Cincinnati Magazine: What colleges learned from the pandemic

CCM Musical Theatre's class of 2024 is featured for their commitment to performance despite COVID

UC College-Conservatory of Music's Musical Theatre program has a tradition of welcoming their first-year students with a showcase. However, the pandemic had other plans for the class of 2024. Determined to make this performance happen, faculty and students adapted to create a virtual performance entitled, “Wake Up,” in which newcomers were featured in monologues and performances shot at Cincinnati theatres, parks and museums.

Cincinnati Magazine took notice of these efforts and gave the production a shoutout in their recent article, What Colleges, Faculty and Students Learned from the Pandemic.

“If we can work together in this project, as overwhelming as it’s been, we can also work together in other overwhelming situations,” says Associate CCM Professor Vincent DeGeorge, who served as producer and director.

This was no easy feat. The team for the project not only included a technical team of editors and operators, but health protocol experts to ensure everyone’s safety. Audio was prerecorded beforehand individually and masks were worn the entire time on set while students lip synced along with the track. Adhering to the university’s health and safety protocols, only one student would sing for 30 minutes and then the room wiped down and cleared for four hours.

“Wake Up” was released in June 2021 and is available to watch on the CCM YouTube Channel. It is deeply personal to the students, and candidly shares the frustrations and struggles they’ve experienced and witnessed globally during the pandemic. The Showcase provided students with an open space for the critical and civil exchange of ideas and creativity. Monologues and performances include content that some may find triggering, including strong language and topics of racism and violence. Viewer discretion is advised.

“Our class came to school ready to finally have a chance to say something. We came ready for the opportunity to finally speak our minds and let go of everything that we’ve been holding in for so long,” says BFA Musical Theatre freshman (now sophomore) Annalise Prentiss.

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Feature Image at the top: The CCM Musical Theatre Class of 2024.

Headshot of Jaime Sharp

Jaime Sharp

CCM Graduate Assistant, Marketing + Communications

Jaime Sharp is a master's student studying Vocal Performance at CCM. She serves as the Vice President of the CCM Graduate Student Association and Student Liaison for the CCM DEI Committee. Jaime holds a bachelor's from the University of Michigan.