A graphic promoting CCM's 2018 Movable Feast and Blue-Note After Party, featuring alumnus Brian Newman.

CCM’s 150th Anniversary Celebration Continues with Moveable Feast Showcase and Blue-Note After Party on Friday, Jan. 19

A graphic promoting CCM's 2018 Movable Feast and Blue-Note After Party, featuring alumnus Brian Newman.

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music commemorates 150 years of excellence in the performing and media arts when its Moveable Feast fundraising event returns on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Featuring a special guest appearance by alumnus Brian Newman (Jazz Studies, att. 1999-2003), this year’s anniversary-themed Feast also celebrates the contributions of two CCM supporters with unique ties to the college’s history: Tom Baur and Peter Landgren.

Hosted by CCMpower — a dedicated volunteer group comprised of fans, advocates and alumni — Moveable Feast gives guests a chance to sample artistic and culinary delights throughout CCM’s newly renovated facilities. The funds raised by the event enable CCMpower to “fuel the future of the arts” by awarding student scholarships and grants.

Attendees roam through the expansive CCM Village at their leisure, socializing and enjoying dinner-by-the-bite and cocktails provided by Jeff Thomas Catering while creating their own menu of artistic experiences. Guests plan their own schedule of 20-minute samplings of student and faculty entertainment, including Jazz, Choral, Musical Theatre, Piano, Opera, Acting, Dance and Orchestra performances, along with tours of CCM’s Electronic Media facilities, Lighting Design labs and other backstage areas.

A photograph of CCM alumnus and Moveable Feast guest artist Brian Newman.

CCM alumnus Brian Newman.

New for 2018! In honor of CCM’s 150-year legacy of inspiring the stars of tomorrow, this year’s program also features a performance by alumnus Brian Newman, who will solo with the Jazz Orchestra as the “opening course” on Moveable Feast’s artistic menu. As an accomplished trumpeter and vocalist, Newman’s brand of jazz resurrects the magic of Old New York, refreshing the glamorous era with nuances of his own rock-‘n’-roll edge. Bandleader for Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Newman will also cap off the evening at the new Blue-Note After Party. Featuring performances by Newman and a rotating cast of CCM alumni and students, this exclusive after party lasts from 10:30 p.m. until midnight, allowing attendees to dance the night away after the conclusion of Moveable Feast. Tickets to the Blue-Note After Party are sold separately; complete Moveable Feast and Blue-Note After Party ticket options are below.

In celebration of CCM’s Sesquicentennial, this year’s Moveable Feast honors CCM alumnus and former dean Peter Landgren, who now serves as President of the UC Foundation and Vice President for Advancement at UC, and Tom Baur, descendant of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music founder Clara Baur.

The cover to the January 2018 issue of Movers and Makers magazine, featuring Tom Baur.Learn more about Baur’s unique connection to CCM in the December/January issue of Movers & Makers Cincinnati, available on newsstands now or online at moversmakers.org/2017/12/12/ccms-sesquicentennial-surprise-a-gift-from-family-of-founder-clara-baur/.

Moveable Feast and Blue-Note After Party Event Date
Friday, Jan. 19, 2018

Schedule of Events
Moveable Feast:

  • Cocktails and Appetizers: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Prelude Performance feat. Brian Newman and the CCM Jazz Orchestra: 7:30-8 p.m.
  • Performances and Dinner-by-the-Bite: 8-10 p.m.
  • Finale Performance feat. the CCM Philharmonia: 10-10:30 p.m.

Blue-Note After Party: 10:30 p.m.-Midnight

Location
CCM Village, University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Moveable Feast and the Blue-Note After Party are on sale now and can be purchased online at ccm.weshareonline.org/ws/opportunities/MoveableFeast2018 or over the telephone at 513-556-2100. Blue-Note After Party tickets are sold separately, unless purchased through a Sesquicentennial Sponsor package.

