CCM Village at night

CCM E-Media professor and student help UC Emeriti Center launch new website

CCM Village at night

The University of Cincinnati Emeriti Association and Center, headed by College-Conservatory of Music E-Media Professor Peter DePietro, unveiled a new website in April that showcases the work of recent graduate Jonathan Kilberg (BFA E-Media, ’20). As the center’s multimedia intern, Kilberg’s work included web design/development, user experience design, videography and audio production — a grouping of disciplines that are unique to CCM’s E-Media program.

Assistant Professor of E-Media Peter DePietro.

Peter DePietro.

DePietro is the first non-interim executive director of the Emeriti Center, which advocates for the interests of emeriti, provides intellectual and social opportunities and strengthens ties between emeriti and the university, local, national and international communities. The new website includes videos from the Center’s YouTube channel as well as helpful resources for the university’s retired faculty members.

Since having a major role in the Center, DePietro has worked on creating connections between UC and community leaders as well as connecting deans from different colleges across campus. He is also focused on growth and expanding membership. At CCM he continues to educate his students through experience-based learning, which is why he recruited a student to help build the Center’s new website. DePietro enlisted the help of Kilberg because he believes that engaging students in practical learning is important.

“It was an amazing opportunity to be able to work for the Center,” Kilberg says. “I jumped at the opportunity. Every single member is supportive and kind and sociable. It was amazing to meet all these people from campus life and beyond campus life.”

Creating the UC Emeriti website was no small feat. The task required both Kilberg and DePietro to take classes and tests in order to train on the university’s web content management system and to meet the standards of UC’s Digital Communications office. In addition to the website, Kilberg and DePietro created a YouTube channel with original video content. The crown jewel of the YouTube channel is the EmeriTALKS series which Kilberg noted as one of the best parts of working on this project. The EmeriTALKS videos include a joint-venture between the Center and CCM, featuring the leadership of Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park, and another featuring former UC President Nancy Zimpher.

As an E-Media student at CCM, Kilberg has enjoyed multiple opportunities to participate in hands on learning experiences. In October 2019, Kilberg traveled to Germany and Poland with CCM E-Media Professor Hagit Limor’s multi-disciplinary Media Topics class. The group of 15 students set out to create “Hope After Hate,” an immersive play and virtual reality experience that shares Limor’s father’s experience during the Holocaust with lessons to inspire action against future acts of hatred.

CCM’s BFA E-Media program encompasses the integrated media arts of film and digital cinema, television and broadcast media news, audio production and new media design. Students are given the opportunity to study in the track of their choosing, including Broadcast and Media Production, Multimedia Production and Film and Television Production. Internships are a key part of the curriculum and take advantage of the professional resources in Cincinnati and other areas across the country. With its emphasis on experiential learning, students acquire the hands-on skills and a digital portfolio necessary to transition successfully into the professional world.

Kilberg plans on going into the film industry and feels that one of the biggest skills E-Media has taught him is how to effectively work with a team. “E-Media pushed me to work with other people, which is so necessary in the field that I want to go in. The program taught me the importance of working as a team.”

“The professors are talented and they work hard at creating community,” Kilberg says. “They also offer great resources and there is support from the alumni of E-Media. Going forward they are going to continue to do an amazing job preparing students.”


Story by CCM Graduate Student Kelly Barefield

Featured image at top: An aerial view of CCM Village. Photo/Jay Yocis

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CCM Students, Alumni Unite in Virtual Performance of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’

Alumnus Harrison Sheckler organized 300 musicians from around the world for the special concert

CCM alumnus Harrison Sheckler (BM Piano, ’19) united 300 musicians from 15 countries for a virtual performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from CarouselThe performance is available to watch online.

Now a student at the Conservatory of Music of Brooklyn College, Sheckler spent over 200 hours promoting, organizing submissions and video editing the project. He collected tracks from countries all over the world, including the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Vietnam, Israel, Australia, South Africa and more.

The video features 30 CCM students and alumni representing multiple areas of the college including musical theatre, composition, music education, violin, violoncello, double bass, oboe, flute, piano, tuba, horn and more. It was produced by CCM Commercial Music Production alumni Josh Meyer and Grant Bayer, who are audio engineers at Cincinnati’s Zated Records. CCM students and alumni involved in the performance include:

