CCM Sophomore Violinist Makes New York Carnegie Hall Debut

Described as a “wondrous and natural talent in the purest sense,” KayCee Galano performs J.S. Bach’s complete Solo Sonatas and Partitas on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, at Weill Recital Hall at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

Philippine violinist Kristine Clair Uchi “KayCee” Galano performs the complete J.S. Bach Solo Sonatas and Partitas from memory on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The 18-year-old violinist is currently a sophomore at CCM, where she studies with Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus, the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Classical Violin. Galano’s performance is presented by the Starling Project Foundation Cincinnati. Details and tickets for Galano’s New York recital are available on Carnegie Hall’s website.

Galano became an overnight sensation in her home country in October 2018 when she stepped in as a soloist for Max Brunch’s first violin concerto with the Philippine Philharmonic with just a few days’ notice. Conductor Gerard Salonga, Music Director of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra and Resident Conductor of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, said:

“In 2018 I had the good fortune of meeting KayCee for the first time in her hometown of Dumaguete in the Philippines. What immediately struck me about her was her beautiful sound, technical security, keen phrasing and natural musicality. KayCee is also a wonderful, positively charged human being, and a delight to work with. I really cannot say enough about what a talent she is, and how proud she is making her country. We should all look forward to hearing her contributions to the music world.”

From an early age, Galano had an irresistible fascination with the violin. At age 10, she attended the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing to study violin with Sassmannshaus. When she returned to her home in Brunei, Galano enrolled as a scholarship student in Sassmannshaus’ Starling Preparatory String Project at CCM, and she began weekly, long-distance lessons over Skype with Sassmannshaus. She quickly began to establish herself as one of the leading young violinists of her generation.

Galano has won first prize at the Malaysian Youth Music Festival and at the Great Wall Violin Concerto Competition in Beijing. At age 12, she performed in the first Asian broadcast of NPR’s “From the Top” show. The following year she performed Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto with the Metro Manila Concert Orchestra. At age 14, Galano toured the U.S. with renowned pianist Rohan De Silva, and has since collaborated and recorded with him many times.

“I tremendously enjoy performing with KayCee Galano,” said De Silva. “Her infectious musicality and magnetic stage presence were obvious in our first encounter. I foresee and wish her a blessed life as an important musician. Ms. Galano is a charming and stellar artistic ambassador for her native country of the Philippines.”

Her concert tours in China include performances at the National Centre for the Performing Arts and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, as well as a tour of many Chinese cities with the Starling Chamber Orchestra. In 2017, Galano performed Korngold’s violin concerto with the Jena Philharmonic in Germany.

Five years after she began the Skype lessons with Sassmannshaus, Galano moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, to complete her studies in CCM’s Starling Preparatory String Project and finish high school. She enrolled at CCM to pursue a BM in violin in fall 2018.

In anticipation of her Carnegie Hall debut, Galano’s teacher and mentor Sassmanshaus said:

“KayCee’s affinity and love of Bach’s Solo works has been a source of inspiration in her young life for many years. Her captivating interpretations show the rare confluence of a youthful spirit and uncommon maturity — and both continue to deliver delightful surprises. Her New York Recital Debut of the complete Bach solo violin works at age 18 will be both the culmination of in-depth study of many years, and the beginning of a life-long journey.”

Recital Information

Carnegie Hall Debut by CCM Sophomore Violinist KayCee Galano
Presented by the Starling Project Foundation Cincinnati

Repertoire: J.S. Bach: Six Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo (Complete)

Time: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019

Location: Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Please visit Carnegie Hall’s website for directions and parking.

Tickets: $30; student and senior discount tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office. Tickets can be purchased through Carnegie Hall’s website or over the phone by calling the Carnegie Hall Box Office at 212-247-7800.

About the Starling Preparatory String Project

Founded in 1987 by CCM Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus, the Starling Preparatory String Project is a specialized honors program training young string students. The program is generously funded through a grant by the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation. The superbly talented musicians perform as the Starling Chamber Orchestra and are selected by audition.

Students receive one hourly lesson per week, and take music theory, chamber music and orchestra each Saturday. Instructors include CCM faculty and graduate students specially trained and chosen by Professor Sassmannshaus. Most of the students are from the greater Cincinnati area, and many others commute on Saturdays from other states. SCO has a concert series at Robert J. Werner Recital Hall at CCM and tours regularly. For more information on the Starling Preparatory String Project, visit

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CCM faculty member Scott Belck, DMA.