  • Sesquicentennial Sponsor Package: $600 – price includes two tickets to Moveable Feast, two tickets to the Blue-Note After Party and two tickets to CCM Musical Theatre’s “Not Famous Yet” Showcase (April 5, 2018), valet parking for Moveable Feast/Blue-Note After Party and program recognition
  • Patron Package: $225 – price includes one ticket to Moveable Feast, one ticket to CCM Musical Theatre’s “Not Famous Yet” Showcase, valet parking for Moveable Feast and program recognition
  • Host Ticket: $150 – price includes one ticket to Moveable Feast, valet parking for Moveable Feast and program recognition
  • General Public Tickets: $100 – price includes one ticket to Moveable Feast
  • CCM Alumni and Young Professional (40 and under) Tickets: $75 – price includes one ticket to Moveable Feast
  • Blue-Note After Party (Sold Separately): $25 – price includes admission to after party and dance from 10:30 p.m. to midnight

Seating is limited. Event proceeds raised by CCMpower support student scholarships for CCM’s “stars of tomorrow” and also help fund student and ensemble travel, master class opportunities and collaborative projects.

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 new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.

About CCMpower
The result of a merger of the Friends of CCM and the CCM Alumni Governing Board, CCMpower is a volunteer group of fans, advocates and alumni dedicated to empowering students and fueling the future of the arts through scholarship opportunities and more. This new organization is a combination of people who love and support the arts along with graduates of CCM investing back in their school. To learn more, visit ccm.uc.edu/ccmpower.

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Production photo of 'Something Rotten!' by Joan Marcus. Provided by Gabriel Firestone.

Making A Scene: Q&A with Alumnus Gabriel Firestone, Scenic Designer

Cincinnati audiences may remember Gabriel Firestone (BFA Stage Design, 2014) for his scenic designs in CCM Opera’s Mainstage production of Owen Wingrave in 2013. After graduating from CCM’s acclaimed Theatre Design and Technology program, Firestone went on to design scenery for Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional and international theatre productions. Working alongside award-winning scenic designer Scott Pask, Firestone most recently served as the associate scenic designer for the first National Tour of Tony-nominated musical Something Rotten!.

Gabriel Firestone. Photo by Emilio Madrid-Kuser

Gabriel Firestone. Photo by Emilio Madrid-Kuser.

Firestone isn’t the only CCM alumnus involved in the national tour. Something Rotten! is produced by Kevin McCollum (BFA Musical Theatre, 1984), and onstage performers include alumni Joel Newsome (BFA Musical Theatre, 1989) and Pierce Cassedy (BFA Musical Theatre, 2012). A fun fact from Firestone’s time at CCM: the house he lived in on Wheeler Street in Clifton was actually passed down to him from Cassedy, along with his sofa set. “CCM really is an extended family,” Firestone says.

We caught up with Firestone to talk about his experience working on Something Rotten! and what life has been like for him since he graduated from CCM.

What is it like working in scenic design for the first National Tour of Something Rotten? What does a typical day look like for you at work?
As Associate Scenic Designer for the Something Rotten! first National Tour, my job was to work along-side Scott Pask, who designed the highly successful Broadway production, and effectively translate the original design of the scenery and props into one that could be taken out on tour. There are many different physical and logistical constraints when a production is playing a wide variety of venues, and making sure the set will look just as good on the road as it did on the stage at the St. James Theatre in New York was critical.

I don’t believe there is such thing as a “typical day at work” — my responsibilities with the tour changed as the design progressed. The beginning stages involved lots of modeling and sketching. Later, I was drafting and documenting how all of the scenic pieces moved onstage. I spent a few weeks running back and forth between the scenic shops who built and painted the scenery and drops, giving notes and making sure everything was looking and functioning as it should. Finally, I spent a month out on the road with the show, overseeing as the various elements finally came together in the theater, and reacting to any last-minute changes. Each day was a different and exciting challenge.

What has been your most challenging scenic design project and why?
While every design presents its own set of challenges, one of the more interesting ones I’ve encountered involved transferring a design I did for Red Light Winter in New York City to the National Theatre in Warsaw, Poland. The set in New York was a small, drab room with three crumbling plaster walls and the suggestion of a ceiling — all grounded in realism. Due to limitations for the re-mounted production, we couldn’t use our scenery overseas. Although it might not seem like a huge challenge, the creative team had to reconcile the telling of this story, where the constricted environment itself becomes a major player, with the comparatively spacious bounds we were given in which to work. We reconfigured the staging and design in a pretty remarkable way that didn’t detract from the story, but rather added to the audience’s understanding of what happens to the characters in the brief moments after they leave the room we no longer represented so literally. The sometimes one-dimensional characters suddenly became multi-faceted, and what was lost in the way of aesthetic realism was replaced by much more emotionally driven performances. It was a fascinating production to have been a part of.