  • Jenny Mollet (BFA Musical Theatre, ’19)
  • Giselle Haas (BM Music Education, ’19)
  • Kanako Shimasaki – current DMA Violin student
  • Maciej Latawiec (Matthew) – current DMA Violin student
  • Li-Han Eliza Tseng (DMA Violoncello, ’19)
  • Maksym Mahlay – current BM Composition and Piano student
  • Carolyn Regula – former DMA Violoncello student
  • Isabel Dimoff (BM Violoncello, ’18)
  • Jonathan Lin (BM Violoncello, ’18)
  • Micah Donar (BM Violoncello, ’17; MM Violoncello, ‘19)
  • Peter Ryan (MM Violoncello, ’19) – current DMA Violoncello current
  • Kimber Elayne Sprawl (BFA Musical Theatre, ’14)
  • Natalie Orth (BM Violin, ’20)
  • Taiga Benito – current BM Double Bass student
  • Dan Qiao (MM Violin, ’17) – current DMA Violin student
  • Taylor Overholt (BM Clarinet, ’19)
  • Collin Goff – current BM Music Education and Clarinet
  • Katie Riley – current BM Flute student
  • Ray Haim (BM Music Education, ’18)
  • Sarah Minneman – current DMA Oboe student
  • Bryan Lyons (BM Oboe, ’97) – current DMA Oboe student
  • Patrick Grimone (BM Oboe, ’19)
  • Eliza Edge (BM Horn, ’19)
  • Griffin Botts (BM Horn, ’17) – current MM Horn student
  • Ryan Penshorn – former BM Horn student
  • Phillip Palmore (BM Horn, ’20)
  • Evan Sacks-Wilner – current BM Tuba student
  • Harrison Sheckler (BM Piano, ’19)
  • Josh Meyer (BM Commercial Music Production, ’18)
  • Grant Bayer (BM Commercial Music Production, ’18)

The performance has garnered media attention from Broadway World and Musical America Worldwide.

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Donor Spotlight: Dr. Alvin and Jean Crawford

The Crawfords have a deep, lifelong love of music and the arts that led them to connect with CCM

Dr. Alvin Crawford, retired Chief of Orthopedics and founding director of the Spine Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, has had a distinguished, internationally renowned career as an orthopedic surgeon. In his honor, the Spine Center was renamed the Crawford Spine Center.

But his first love was music.

He started playing trumpet in seventh grade, eventually switching to clarinet. He started college as a music major and wanted a career as a studio musician. In his sophomore year of college, he made a decision that changed the lives of thousands of children across the world: he decided to become a physician.

Dr. Alvin and Jean Crawford stand in the corridor of CCM's Mary Emery Hall. Photo/Joseph Rubino

Dr. Alvin and Jean Crawford stand in the corridor of CCM’s Mary Emery Hall. Photo/Joseph Rubino

Dr. Crawford attended Meharry Medical College in 1960, a time when most if not all southern schools were segregated. He applied for admission to the University of Tennessee and became the first African-American to enroll in this southern medical school. He could not transfer because the University of Tennessee did not consider Meharry Medical College an accredited medical school.

“I became an academic orthopedist, but continued to play,” he says. “I was hired by UC to head the Pediatric Orthopaedic service. Once my wife and I found out what CCM was all about, we decided to get involved. After I retired at Cincinnati Children’s, I was able to attend the jazz improvisation course for freshmen and we started coming to performances. Last year I took jazz history.”

Continuing to live out his love of music, Dr. Crawford helped form a group called “The Wannabes,” which plays for nonprofits and has played an opera gala. From there he joined the Queen City Concert band, a community band in Cincinnati.

Jean Crawford’s interest in music stretches back to the piano lessons she took as a child. She was a teacher and high school counselor and sang in choruses through college.

“I always encouraged my students to get involved and take any type of arts as electives,” she says. “When I served on the Cincinnati Opera board, I saw that most of our singers in the chorus were from CCM. When we attended CCM’s Moveable Feast, we realized the caliber of musicianship here and were hooked on CCM.”

Mrs. Crawford talks about the opportunity she did not have, but that she wants all children to have. “I lived in the segregated south and the opportunities to attend and participate in the arts were limited,” she says. “So my goal is to make sure that the performing arts are available to all communities. In this area, school districts have limited support for funding the arts. Through the prep schools, CCM provides arts exposure to them. Also, students from CCM go to public schools to give the children more exposure. I think that’s important. And to do that you need money.“

“I think they’re doing something [at CCM] that’s really important,” Dr. Crawford adds. “I became involved in the CCM Dean’s Advisory Council and I can see that the people here care. They care, and they want to put out a good product. And once I became involved with CCMpower, I was able to meet the kids and see what they’re doing.”


Who will you empower NEXT?

In order to recruit and retain top talent, CCM must be able to offer competitive scholarship and grant opportunities to our students. CCMpower raises funds through membership and special events in order to provide the resources that attract the best and brightest students. Learn more about how you can empower the next generation of CCM stars.


