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

UC Production Master Class Films 2015 Expedition Alaska Adventure Race

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film was recently nominated for an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the professional category of Best Documentary – Cultural/Topical. You can learn more about that nomination by visiting http://www.uc.edu/news/NR.aspx?id=21859.

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

UC Production Master Class Documentary Film Receives Regional Emmy Nomination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CCM Professor Kevin Burke with UC students Joe Walsh and Jack Fitzgerald. Photography by Kaori Funahashi.

Next Installment of Student-Produced ‘Gold Rush Expedition Race’ Film Series Premieres on May 27 on the Universal Sports Network

The newest installment of the University of Cincinnati‘s student-produced Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film series will receive its national broadcast premiere on NBC’s Universal Sports Network at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27.

Created by UC’s Production Master Class, the 90-minute long documentary film is part of a three-year series about the Gold Rush Expedition Race, one of the world’s premier expedition races. The race features an international field of 50 elite athletes as they trek, mountain bike, climb and kayak along a grueling 275 mile course admits the beauty of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The race is part of the Adventure Racing World Series.

The 2014 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary will air 10 times on USN. The cable network aired the 2012 and 2013 installments of this action-packed documentary series last October. You can learn more about those initial broadcasts by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/student-produced-film-series-airs-on-universal-sports-network.

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

Since 2012, it has involved three UC Professors, a UC alumnus, a cadre of media professionals and over 90 students from nine different academic programs at CCMDAAP and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information about the 2014 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary’s broadcast schedule, please visit goldrushracedoc.com/2014-premiere.

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James Franco, co-producer of the new film 'Goat,' currently filming in Cincinnati.

CCM Drama Students and Faculty Cast in James Franco Produced Feature Film ‘Goat’

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We are thrilled to report that four current students and one faculty member from CCM’s Department of Drama have been cast in Goat, a feature film currently shooting in Cincinnati. The Andrew Neel directed film stars Virginia Gardner, Nick Jonas and Ben Schnetzer.

James Franco, Christine Vachon, David Hinojosa, Pamela Koffler, Vince Jolivette and David Gordon Green produce in association with Killer Films and Rabbit Bandini Productions.

Goat is the story of two brothers, the younger of whom, after he suffers an assault that leaves him physically and mentally wounded, pledges the same fraternity as his brother.

CCM Drama adjunct faculty member Denise Dal Vera will play the mother of Nick Jonas. Current students Clare Combest and Annie Grove booked speaking roles, and Ryan Garrett and Spencer Lackey booked recurring extra roles in the fraternity.

Casting Director d. Lynn Meyers teaches audition techniques for students in CCM Drama, and helped the four Class of 2017 students be seen for the film. “They did great,” remarked Meyers, who also serves as the Producing Artistic Director of Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati.

CCM Drama embarked on a new film initiative this year, adding film experiences to the curriculum. All Drama students will participate in an annual 48-Hour Film Festival, and the department will produce its first co-produced film with CCM E-Media next year. You can learn more about that new collaboration here.

“CCM Drama students are in demand for film and television roles nationally, and we’re excited to see that trend continue in Cincinnati,” says CCM’s A.B., Dolly, Ralph and Julia Cohen Chair of Dramatic Performance Richard E. Hess.

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CCM Professor Kevin Burke and members of the 2014 UC Gold Rush documentary team. Photo by Kaori Funahashi.

Next Installment of Student-Produced ‘Gold Rush Expedition Race’ Film Series to Premiere at the Esquire Theatre on April 28

The 2014 installment of the University of Cincinnati‘s student-produced Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film series will receive a special premiere screening at Cincinnati’s Esquire Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28. Hosted by the University of Cincinnati Production Master Class, this screening is free and open to the entire UC community.

The event is sponsored and supported by the UC Forward Initiative, the Office of the President, CCM’s Division of Electronic Media (CCM E-Media), McMicken College’s Center for Film and Media Studies and the UC Alumni Association.

Join us at Cincinnati's Esquire Theatre on April 28 for a premiere screening of the 2014 'Gold Rush Expedition Race' documentary film.

Join us at Cincinnati’s Esquire Theatre on April 28 for a premiere screening of the 2014 ‘Gold Rush Expedition Race’ documentary film.

