The Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music was formed in August 1955 from the merger of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, formed in 1867 as part of a girls' finishing school, and the College of Music of Cincinnati, which opened in 1878. CCM was incorporated into the University of Cincinnati on August 1, 1962. The college is sometimes still called the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music by various publications such as Playbills and performer biographies.
CCM has an enrollment of about 1,430, with a relatively even number of undergraduate and graduate students. It is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in Ohio, with nearly one thousand performances each academic year. Most performances are free to University of Cincinnati students and CCM now offers both a music minor and a media production minor. CCM also offers a wide variety of arts elective courses that are open to all University of Cincinnati students.
CCM offers postgraduate, graduate and undergraduate degrees in music, along with an academic minor. Doctor of Musical Arts degrees are offered in all performance, conducting, and academic areas (except classical guitar and jazz studies) including Ph.D. programs in musicology, music history and music theory. Advanced degrees called Artist Diplomas are available in most performance areas as well. Master of Music degrees are available in all those programs, including classical guitar and jazz studies, as well as collaborative piano and music education. All undergraduate music programs are performance-based and attain a Bachelor of Music degree. A music BA is offered.
The musical theater program at CCM is the oldest bachelor's degree program in the U.S., the most selective program at the University of Cincinnati, and is one of the nation's top programs. According to Playbill, CCM is represented on Broadway the second-most of any institution during the 2017–2018 season. When the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of the musical theater program's annual senior showcase in New York City, CCM became the first program in the nation to produce a "virtual senior showcase" for casting agents and industry professionals.
CCM Opera and vocal studies ranked second in the United States in 2017. The Masters program focuses on stage experience, vocal technique, coaching and academic musicality. Masters students and recent alumni are represented in the nation's top young artist programs, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera and Opera Theater Saint Louis. Each March, CCM holds the Corbett Competition, a vocal competition eligible to students in CCM's graduate opera program, featuring five prizes including full-tuition scholarships plus $10,000 to $15,000 in cash prizes. A highlight is the annual undergraduate opera, which is performed double-cast with orchestra, lights, sets and costumes.
CCM offers a BFA in acting designed to train students for the dramatic theater as well as for work in film and television. While the majority of programs related to the school's theater departments are undergraduate, a number of Master of Fine Arts degree tracks are offered in theater design and production. In 2015, The Hollywood Reporter named CCM number 12 on its list of the top 25 undergraduate drama schools in the world.
Theater Design and Production (TDP)
CCM TDP is one of two schools in the country to offer an MFA program in Makeup and Wig Design, and one of very few to offer an MFA in Stage Properties. Featuring an 8,500 square foot scene shop, 3,000 square foot costume shop, and wig, make-up and prosthetics studios it is one of the best schools for hands-on training and learning. CCM TDP offers 13 different degrees all with hands-on training for each discipline. Alumni have gone on to work with Feld Entertainment, Hamilton, Cirque Du Soleil, and many other notable companies.
Dance study at CCM emphasizes ballet. The department offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance.
CCM offers both an MA in Arts Administration and a dual MBA/MA in Arts Administration in conjunction with the University of Cincinnati's College of Business. The program is focused on preparing students to lead and manage arts organizations.
The largest and fastest growing program at CCM is media production (formerly known as "electronic media"). The program offers a general Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in media production, as well as an academic minor. The program uses a track-based curriculum with tracks in Film and Television Production, Broadcast Media Production and Multimedia Production with focus areas in web-site design, audio production and sports media. The curriculum in each track shares a common first year experience for all students. It requires two semesters of internships, a year-long capstone, and 18 credits in a minor or certificate program in addition to general education foundation from classes across campus. Media Production student organizations include a student radio station and student-run campus television station. Media Production alumni are heavily involved in the college's "CCM Onstage Online" performance broadcast series and "School, Stage and Screen" podcast series.
Completed in 1999, CCM Village was built at an overall cost of $93.2 million. Under the supervision of Henry Cobb, of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, renovated structures were merged with new buildings, creating four overall centers: Mary Emery Hall, the Corbett Center for the Performing Arts, Memorial Hall and the Dieterle Vocal Arts Center.
