CCM Behind-the-Scenes: Stage Managing ‘Seussical’

The stage management team on the set of CCM’s Seussical.

CCM’s imaginative take on the world of Dr. Seuss is presented in Seussical, which runs through Sunday, Oct. 29 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Audience members see classic Seuss tales presented on stage with dazzling color and imagery, but they don’t see the flurry of work that propels the performance backstage — guided by Seussical’s “unsung heroes,” the stage management team.

The team consists of five students: Stage Manager Sam Lewis, senior; Assistant Wallace Craig, senior; Assistant Justin Dudzik, senior; Assistant Mikaela Acton, junior; and Production Assistant Carson Trego, freshman. All are enrolled in CCM’s stage management program except for Dudzik, who studies lighting design at CCM.

“The students on the stage management team are the true unsung heroes of our production,” says Seussical Director Vince DeGeorge. “When you do a production that is so complicated and involves so many moving parts, the stage management team really has to work incredibly hard to make it all happen.”

Seussical’s staging includes an automated turntable at center stage, an automated ball drop, a flying swing, two trap doors, 119 props, 35 cast members and 53 crew members. The stage managers keep track of every prop, costume and set piece, and manage the entire cast and crew during rehearsals and performances.

Sam Lewis, Carson Trego and Seussical Musical Director Luke Flood during rehearsal.

Sam Lewis, Carson Trego and Seussical Musical Director Luke Flood during rehearsal.

They set up and run every rehearsal and performance — and clean up after.

Stage managers wear all black to blend in backstage, working behind-the-scenes in CCM’s recently renovated Patricia Corbett Theater. They communicate with each other via headsets to run all of the theatrical cues throughout Seussical, and are able to watch the show backstage on a TV monitor to see how it looks from the audience’s perspective. Their job is to ensure the show runs smoothly and that all of the theatrical elements are in place.

There are 14 “quick changes” in Seussical, where cast members must change costume backstage fast — sometimes they have to transform into an entirely different character in as little time as 50 seconds. The stage managers and crew strategically place props and costumes backstage for cast members to quickly access between musical numbers. As soon as the cast exits the stage, they are met with crew members who help fix make-up, wigs and assist with the quick costume changes.

One of the most challenging aspects of CCM’s Seussical was moving from the rehearsal space to the stage, says stage manager Sam Lewis. There are some theatrical elements, such as the automated turntable, ball drop and the trap doors, that couldn’t be used until the production was able to move into Patricia Corbett Theater. The stage managers met this challenge head-on, and even had fun figuring out how all of the elements could fit together on stage.

“We love It’s Possible because of all of the interesting challenges it has provided for us,” Lewis says. “From the six large fish on poles to the water fabric that has to release from the poles and be sucked into the stage through a trap door, it was a fun challenge to figure out.”

CCM presents 'Seussical' Oct. 19-29 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM students perform It’s Possible in Act I of Seussical. Photo by Mark Lyons.

The stage managers map out the performance details on paper, which includes a catalogue of every prop, set piece and costume as well as blocking.

“Managing the flow of so many moving things in a smaller backstage area takes a lot of planning and preparation to make sure that everyone is where they should be and when they need to be,” according to the stage management team.

Lewis says that the stage management team has learned much from Michele Kay, Chair of CCM Theatre Design and Production, and Steve Miller, Associate Director of Theatre operations at CCM.

“We’ve learned a lot about different management styles and how best to work with different types of directors and designers, which has been huge in this process,” Lewis says. “I think the main lesson we learned in class that has followed us to this show is that if you ever want to impress someone, just do your job to the best of your ability.”

Next time you sit in the audience, marveling at the spectacle on stage, take a moment to imagine the hard-working crew behind-the-scenes, who helped create the theatrical world presented around you.

You can see the impressive work that students, faculty and staff have put into Seussical in person at the next performance, which is at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27.

Learn more about CCM’s Theatre Design and Production program at ccm.uc.edu/theatre/tdp.
____

SEUSSICALTM
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty
Co-Conceived by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and Eric Idle
Based on the Works of Dr. Seuss
____

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27
  • 2 and 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 28
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Seussical are $31-35 for adults, $22-25 for non-UC students and $18-21 for UC students with a valid ID.