Story by Joseph Rubino

Featured image at top Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, Dena Cranley, Barbara Gould, Jean Crawford and Dr. Alvin Crawford at CCM’s 2020 Moveable Feast. Photo/Andrew Higley

CCM News Student Salutes

CCM Celebrates Class of 2020

CCM is so proud of our graduates and of the faculty and staff who helped guide their success

After investing countless hours in classrooms, practice rooms, studios, workshops and rehearsal halls, the Class of 2020 is graduating from UC’s College-Conservatory of Music. Congratulations!

Photo of CCM Village as the cover for the Graduation Convocation program.

Click the image to download CCM’s 2020 Graduation Convocation program. Design by Mikki Graff.

The CCM community is inspired by the Class of 2020’s resilience during this unprecedented crisis and is proud to welcome this year’s graduates to our global network of alumni. Graduates join a network of thousands of UC alumni including artists, entrepreneurs, researchers, leaders and professionals around the world.

“I wish we could gather in Corbett Auditorium to recognize and celebrate all you’ve achieved,” CCM Dean Stanley E. Romanstein says. “I’d like nothing more than to shake your hand, to look you in the eye and say, on behalf of CCM’s faculty and staff, ‘Congratulations! Well done!’ Unfortunately, COVID-19 has relegated us to a virtual celebration.”

“Please know how proud we are of you and of what you’ve done,” Romanstein adds. “CCM’s reputation as a nationally ranked and internationally renowned institution rests with you. The faculty and I look forward to following your journey, wherever it may take you.”

In addition to CCM’s degree recipients, we also acknowledge this year’s student and faculty award recipients:

  • Outstanding Undergraduate Student Achievement Award: Melinda Hunt
  • Sigma Alpha Iota Scholastic Award for Outstanding Achievement: Adelaide Young
  • Ernest N. Glover Award for Outstanding Teaching: Tricia Sundbeck

CCM also celebrates five retiring faculty members who have dedicated themselves to continuing the college’s legacy as a leading training center for the performing and media arts:

  • Earl Rivers, professor of music and director of choral studies, 1973-2020
  • Dean Mogle, professor and head of costume design and technology, 1989-2020
  • Alan Siebert, professor of trumpet, 1990-2020
  • Mark Williams, professor of lighting design and technology, 2009-2020
  • Stephen Allee, professor of music, 2015-2020

We look forward to a time in which we can all come together again to mark these momentous milestones in person. Until then, please accept our digital congratulations on behalf of CCM’s faculty, staff, friends and alumni.

Congratulations to CCM’s Class of 2020!

View the list of CCM’s 2020 graduates.

You can also download the online version of the Graduation Convocation program booklet.


#UCGrad2020

UC President Neville G. Pinto invites the university community to participate in a two-day virtual graduation celebration on May 1-2, 2020. To mark this important milestone, UC Student Affairs and its Commencement Office has planned the following digital activities, which will be based in their Twitter account @StuAffUC and use the hashtag #UCGrad20.

A Day of GRAD-itude

Every hour from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday, May 1, Student Affairs will share a sampling of thank you messages from graduates as they show their GRAD-itude to those who have been a part of their journey to graduation.

Celebration Saturday

Commemorate your achievement by taking a walk down memory lane. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, Student Affairs will tweet every half hour to celebrate the day with you. Follow along for fun flashbacks, interactive polls, lots of great GIFs and a chance to tell us about your memorable moments at UC. If you happen to be online at 4:30 p.m., you’ll catch a message from President Pinto and then finish the festivities at 5 p.m. with a virtual cap toss.

Until we can see one another again in person, please stay in touch and and stay connected at alumni.uc.edu


Featured images of CCM’s 2019 Graduation Convocation by Jay Yocis 

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Playbill Streams Broadway’s ‘Bandstand’ Musical Film on April 10

Playbill will stream the 2017 Broadway musical Bandstand, written by CCM Acting alumnus Richard Oberacker (BFA, ’93) and Robert Taylor, beginning tonight, April 10, 2020. The Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of World War II veteran Donny Novitski, who forms a band with fellow veterans and enters a national contest to become America’s newest musical sensation.

Richard Oberacker with CCM Acting Professor Richard Hess at a preview performance of “Bandstand” on Broadway.

The first Playbill Playback, a new series in which old and recent favorite musicals can be streamed on Playbill.com, Bandstand will be streamed for the first time on April 10 and will be available through April 17. A portion of the proceeds raised with the stream will go to The Actors Fund.

The Bandstand stream will also feature an interview with co-stars Laura Osnes, Corey Cott and Beth Leavel as well as director-choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and co-creators Oberacker and Taylor.

