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

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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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CCM Summer Hosts Orff Schulwerk Program for Music Educators

UC’s College-Conservatory of Music hosts the Orff Schulwerk summer program for music educators on July 17-28, 2017. This approach to learning, developed by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman, builds musicianship through singing, playing instruments, speaking, moving and improvising.

Active music making is the core of this philosophy, supporting both conceptual learning and development. Program participants will learn the Orff Schulwerk approach to music education and will develop skills in singing, expressive speech, movement, Orff ensemble and percussion, improvisation, composition, recorders and pedagogy. The program offers three levels of course work:

  • Level I course is open to teachers who have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in music education as well as undergraduate seniors pursuing a degree in music education or music performance (previous Orff chapter workshop attendance is recommended).
  • Level II course is open to those who have completed an AOSA-approved Level I course.
  • Level III course is open to those who have completed an AOSA-approved Level II course.

This is an American Orff-Schulwerk Association-approved course. Through collaborative cooperation with the Cincinnati Children’s Choir Summer Festival, there will be opportunities to work with children in the choir.

Program faculty includes CCM Associate Professor of Music Education Amy Beegle and guest faculty members Rob Amchin, Judith Thomas, Danai Gagné, Donna Poppe and Lissa Ray.

CCM’s 2017 Orff Schulwerk program is now accepting applications. The application deadline is April 15, 2017; enrollment for CCM Summer Programs is limited.

Visit ccm.uc.edu/summer/collegiate-adult/orff-schulwerk for application details and more information on the program.

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CCM Summer hosts the Choral Conducting Master Class and Workshop July 10-14, 2017.

CCM Summer Hosts Choral Conducting Master Class and Workshop

UC’s College-Conservatory of Music provides a comprehensive approach to studying choral repertoire in the Choral Conducting Master Class and Workshop offered July 10-14, 2017.

Participants in the summer program will study gesture, score study, vocalization and musicianship skills necessary for choral conducting. Repertoire will include choral works by Bartók, Kodály, Orbán, Kocsár and Ligeti.

The workshop is led by guest faculty member Katalin Kiss, a professor of musicianship and conducting at the Kodály Institute of Liszt Academy of Music, Hungary. CCM faculty includes Associate Professor of Music Education Eva Floyd, who is a specialist in the Kodály approach of choral music education. She holds advanced degrees in choral conducting from the University of Kentucky and the Kodály Institute.

Kiss is an international expert on choral conducting and contemporary choral repertoire. She founded the world famous Ars Nova Vocal Ensemble in 1990, and has conducted them at more than four hundred international concerts, winning sixteen first prizes and seven Grand Prix prizes at international competitions, including Champion of World Choir Games title in 2008 (Graz, Austria) and 2014 (Riga, Latvia).

CCM’s 2017 Choral Conducting Master Class and Workshop is now accepting applications. The application deadline is April 15, 2017; enrollment for CCM Summer Programs is limited.

Visit ccm.uc.edu/summer/collegiate-adult/choral-conducting for application details and more information on the program.

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CCM Dance presents Masterworks and Beyond on April 13-15 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Photo by Will Brenner.

CCM’s 2016-17 Mainstage Series Concludes with Dance Masterworks and Beyond

UC’s College-Conservatory of Music concludes its 2016-17 Mainstage Series with Masterworks and Beyond, performed by the Department of Dance on Thursday, April 13-Saturday, April 15 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Co-directed by Dance Department Chair Jiang Qi and Associate Professor Deirdre Carberry, the performance features a mixed bill of contemporary and classical ballet.

Alongside a selection of traditional and new works, Masterworks and Beyond includes the world premiere of day of wakening over the sea of night, with choreography by CCM Assistant Professor André Megerdichian and music by CCM composition alumnus and accompanist Bradley Harris.

The program begins with George Balanchine’s masterwork Valse-Fantaisie, a classic ballet set to music by Mikhail Glinka. CCM’s performance is restaged by guest artist Viki Psihoyos, who works with the George Balanchine Trust to offer Balanchine Technique Workshops. Up next in Masterworks and Beyond is Flower Festival, with music composed by Edvard Helsted and choreography by August Bournonville. This one-act ballet is restaged by Qi and Carberry.

The program continues with two works that feature brand new choreography. CCM Associate Professor Michael Tevlin choreographs Revelries, a new traditional ballet performed with music by Gaetano Donizetti. Guest artist Roger Van Fleteren, who is the Associate Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer of the Alabama Ballet Company, choreographs “unRAVELed” a new contemporary ballet with music by Maurice Ravel.

The grand finale of the program is the world premiere of day of wakening over the sea of night. Inspired by Joseph Campbell’s mythological writings, this new work is a viscerally engaging, athletically mesmerizing landscape of contemporary dance. The piece features a reimagined stage space, which creates a shifted perspective, heightened by live musicians with a mystic world groove.

Masterworks and Beyond is a collection of diverse works, which showcase the versatility of the students and faculty in CCM’s Department of Dance. Tickets are available for purchase through the CCM Box Office.

Valse-Fantaisie is performed by permission of the George Balanchine Trust.

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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Story by CCM graduate assistant Charlotte Kies

Photo by Will Brenner.

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