Student rush tickets will be sold one hour before each performance to non-UC students for $12 or $15, based on availability. UC students can receive one free student rush ticket with a valid ID, based on availability.

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/seussical.

Customizable subscription packages are also available for CCM’s 2017-18 Mainstage Series.

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 more 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.
____

SEUSSICAL is presented through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.MTIShows.com

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Musical Theatre Production Sponsor: Elizabeth C. B. & Paul G. Sittenfeld

Musical Theatre Performance Sponsor: Northwestern Mutual

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes

CCM Studio Acting Series Presents Premiere of ‘The Earth is Flat’

This work by alumnus Todd Almond is a coming-of-age tale set at UC. Admission is free but reservations are required; tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 30.

This work by alumnus Todd Almond is a coming-of-age tale set at UC. Admission is free but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 30.

CCM opens its Studio Acting Series with the premiere of Todd Almond’s The Earth is Flat at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2. Directed by CCM Acting Professor and Department Chair Richard Hess, the play runs through Saturday, Nov. 4 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater.

The Earth is Flat follows the story of a UC freshman named Ethan and his journey to self-discovery. Set in a UC dormitory, the play explores the universal awkwardness of the American college experience. The search for identity by those least prepared with answers resonates with unexpected comedy in this new play, which was commissioned by CCM Acting as part of the Cincinnati Playwrights Conference in 2016.

“Ethan struggles to discover what it means to step into a new life far from home as he enters college, after a personal family tragedy almost derails his life,” Hess says. “This bittersweet comedy will make your heart smile.”

“This play is important to UC and CCM because it follows a student’s journey to discover truth in a world that has fallen flat,” says CCM Acting student Olivia Passafiume, who plays the role of Jennifer in The Earth is Flat. “It explores grief, and what it means to have the rug pulled from under you during some of the most formative years of your life.”

“Most importantly, Todd Almond’s words give hope that no matter what you may believe, the power of human connection is eternal,” she adds.

Almond (BM Vocal Performance, BFA Acting 1999) is a composer, performer, lyricist and playwright. He starred alongside Courtney Love in the rock opera Kansas City Choir Boy, for which he also wrote the original book, music and lyrics. His original theatrical works include Girlfriend, Melancholy Play and musical versions of The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale, among others. Since graduating, Almond has returned to CCM to hold master classes and participate in the annual Cincinnati Playwrights Conference. Learn more about Almond on his professional website: toddalmond.com.

The Earth is Flat runs Nov. 2-4 in CCM’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Admission is free, but reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 30. They often sell out quickly, so visit our guide to Studio Series tickets for tips and tricks to secure your seats.
____________________

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village,
University of Cincinnati

Cast List

  • Jack Steiner as Ethan
  • Graham Lutes as Derek
  • Carissa Cardy/Meg Olson as Shelly
  • Olivia Passafiume/Madeleine Page-Schmit as Jennifer
  • Carter LaCava as Guy Who Looks Like Jeremy
  • Graham Rogers as Man Various
  • Paige Jordan as Woman Various

Tickets
Admission is free. Reservations are required. Tickets become available at noon on Monday, Oct. 30. Please 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 campus of the University of Cincinnati. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more 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.
____________________

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Studio Drama Series Sponsor: Ms. Margaret L. Straub & Mr. Neil R. Artman
____________________

Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

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CCM Hosts Met Opera District Auditions This Saturday

Promising opera singers compete for a chance to “win the Met” and kick-start a major operatic career at the Metropolitan Opera District Council Auditions for Ohio. This free event will take place 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, in CCM’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall.

Local audiences have the opportunity to sample operatic selections sung by some of Ohio’s most talented young singers throughout the day at this event!

