The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
(CCM) is the performing arts college
of the University of Cincinnati
and is one of the nation's leading music conservatories. In its most recent (1997) rankings, US News and World Report
ranked Cincinnati sixth nationally among university programs for pursuing a graduate music degree. Its voice program was ranked third, and its conducting
program was ranked fifth.
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 later incorporated into the University of Cincinnati
on August 1
. The college is sometimes mistakenly (if not outright intentionally) still called the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music by various publications such as Broadway Playbills
, performer biographies, and even CCM alumni themselves (who rarely refer to themselves as alumni of the "University of Cincinnati") to distance CCM from its association with the University of Cincinnati. Since Nancy L. Zimpher
became UC's president, the various UC colleges, including CCM, have been more tightly integrated under the University of Cincinnati name, including new campus signage
and campus publications (including concert programs and calendars) that state the college's full name.
Today, CCM has an enrollment of about 1500, with a relatively even amount of undergraduate and graduate students, and it is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the entire state of Ohio. Though most performances are free to all University of Cincinnati students, CCM does not offer a music minor, and most classes are restricted to students of the college with the exception of a few music history and music appreciation classes.
Completed in 1999, the CCM Village was built at an overall cost of $93.2 million. Under the supervision of Henry Cobb, of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, renovated existing structures were merged with an array of state-of-the-art new buildings creating four overall centers: Mary Emery Hall, the Corbett Center for the Performing Arts, Memorial Hall, and the Dieterle Vocal Arts Center.
The last and hallmark project for the CCM Village, Mary Emery Hall, was completed in 1999 and replaced the former Mary Emery Hall which housed aging practice rooms and classrooms. The new Mary Emery Hall is a confluence of "smart" classrooms, administrative and faculty offices, composition and performance labs, the Electronic Media Division, the Master Classroom, the CCM Cafe, and the celebrated Werner Recital Hall.
The three-tiered building's interior has an open face with glass balconies overlooking its atrium. The atrium connects Mary Emery Hall to Corbett Auditorium. So-called "smart" classrooms were quite new to the University of Cincinnati in 1999, each housing high-quality video projectors, computer connections, soundboards, and other high-tech equipment to further facilitate instruction. In addition to faculty offices for the Electronic Media, Music Theory, History, and Composition, and Music Education divisions, Mary Emery Hall is home to the CCM Cafe, a popular eating meeting commons. Three practice pipe organs and one performance pipe organ as well as the World Music Lab and Early Music Labs are located on its third level (fifth floor). The Master Classroom is a frequent location for recitals, studio classes, and master classes.
- Corbett Center for Performing Arts
Named for its primary benefactors, Patricia and J. Ralph Corbett, the four level facility houses classrooms, offices, and studios for the Division of Opera, Musical Theatre, Drama, and Arts Administration, the Theatre Design and Production Division, the Jazz Studies Division, and the Dance Division. It is also the site of most of CCM's performance venues including Corbett Auditorium, Patricia Corbett Theatre, Cohen Family Studio Theatre, and Watson Hall. Three full dance studios and numerous other rehearsal rooms adorn the ground floor level. Among the largest of CCM's facilities, the necessary scene shops, theater construction, costume shops, and make-up studios occupy most of its second and third levels. The lowest floor features large classrooms used primarily for lecture style and lab style courses as well as jazz studios and performance labs.
Named after former dean Dr. Jack Watson, the 140-seat recital hall is located on the lowest level of the Corbett Center for Performing Arts. Its centerpiece, a 44-rank Balcom and Vaughan organ, was dedicated in honor of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Strader, IV.
Added to the Corbett Center in 1999 was the Baur Room, an intimate and ornate room used for small receptions and student meetings such as the quarterly Dean's Forum. It was named in honor of Clara and Bertha Baur, the first two directresses of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.
Memorial Hall was converted from a girls dormitory in 1996 to a fully equipped practice and studio facility for the College-Conservatory of Music. Amongst its architectural features, one will find gargoyles splendoured throughout the building's facade and sculptures depicting female advancement in areas such as aviation. Many of the teaching studios inside the building still have the original fireplaces and mantles. Chamber music rehearsal rooms, reed making rooms, the center for computer music (ccm^2), and a small chamber performance room become a second home for many of CCM's students.