Do you have a specific CCM memory or experience that you would like to share?
A favorite memory of mine was going through the design process for CCM Opera’s Owen Wingrave as part of the year-long centenary celebration of Benjamin Britten’s career. Due to a directorial change, all the work had to be scrapped and we started over from the beginning. It was exciting to re-envision the piece under the lens of a different director, and to figure out what changed and evolved from the previous iteration. Although we as a creative team were working within a truncated amount of time, I think the design ended up being every bit as bold and grand as we had imagined. The first time you see the scenery, which takes months to realize, assembled on-stage is always a magical experience; it never grows old.

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Do you have any advice for current or soon-to-be graduating CCM students?
My advice to somebody who’s soon-to-be graduating is to be patient and not to believe he or she is above getting people coffee for a while, so-to-speak. As a young theatre arts professional, there are an endless number of opportunities to get one’s foot in the door, but the people who get those jobs, keep those jobs and grow in those jobs are the ones who have a great attitude every day, show up with a smile and don’t mind supporting the team in ways sometimes deemed menial. In an industry where we spend so much time working in large groups, you can quickly earn a lasting reputation as somebody who is passionate and dependable, and when it comes time to take on more advanced work, your name will be the first one considered. Don’t be disheartened if it takes a while to make the right connections.

And also, try to find some balance in life between success in a career and a personal life. Both are more fun and fulfilling when there is a sense of balance between them.

____________________

Something Rotten! photo by Joan Marcus; provided by Gabriel Firestone.

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CCM Productions Win Big at League of Cincinnati Theatres’ 2014 Awards Ceremony

League of Cincinnati TheatresWinners of the League of Cincinnati Theatres’ (LCT) 2013-14 Season Awards were announced on Monday night, with CCM faculty members, students and productions taking home a number of awards, including:

  • Best Musical (Tie): CCM’s Les Miserables (tied with Carnegie Theatre’s Chicago)
  • Choreography (Tie): Diane Lala and Patti James for CCM’s Singin’ in the Rain (tied with David Baum for Carnegie Theatre’s Chicago)
  • Music Direction: Steve Goers for CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Scenic Design: Mark Halpin for CCM’s Singin’ in the Rain
  • Ensemble in a Musical: CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Lead Actor in a Musical: Blaine Krauss in CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Featured Actor in a Musical: Matthew Paul Hill in CCM’s Les Miserables
  • Featured Actress in a Musical: Jenny Hickman in CCM’s Carrie

Faculty member Kelly Yurko also received a Special Contribution Award for her prosthetic design for Clifton Players’ production of The Whale. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!

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League of Cincinnati Theatres Announces 2014 Awards Finalists

League of Cincinnati TheatresThe League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT) has announced the finalists for this year’s LCT Awards Celebration and we are delighted to report that CCM productions have received a staggering 23 nominations (CCM Professor Kelly Yurko and CCM student Brianna Barnes also received nods for work on non-CCM productions this year, bringing our unofficial tally up to 25 nominations)!

The annual LCT Award Celebration is designed to honor the best of Cincinnati professional theatre each season.

CCM’s 2013-14 productions of Carrie, Singin’ in the Rain, MetamorphosesLes Misérables, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Living Dead in Denmark all received nominations in at least one category.

CCM faculty members Aubrey Berg, Vince DeGeorge, Steve Goers, Mark Halpin, Patti James, k. Jenny Jones, Diane Lala, Reba Senske and Kelly Yurko each received nominations in at least one category.

CCM students singled out in this year’s nominations included Brianna Barnes, Sara Bishop, Hannah Freeman, Dana Hall, Jenny Hickman, Matt Hill, Colin Kessler, Blaine Krauss, Wes Richter and Ryan Sigurdson.

Finalists were chosen from the nominations made by trusted panelists who saw the shows during the year. One winner from each category will be announced at the Awards Party on Monday, June 16, at Arnold’s Bar and Grill in Cincinnati.

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CCM Stage Lighting Design & Technology Portfolio Showcase Scheduled for March 2

'Evita' lighting design by Samantha Spiro.

'Evita' lighting design by Samantha Spiro.

Come see the spectacular work of CCM’s talented stage lighting students as they highlight their portfolios, websites and designs during the Design and Technology Portfolio Showcase. The event will take place on Wednesday, March 2 from 9:14-11:44 a.m. in the Corbett Center for the Performing Arts, Room 2460 (Design Lab). The event is open to the general public.

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