In addition to Oberacker, alumni from across CCM are involved in this award-winning musical. Geoff Packard (BFA Musical Theatre, ’04) plays Wayne Wright, a trombonist in the veteran band; Max Clayton (BFA Musical Theatre, ’14) is in the ensemble; Greg Anthony Rassen (MM Orchestral Conducting, ’03) is the co-orchestrator, music supervisor and music arranger; and David Kreppel (BFA Musical Theatre, ’92) is the vocal music arranger.

Bandstand was the first theatrical production in history to be certified authentic by Got Your 6, an organization that advocates for authentic portrayal of the military across entertainment.

Learn more about the Bandstand stream on Playbill.

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CCM Named ‘Best of Cincinnati’ by CityBeat Readers and Staff

Three productions with CCM connections were voted “Best of Cincinnati” by CityBeat readers and staff. CityBeat’s Best of Cincinnati 2020 issue is available online now!

CCMONSTAGE Play Series presented “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” in October 2019. Photo/Richard Hess

CCM’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time won “Best Play (Student/Community)” in the magazine’s readers poll. Directed by CCM Acting Professor Richard E. Hess, the play was presented in October as part of the CCMONSTAGE Play Series.

Blind Injustice, CCM’s co-production with Cincinnati Opera and UC College of Law’s Ohio Innocence Project, received a special Best of Cincinnati staff pick award as “Best World Premiere Opera to Open Your Eyes.” Directed by CCM Opera Professor Robin Guarino, the opera featured stories of six wrongly incarcerated people who were aided by the OIP.

Blind Injustice, CCM’s co-production with Cincinnati Opera and the Ohio Innocence Project, was presented in July 2019 at Music Hall’s Wilks Studio. Photo/Philip Groshong

CityBeat staff wrote: “Robin Guarino’s terrific staging of the sold-out series of shows in the Wilks Studio in Music Hall in July 2019 drew excellent performances from a gifted cast that included members of Cincinnati’s Young Professionals Choral Collaborative. The five performances sold out months in advance, as did a free presentation at Allen Temple A.M.E. Church in Bond Hill. Blind Injustice is proof positive that opera can bear powerful witness to the social issues of our time, as well as to the strength of the human spirit in the face of mindless injustice. May it be seen again and again and again, here and throughout the country.”

CCM students self-produced “The Flick” at Clifton’s Esquire movie theater in July 2019. Photo/Ella Eggold

CityBeat staff also recognized CCM students who produced and acted in a unique presentation of The Flick, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Annie Baker, at Clifton’s Esquire movie theater. The production was dubbed “Best Play Held in an Unconventional Setting.” CCM Acting alumni and current students Ella Eggold, Gabriella DiVincenzo, Graham Rogers, Leonard Peterson and Kristina Steinmetz acted and produced the play, which was stage managed by CCM Theatre Design and Production student Jennelle John-Lewis. CityBeat staff praised the production team’s efforts as “spectacular” and “outstanding.”

Congratulations to all of our friends and partners also featured in this special issue of CityBeat! Read more on CityBeat’s website or view a digital version of the issue.


Featured image at top: Best of Cincinnati graphic by Taylor Speed/CityBeat

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New York Times: WVXU and CCM Revive Rare Rod Serling Baseball Comedy

Rod Serling’s comedy about confusion between Russians and the Cincinnati Reds airs at 8 p.m. on March 25 on WVXU 91.7.

CCM and Cincinnati Public Radio station 91.7 WVXU have co-produced a long-lost baseball comedy by The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling. Recently featured by the New York Times, the radio play titled O’Toole From Moscow airs on 91.7 WVXU at 8 p.m. this Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The New York Times describes the comedy as “a screwball romp, with a side of whimsy.” Read the full article.

O’Toole From Moscow is about confusion between Russians and the Cincinnati Reds at the height of the “Red Scare” over possible Communist infiltration of American institutions during the Cold War. Serling originally wrote the one-hour television play for NBC Matinee Theatre and it was only broadcast once on Dec. 12, 1955. The performance was not filmed or recorded.

O’Toole From Moscow was adapted for radio and produced by WVXU’s John Kiesewetter, who tracked down the original script with the help of Serling historians. He also met with Serling’s daughter, Anne, who is the program host and narrator on the radio play. CCM Acting students recorded the comedy, which was directed by CCM Professor Richard Hess, at Cincinnati Public Radio’s studio. Sammi Grant, a visiting master’s student from London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, tutored the cast so they would sound authentically Russian.

Hess hand-picked his lineup of eight student cast members for the radio play: Chandler Bates, Austin James Cleri, Matt Fox, Dustin Parsons, Jack Steiner, Frankie Chuter, Cameron Nalley and Lucas Prizant. The team also recruited Cincinnati Reds organist John Schutte, who provided the ballpark organ music for the broadcast. Read more about the making of this radio play on WVXU.

