December 16, 2022

CIM elects Titus Underwood to Board of Trustees in significant injection of new leadership talent 

A collage of the five new members of CIM's board of trustees
(Peter Kjome, top left, and Titus Underwood, top right, were recently elected to CIM’s Board of Trustees along with Anne Jarrad, lower left; Bruce Hearey, lower middle; and Erika Cho, lower right.) 

If an organization is only as good as its people, the Cleveland Institute of Music is better than ever.

At the 2022 annual meeting of its governing body, CIM elected oboist Titus Underwood (BM ’08, Mack) as an ex-officio Trustee, along with four other distinguished members of the community, including another alumnus and a current student. 

Underwood, principal oboe of the Nashville Symphony, is the first Black principal oboist of a major ensemble and a significant addition to the leadership of an institution seeking to shape a more equitable and inclusive future for classical music.

“We are honored to have Titus come back and help guide his alma mater,” said Paul Hogle, CIM’s President & CEO. “Our board has a track record of tremendous success, as our recent accomplishments demonstrate, but with Titus and our other new members sharing their passion and knowledge, CIM is poised to reach even greater heights.”

Underwood was elected an ex-officio Trustee representing CIM alums, along with attorney Bruce Hearey, current student Erika Cho and Anne Jarrad. Elected as a voting Trustee was another CIM alumnus, longtime orchestra administrator Peter Kjome (BM ’89, Mack).

Voting Trustees at CIM serve three-year terms. Peter Kjome is part of the class of 2025 that includes Michael W. Beedles; C. Thomas Harvie; Richard J. Hipple; Jeffrey B. Linton; Charles S. Marston; Jonathan P. Miller, MD; Shawn M. Riley; Barbara S. Robinson; and Elliott L. Schlang.

Biographies of the new Trustees are below. For more information about leadership at CIM, visit


About the new Trustees

Titus Underwood is the nation’s first Black principal oboist of a major ensemble: the Nashville Symphony. Prior to that, he served as acting associate principal oboist of the Utah Symphony. He is the 2021 recipient of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence and one of Musical America’s Top 30 Professionals of the Year. After CIM, where he studied with Cleveland Orchestra members John Mack, Frank Rosenwein and Jeffrey Rathbun, Underwood earned a master’s degree from The Juilliard School, studying with Elaine Douvas, Nathan Hughes and Pedro Díaz. Outside Nashville, Underwood has performed with the orchestras of Los Angeles, Atlanta and San Diego, and as a guest principal of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Peter Kjome has spent his career blending his passions for business and classical music. Most recently, Kjome served for five years as President and CEO of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Before that, he led the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, which he also formerly served as principal oboe. He also worked in the consumer business division of 3M, holding positions in strategic planning and marketing. A graduate of CIM, where he studied with oboist John Mack, Kjome is a devoted friend of CIM, having served as a member of the school’s Academic Affairs Committee, including its co-chair, during a previous term as an ex-officio Trustee.

Bruce Hearey is the Office Managing Shareholder at Ogletree Deakins in Cleveland, one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management. He was previously a longtime partner at Spieth, Bell, McCurdy & Newell. A former president of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Hearey has served CIM for decades as its primary legal counsel on employment and other matters. He has been one of CIM’s Governing Members since 2018.

Anne Jarrad is in her first year as president of Partners for CIM, which she joined in 2018. She is Director of Advancement at Julie Billiart Schools, which serves children with social and learning differences. She holds a BA from Albion College and has completed other studies at Western Michigan University and the Indiana University School of Philanthropy. She also is active with the PTO of Shaker Heights City Schools.

Erika Cho is in her third year of studies at CIM with violist Jeffrey Irvine. Cho has been a member of CIM’s Student Government Association all three years at CIM and is now in her second year on the executive board. Cho serves on the SGA out of a desire to give back to the community and inspire her fellow students to do the same.