Taking the Stage: Students Sing with Joy, Play with Pride at Third Annual Community Collage

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It was a magical night for students representing 50 schools across the district. The Third Annual Community College brought parents, peers, and the Cincinnati community together at the Aronoff Center to enjoy what was the culmination of hard work, determination and practice throughout the school year.

“The Community Collage is a spectacular way to unite all students who participate in music and fine art in our district,” said Dr. Isidore Rudnick, fine arts curriculum manager for CPS. “We are the only public school system this large to produce an event like this in Ohio, so this is an amazing collection of talent.”

Superintendent Laura Mitchell and Dr. Isidore Rudnick give opening remarks before performances.

In addition to the opportunity for students to perform on the grand stage in a concert hall, more than 300 pieces of artwork were on display in the Otto M. Budig lobby at the Aronoff Center for the Cincinnati community to enjoy throughout the day.

“We could not be prouder of these young people,” Superintendent Laura Mitchell said in her opening remarks at the event. “I know from firsthand experience the positive impact art has on students in helping them be well-rounded learners. We want all CPS students to have that advantage.”

To make the experience even sweeter for students, they rehearsed and performed with internationally-touring jazz drummer Sylvia Cuenca. Cuenca has achieved critical acclaim as a rare Mexican-American female jazz drummer in the genre and has shared the stage with saxophone legend Joe Henderson, trumpet legend Clark Terry, and many jazz luminaries like Billy Taylor.

Sylvia Cuenca performs with the high school choir.

“I am honored to be among these incredible musicians tonight,” said Cuenca. “All of the teachers really care about these students and their path in music.”

Not only did Cuenca perform with every CPS performance group—from the beginning band featuring students in their first year of music lessons to the high school jazz ensemble—at the Community Collage, she also visited Clark Montessori High School, Walnut Hills High, Roberts Paideia Academy, and College Hill Fundamental Academy to lead masterclass sessions with students the day before and after the Community Collage.

“Jazz is in good hands for the future—I can see that,” said Cuenca.

View the photos and list of performances below:

CPS Beginning Band

  • Fanfare by Frank Erickson
    • Jeff Savagian, conductor
  • Copy Cats by Sandy Feldstein & John O’Reilly
    • Terry Twitty, conductor
  • Primus by Sandy Feldstein & Larry Clark
    • Kara Barbee, conductor
  • Danza Africana by Victor Lopez
    • Brian Huhtala, conductor
    • Sylvia Cuenca, guest soloist

CPS Intermediate Band

  • March Grandioso arr. By Robert W. Smith
    • Amanda Freeman, conductor
    • Sylvia Cuenca, guest soloist
  • Water Music by G.F. Handel arr. by D.E. Wagner
    • Brad Klein, conductor
  • Jurassic Park by John Williams arr. By M. Sweeney
    • Dave Gerard, conductor
  • Bandissimo by Anne McGinty
    • Joshua Johnson, conductor

CPS Elementary Orchestra

  • Rock Riffs
    • Chris Gibson, conductor
    • Sylvia Cuenca, guest soloist
  • Chopsticks
    • Chris Gibson, conductor
  • Super Strings Samba
    • Marva Rassmuseen, conductor
    • Sylvia Cuenca, guest soloist
  • Strawberry Jam
    • Marva Rassmuseen, conductor
    • Sylvia Cuenca, guest soloist
  • Classic Sinfonia
    • Carolyn Quinn, conductor
  • Honor & Glory
    • Carolyn Quinn, conductor

CPS Elementary Choir

  • Follow the Drinking Gourd arr. by Rollo Dilworth
    • Tony Barkley, conductor
  • The Water is Wide arr. by Rollo Dilworth
    • Caite Linger, conductor
  • Over the Rainbow arr. by Andy Beck
    • Chelsea Hillard, conductor
    • Sylvia Cuenca, guest soloist
  • Kusimama by Jim Papoulis
    • Dr. Rebecca Mullins, conductor
    • Sylvia Cuenca, guest soloist

CPS High School Choir

  • Summertime by George Gershwin
    • Dr. Isidore Rudnick, conductor
    • Sylvia Cuenca, guest soloist
  • Caravan by Juan Tizol arr. by I. Rudnick
    • Dr. Isidore Rudnick, conductor
    • Sylvia Cuenca, guest soloist

CPS High School Jazz Ensemble

  • Tropical Twist by Isidore Rudnick
    • Josh Roderer, conductor
    • Sylvia Cuenca, guest soloist
  • Daybreak by Isidore Rudnick
    • Josh Roderer, conductor
    • Sylvia Cuenca, guest soloist
  • I Got Rhythm by George Gershwin
    • Josh Roderer, conductor
    • Sylvia Cuenca, guest soloist
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