The “O’Toole From Moscow” team, from left: WVXU engineer Josh Elstro, Frankie Chuter, Matt Fox, Chandler Bates, director Richard Hess, Cameron Nalley, Jack Steiner, Austin James Cleri, Dustin Parsons, Sammi Grant and Lucas Prizant. Photo/John Kiesewetter

Long-time baseball fans will enjoy Serling’s script and hear references to some of baseball’s biggest stars of the 1950s including: Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berri, Stan Musial and Ted Kluszewski.

In O’Toole From Moscow a Russian consulate staffer named Mushnick is being sent back from New York to Moscow for re-education because of his high absences due to attending Brooklyn Dodgers games at Ebbets Field. So Mushnick and a muscular Russian security officer named Joseph Bishofsky hop a train and go as far west as their money will take them — to Cincinnati. Bishofsky panics in Cincinnati and goes to the Reds office to turn himself in, mistaking the baseball team for his Russian comrades. Mushnick bursts in to explain that Joseph – whom he calls “Joseph O’Toole” – is an outfielder wanting a tryout. The Reds give O’Toole a shot, and he ends up being a better slugger than Kluszewski – until the Russians find him.

Tune in to hear the O’Toole From Moscow broadcast on 91.7 WVXU at 8 p.m. this Wednesday, March 25. A live stream of the broadcast will also be available on the WVXU website.
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First Look: CCMONSTAGE ‘The Secret Garden’

The CCMONSTAGE Musicals Series presents “The Secret Garden” through March 8, 2020. Photos by Mark Lyons.

CCMONSTAGE Musical Series presents this award-winning story tonight, March 5-Sunday, March 8, 2020. Tickets available online.

Tony Award-winning musical The Secret Garden, opens at 7:30 p.m. tonight, March 5, and continues through Sunday, March 8, 2020 at CCM’s Corbett Auditorium. Presented by CCM’s Musical Theatre student stars of tomorrow, this “turn-of-the-century fairy tale” (Los Angeles Times) offers an enchanting evening of entertainment for the whole family.

The musical is brought to life on stage by director and choreographer Connor Gallagher (BFA Musical Theatre, ’06), who most recently created choreography for Broadway’s Beetlejuice. Get a sneak peek at the production in the slideshow below. Photos by Mark Lyons.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The compelling tale of forgiveness and renewal centers on 11-year-old orphan Mary Lennox, who moves from India to Yorkshire to live with her reclusive uncle Archibald and his ailing son Colin. The estate’s many wonders include a magic garden which beckons the children with haunting melodies and the “Dreamers,” spirits from Mary’s past who guide her through her new life.

The 2019-20 CCMONSTAGE Musical Series presents The Secret Garden on March 5-8, 2020, at Corbett Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now through the CCM Box Office; student and group discounts are available.

CCM’s production of The Secret Garden will last two hours, plus a 15-minute intermission.

The Secret Garden Billing Credits

  • Book and Lyrics by Marsha Norman
  • Music by Lucy Simon
  • Based on the Novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

Creative Team

  • Connor Gallagher, director and choreographer
  • Jeremy Robin Lyons*, musical director
  • Joshua E. Gallagher, scenic designer
  • Evan Carlson*, lighting designer
  • Zach Buscher* and Seth Howard*, prop masters
  • Andrew Volzer*, production stage manager
  • Dean Mogle, costume designer
  • Marnee Porter*, wig and make-up designer
  • Zachory Ivans*, sound designer

* CCM Student

Cast List

  • Zoe Mezoff as Mary Lennox
  • Delaney Guyer as Lily
  • Madison Hagler as Archibald Craven
  • Sam Pickart as Dr. Neville Craven
  • Anna Chase Lanier as Martha
  • Kurtis Bradley Brown as Dickon
  • Jenna Bienvenue as Colin
  • Britta Cowan as Mrs. Medlock
  • Jamie Goodson as Mrs. Winthrop/Jane
  • Nick Berninger as Ben
  • Christian Feliciano as Fakir
  • Sofie Flores as Ayah
  • Mikayla Renfrow as Rose Lennox
  • Matt Copley as Captain Albert Lennox
  • Michael Canu as Lt. Peter Wright
  • Elijah King as Lt. Ian Shaw
  • Hank Von Kolnitz as Major Holmes
  • Veronica Stern as Claire Holmes
  • Jack Brewer as Major Shelley
  • Zoë Grolnick as Mrs. Shelley
  • Bailee Endebrock as Alice
  • Chip Hawver as William
  • Cassie Maurer as Betsy
  • David Littlefield as Timothy
  • Swings: Sasha Spitz and Cole Harksen
  • Dance Captains: Michael Canu and Bailee Endebrock

Performance Times

  • 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5
  • 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6
  • 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8

Location

Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Single tickets prices start at $35.50. Student discounts and group rates are also available.

