New York Polyphony press photos, November, 2011.

CCM Alumnus Craig Phillips Receives GRAMMY Nomination

CCM alumnus Craig Phillips.

CCM alumnus Craig Phillips.

We are delighted to report that acclaimed bass-baritone and CCM alumnus Craig Phillips (MM Voice, 1998) has been nominated for his second GRAMMY Award as a member of the male vocal quartet New York Polyphony.

The group has been nominated for its 2014 Christmas album, Sing Thee Nowell. This is the group’s second consecutive nomination in the “Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance” category.

“Most of the music we sing was written before 1600, so it isn’t exactly ‘mainstream,’ even by classical music standards,” Phillips explains. “So receiving a GRAMMY nomination is very validating, on both a professional and personal level. We are very committed to what we do, and work hard to create performances that are passionate and compelling to modern ears. The GRAMMY nomination (now our second!) proves that we’ve managed to move the needle, so to speak.”

Selected by the New York Times for its “2014 Holiday Gift Guide,” Sing Thee Nowell has enjoyed robust sales, reaching the Top 10 on Billboard Magazine‘s Traditional Classical Album chart. The album, which is the group’s fifth release and third on BIS Records, follows last year’s critically acclaimed and GRAMMY-nominated Times Go By Turns.

The 57th annual GRAMMY’s will be held on Sunday, Feb. 8th. You can learn more about this year’s ceremony by visiting http://www.grammy.com.

About Craig Phillips
Praised for his “handsome, elegant bass” by The New York Times, bass-baritone Craig Phillips is an established operatic and concert soloist. His operatic credits include performances with Glimmerglass Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Arizona Opera and Boston Lyric Opera. For his portrayal of Nardo in New York City Opera’s La finta giardiniera, the New York Sun singled-out Phillips as one of the “true lights of the production,” highlighting both his “clear lyric bass-baritone” and “great talent for physical comedy.”

On the concert stage, his credits include performances with the Washington Bach Consort, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Cathedral.

In addition to solo work, Phillips is an active performer in the early music scene, performing regularly with New York City-based ensembles such as Vox Vocal Ensemble, TENET and Clarion Music Society.

Below, take a behind-the-scenes look at the making of New York Polyphony’s GRAMMY-nominated Sing Thee Nowell:

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CCM Professor Awadagin Pratt Featured in New “Faces of UC” Video Series

This week, UC President Santa J. Ono launched a new video series celebrating the people who make the University of Cincinnati the #HottestCollegeinAmerica.

CCM’s very own Professor Awadagin Pratt is the focus of the first episode of Faces of UC. Watch his full video below.

While this video series takes its name from the popular hashtag that President Ono coined to describe UC’s momentum and spirit, it also complements the university-wide planning initiative, Creating Our Third Century, which President Ono launched in April 2014 and places a priority on investing in people.

In addition to viewing the video, members of the UC community can participate by:

  • Viewing the Faces of UC website and watching the episodes.
  • Suggesting a face to highlight in future episodes.
  • Giving recognition to other deserving members of the UC community by submitting kudos.
  • Posting selfies using the hashtag, #FacesofUC.
  • Continuing to be great ambassadors of the university.
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CCM E-Media Hosts Free Public Screening of Student-Produced Short Film ‘Solitude’ on Dec. 9

'Solitude' poster design by Garrett Corcoran.

‘Solitude’ poster design by Garrett Corcoran.

CCM E-Media hosts a world-premiere of the student-produced short film Solitude at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 9, in the MainStreet Cinema of UC’s Tangeman University Center. Admission to this public screening is free and open to the general public.

Created by senior electronic media majors Matt Stalf, Cameron Coyan, Joey Meisberger and Alex Huddleson under the supervision of Assistant Professor of Electronic Media Lakshmi TirumalaSolitude is the story of Jack Khavo, a medical researcher who finds himself trapped by his daily routine. Jack had always believed that he would be able to make a difference with his job, but as his research comes to a standstill he begins to wonder if he will ever be able to make a meaningful contribution to his field. One night Jack encounters a strange dream, which shows him how to move forward. Unfortunately, the very thing that could advance his research could also endanger his life.

According to Coyan, he and his classmates divided up production roles to best fit everyone’s strengths. “Matt has a great eye for scene composition so he took over the role of director of photography and editor,” he explains. “Alex and Joey have a lot of experience with audio, so they took on the role of pre-production recording and sound design. I took on the role of director and writer as I’m the most familiar with the story.”

