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April 20, 2020

Accepted Students Explore What CIM Has to Offer During Virtual Open House


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In lieu of an on-campus open house, the Cleveland Institute of Music has offered the next best thing – a chance for admitted students to visit virtually.

From different time zones across the world, 20 future CIM students received an inside peek at what a master class looks like with the Callisto Quartet – prizewinners at the Fischoff, Wigmore Hall and Melbourne chamber music competitions and CIM alumni – through the Institute’s Virtual Open House, held April 9-17 for admitted graduate and undergraduate students. Typically, CIM invites admitted students to campus in April to get a “sneak peek” at conservatory life while they are deciding which school will become their home for the next several years. 

“By sitting in on music theory classes, participating in eurhythmics, attending master classes and open lessons, students quickly figure out if CIM is the right fit for them,” explains Jerrod Price, executive director of preparatory, enrollment and pathway programs. “We encourage them to ask questions of everyone they meet – students, faculty and staff alike. If it’s on their minds, it’s on ours, too. Because this week’s open house is virtual, accepted students from all over the world have been able to participate – a silver lining for many students during this time.”

CIM broadcasted a master class where Philip Setzer, visiting faculty member, coached the Callisto Quartet in the third movement of Bartók's Sixth String Quartet. Students can expect that level of visiting artists while at CIM and within the chamber music program. Throughout the broadcast, Setzer, CIM chamber music coordinator Si-Yan Darren Li and members of Callisto answered questions from the students in the chat room.  

Comprised of violinists Paul Aguilar (BM ’19, Laredo/Sloman) and Rachel Stenzel-Aguilar (BM ’18, MM ’19, Rose/Sloman), violist Eva Kennedy (BM ’17, MM ’19, Ramsey/Irvine) and cellist Hannah Moses (YAP ’13, BM/MM ’18, AD ’19, Kraut), they also took questions via video from the students about all that CIM has to offer. 

Li, Setzer and members of the ensemble emphasized that CIM is dedicated to the performance and promotion of chamber music. 

“Chamber music has always been a vital component at CIM,” said Setzer. “The spirit of the chamber music at the Conservatory is certainly very strong and vibrant.” 

Kennedy told students that CIM offers a number of learning formats and other educational opportunities for early career chamber musicians. 

“Something that’s great about CIM is that the school and faculty are really supportive of students’ pursuits in chamber music,” she said. “Any group that wants to take their ensemble seriously definitely has the infrastructure, instruction and encouragement to do so at CIM.”   

Throughout February, CIM hosted hundreds of students for auditions. The Institute spent the month of March narrowing down the pool of students with so much potential to welcome the most talented and diverse group of students possible.  

“April is when we have to assure students that CIM is where they can get world class teaching, outstanding educational experience and best professional outcomes after graduation,” said Price. “Our goal is that they have every question answered about what they could expect with life at CIM. We have offered students a variety of sessions throughout the week and different times throughout the day.”  

In addition to the Callisto Quartet, students heard from such alumni as Wesley Collins (BM ’07, Vernon), principal viola of The Cleveland Orchestra and Renee Richardson (PS ’18, Schiller), as well as current student Stephen Hawkey (cello, Kraut), who shared stories about their time at CIM and exactly what it takes to be a successful student at the Institute. Many professors also opened up their studio classes to allow admitted students to join, participate and ask questions of their future peers. Students also met President and CEO Paul W. Hogle and Chief Academic Officer and Dean of the Conservatory Judy A. Bundra.  

“Our commitment to students has never been stronger, and we’re making doubly sure that we’re easily accessible during this unprecedented time in our history,” said admissions counselor Daniel Shiu, who coordinated and delivered each event.