Learn about additional ticket options for current CCM students.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online now through our e-box office.

Directions and Parking

CCM is located on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Please visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions for detailed driving directions to CCM Village.

Parking is available in UC’s 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.


CCMONSTAGE Production Sponsors: Macy’s, Dr. & Mrs. Carl G. Fischer and Graeter’s Ice Cream

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Established Broadway Veteran Named Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre at CCM

UC College-Conservatory of Music Dean Stanley E. Romanstein has announced the appointment of Eric Santagata to the position of Associate Professor and Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre at CCM. A 2004 graduate of CCM’s nationally recognized BFA Musical Theatre program, Santagata’s appointment begins on Aug. 15, 2020.

“The appointment of Eric Santagata ushers in an exciting new era for CCM Musical Theatre, which is recognized nationally for its tradition of excellence in preparing our graduates to take their places on the world’s stages,” Romanstein says.

Photo of Eric Santagata

Eric Santagata. Photo by Walter McBride.

The Musical Theatre program at CCM was the first of its kind in the country. A four-year bachelor of fine arts (BFA) program, it was used by the National Association of Schools of Theatre in creating the guidelines for accreditation of Musical Theatre programs nationwide. The program is widely recognized for its “triple-threat” approach to training and many of its graduates are following careers as performers and creative artists in every facet of the entertainment industry. The program is regularly ranked near the top of Playbill Magazine’s annual list of “10 Most Represented Colleges on Broadway.”

“A gifted director, teacher and nurturing mentor, Eric is precisely the kind of educator who will lead our top-rated musical theatre training program to even greater heights,” says Denton Yockey, CCM Professor of Arts Administration and Head of the Division of Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration (TAPAA).

Santagata’s appointment concludes an extensive national search that began when long-time CCM Musical Theatre Chair Aubrey Berg retired at the end of the 2018-19 academic year after holding the position for 32 years. Yockey chaired the search committee, which consisted of CCM faculty members Diane Lala, Roger Grodsky, Vincent DeGeorge, Richard Hess, Robin Guarino, Mark Halpin, Katie Johannigman, Shauna Steele and UC College of Arts and Sciences faculty member Sharrell Luckett.

“As a musical theatre alumnus, CCM has been crucial in my development as both an educator and an artist,” Santagata says. “The tools and training I honed here have been the backbone of my career. I look forward to having the opportunity to take the knowledge I’ve accrued in the professional entertainment industry and focus it into a curriculum that speaks to the tradition that CCM is founded on, while ushering it into a new era of success.”

An accomplished director, choreographer, performer and educator, Santagata has worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, on national tours and in regional theaters across the country. He was most recently seen on Broadway in the Hal Prince retrospective Prince Of Broadway at the Manhattan Theater Club. His other performing credits include Bullets Over Broadway at St. James Theatre, Chaplin at Barrymore Theatre, The Apple Tree at Roundabout Theatre Company, Happiness at Lincoln Center Theater, Stairway to Paradise and Face the Music at City Center Encores!.

Santagata has served as associate director to Tony Award-winning director/writer James Lapine in the national tour and Broadway productions of Falsettos — nominated for five Tony Awards — as well as assistant director and choreographer to Lapine in A New Brain at Encores! Off-Center in New York. He has also served as associate director and choreographer to Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Susan Stroman in Off-Broadway productions of The Beast in the Jungle and Dot at Vineyard Theatre as well as Broadway productions of The Scottsboro Boys, which received 12 Tony Award nominations, seven Olivier Award Nominations and the Ned Sherrin Award for Best Musical. In London, Santagata was the associate choreographer on Stroman’s The Scottsboro Boys at the Young Vic and West End theaters.

In addition to his work on stage and behind-the-scenes, Santagata has presented master classes and taught theatre arts at universities and programs across the country including at Penn State STAGES Conference, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, Orpheum Theater Group, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Oklahoma City University and the Open Jar Institute as well as London’s Mousetrap Theatre Organization. His master classes and talkbacks focus on Santagata’s professional experiences in acting, singing, dancing, directing, choreographing and audition techniques.

He is also an active board member of Westport Country Playhouse’s Resident Conservatory – the Broadway Method Academy, a non-profit program that offers focused training for young adults while connecting them with established industry professionals. He previously served as an adjudicator at the 2017-18 Stephen Sondheim Awards, Connecticut’s Regional Award program in association with the Jimmy Awards and the National High School Musical Theatre Awards; and as a directing mentor during the week-long Staples High School Directing Intensive in Westport, Connecticut.