- Dieterle Vocal Arts Center
The Dieterle Vocal Arts Center, commonly referred to as DVAC, was originally called Schmidlapp Hall. It was the university's gymnasium and athletic facility until the construction of the Shoemaker Center (now Fifth-Third Arena). DVAC is now the center of nearly all choral and vocal activity at CCM. Voice studios, coaching studios, accompanying studios, and choral rehearsal rooms are the main occupants of the building. The choral rehearsal room was once the location of the university's indoor pool.
Electronic media facilities
- Ralph J. Corbett Audio Production Center
- Lawrence A. Leser Newsroom
- Judy and Jim Van Cleave Multimedia Laboratory
- Jack and Joan Strader Radio Center
- Walter and Marilyn Bartlett Television Production Center
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 1911-1951. Its large gallery windows overlook Nippert Stadium, and the hall is typically kept lit for night football games. The building is a common sight during nationally-televised football games. Now, the space is primary used for smaller-scale operatic performances.
- Gorno Memorial Music Library
- CCM Listening Center
- Corbett Auditorium
- Patricia Corbett Theatre
- Robert J. Werner Recital Hall
- Cohen Family Studio Theatre
- Figura-Prima by Magdalena Abakanowicz (1995) outside of Werner Recital Hall
- Memorial Fountain to Clara Baur by Clement J. Barnhorn (1914) in the Alumni Garden
- Light Mast by James Carpenter (1999) outside the CCM Cafe
- The Three Muses by Sam Gilliam (1999) in the CCM Atrium
The College-Conservatory of Music offers a wide array of postgraduate, graduate, and undergraduate degrees in music. Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA
) 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. Doctor of Music Education (DME) degrees may also be sought. Advanced degrees called Artist Diplomas are available in most performance areas as well. Master of Music (MM
) degrees are available in all aforementioned programs, including classical guitar and jazz studies, as well as accompanying and music education. All undergraduate music programs are performance-based and attain a Bachelor of Music (BM
) degree. A general BA
degree is offered in music.
The majority of programs related to the school's theater departments are undergraduate, though Master of Fine Arts (MFA
) degrees are offered in directing and theater design and production. Undergraduate BFA
degrees are more specialized in areas such as musical theater and acting. Additionally, CCM offers an MA
degree in arts administration. It is also one of only two schools in the country to offer BFA and MFA programs in Makeup and Wig Design, the other being North Carolina School of the Arts, whose Wig and Makeup program was started by a graduate of CCM.
The dance study at CCM has a ballet-emphasis. The department only offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in dance, though the faculty is of equivalent numbers and standards as other departments.
The largest and fastest growing program at CCM is electronic media. The program offers a general Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in electronic media, but students often choose specializations as part of their program including broadcasting, radio production, and television production. Electronic Media student organizations include Bearcast
(UC's student radio station) and UCast
(student-run campus television station).
Douglas Knehans, pending approval, will become Dean of the College-Conservatory of Music effective September 1, 2008. Warren E. George has been serving as interim dean for the College-Conservatory of Music since August 1, 2007. Douglas A. Lowry, who served as dean from 2001-2007, accepted the position of dean at the Eastman School of Music
effective on August 1, 2007.
Distinctions and chairs
- Donna, Ralph, and Julia Cohen Chair in Drama
- Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theater
- J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair of Opera
- Dieterle Chair of Music
- Thomas J. Kelly Professor
- Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Classical Violin
- Joseph Weinberger Chair of Acting
Noted current and former faculty
- Cho-Liang Lin - Distinguished Guest Artist in Violin
- Donna Loewy - Accompanist-in-Residence
- Nicholas Muni - Distinguished Artist in Residence, Opera
- Awadagin Pratt - Artist-in-Residence, Piano
- Eugene Pridonoff - Artist-in-Residence, Piano
- James Tocco - Eminent Scholar in Chamber Music
- Dale Warland - Visiting Professor of Choral Music