Media Production facilities
On-campus media production facilities include The Walter and Marilyn Bartlett Television Studio, The Ralph J. Corbett Audio Production Center, The Jack and Joan Strader Radio Center, The Avid Media Composer/Adobe Creative Suite 4K Postproduction Lab, and The Judith and Jim Van Cleave Multimedia Laboratory.
Nippert Rehearsal Studio
The Nippert Rehearsal Studio, named for Louise Dieterle Nippert, was originally the site of the University of Cincinnati gymnasium and main basketball court from 1911 until 1951. Its windows overlook Nippert Stadium. Now, the space primarily acts as the main rehearsal hall for all of CCM's mainstage productions.
In 2017, the five main performance halls participated in a ~$15M renovation. These include: Corbett Auditorium, Patricia Corbett Theater, Robert J. Werner Recital Hall, Watson Recital Hall, and Cohen Family Studio Theater.
Multiple departments at CCM have ranked nationally among university programs for a graduate music degree, including its opera/voice program, its conducting program, French horn, music composition and drama programs. CCM holds the #2 spot on Playbill's list of "10 Most Represented Colleges on Broadway," behind New York University. In 2011, CCM was recognized as Ohio's first and only Center of Excellence in Music and Theatre Arts by the Ohio Board of Regents. In 2019, CCM's Jazz Studies program was named the inaugural college affiliate of Jazz at Lincoln Center, which allowed nearly two dozen students and faculty members to accompany Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra on an international residency in São Paulo, Brazil, from June 22–30, 2019.
- Christy Altomare (B.F.A. Musical Theatre '08) – Originating the title role in the 2017 Broadway bound Anastasia, Sophie in Mamma Mia! (Broadway), and Wendla in the National Tour of Spring Awakening
- Kathleen Battle (B.M. Music Education – 1970) – Soprano known for her roles at the Metropolitan Opera and other leading opera houses.
- Shoshana Bean (B.F.A. Musical Theatre – 1999) – known for her role in Wicked as Elphaba.
- Ashley Brown (B.F.A. Musical Theatre – 2004) – known for the title role in Broadway production of Mary Poppins
- Elizabeth Brown (B.M. – 1975) – contemporary composer and performer
- Kristy Cates (B.F.A. Musical Theatre – 1999) – Wicked
- Kim Criswell (B.F.A. Musical Theatre – 1979)
- David Daniels (B.M. Vocal Performance) – Countertenor of international fame.
- David P. DeVenney Professor of music and director of choral activities, West Chester University School of Music.
- Stephen Flaherty (B.M. Composition – 1982) – Tony Award-winning composer of Ragtime
- Tennessee Ernie Ford (1939) - composer, singer (baritone), radio announcer, television host and author.
- Sara Gettelfinger (Actress; B.F.A. Musical Theatre – 1999)
- David Goldsmith (Writer/Lyricist; B.F.A. Opera/Musical Theatre - 1985) - Motown: The Musical
- Jason Graae (B.F.A. Musical Theatre 1980)
- Kirsten Haglund – Miss America 2008
- Randy Harrison (Actor; B.F.A. Musical Theatre – 2000)
- Al Hirt – noted trumpeter
- John Holiday - (M.M. Vocal Performance) American operatic countertenor who has appeared in supporting and leading roles with several American opera companies
- Sarah Hutchings (D.M.A. Composition)
- Lauren Kennedy (B.F.A. Musical Theatre – 1993)
- Jennifer Korbee – singer/actress, starred in the Emmy nominated television show Hi-5
- Leslie Kritzer (B.F.A. Musical Theatre – 1999) – Star of 2008 musical, A Catered Affair and originated the role of Serena in Legally Blonde: The Musical.
