Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and CCM Announce 2019-21 Class of Diversity Fellows

Five outstanding string players have been selected for the next class of the prestigious Diversity Fellowship program.

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) have selected five outstanding musicians for the next class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows. Born out of a mutual desire to make American orchestras more inclusive, this prestigious performance fellowship program was launched in 2015 with a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Foundation approved a renewal grant of $850,000 in 2017, providing funding for the innovative program through June 2021.

With this collaborative Fellowship program, CCM and the CSO hope to provide new opportunities for underrepresented musicians, while simultaneously fostering a more inclusive environment in the orchestral industry.

“Reflecting our community and the world around us at every level — on stage, around the office, in the board room, and in neighborhoods throughout the region — is one of our highest priorities,” said CSO President Jonathan Martin. “We welcome the new class of Fellows, look forward to the artistic contributions of the continuing class, and congratulate the Fellows who are now completing the program after two years.”

Here is the incoming class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows:
Magdiell Antequera, 23 (violin)
Jordan Curry, 24 (violin)
Cristian J. Diaz, 28 (viola)
Michael Martin, 24 (double bass)
Denielle Wilson, 23 (cello)

“The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship embodies the University of Cincinnati’s commitment to experience-based learning and community partnerships,” said CCM Dean Stanley E. Romanstein. “Our five newest Fellows possess enormous talent, and we are delighted to welcome them to Cincinnati. Once you have an opportunity to see the Fellows perform, you will understand why we boast that ‘Next Lives Here.’ We are grateful for the ongoing generosity of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, through which CCM and the CSO can continue to work together to make the arts more inclusive.”

These five exceptional string players will officially join the two-year fellowship program in August 2019 bringing the total number of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows to nine for the 2019-20 academic year and performance season.

The second class of Diversity Fellows, which is comprised of Anita Graef (cello), Ian Saunders (double bass), Weiyi Shao (violin), and Dan Wang (viola) recently completed the program at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season.

“The combination of performing with a major professional orchestra while getting a graduate degree from a top conservatory provides the ideal combination of educational and professional development,” said Yan Izquierdo, who will begin his second year in the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship in the fall. “I believe this Fellowship has significantly enriched my career and I highly recommend it to any music student, particularly those seeking opportunities in American orchestras.”

CSO/CCM Diversity Fellow Ian Saunders, CCM Dean Stanley Romanstein and CSO Instructional Programs Manager Carol Dunevant recently stopped by WVXU’s Cincinnati Edition to discuss the fellowship program with host Michael Monks. Listen to the full segment at www.wvxu.org.

How the Fellowship Works

The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Program is open to exceptional violin, viola, cello, and double bass players coming from historically underrepresented populations in classical music.

The program’s tagline — “Bravos Without Barriers” — gets to the heart of its mission: eliminating obstacles that can prevent extraordinary musicians from achieving their full potential.

Fellows perform the equivalent of five weeks per season with the CSO while enrolled in a two-year Master of Music (MM) or Artist Diploma (AD) graduate degree program at CCM. Each class of Fellows is selected through a rigorous series of auditions, which saw hundreds of graduate-level musicians audition for CCM faculty members. Select players were invited back to Cincinnati for a final round of auditions judged by CSO musicians in Springer Auditorium at Cincinnati Music Hall on March 16, 2019.

Each Fellow receives full tuition scholarship support from CCM, in addition to a $10,000 per year graduate stipend and a one-time Graduate School Dean’s Excellence Award of $3,000. Each Fellow also receives compensation of $8,000 per season while performing with the CSO.

Meet the Incoming Fellows

Magdiell Antequera, Master of Music (MM) student, Violin
Venezuelan violinist Magdiell Antequera, 23, made his first debut as a soloist in with the Falcon Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela at the age of 10 and has continued to play as a guest soloist in various orchestras in South America and the United States. His work has been praised by legendary violinists including Midori Goto, Margaret Batjer, and Glenn Dicterow. Antequera has participated in multiple master classes and private lessons with acclaimed professors from a number of conservatories including the Juilliard School, and has won and received recognition from important competitions such as the Solo Competition at the Academia Latinoamericana de Violin (Venezuela), Thursday Musical Competition (Minnesota), Schubert Club Competition (Minnesota), Texas Rising Stars, Rodolfo Lipizer International Violin Competition (Italy), and others.

Antequera attended Shattuck-St. Mary’s School as a member of the Pre-Conservatory Program from 2012–15, where he studied with Sally O´Reilly at the University of Minnesota. In 2015 he was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Brian Lewis and kept an active solo career.


Jordan Curry, Artist Diploma (AD) student, Violin
Jordan Curry, 24, resides in West Olive, Michigan. He began playing violin at the age of six using the Suzuki method. A graduate of West Ottawa High School in Holland, Michigan, Curry continued to play violin and study music throughout his formative years.

