It's official. There will be no Hot Summer Nights on campus at University of Cincinnati this summer although, says College-Conservatory of Music Dean Doug Lowry, "I remain very enthusiastic about 2005."
When UC's long-time summer musical series went on hiatus for the summer of 2003, Lowry cited a number of issues, including changing needs of students, interests of faculty and viability for audiences.
For 2004, add the "enormity of budget problems for both the university and CCM," says Lowry, whose current focus is "protecting our core programs."
Given the ever-tightening economics in higher education across the U.S., it's surprising that Lowry holds out hope for the future of Hot Summer Nights in any form.
The word is hope, says Lowry. "We're hoping to stabilize, then we can turn our attention to creating a project that is exciting and new for the public, so we can sell tickets and raise money."
Last year Lowry said he was looking to the artistic faculty for ideas. He says there have been suggestions that have excited him. The jury is out until these ideas "evolve into sharp and vibrant focus."
What Lowry would like to see is more outreach from CCM programs into the Greater Cincinnati community. CCM has almost 1,000 performances on campus every academic year.
"I'll be encouraging (departments) to take their wares into the community. It's important to get beyond the university. We have an obligation to do more outside the confines of CCM."
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