- Aaron Lazar (M.F.A. Musical Theatre – 2000), Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza on Broadway (also on PBS Broadcast), Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music, Original Charles Darnay in A Tale of Two Cities, Impressionism on Broadway, Larry Murphy in the US National Tour of Dear Evan Hansen
- Tyler Maynard (B.F.A. Musical Theatre) – Original Cast of Altar Boyz, Flotsum in Disney's The Little Mermaid on Broadway
- Kevin McCollum (B.F.A. Musical Theatre – 1984) – producer of Tony Award-winning productions of Rent and Avenue Q. Also produced The Drowsy Chaperone and [title of show].
- Ricardo Morales, clarinetist
- Brad Myers (M.M. Jazz) - Jazz guitarist and producer
- Pamela Myers - Musical Theatre. Originated role of Marta in Company
- Anton Nel, (M.M., D.M.A. Piano) Pianist and winner of the 1987 Naumberg International Piano competition, among others.
- Daniel Okulitch, opera bass-baritone
- Karen Olivo (B.F.A. Musical Theatre) – Rent, Brooklyn, original Vanessa in In the Heights, revival Anita in West Side Story (Tony Award win), and Angelica Schuyler in the Chicago cast of Hamilton
- Faith Prince (Actor; B.F.A. Musical Theatre) Tony Award winner.
- Diana-Maria Riva (Actress; B.F.A. Dramatic Performance – 1991)
- Harrison Sheckler (B.M. Piano 2019) Pianist and Virtual Choir Conductor.
- Sara Shepard (B.F.A. Musical Theatre 2008) – Vivian cover on National Tour of Legally Blonde
- Richard Sparks (D.M.A. Choral Conducting 1997)
- Christian Tetzlaff, German classical violinist.
- Arthur Tripp (B.M. Music Performance 1966) - Cincinnati Symphony, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band
- Tony Yazbeck (B.F.A. Musical Theatre) – Al in the 2006 revival of A Chorus Line, Tulsa in the 2008 revival of Gypsy, Gabey in On the Town (Tony nomination), and J.M. Barrie in Finding Neverland
- Constance Cochnower Virtue, composer who developed the Virtue Notagraph
- Mitchell Walker (B.F.A Musical Theatre)
- Donald Lawrence (B.F.A. Musical Theatre) - Multi Stellar award-winning gospel music singer, composer and choir director
- Betsy Wolfe (B.F.A. Musical Theatre 2004) - known for her roles in "Waitress", "Falsettos", and "The Last Five Years."
- Tamara Wilson (B.M. Vocal performance 2004) - operatic soprano who won the Richard Tucker Award in 2016
- Li Chuan Yun, Chinese violin virtuoso and concert artist
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- "Best Musical Theatre Colleges (BFA/MFA Programs) for Broadway Success | Learn U". www.learnu.org. Retrieved 2018-09-26.
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- "The Top 10 Colleges for Opera and Vocal Performance - Page 3 of 3 - Music School Central". Music School Central. 2014-09-30. Retrieved 2017-11-07.
- "Acting". ccm.uc.edu. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
- "Theatre Design and Production". ccm.uc.edu. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
- "The Top 25 Undergraduate Drama Schools | Hollywood Reporter". www.hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
- "CCM Media Production launches new curriculum for 21st-century digital storytellers". University of Cincinnati.
- "Electronic Media". ccm.uc.edu. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
- "One year into pandemic, UC's College-Conservatory of Music uses innovation to adapt". 12 March 2021.
- Lyman, David. "CCM's renovated auditorium at cutting edge of theater technology". The Enquirer. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
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- "CCM announces initial 2019-20 performance lineup, new subscription offerings". 7 August 2019.
- "CCM Dean Douglas Lowry to Head Eastman School of Music". 20 May 2007.
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- Gelfand, Janelle (June 25, 2019). "College-Conservatory of Music Jazz Series first to hold new residency with Marsalis band". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
- Alec Snyder. "A music student united more than 300 musicians to create a virtual choir to perform during the pandemic". CNN. Retrieved 2021-03-06.
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- UC College-Conservatory of Music official site
- University of Cincinnati official site
- CCM profile on MajoringInMusic.com
- Pei Cobb Freed & Partners CCM Structures