He has participated in the Illinois Chamber Music Festival at Illinois Wesleyan University, the Michigan All-State Orchestra, and the Holland Area Youth Orchestra. Curry furthered his studies with Korean violinist Young Shin and Mihai Craioveanu, professor of violin at Hope College.

He received his bachelor’s degree in violin performance at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo under the instruction of professor Renata Artman Knific. Curry plays a violin from famed maker Mario Miralles on loan from acclaimed violin soloist Tai Murray. He recently received his master’s in violin performance the University of Denver under Linda Wang.


Cristian J. Diaz, Master of Music (MM) student, Viola
Cristian Diaz, 28, is a violist from Colombia who holds a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from Colombia’s National University- Conservatory of Music, and a master’s degree in chamber music from Kent State University. His former professors include members of the acclaimed Miami String Quartet, Keith Robinson and Cathy Meng Robinson, and his viola professor Joanna Patterson Zakany, member of the prestigious Cleveland Orchestra.

Diaz has been part of many orchestras across the globe, and was runner up in the Kent State University concerto competition (2017), he was selected to become part of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra Academy 2018 in Dortmund, Germany, winner of the inaugural Diversity Fellowship of the CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, and is also a member of the Efferus String Quartet.

He has attended the XI Cartagena Music Festival (Colombia, 2017), the first and second International Festival of String Quartets (Colombia, 2015 and 2016), III Bogota’s Viola Festival (Colombia, 2015), Santa Catarina Music Festival FEMUSC (Brazil, 2012), and also the Kent Blossom Music Festival (2019). Diaz will begin his master’s degree at CCM in the fall of 2019 where he will study with professor Catharine Lees.


Michael Martin, Artist Diploma (AD) student, Double Bass
Raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Michael Martin, 24, began his study of the double-bass with local Suzuki pedagogue Domenick Fiore in early high school, after years of playing in school ensembles and teaching himself at home. Quickly finding that he had a deep love of the bass and music, he joined the Philadelphia Sinfonia and Young People’s Philharmonic youth orchestras in the area, and began further studies with Joseph Conyers of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

An alum of Oberlin Conservatory (B. Mus., 2017) and Northwestern University (M. Mus.,2019), Martin studied with renowned bass pedagogues Tracy Rowell (Oberlin Conservatory, CIM Mari Sato Preparatory Program) and Andrew Raciti (Milwaukee Symphony, Northwestern University). Other mentors have included Peter Dominguez (Oberlin Conservatory) and Scott Dixon (the Cleveland Orchestra). In addition to his studies with Rowell and Raciti, Martin spent his summers as an undergraduate studying the method of bass virtuoso Francois Rabbath at the Domaine Forget International Academy in Charlevoix, Quebec. He has also been an Orchestra Fellow at the Emmanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival Orchestra Institute in Houston, Texas.

Martin plays a modern instrument made especially for him by Christopher Savino, and a bow by acclaimed Canadian bow maker Reid Hudson.


Denielle Wilson, Master of Music (MM), Cello
Denielle Wilson, 23, is a cellist from Lithonia, Georgia. She currently lives in Evanston, Illinois, plays in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and maintains a studio of private cello students. She completed an undergraduate degree at Northwestern University in 2017, having majored in cello performance and music education. Her musical mentors have included Hans Jørgen Jensen, Joel Dallow, and Nan Kimberling. She has spent summers at the Meadowmount School of Music, Bowdoin Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Grant Park Music Festival. She plays in a piano trio with her siblings, and they enjoy sharing classical and religious music with their local community.


Learn more about the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship by visiting ccm.uc.edu/chance2perform.

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CCM Alumni in 4 Tony-Nominated Productions

The nominees for the 73rd Annual Tony Awards have been announced, and the results are in: CCM’s stars shine bright on Broadway! CCM alumni are working on stage and behind-the-scenes in at least four Tony Award-nominated productions.

Tony Awards LogoSun Hee Kil (MFA Sound Design, 2009) was the associate sound designer for the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre’s production of Choir Boy, which was nominated for Best Play and Best Sound Design of a Play.

Two productions nominated for Best Musical feature CCM alumni. Adam Monley (BFA Musical Theatre, 2000) is a swing in the Marquis Theatre’s production of Tootsie, and the Winter Garden Theatre’s production of Beetlejuice features choreography by Connor Gallagher (BFA Musical Theatre, 2006), as well as performances by Leslie Kritzer (BFA Musical Theatre, 1999) as Delia, Ryan Breslin (BFA Musical Theatre, 2011) as an ensemble member and Sean Montgomery (BFA Musical Theatre, 2007) as a swing.

Kritzer was awarded CCM Musical Theatre’s 2011 Young Alumni Award, and her role in Beetlejuice has also earned her nominations for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical and a Chita Rivera Award for Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show.