Santagata is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Actors Equity Association and Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

About CCM Musical Theatre

The Musical Theatre program at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is the oldest in the country and was the first of its kind. A four-year bachelor of fine arts (BFA) program, it was used by the National Association of Schools of Theatre in formulating the guidelines for the accreditation of Musical Theatre programs nationwide.

The program provides professional conservatory training designed to help singers, dancers and actors become accomplished musical theatre performers. Students participate in a number of productions while in residence and create a freshman and a senior showcase, the latter functioning as their New York debut for agents and casting directors. In addition, students undertake courses in English, history, psychology, dramatic literature, social and ethical issues and the humanities.

CCM Musical Theatre is widely recognized for its “triple-threat” approach to training and many of its graduates are following careers as performers and creative artists in every facet of the entertainment industry. CCM Musical Theatre graduates are working on Broadway and throughout the nation in such productions as Anastasia, Hamilton, Waitress, Moulin Rouge, The Phantom of the Opera, The Book of Mormon, Pippin, Wicked, Jersey Boys, Les Misérables, Kinky Boots, Big Fish, Newsies and The Lion King. Students represent CCM in national and international touring productions, in dinner theatres and theme parks, on cruise ships, on television, in talent agencies, as producers and in many of the related entertainment fields.

The Musical Theatre program is part of a larger academic division known as TAPAA: Theatre Arts, Production and Arts Administration. At the time of its establishment in 1991, the Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre at CCM was the only academic chair of its kind in the United States, the American equivalent of the Chair in Musical Theatre endowed by Cameron Macintosh in honor of Stephen Sondheim at Oxford one year later.

About CCM

Nationally ranked and internationally renowned, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is a preeminent institution for the performing and media arts.

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. For more information about CCM, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

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The four members of the Ariel Quartet, string quartet-in-residence at CCM, pose on a couch with their musical instruments. Photo by Marco Borggreve.

Alumnus Anton Nel Joins the Ariel Quartet in Concert on March 10

The four members of the Ariel Quartet, string quartet-in-residence at CCM, pose on a couch with their musical instruments. Photo by Marco Borggreve.

The accomplished pianist performs Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 1 in G Minor and other works with CCM’s string quartet-in-residence. Tickets available online

The Ariel Quartet welcomes pianist Anton Nel (MM Piano, ’84) for two works featuring strings and piano, as well as Haydn’s String Quartet in C Major, the “Emperor” quartet in the ensemble’s final performance of its 2019-20 concert series at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music. The concert, titled “Hungary,” takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10 in CCM’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall.

The program’s highlight is Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 1 in G Minor. This piece for piano, violin, viola and cello premiered in 1861, with Clara Schumann performing the piano part. Also featured on the program is Ernö Dohnányi’s Piano Quintet No. 2 in E-flat Minor. Brahms was a proponent of Dohnányi’s works, especially his first piano quintet, which Brahms helped to promote in Vienna. Later in his life, Dohnányi transcribed the fourth movement of Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 1 as a showpiece for solo piano.

Described by the New York Times as “an uncommonly elegant pianist,” Nel is an accomplished solo performer who has given concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and many others. He is the Priscilla Pond Flawn Regents Professor of Piano and Chamber Music, as well as the head of the Division of Keyboard Studies, at the University of Texas at Austin. He has an extensive discography and was the winner of the first prize in the 1987 Naumburg International Piano Competition at Carnegie Hall. Cincinnati audiences might remember Nel’s powerful performance with the CCM Philharmonia during the college’s Sesquicentennial Alumni Showcase in 2018.

Described by the American Record Guide as “a consummate ensemble gifted with utter musicality and remarkable interpretive power,” the Ariel Quartet has earned a glowing international reputation. The ensemble is comprised of Alexandra “Sasha” Kazovsky, violin; Amit Even-Tov, cello; Gershon Gerchikov, violin; and Jan Grüning, viola. The group was formed in Israel in 1998 and has served as CCM’s string quartet-in-residence since 2012.

About Anton Nel

Anton Nel.

Anton Nel.

Anton Nel, winner of the first prize in the 1987 Naumburg International Piano Competition at Carnegie Hall, continues to enjoy a remarkable and multifaceted career that has taken him to North and South America, Europe, Asia and South Africa. Following an auspicious debut at the age of 12 with Beethoven’s C Major Concerto after only two years of study, the Johannesburg native captured first prizes in all the major South African competitions while still in his teens, toured his native country extensively and became a well-known radio and television personality. A student of Adolph Hallis, he made his European debut in France in 1982, and in the same year graduated with highest distinction from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He came to the United States in 1983, attending the University of Cincinnati, where he pursued his Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees under Bela Siki and Frank Weinstock. In addi-tion to garnering many awards from his alma mater during this three-year period, he was a prize winner at the 1984 Leeds International Piano Competition in England and won several first prizes at the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition in Palm Desert in 1986.