The four-person production team also recruited students from other departments and colleges to bring their vision to life. Solitude features the onscreen talents of CCM Drama students Bartley Booz, Connor Lawrence and Alice Skok, along with Adjunct Assistant Professor of Drama Robert Pavlovich. CCM E-Media student Tyler Peters contributed an original score and DAAP student Douglass Rouster created the animated title sequence for the film.

“Being able to grab from several different programs – including Electronic Media and the Drama Department at CCM along with Graphic Design in DAAP – is really great because we are getting experience working through multiple creative fields to turn out a collaborative piece,” Stalf explains.

For Professor Tirumala, Solitude is a perfect showcase of the immersive training that CCM E-Media students receive. “This film gives a great insight into the standards that our program expects from the students,” he says. “Having seen the rough cut, I can say that everyone involved in this project has done an exceptional job.”

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CCM Talent For Hire Presents “Let It Go” Performed by Sarah Bishop

Senior musical theatre major Sarah Bishop recently made a three-year-old’s birthday wish come true when she performed the hit song “Let It Go” in character as Elsa from the popular Disney film Frozen!

Last seen wowing audiences as Elle in CCM’s acclaimed production of Legally Blonde – The Musical, Bishop’s birthday party appearance was facilitated by CCM Talent for Hire.

CCM’s talented students and alumni will bring world-class artistry to your special event, too! Learn more by visiting ccm.uc.edu/talentforhire.

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Universal Sports Network Premieres Student-Produced ‘2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race’ Film Tonight

Photography by Kaori Funahashi.

Photography by Kaori Funahashi.

The Universal Sports Network presents the premiere broadcast of the student-produced 2013 Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary film at 6:30 p.m. ET tonight, Oct. 24!

The Gold Rush Expedition Race documentary films 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. Over the course of four days, teams face merciless heat and sleepless nights while trekking, mountain biking, climbing and kayaking amidst the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The race is part of the Adventure Racing World Series (ARWS) and the winning team receives an entry into the ARWS World Championship.

Each film has been produced by a team of 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.

Working under the guidance of professional television director/producer and CCM Electronic Media (E-Media) alumnus Brian J. Leitten (BFA, 2001) and E-Media Professor Kevin Burke, these students shot, edited, scripted and produced the film on location in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Both Leitten and Burke advise the project and provide professional guidance and feedback to the students during all phases of the documentary’s development.

Earlier this month, GearJunkie.com hailed the Gold Rush Expedition Race project as “undoubtedly one of the most amazing educational initiatives we’ve seen.”

Learn more about the Gold Rush Expedition Race project by visiting ccm.uc.edu/about/villagenews/notations-ovations/student-produced-film-series-airs-on-universal-sports-network.

All broadcast times Eastern and subject to change. Learn more about the Universal Sports Network by visiting http://universalsports.com.

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The Art of the Piano Summer Festival and Concert Series Returns to CCM Village June 27 – July 12

Bearcat Piano Festival organizer Awadagin Pratt.

CCM faculty member and World Piano Competition Artistic Director Awadagin Pratt.

This summer, some of the world’s most sought-after piano performers and pedagogues are in residence at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music. For the next two weeks, CCM proudly presents the Art of the Piano workshop and concert series, curated by CCM faculty member and World Piano Competition Artistic Director Awadagin Pratt.

This year’s festival welcomes master teachers Ning An, Enrico Elisi, Hee Sung Joo, Gabriel Kwok, Myong-joo Lee, Yoshikazu Nagai, Andrey Pisarev and Ory Shihor. Several of these guest artists will present special event concerts during the festival in CCM’s beautiful Robert J. Werner Recital Hall.

The concert series opens at 7 p.m. this Friday, June 27, with a performance by World Piano Competition Jury Member Andrey Pisarev.

Flex ticket packages are available for this year’s Art of the Piano Special Event Concerts featuring Pisarev, Hee Sung Joo, Enrico Elisi, Dennis Thurmond and Awadagin Pratt. All student recitals are free and open to the general public. See below for more information.

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CCM Video: Highlights from the Opening Day of the 2014 World Piano Competition

The 2014 World Piano Competition got underway yesterday, as 11 of the world’s finest pianists performed in the opening day of the Competition’s First Round. Above, you can enjoy early highlights featuring competitors Reed Tetzloff, Hyun ji You, Maria Fuller and Baron Fenwick.

The Competition resumes at 9 a.m. this morning and runs throughout the day, as 10 more artists compete for a spot in the Semi-Finals!

You can learn more about all of this year’s competitors by visiting www.cincinnatiwpc.org/2014-competitors.

Tickets for all round of the Competition, including this Saturday’s Finals Concert featuring the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, are on sale now through the CSO Box Office.

For prices and additional info, visit www.cincinnatiwpc.org/get-tickets.

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