Preston Truman Boyd (BFA Musical Theatre, 2008) and Christine Cornish Smith (BFA Musical Theatre, 2013) are both in the ensemble for Studio 54’s Kiss Me, Kate, which was nominated for Best Revival of a Musical.

This year’s Tony Awards will be hosted by James Corden at 8 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, June 9 on CBS. For more information, visit tonyawards.com.

Are you a CCM alum with news? Stay in touch by sharing your story with us!

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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

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CCM Grand Uses Arts to Strengthen Bonds Between Grandparents and Children

The University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory and Community Engagement (CCM Prep) is thrilled to announce CCM Grand, its first intergenerational arts program for families. Creativity has no age limit in this summer workshop, which runs from July 24-26, 2019.

Alumni grandparents and their grandchildren (ages 8-13) are invited to return to UC for a unique, fun-filled arts experience. This camp is designed to create lasting memories and strengthen the special bond that exists between generations.

CCM Grand offers grandparents the opportunity to spend quality time embedded within a rich and creative learning environment with their grandchildren. Grandparents who previously attended UC can explore and re-familiarize themselves with our inspiring campus, which is among the world’s most beautiful campuses according to Forbes Magazine.

During this camp, attendees will actively participate in engaging arts workshops taught by renowned CCM Prep and collegiate faculty, tour the UC campus and experience life on campus at the newly renovated Marian Spencer Hall. Tuition is $350 per person, which includes all activities, on-campus housing and six meal vouchers for the campus dining hall.

Register for CCM Grand online at: https://bit.ly/2EhxS6m

For more information, call the CCM Prep office at 513-556-2595 or email Amy Dennison at Amy.dennison@uc.edu.

Looking for more summer arts opportunities for your family? CCM Prep offers a variety of music, dance and theatre arts programs for youth, teens and adults. Learn more about CCM Prep’s Summer 2019 offerings.

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CCM Village at night. Photo by Jay Yocis.

Accomplished Alum Matthew Tibbs is Named Assistant Professor of Sound Design at CCM

CCM Dean Stanley E. Romanstein has announced the appointment of Matthew Tibbs to the position of Assistant Professor of Sound Design at CCM. Tibbs joined CCM’s faculty on a visiting basis in 2018. His new appointment will begin on Aug. 15, 2019.

matthew-tibbsA sound designer with experience in live performance, film and advertising, Tibbs’ 100+ sound designs have been seen on stages nationally, including in New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City and Portland. His film work has been seen at national and international film festivals and his advertising work has been distributed on the West Coast in local and regional TV markets.

Tibbs’ theatrical sound design has been featured at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Salt Lake City’s Pioneer Theatre Company, the Clarence Brown Theatre at the University of Tennessee, New York City’s Fresh Fruit Festival and Utah Shakespeare Festival. He also designed for the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Minnesota for six years.

An experienced educator, Tibbs previously served on the faculty of Ball State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance. Prior to his time at Ball State, he spent three years as Resident Sound Designer for the Pioneer Theatre Company and served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah. He has also taught as visiting faculty at Pacific University and as a graduate assistant at CCM.

Tibbs is a member of the designers’ union United Scenic Artists Local 829 and serves as a co-secretary for the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA).

He holds an MFA in Sound Design from CCM (2007) and a BA in Communication Arts from George Fox University (2004).

Dean Romanstein thanked search committee members Steve Miller (co-chair), Denton Yockey (co-chair), Ray DobsonRichard HessQi Jiang and Michele Kay for their work on finding CCM’s new Assistant Professor of Sound Design.

Please join us in congratulating Matthew Tibbs on his new appointment!

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A picture of CCM faculty member Donald Hancock holding his Emmy Award.

Emmy Award-Winning Producer Donald Hancock is Named Assistant Professor of Film and Television Production at CCM

CCM Dean Stanley E. Romanstein has announced the appointment of Donald Hancock to the position of Assistant Professor of Film and Television Production in CCM’s Division of E-Media. Hancock joined CCM’s faculty as an adjunct in 2012. His new appointment will begin on Aug. 15, 2019.

A picture of CCM faculty member Donald Hancock holding his Emmy Award.

Hancock is an Emmy Award-winning producer, professor and an active member of the media community. He has an MA in Film and Television from Savannah College of Art and Design and a BFA in E-Media from CCM. Hancock currently works as a producer at CET, Cincinnati’s PBS Member Station. He has produced “The Art Show,” CET’s weekly art magazine program, since 2013. He also produces content for a variety of partners with CET, including ArtsWave and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Hancock won a Regional Emmy Award for “Cincinnati’s Music Hall: The Next Movement,” a 60-minute documentary that he co-wrote, produced and shot. The documentary details the historic $150 million renovation of Cincinnati’s National Historic Landmark. Watch a promotional spot for the documentary below.