Highlights of Nel’s four decades of concertizing include performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, the symphonies of Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle, Detroit and London, among many others. He has an active repertoire of more than 100 works for piano and orchestra. An acclaimed Beethoven interpreter, Nel has performed the concerto cycle several times, most notably on two consecutive evenings with the Cape Philharmonic in 2005. Additionally, he has performed all-Beethoven solo recitals, complete cycles of the violin and cello works, and most recently a highly successful run of the Diabelli Variations as part of Moises Kaufman’s play 33 Variations. He was also chosen to give the North American premiere of the newly discovered Piano Concerto No. 3 in E Minor by Felix Mendelssohn in 1992. Two noteworthy world premieres of works by living composers include Virtuoso Alice by David Del Tredici (dedicated to and performed by Nel at his Lincoln Center debut in 1988) as well as Stephen Paulus’s Piano Concerto also written for Nel; the acclaimed world premiere took place in New York in 2003.

As recitalist he has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum and the Frick Collection in New York, the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, Davies Hall in San Francisco, and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Internationally he has performed recitals in major concert halls in Canada, England (Queen Elizabeth and Wigmore Halls in London), France, Holland (Concertgebouw in Amsterdam), Japan (Suntory Hall in Tokyo), Korea, China and South Africa.

A favorite at summer festivals, he has performed at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, as well as at the music festivals of Aspen and Ravinia (where he is on the artist-faculties), Vancouver, Cartagena and Stellenbosch, among many others. Possessing an encyclopedic chamber music and vocal repertoire he has, over the years, regularly collaborated with many of the world’s foremost string quartets, instrumen-tal soloists and singers. With acclaimed violinist Sarah Chang he completed a highly successful tour of Japan as well as appeared at a special benefit concert for Live Music Now in London, hosted by HRH the Prince of Wales.

Eager to pursue dual careers in teaching and performing, he was appointed to the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin in his early 20s, followed by professorships at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan, where he was chairman of the piano department. In September 2000, Nel was appointed as the Priscilla Pond Flawn Regents Professor of Piano and Chamber music at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches an international class of students and heads the Division of Keyboard Studies. Since his return he has also been the recipient of two Austin-American Statesman Critics Circle Awards, as well as the University Cooperative Society/College of Fine Arts award for extra-curricular achievement. In 2001 he was appointed Visiting “Extraordinary” Professor at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, and continues to teach master classes worldwide. In January 2010 he became the first holder of the new Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Chair in Piano at the University of Texas at Austin. Since 2015 he has been presenting an annual series of masterclasses in piano and chamber music at the Manhattan School of Music in New York as Visiting Professor and also teaches regularly at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto.

Nel is also an acclaimed harpsichordist and fortepianist. In recent seasons he has per-formed annual recitals on both instruments, concertos by the Bach family, Haydn and Mozart with La Follia Austin Baroque as well as the Poulenc Harpsichord Concerto (Concert Champêtre) with the Austin Symphony.

His recordings include four solo CDs, several chamber music recordings (including the complete Beethoven Piano and Cello Sonatas and Variations, and the Brahms Sonatas with Bion Tsang), and works for piano and orchestra by Franck, Faure and Saint-Saens. His latest release features premiere recordings of all the works for piano and orchestra of Edward Burlingame Hill with the Austin Symphony conducted by Peter Bay.

Nel became a citizen of the United States on September 11, 2003 and is a Steinway artist.

Repertoire

  • HAYDN: String Quartet No. 62 in C Major, Op. 76, No. 3, “Emperor”
  • DOHNÁNYI: Piano Quintet No. 2 in E-flat Minor, Op. 26
  • BRAHMS: Piano Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25

Location

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

Performance Time

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 10

Purchasing Tickets

Single ticket prices start at $29.50 each; student and group discounts available. Pricing is inclusive of all fees. All performances are reserved seating.

Tickets can be purchased online though our e-box office, over the phone at 513-556-4183 or in person at the CCM Box Office in the Atrium of UC’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts.

Learn about additional ticket options for current CCM students.

Directions and Parking

CCM is located on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Please visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions for detailed driving directions to CCM Village. Parking is available in UC’s 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.

Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

The Ariel Quartet’s 2019-20 CCM concert series is made possible by the generous contributions of an anonymous donor, The Estate of Mr. William A. Friedlander, Mrs. William A. Friedlander, Dr. Randolph L. Wadsworth, Judith Schonbach Landgren and Peter Landgren, Mr. and Mrs. Harry H. Santen, Elizabeth C. B. and Paul G. Sittenfeld, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Stegman, Dr. and Mrs. Theodore W. Striker and Mrs. Harry M. Hoffheimer.

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