Each year, the Metropolitan Opera holds National Council Auditions throughout the country and Canada in order to discover promising young singers, give singers from around the country a chance to be heard by the major opera companies of the United States and Canada, and find potential participants for the Lindemann Young Artist Development program, an opera training program sponsored by the Met. There are four rounds of competition — district, regional, semi-final and final. The Ohio district is one of 42 districts throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The winners of the Ohio district will advance to the regional auditions, held in Chicago in January 2018. The National Semi-Finals and Grand Finals Concert will take place in New York City at the Metropolitan Opera House in April 2018. Last year, four CCM alumni competed in the semi-finals: Jessica Faselt, soprano (MM Voice, 2016); Summer Hassan, soprano (MM Voice, 2014); Andrew Manea, baritone (MM Voice, 2016); and Cody Quattlebaum, bass-baritone (BM Voice, 2015) — who was chosen as a finalist in the national competition.

Out of the pool of incredibly advanced and polished singers, approximately 10 are chosen each year as finalists in the national competition, and from those, approximately five “win the Met.” The five Grand Winners receive $15,000 each, and many go on to successful careers as opera stars. The process of this rigorous and stressful competition was documented in The Audition, a film following the finalists of the 2007 auditions.

Past winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions include Renee Fleming, Susan Graham, Samuel Ramey, Frederica von Stade and Deborah Voigt.

Learn more about the National Council Auditions at metopera.org/about/auditions/nationalcouncil/.

Event Time
9 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28

Location
Robert J. Werner Recital Hall, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Admission

Admission to the Metropolitan Opera District Council Auditions for Ohio is FREE. Reservations are not required.

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 more 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.
____

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes
CCM presents 'Seussical' through Oct. 29 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Photo by Mark Lyons.

Local Arts Critics Praise CCM’s ‘Seussical’

CCM’s Mainstage Series production of Seussical continues at 8 p.m. tonight, Oct. 25, at Patricia Corbett Theater! Local critics praised the musical, which runs through Sunday, Oct. 29 as part of CCM’s 150th Anniversary Celebration.

Directed by Vince DeGeorge with musical direction by CCM graduate student Luke Flood, Seussical was written by CCM alumnus Stephen Flaherty (BM Composition, 1982) and Lynn Ahrens. It is now one of the most often performed musicals in the United States, but CCM’s production “demonstrates that the tale can be presented in a fresh way, with ingenious direction and design,” writes Scott Cain of Talkin’ Broadway. Cain hails CCM’s mounting of Seussical as “truly one of a kind.” He writes:

“The story of love, loyalty, sacrifice and caring still comes through clearly in this new approach, and the program continues to showcase its talented pre-professional performers. The direction, design and dances are noteworthy and will make this production one to remember for some time.”

In his review of Seussical for The Sappy Critic, Kirk Sheppard declares: “It’s easily the best costume work I’ve ever seen.” He also praises the performances from CCM Musical Theatre students, the musical’s lighting design by CCM student Eric McCandless and wig and make-up design by professor Kelly Yurko. Read Sheppard’s full review online: new.thesappycritic.com/2017/10/21/review-seussical/.

Laurel Humes recommends to “move your caboosical to CCM’s Seussical” in her review for the League of Cincinnati Theatres. Humes writes: “The show pulls out all the stops: Broadway-worthy costumes, lighting, staging and standout performances. All what audiences expect from CCM.”

In her review for The News Record, Anne Simedinger praises the Seussical performances: “The entire cast had such contagious energy through the entire show, which kept audience members on the edge of their seats.” She adds:

“The vibrant colors in the props, costumes and lighting against the primarily black and white set paints the picture as the story unfolds. This is a production to not be missed.”

Experience Seussical for yourself before the show closes on Sunday, Oct. 29. 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/seussical.
____

SEUSSICALTM
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty
Co-Conceived by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and Eric Idle
Based on the Works of Dr. Seuss
____

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27
  • 2 and 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 28
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Seussical are $31-35 for adults, $22-25 for non-UC students and $18-21 for UC students with a valid ID.

Student rush tickets will be sold one hour before each performance to non-UC students for $12 or $15, based on availability. UC students can receive one free student rush ticket with a valid ID, based on availability.

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/seussical.

