UC-CCM is one of the top music schools in the country. Although it does not yet have a full-blown early music program, the students are expressing increasingly urgent interest in the centuries before Mozart, andthat’s where the Early Music Lab comes in. A student who is majoring in conducting, or French Horn, or musicology, can study lute with Rod Stucky, harpsichord and organ with Michael Unger, and viola da gamba with Annalisa Pappano. And the numbers of students who are taking advantage of this opportunity are swelling. It’s extremely rare that this loose affiliation comes together, but on Feb 26 they will do just that, in service to a cause.
Prince of Peace Lutheran is one of the oldest churches in town, completed in 1871. Its story reflects the story of Cincinnati’s urban core: a once thriving church saw its congregation shrink as people moved to the suburbs, and the money to maintain a huge aging building became scarce. Rather than folding, as many a church was forced to, the people of this parish turned their energies toward the work they could do. They moved all their activities to street level (the second-story sanctuary was condemned in the 1980s) and met the needs of the neighborhood with a full range of services for the urban poor. Now, in the 2010s, the neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine is changing again, there is a streetcar stop right outside the door, and forgotten spaces are being reclaimed. The basement and undercroft were first to be rehabbed, so the neighborhood mission can continue and improve. The sanctuary is being revived even as I write this, with a finishing date of early February. And that will take them to the organ, a historically significant example of American organ-building, constructed right here in Cincinnati by Koehnken & Grimm. Bloody but unbowed, this amazing instrument can be restored with your help.
We’re calling it the CCM Early Music Lab Sampler Concert. Students from all the studios, and singers too, will come together in Prince of Peace and show what they can do. This event will be a fundraiser to help in the restoration of the sanctuary and the organ. Please come out for this: support the students, support the church’s mission, support the architecture or the organ, or just rubberneck at a space no one has seen in 30 years. But come out to Way-Over-the Rhine and see what’s going on there.
Friday, Feb 26, 7:30pm
1528 Race St. (Race and Liberty) 45201