience through my work with the CSO and my graduate work with CCM,” said Flores. “This has been a wonderful experience, and I am excited for what lies ahead.”

“This program positions musicians for a bright future and wish them every success as their careers advance,” said Martin.

“It is a testament to the program’s success that the inaugural class of Diversity Fellows is moving on to next-step career opportunities,” said mcclung.

HOW THE FELLOWSHIP WORKS
The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Program is open to exceptional violin, viola, cello and double bass players coming from historically underrepresented populations in classical music.

The program’s tagline — “Bravos Without Barriers” — gets to the heart of its mission: eliminating obstacles that can prevent extraordinary musicians from achieving their full potential.

Fellows perform the equivalent of five weeks per season with the CSO while enrolled in a two-year Master of Music (MM) or Artist Diploma (AD) graduate degree program at CCM. Each class of Fellows is selected through a rigorous series of auditions, which saw hundreds of graduate-level musicians audition for CCM faculty members. Nineteen string players were invited back to Cincinnati for a final round of auditions judged by CSO musicians at CCM’s Corbett Auditorium on March 24, 2018.

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.

MEET THE INCOMING FELLOWS

Camellia Aftahi

Camellia Aftahi, Master of Music, Double Bass
For incoming San Diego participant, Camellia Aftahi, it was the Diversity Fellowship’s aspiration that was part of the appeal. “What drove me to apply for the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship was not only my desire to perform with and learn from a group of high caliber musicians but also to have an opportunity to bring representation to minority groups on stage,” said Aftahi.

Aftahi began playing double bass at the age of 12. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Double Bass Performance at San Diego State University where she studied with Jeremy Kurtz-Harris and Jory Herman.

An avid freelancer, Aftahi has performed with many groups in Southern California, including the San Diego City Ballet, the Opera NEO workshop, the BRAVO Festival and the La Jolla Symphony under the direction of Steve Schick. Aftahi also takes enjoyment in teaching and maintains an active private studio in addition to coaching at local public schools.

Aftahi will begin her master’s degree at CCM in the Fall of 2018 where she will study with CSO Principal Bass and CCM Adjunct Assistant Professor Owen Lee. She hopes that her studies at CCM will allow her to fuse her love for performance and scholarship with her commitment to civic and educational outreach.
Outside of performing music, Aftahi’s interests include reading 20th-century fiction and poetry, going to museums, eating vegetarian food, studying music and its various intersections with social issues, and playing board games.

Yan Izquierdo

Yan Izquierdo, Master of Music, Violin
Born in Havana, Cuba, violinist Yan Izquierdo enjoys an interdisciplinary, cross-genre music career. He has extensive performance experience throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Spain. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and the College of Charleston Orchestra. In 2010, he played the national anthem for the NCAA NIT College Basketball Finals game at Madison Square Garden. He has attended the Aspen Music Festival and performed at Spoleto USA with members of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. He was the winner of the 2004 South Carolina MTNA Young Artist Performance Competition in the strings category.

As an orchestral musician, he has performed with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of New York, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas and Symphony in C, with notable appearances at Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, Kimmel Center, Kennedy Center and Meyerson Symphony Center. He participated in the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas’ “Music Without Borders” North American concert tour, which included educational outreach programs with youth symphonies in Mexico City, culminating in a joint concert televised by the Televisa network.

Equally, at home in non-classical genres, Izquierdo has appeared with Grammy Award-winning Bluegrass artist Ricky Skaggs, as well as Clay Aiken and Anne Murray. He was a founding member of Shayna and the Catch, acting as a songwriter, violinist, mandolinist and backing vocalist. The band toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada, including appearances at SXSW, CMJ Music Marathon, Summerfest and Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration. His songs have been featured in TV and film, including an international Ford Edge commercial campaign.

Izquierdo began violin studies at the age of seven in Madrid, Spain. At the age of 14, he received a full scholarship to attend the Idyllwild Arts Academy, where he studied with Todor Pelev. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Charleston, studying with Lee-Chin Siow. Additional mentors include Almita Vamos, Herbert Greenberg, and Garrett Fischbach. He currently resides in New York City.
Izquierdo will begin his master’s degree at CCM in the Fall of 2018 where he will study with Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus, the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Classical Violin.

Arman Nasrinpay

Arman Nasrinpay, Master of Music, Violin
Arman Nasrinpay began playing the violin at the age of 10 through the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra Program. He has since performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center Hall and Millennium Stage, Strathmore Music Center, the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the Shakespeare Theatre for Performing Arts.