In 2013, Hancock was chosen as one of 25 producers from around the country to participate in the PBS/CPB Producer’s Academy, whose goal is to engage a talented pool of diverse producers in public broadcasting. Hancock has also partnered with WGBH and PBS to produce content around national programming including “Finding Your Roots,” “American Experience” and “Downton Abbey.”

For the past seven years, Hancock has been an adjunct professor at CCM, teaching Digital Video and Integrated Media Production courses to sophomore and junior-level students. In his spare time, he serves on the Executive Board for the UC Center for Film and Media Studies, as well as the community advisory board at Elementz Urban Arts Center. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, a member of the Broadcast Education Association and volunteers as a Big Brother in the Big Brother Big Sisters Program.

Dean Romanstein thanked search committee members Kevin Burke (chair), Peter DePietroJohn HebbelerTondra Holt and Hagit Limor for their work on finding CCM’s new Assistant Professor of Film and Television Production.

Please join us in congratulating Donald Hancock on his new appointment!

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CCM Prep Presents ‘Godspell Jr.’ on May 9-11

CCM Prep showcases its young actors with a one-act version of this cult-classic musical. Tickets available through the CCM Box Office.

CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement presents a shortened and edited version of Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak’s popular musical Godspell Jr. on Thursday, May 9 through Saturday, May 11, 2019. The show is told as a series of parables taken from the Biblical books of Matthew, Luke and John.

This production features the students of CCM Prep’s Junior Musical Theatre Intensive program, who range from 9 and 14 years old. The student cast includes: Shannon Aitken, Hana Conte, Ben Crane, Jackson Higgason, Natalie Hillgrove, Claire Jeffreys, Noah Jeffreys, Kadyn Keeney, Lily Larsen, Ella Maisel, Esther Medlin, Rory Miller, Jack Rosen, Ceiliegh Rodway, Noelle Shiffert and Miriam Shrivastava.

In January, co-directors Becca Kloha Strand, Rebecca N. Childs and Karie-Lee Sutherland took the production to the Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, where they presented a 15-minute excerpt of the show. Their performance received an award for Excellence in Acting, and actors Ben Crane and Esther Medlin were designated Festival All Stars. In addition to the performance, the students participated in master classes for acting, dance and music.

Numerous CCM Theatre Design and Production students make up the production crew for this show. These include Haleigh Sano, stage manager; Olivia Darling, assistant stage manager; Jacquelyn Reis, set designer; Lynae Smith, technical director; Andrew Stewart, lighting designer, Kelly Howland, sound operator; Julie Lasonczyk, scenic change artist; and Myrrh Sewell, prop master.

You can see CCM Prep’s Godspell Jr. on May 9-11, 2019 at Cohen Family Studio Theater. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for non-UC students and free for UC students with a valid ID. Single tickets are on sale now and can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online.

Performance Times

  • 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9
  • 7 p.m. Friday, May 10
  • 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11

Location
Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to CCM Prep’s Godspell Jr. are $15 general, $10 non-UC students and FREE for UC students with a valid ID. 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! Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.

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 UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

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Preparatory Ballet Concert. Photography by Kyuran Ann Choe.

CCM Prep Presents Spring Youth Ballet This Weekend

CCM Preparatory and Community Engagement presents the Spring Youth Ballet Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4, 2019. CCM Prep’s young dancers will exhibit their skills by performing excerpts from the ballet repertoire and new works, including several choreographed by CCM Prep students.

This year, six graduating high school seniors choreographed original pieces that will be presented at the concert. In addition to these student-created works, the program also features Fireborn, choreographed by CCM Prep instructor Heather Cameron Johnson, as well as Umbrella Dreams, choreographed by CCM Prep instructor Ana Bird. These two pieces will showcase CCM Prep Dance’s Mini Company, with students ages 8 to 11, and the Junior Ballet Company, ages 11 to 13.

The second half of the program consists of excerpts from Ludwig Minkus’ Don Quixote. CCM Prep instructors Thomas Bell, Isabele Elefson, Jonnie Lynn Jacobs-Percer and Tricia Sundbeck staged and choreographed these excerpts, which are based on Marius Petipa’s original choreography. The performances will include the “Bridesmaids’ Dance,” “Kitri’s Variation,” and a grand ensemble finale, plus 15 other excerpts.

You can see the CCM Prep’s Spring Youth Ballet Concert this weekend in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for non-UC students and FREE for UC students with valid ID. Visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 for more information.

Performance Times

  • 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 3
  • 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to CCM Prep’s Spring Youth Ballet Concert are $15 general, $10 non-UC students and FREE for UC students with a valid ID. 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! Visit ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice for CCM Box Office hours and location.

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 UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
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Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

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