The 2014 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary will have its national broadcast premiere on NBC’s Universal Sports Network on May 27, 2015. The documentary program will air 10 times on USN. The cable network aired the 2012 and 2013 installments of this action-packed documentary series last October. You can learn more about those initial broadcasts by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/student-produced-film-series-airs-on-universal-sports-network.

Educationally grounded, professionally driven and student produced, the UC Production Master Class has been transforming the college classroom since its inception in 2012, bringing together an interdisciplinary group of UC students and faculty who are working with nationally-recognized digital media professionals to produce a documentary film series that is currently airing on national television.

To date, this course has involved three UC professors, a UC alumnus, a cadre of film professionals and over 90 UC students from nine different academic programs at CCM, DAAP and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

This group has fused its skills on the production of a three-year, 90-minute documentary film series about the Gold Rush Expedition Race, one of the world’s premier expedition races that features an international field of 50 elite athletes trekking, mountain biking, climbing and kayaking along a grueling 275-mile course amidst the beauty of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. The race is part of the Adventure Racing World Series.

The Production Master Class was the idea of CCM Professor of Electronic Media Kevin Burke and distinguished UC Alumnus and Emmy award-winning producer, Brian J. Leitten. The initiative was originally made possible by a three-year grant from the University of Cincinnati’s UC Forward Collaborative, which supports experiential learning and is part of the UC Academic Master Plan.

The Production Master Class was designed to create a transformative “hands-on” experience for the students by taking them out of the classroom and into the field to produce a documentary film series that could be distributed to a national television audience. “The idea was to totally re-invent the college classroom,” notes UC President Santa J. Ono, PhD, “focusing interdisciplinary teams of faculty and students on real world projects.”

Over the past three years, the Production Master Class has brought dozens of UC students to California to work alongside educators and a select crew of film and media professionals. The interaction with professional mentors and students from different disciplines enhances experiential learning and prepares the students for professional careers in the television and film industry. Both Burke and Leitten serve as Executive Producers, advising the project and providing professional guidance and feedback to the students during all phases of the documentary’s development.

Students take on the roles of supervising producers, story producers, editors, scriptwriters, music supervisors and narrators. Leitten joins Burke for each class session via social media applications from New York, where he serves as the Director of Production at the internet media entertainment giant, VEVO.com.

The Production Master Course is also taught by DAAP Associate Professor of Graphic Communication Design Yoshiko Burke, whose students create all motion graphic design and animation content. CCM Assistant Professor of Electronic Media Lorin Parker provides professional guidance and expertise to those students who create the audio mix and sound design for the documentary. At each stage of the project, the students are held to the standards and expectations of professionals in the discipline, providing them with invaluable industry experience.

The Production Master Course has resulted in both academic and professional recognition in peer-reviewed competitions and film festivals. The 2012 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary was selected from over 1,300 global entries for the Best of Festival Award in the 2014 Broadcast Education Association Film Festival, capturing its highest honor of the Festival, the prestigious Chairman Award. The film went on to win professional recognition with two bronze Telly Awards, and most recently, the student design team was recognized with a Silver Award at the prestigious Graphis New Talent Annual 2015 for their work on the 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary.

In August 2015, the 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race film will screen at the University Film and Video Association conference in Washington, D.C.

Screening Time
7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28

Location
Esquire Theatre
320 Ludlow Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220

Admission
Admission to the premiere screening of the 2014 Gold Rush Expedition Race is free. Reservations are not required. Learn more about the screening by visiting goldrushracedoc.com/2014-premiere.

Parking and Directions
The Esquire Theatre is located in Clifton’s Gaslight District, just a short drive from UC’s campus. The theatre  validates tickets for moviegoers for two hours of parking in the “Merchant Lot” on Howell, located one block from Ludlow Avenue (a side street off Clifton Avenue, behind the former IGA Grocery Store). Howell Avenue is parallel to Ludlow Ave. On street parking is also often available on or near Ludlow Avenue.

Everyone is welcome to use the Valet Parking available in front of La Poste Eatery on Telford St. (just around the corner from the Esquire, off Ludlow). This valet service costs $7.00 and is available Mon. – Sat., from 5-10 pm.

For more information on parking and directions, please visit www.esquiretheatre.com/location.

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

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

CCM artist diploma student Talya Lieberman.

CCM artist diploma student Talya Lieberman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CCM Musical Theatre student Eric Geil.

CCM Musical Theatre student Eric Geil.

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

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

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

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

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

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