He has held many prestigious positions in orchestras, including assistant concertmaster of the McLean Youth Orchestra, assistant principal second violinist of the American Youth Philharmonic, Principal Second of the Londontowne Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Principal Second of the Aspen Philharmonic and Assistant Concertmaster of Indiana University’s Concert Orchestra, among others.

“Since I was a kid, I have always dreamed of playing violin in a professional orchestra, and I couldn’t think of a better way to pursue this than the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship program,” said Nasrinpay.

Nasrinpay has frequently performed — and to great acclaim — in the greater Washington, DC area, and gained recognition by winning top prizes and honors in numerous competitions. Among these are such prestigious contests as the Washington Performing Arts Society’s Feder Competition, the United States Army Young Artists Competition, the Lions of VA Bland Music Competition, the Asian American International Competition and the Gretchen Hood String Competition, among others.

Along with competitions, Nasrinpay has performed in master classes given by Aaron Rosand, Zino Bogachek, Karina Canellakis, Dmitri Berlinsky, Victor Danchenko, Itzhak Rashkovsky and Ani Schnarch.

“In my first year, I hope to continue to improve my craft and successfully compete in several auditions and competitions. I will strive to learn as much as possible and represent the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship honorably every day. I am also hoping to meet many new people, musicians and otherwise, and engage with them and the community as much as possible.”

During the summer, Nasrinpay has participated in various music programs. These have included the Indiana University Summer String Academy, the Summit Music Festival, Kent Blossom Music Festival, Chautauqua Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and School, as well as the Bowdoin International Music Festival where he received instruction from Almita and Roland Vamos, Victor Danchenko, Itzhak Rashkovsky, David Halen and Cyrus Forough. Most recently, he studied at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music as a Premiere Young Artist under pedagogue Simin Ganatra of the Pacifica Quartet.

Nasrinpay will begin his master’s degree at CCM in the Fall of 2018 where he will study with CSO Concertmaster and CCM Adjunct Professor of Violin Timothy Lees.

Alexis Shambley

Alexis Shambley, Master of Music, Violin
A native of Dallas, Texas, Alexis Shambley recently received her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from CCM under the tutelage of String Department Chair Won-Bin Yim. Shambley started violin at age four and studied primarily with her mother, Xiao-mei Pelletier of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

She has previously attended the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival and The National Orchestral Institute and Festival as well as performed with local orchestras including Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and Richmond Symphony Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, she enjoys doing outreach performances and participating in chamber music competitions, most recently placing second in CCM’s Annual Chamber Music Competition with her then sextet in 2016.

Shambley will begin her master’s degree at CCM in the Fall of 2018 where she will study with String Department Chair Won-Bin Yim.

“I am so honored to be a CCM/CSO Diversity Fellow and believe the program will help me achieve my goal of winning orchestral auditions,” Shambley said. “This opportunity is also particularly important to me because I aspire to one day create a studio aimed at providing music education to underrepresented youth.”

ENHANCING AND EXPANDING THE EXPERIENCE
Earlier this year, the CSO and CCM expanded the opportunities available to the Diversity Fellowship participants through a new partnership with the Chautauqua Institution of New York. Through this new partnership, as many as five CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows will be selected annually to participate in an eight-week summer residency with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, with frequent performance opportunities in the Institution’s 4,000-seat open-air Amphitheater.

The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows will be mentored by the orchestra’s professional musicians, who come to Chautauqua each summer from a variety of home ensembles around the world. Also, the Fellows will mentor minority student musicians in Chautauqua’s Music School Festival Orchestra, and offer performances designed to engage the broader Chautauqua community. Chautauqua Diversity Fellows will be provided housing and receive a stipend to offset their expenses.

For several members of the CSO and CCM’s graduating class of Diversity Fellows, a residency at Chautauqua during the summer of 2018 will be the next valuable step in their performing careers. Carlo, Flores, and Sathyaraj will spend the summer of 2018 embedded at Chautauqua, along with current Fellows Ian Saunders and Weiyi Shao.

“Inclusiveness — of race, gender, sexuality, ideas — is the Chautauqua ideal. We aim to be a leading force in evolving the field of symphony orchestras by diversifying the makeup of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and investing in inclusion,” said Deborah Sunya Moore, vice president of performing and visual arts at Chautauqua Institution. “By making it a priority to help musicians from underrepresented communities early in their careers, the Institution hopes to be instrumental in their ability to compete for and win jobs in American orchestras. Diversity in the Arts changes lives not only for the artist but also for audiences.”

