CCM Class Notes

Find professional and life updates from your former CCM Classmates listed according to graduation year. Start a new job? Get a book published? Start a family? We want to know! Send us your news and we'll feature it here or in an upcoming alumni communication.

Richard (Rick) Nelson
BM Theory `74, MM Theory `76

After teaching for 42 years at Mercer University and the Cleveland Institute of Music, Rick will be retiring as Professor of Music Theory from CIM in June, 2018. Rick has served as Head of Music Theory and Head of the Common Core Division. Rick was married 38 years to Beth Pearce Nelson, DMA (BM `77), who passed away in 2015.

Donald Nally, DMA
BM Music Education '82

Currently the artist director and conductor for professional chamber choir The Crossing. Their latest album, Gavin Bryars: The Fifth Century has won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance. Consistently recognized in critical reviews, the ensemble regularly collaborates with some of the nation’s most accomplished ensembles and creative composers. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir, most often addressing social issues.

Erwin Stuckey
BM Music Education '88, MM Jazz Studies '03
Director of Jazz Studies at Cincinnati's School for Creative and Performing Arts.

"SPCA" was recently featured on WLWT as being "known for changing students' lives"

Mickey (Michael) Fisher
BFA Musical Theater `95

Writer, creator and executive producer of a new drama series, Reverie, for NBC Television. Mickey’s previous series was a science fiction thriller, Extant, starring Halle Berry.

Jacomo Barios
MM Tuba `04

Jacomo Bairos has been the 17th Music Director for the Amarillo Symphony since 2013, and is currently in the running for the music directorship of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. 

In addition, he is Co-founder and Artistic Director for Nu Deco Ensemble - a 21st-century, genre-bending chamber orchestra based in Miami, FL, his native hometown. Along with composer Sam Hyken, Jacomo created the ensemble in 2014. Their recent performances include the opening concert for their third season that featured singer/songwriter Emily King as a guest artist and classical-crossover trio, Time for Three in December. Since their inception, they have achieved early successes and featured artists such as Kishi Bashi, Bilal, and Magda Giannikou. They have also recently formed a partnership with the Adrienne Arsht Center here in Miami, where they will perform two more times this season as their Orchestra-in-Residence. 

Andrew Garland
MM Voice `03, Diploma Opera `04

Recently featured in two articles in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Journal.

Jing Huan
MM Conducting `09

Recently appointed Charlotte Symphony Principal Conductor of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, making her the first woman in the history of the P.R.C. to hold a position like this with one of China’s top 5 orchestras. 

Jason McNeel
BM Double Bass `07

Recently won the audition for double bass with the Charlotte Symphony

Shannon Kisselbaugh
MA, MBA Arts Administration `04

Recently named a member of the inaugural Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) Forty Under 40 list in 2018. The Forty Under 40 program recognizes future leaders within the healthcare philanthropy community. The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy is an international professional organization dedicated exclusively to development professionals who encourage charity in health care organizations. AHP's 4,500 members represent more than 2,200 health care facilities around the world. 

Liz Pearce
BFA Musical Theater `00

Currently standing by for Mrs. Lovett in the acclaimed Barrow Street Theatre production of Sweeney Todd, Off Broadway, New York City.

Chris Albanese
DMA Choral Conducting `17

Accepted an appointment as Assistant Professor of Music in Choral Conducting and Director of the Singing Hoosiers at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Christopher Allen
MM Conducting `11

Christopher was the recipient of The 2017 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award. He is rapidly gaining attention as a rising conductor on the operatic and symphonic stages. Recently named The John L. Magro Resident Conductor for Cincinnati Opera, Christopher Allen's 2016-17 season highlights include debuts with the Washington National Opera conducting Donizetti's La fille du regiment, with Florida Grand Opera conducting Cuban-American composer Jorge Martin's Before Night Falls, and with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis leading the new revised version of Ricky Ian Gordon's Grapes of Wrath. 

TJ Hale
BFA Electronic Media `17

Won first place in the “Best Special Broadcast-Audio” category of the 2017 College Broadcasters Inc. National Production Competition. TJ was representing BearCast Media.

Thomas Kernan
MM Music History `10, PhD Musicology `14

The Newberry Library Academic Council named Thomas a Scholar in Residence for the 2017–2018 academic year. The Newberry is a world-renown, independent research library located in Chicago’s Gold Coast. Kernan serves as Assistant Professor of Music History and the Honors Bachelor of Musical Arts Program Head at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. He is currently writing a book on the musical memorialization of Abraham Lincoln, a topic he first explored in his doctoral dissertation, “Sounding the ‘Mystic Chords of Memory’: Musical Memorials for Abraham Lincoln, 1865–2009.”

Austin Larson
BM Horn `12

Joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra full-time as Third Horn in September 2017. Recently won First Prize in the International Music Competition "Citta di Chieri" in Turin, Italy and Second Prize (the highest prize awarded) in the Jeju International Brass Competition in South Korea.

Matthew Stensrud
BM Music Education `10

July 2017 Spotlight Award Winner at The American Center for Elemental Music and Movement.