Customizable subscription packages are also available for CCM’s 2017-18 Mainstage Series.

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 more 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.
____

SEUSSICAL is presented through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.MTIShows.com

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Musical Theatre Production Sponsor: Elizabeth C. B. & Paul G. Sittenfeld

Musical Theatre Performance Sponsor: Northwestern Mutual

CCM Alumni Applause CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes

Faculty Artist John Von Ohlen Performs with the CCM Jazz Orchestra on Nov. 1

The “living guru of big band drumming” (Modern Drummer) joins the CCM Jazz Orchestra for a special concert featuring hits from the Stan Kenton Orchestra.

The “living guru of big band drumming” (Modern Drummer) joins the CCM Jazz Orchestra for a special concert featuring hits from the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Tickets available through the CCM Box Office.

Cincinnati legend John Von Ohlen joins the CCM Jazz Orchestra, led by Scott Belck, for a special, one-night-only concert at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater. The concert is the first installment in CCM’s 2017-2018 Prestige Event Series.

Von Ohlen, an adjunct instructor of jazz drums at CCM, is famous for his hard swinging and groundbreaking work with the Stan Kenton Orchestra and Woody Herman. Now at age 76, he has been playing music professionally since he was in his twenties.

He started off playing trombone and piano, but he hung up his trombone in favor of the drum set very early on in his career. Affectionately known as The Baron, Von Ohlen has recorded numerous albums and has appeared on tour with Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney and many others. Von Ohlen has led Cincinnati’s Blue Wisp Big Band since 1976.

The drum master has been described as a cool, catalyzing force behind the bands he performs with.

“It didn’t seem as if he was doing much, but the band was on fire,” wrote Modern Drummer’s Paul Francis, describing the first time he saw Von Ohlen in concert.

“The way he played and supported the band, there was no way the group couldn’t swing. The Baron, as Stan Kenton dubbed Von Ohlen, is a musical guru.”

The concert features Von Ohlen’s favorite hits from the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Kenton was a pianist who began forming his own big bands and jazz orchestras in 1940s and arguably reached his peak popularity in the 1950s. In the 1960s, Kenton reformed his band and explored different styles, which led to two Grammy Awards for the orchestra. Kenton died in 1979, leaving behind a decades-long legacy of popular, award-winning records and a pantheon of successful musicians who had spent time in his bands.

General admission tickets to Kenton with John Von Ohlen on Nov. 1 are $20, while non-UC students can get tickets for $15 each. UC student tickets are free and available beginning Oct. 30.
____________________

Performance Time
8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village,
University of Cincinnati

Tickets
Tickets for Kenton with John Von Ohlen are $20 general admission, $15 for non-UC students and FREE for UC students with valid ID.

Single tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online 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 campus of the University of Cincinnati. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more 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.
____________________

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

____

Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

CCM News Faculty Fanfare Student Salutes
CCM presents 'Seussical' Oct. 19-29 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM Slideshows: ‘Seussical’

Here is your first look at CCM Musical Theatre’s Mainstage production of Seussical. Directed by Vince DeGeorge, this musical tale of wonder and excitement opens at 8 p.m. tonight, Oct. 19, and runs through Oct. 29 in Patricia Corbett Theater.

Composed by CCM alumnus Stephen Flaherty (BM Composition, 1982) and Lynn Ahrens, Seussical is based on some of Dr. Seuss’ most beloved stories. Audiences will recognize some of the author’s timeless characters in the show, including The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Yertle the Turtle and The Grinch.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

View the slideshow above for your sneak peek of the production.

DeGeorge says CCM’s design team for Seussical has used their own imaginations to create an original aesthetic that honors Dr. Seuss in spirit.

“Seuss is all about the joy of invention and surprise; it is about taking our expectations and twisting and turning them on their head,” he adds. “Come expecting to see the unexpected.”

Travel to the magical world of Dr. Seuss with CCM’s production of Seussical. 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/seussical.

  • Read Rick Pender’s Cincinnati CityBeat Staff Pick focused on the show here.
  • Read Anne Simendinger’s preview of the show for The News Record here.
  • Learn more about Seussical in CCM’s press release here.
  • Watch behind-the-scenes footage of rehearsals here.