JOIN OUR NEXT CLASS OF CSO/CCM DIVERSITY FELLOWS
On Sept. 1, CCM and the CSO will begin accepting applications for the 2019-21 class of Fellows. The application deadline is Dec. 1, 2018.

Live auditions with CCM faculty will be held Jan. 18-19, Jan. 25-26 and Feb. 15-16 of 2019.

Finalists will audition for the CSO in Cincinnati in March of 2019.

*Download the Informational Flyer (590.8 KB)

Learn more about the application process by visiting ccm.uc.edu/admissions/application.

About the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, which also performs as the Cincinnati Pops, is one of America’s finest and most versatile ensembles. With a determination for greatness and a rich tradition that dates back 123 years, the internationally acclaimed CSO has performed the American premieres of works by the likes of Debussy, Mahler, Ravel and Bartók, and commissioned important compositions that have since become mainstays of the classical repertoire including Aaron Copland’s iconic Fanfare for the Common Man. With new commissions and groundbreaking initiatives like the Pelléas Trilogy, LUMENOCITY, and One City, the Orchestra is committed to being a place of experimentation. As Cincinnati’s ambassador, the Orchestra has toured extensively, most recently to Asia and Europe in 2017, and sold millions of recordings around the globe. As Cincinnati’s own, the Orchestra elevates the City’s vibrant cultural scene not only through CSO and Cincinnati Pops performances, but also through an array of education and community engagement programs and by serving as the official orchestra for the Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati May Festival, and Cincinnati Opera.

About the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
Nationally ranked and internationally renowned, CCM is a preeminent institution for the performing and media arts. CCM’s educational roots date back to 1867, and a solid, visionary instruction has been at its 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 1,000 major public performances each year, ranging from faculty and guest artist concerts to fully supported acting, dance, musical theatre and opera productions. CCM is an accredited institution of the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), as well as a member of the University/ Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA).

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CCM Offers New Summer Master’s in Music Education Degree for Active Teachers

CCM is now accepting applications for a new master’s degree in Music Education that will be offered beginning in June 2018. Designed for those who want to remain active in the classroom while continuing their education, the practical degree program can be completed in three summers and provides a high-quality, individualized curriculum for all music teachers.

CCM Associate Professor of Music Education Eva Floyd.

CCM Associate Professor of Music Education Eva Floyd.

Core music education course work focuses on the development of music mastery and advanced pedagogy, and students can choose from a wide range of electives to expand their areas of expertise. Each summer course load consists of a 5-week term with schedules that provide free time in the afternoon to study, practice and maintain personal or professional commitments.

CCM Master’s in Music Education students have the opportunity to refresh their piano skills, study conducting, or advance their performance techniques through applied study. All courses are led by CCM’s world-renowned faculty, with experts from multiple divisions of the college.

The master’s in Music Education program also features enrichment opportunities unique to the summer curriculum, including Orff-Schulwerk or Kodály certifications for music teachers and study-abroad experiences.

PROGRAM SNAPSHOT
All courses occur in person and require residency in Cincinnati for five weeks each summer.

Core Music Education:

  • Curriculum and Assessment
  • Sociology and Psychology
  • History and Philosophy
  • Intro to Scholarship (Research)

Core Music Studies:

  • Theory Fundamentals (Piano-based)
  • Graduate Musicianship
  • Intro to Ethnomusicology
  • School Music Literature
  • Ensembles or Applied Lessons

Specialized Electives:

  • Choral Music
  • Conducting
  • Classroom Music (K-12)
  • Instrumental (Band, Orchestra, Jazz)
  • Musical Theatre
  • Pedagogy
  • Strings
  • Technology for Music Teaching
  • Urban Music Education

Capstone Project or Exam

  • Curriculum Design Project
  • Oral and Comprehensive Exam

APPLICATION INFORMATION
Apply by June 1, 2018 in order to enroll in the inaugural semester of CCM’s new master’s in Music Education program; courses begin in June 2018.

Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree in music education (or equivalent) and have a minimum of two years full-time teaching experience.

Application materials include a copy of current teaching license as certified music teacher, a current curriculum vitae or resume, a written philosophy of teaching, submission of “best piece” writing sample, a teaching video or a live/recorded audition and two letters of recommendation. Learn more at grad.catalyst.uc.edu/apply/

For application information, please contact CCM Admissions at 513-556-9478 or email ccmadmis@uc.edu.

For more information about the new graduate program, contact CCM Music Education Division Head Ann Porter at 513-556-9527 or email ann.porter@uc.edu.
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Nationally ranked and internationally renowned, CCM is a preeminent institution for the performing and media arts. Learn more at ccm.uc.edu

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