CCM alums win prestigious grants from the Sphinx Organization

Titilayo Ayangade and Jaime Sharp recognized for outstanding artistry

Story by CCM Graduate Student Chet Rhodes

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music is thrilled to congratulate alums Titilayo Ayangade (BM Cello, ’14) and Jaime Sharp (MM Voice, ’22) on their recent wins of two MPower Artist Grants from the Sphinx Organization. Available only to alumni of the Sphinx Organization, these competitive grants are intended to “empower artists’ careers.”

Currently based in New York City, Ayangade is a Cincinnati native, and studied Cello at CCM. A multifaceted artist, her mediums also include photography and creative directing. “Her body of work is all about and in service of the music that raised her,” according to Ayangade's website. Ayangade is "passionate about uncovering the resonant souls behind the facades we present outwardly.” She has worked professionally with clients such as the New York Youth Symphony, the Concert Artist Guild, Colburn, Black Orchestral Network, and Chamber Music America. Her win of the MPower Artist Grant will aid in her debut recording of an innovative and newly commissioned string duet by composer Curtis Stewart. Watch the Sphinx Organization's video introduction of Ayangade.

A passionate arts administrator, director, and performer, Sharp received their MM in Voice from CCM in 2022. Boasting a broad and detailed resume, Sharp has held positions with the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Chicago, Grantmakers in the Arts, the LGBTQ+ Network with Opera America, and many other impressive organizations. Sharp is also the founding director of Cultivart, an online resource hub for arts leaders of color, for which she was awarded the MPower Artist Grant. This grant will further the development of Cultivart, aiding in “disrupting the pipeline to executive leadership by providing emerging arts administrators of color with tools, guidance, mentorship, and community needed for career success.” Watch the Sphinx Organization's video introduction of Sharp.

Founded in 1997, Sphinx has quickly become a leader in professional classical music organizations, and is “focused on increasing representation of Black and Latinx artists in classical music and recognizing excellence.” The Sphinx Organization has programs designed for everyone, from children to world-renowned professionals. “Sphinx envisions a day where the classical music field looks like our communities,” reads, “where every young person has the opportunity to express themselves and learn classical music; where audiences reflect the people we see on our streets; and where leadership –on stage and off –includes all deserving voices.”

CCM congratulates both Ayangade and Sharp on their amazing achievements! To learn more about the Sphinx Organization, visit the website.

Featured image at the top: A photo of a mural at CCM. 

Headshot of Chet Rhodes

Chet Rhodes

CCM Graduate Assistant, Marketing + Communications

Currently a Bassoon Performance master’s student at CCM, Chet received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Utah. He has held positions with the Salt Lake Symphony and the Utah Philharmonia.

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