____

SEUSSICALTM
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty
Co-Conceived by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and Eric Idle
Based on the Works of Dr. Seuss
____

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20
  • 2 and 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 21
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22
  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27
  • 2 and 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 28
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Seussical are $31-35 for adults, $22-25 for non-UC students and $18-21 for UC students with a valid ID.

Student rush tickets will be sold one hour before each performance to non-UC students for $12 or $15, based on availability. UC students can receive one free student rush ticket with a valid ID, based on availability.

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/seussical.

Customizable subscription packages are also available for CCM’s 2017-18 Mainstage Series.

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 more 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.
____

SEUSSICAL is presented through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.MTIShows.com

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Musical Theatre Production Sponsor: Elizabeth C. B. & Paul G. Sittenfeld

Musical Theatre Performance Sponsor: Northwestern Mutual

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Women Invited to Join UC Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota Music Fraternity

UC's Eta-Iota chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity

Women at the University of Cincinnati who have a sincere interest in music and a desire for lasting friendships need look no further than the Eta-Iota chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity, a professional organization open to all female students who have enrolled in at least one course in music during their time at UC.

The UC chapter of SAI was formed in 1955 when the Eta chapter of the College of Music merged with the Iota chapter of the Conservatory of Music. The merger between the two schools produced the College-Conservatory of Music, and, just as CCM’s name is hyphenated, the two SAI chapters became the Eta-Iota chapter.

Members of SAI meet regularly to conduct business and to participate in social events and fundraisers. Eta-Iota holds business meetings every two weeks to plan events and conduct other chapter business; the chapter also holds social events and fundraisers about once a month. For October, the sisters of Eta-Iota plan to visit a pumpkin patch. The chapter also volunteers as a group with MYCincinnati, a free youth orchestra program in Price Hill.

CCM piano performance major Marissa Kerbel is the president of the Eta-Iota chapter, and she values not only the professional side of the organization but also the sisterhood she has found.

“We are incredibly supportive of one another, attending each other’s recitals and encouraging each other when rehearsals become intense,” Kerbel said.

“The women of Eta-Iota have become like a family to me, and it is always nice to see your family around campus every day and know that there is such love and support coming from them, even when we are at our busiest and most stressed.”

The costs of joining Sigma Alpha Iota are very small when compared to some social sororities, whose annual costs can approach or even exceed $1,000. Eta-Iota’s membership fees are $125 per academic year, as well as a $50 pledging fee and a $250 initiation fee. These fees go towards membership materials upon initiation, as well as funding chapter events throughout the year.

SAI’s national philanthropic organization, Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies, Inc., seeks to promote the creation, performance and scholarship of music throughout the world through support of the MacDowell Colony for artists in New Hampshire, a triennial composition competition, providing support for musicians with special needs (including producing large-print and Braille sheet music) and contributing instruments and other materials to schools and musicians in developing countries.

The Eta-Iota chapter is planning its own special fundraising concert this year in honor of International Women’s Day on March 8; the chapter plans to perform works by female composers and donate the proceeds from the events to a local women’s organization.

Interested women should plan to attend at least one recruitment event to be considered eligible to become a member-in-training.  Eta-Iota’s upcoming recruitment event is a hot chocolate social at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, during which the women will make blankets to donate to those in need.

Sigma Alpha Iota is a well-known organization among musicians and supporters of music; there are approximately 125,000 members around the world, with over 220 active collegiate chapters and 114 alumnae chapters. Some famous members and honorary members of SAI include composer Libby Larsen, soprano Jessye Norman, singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow, contralto Marian Anderson, violinist Rachel Barton Pine and many more distinguished musicians.

“I know that wherever I go, there will be an SAI sister not too far away,” Kerbel said.

For more information on Sigma Alpha Iota, visit sai-national.org. To learn more about SAI’s Eta-Iota chapter and to inquire about the chapter’s upcoming events, visit the chapter’s Facebook page.

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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

CCM News Student Salutes