CCM Director of Jazz Studies Scott Belck Performs at Carnegie Hall This October

CCM Director of Jazz Studies and Ensembles & Conducting Division Head Scott Belck, DMA, will perform at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall next Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015.

Belck will perform as a member of the acclaimed trumpet ensemble Tromba Mundi. The evening’s program is dubbed Sinfonia Americana and will include a musical journey from the Renaissance to the Old West, with stops in Hollywood and New Orleans along the way. Tromba Mundi released an album of the same name in 2013.

Poster for Tromba Mundi's Oct. 7, 2015, performance at Carnegie Hall.Founded in 2007 for the sole purpose of the exploration, promotion and performance of new works for trumpet ensemble, Tromba Mundi has recorded several world premiere compositions and continues to commission new music for the genre. The ensemble is comprised of professional performers and pedagogues from various universities across the United States.

The groups members also include Bryan Appleby-Wineberg, Jean-Christophe Dobrzelewski, John Marchiando, William Stowman and Joey Tartell.

In addition to his work with Tromba Mundi, Belck has recently toured as a member of Grammy Award-winning funk legend Bootsy Collins’ Funk Unity Band as lead trumpet. He has also served as trumpet and cornet soloist with the Air Force Band of Flight in Dayton, Ohio, where he held the post of musical director for the Air Force Night Flight Jazz Ensemble.

His playing credits include recordings as lead trumpet/guest soloist with the Cincinnati Pops featuring the Manhattan Transfer and John Pizzarelli, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Van Dells and jazz soloist with the University of North Texas One O’clock Lab Band with whom he recorded four CDs as jazz soloist and section trumpet.

Belck was named head of CCM’s Division of Ensembles and Conducting this fall. He directs CCM’s Jazz Orchestra and teaches applied Jazz Trumpet. Belck is a Yamaha Performing Artist.

You can learn more about Belck’s Carnegie Hall performance with Tromba Mundi by visiting

Learn  more about CCM’s world-class faculty members by visiting

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

CCM Professor Miguel Roig-Francolí’s Compositions Receive New York Premiere at Carnegie Hall on Nov. 17

Miguel A. Roig-Francolí Professor, Music Theory & Composition, College-Conservatory of Music. photo/Lisa Ventre

Miguel A. Roig-Francolí Professor, Music Theory & Composition, College-Conservatory of Music. photo/Lisa Ventre

New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall will host a unique birthday celebration on Sunday, Nov. 17, as pianist Adam Kent and special guests present an evening of music by CCM Professor of Music Theory and Composition Miguel Roig-Francolí, presented in honor of the composer’s 60th anniversary.

The program will include the New York City premieres of Roig-Francolí’s Cinco Canciones con los Ojos Cerrados for soprano and piano, Sonata for violoncello and piano, and Songs of Light and Darkness for piano trio. Cincinnati audiences received a preview of this program at CCM on Oct. 8.

As Roig-Francolí explained to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Janelle Gelfand, “A monographic Carnegie Hall recital is a very exciting event for any musician, let alone a composer – the type of event that happens only every 60 years, if it does at all. So I feel fortunate, grateful, humbled and excited that several institutions and a fabulous roster of performers have teamed together to make this possible.”

The Carnegie Hall performance will feature Jennifer Roig-Francolí, violin; Julia MacLaine, cello; Abigail Santos Villalobos, soprano; Adam Kent, piano; and the Damocles Trio (Airi Yoshioka, violin; Sibylle Johner, cello; Adam Kent, piano).

Mary Ellyn Hutton called the Oct. 8 preview performance “engrossing” in her review for Music in Cincinnati, commenting that “each work on the program was directly appealing and was marked by superb craftsmanship and vibrant color.” You can read Hutton’s full review of the concert at

Learn more about the Carnegie Hall performance courtesy of The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17, in the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York. For more information, or to purchase tickets to the Carnegie Hall performance, visit

CCM News Faculty Fanfare

Married CCM Educators to Share the Spotlight at Carnegie Hall


Jennifer Roig-Francolí and Adam Kent

Jennifer Roig-Francolí and Adam Kent


Two CCM educators will share the stage in a unique way at Carnegie Hall on October 24, when violinist Jennifer Roig-Francolí will perform the world premiere of a new piece composed by her husband, CCM Professor of Music Theory and Composition Miguel Roig-Francolí. Mrs. Roig-Francolí, a violinist and CCM Preparatory Department faculty member, will perform “Songs of the Infinite” with pianist Adam Kent at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York on October 24 at 7 p.m.

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