CCM Navigation

CCM's The Village NewsCCMThe Village NewsUC

CCM's The Village News
CCM Celebrates the 150th Anniversary of it's founding in 2017

Prelude to a Celebration: Setting the Stage for CCM's Sesquicentennial

In the fall of 1867, a 31-year-old piano and voice teacher began offering classes in a one-room studio in Walnut Hills, thereby establishing one of the first music conservatories in the United States. From those humble beginnings, Clara Baur grew the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music into one of the most renowned conservatories of its time, attracting artists from the around the world to observe, to teach guest classes and to become permanent faculty members.

The College of Music of Cincinnati

The College of Music of Cincinnati.

The success of the Conservatory led to the development of another such institution in 1878. The College of Music of Cincinnati was established by Reuben R. Springer and George Ward Nichols together with a group of cultural leaders who had previously founded the May Festival. Theodore Thomas, who eventually became the first conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, was named the school’s first director. Initially located next to Cincinnati’s still-new Music Hall, the College of Music became one of the first American schools of music to have its own concert hall when it relocated to the “Odeon” building in 1884.

These two storied institutions merged to become Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music in 1955. The CCM of today was finally established in 1962, when the College-Conservatory of Music became the 14th college of the University of Cincinnati.

CCM's logo from 1955 to 1962.

CCM's logo from 1955 to 1962.

The spirit of innovation and excellence initiated when Clara Baur opened the doors of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in the fall of 1867 continues to guide our internationally renowned institution. In the months ahead, we will celebrate milestones from throughout our history as we prepare for the 150th anniversary of our founding. We hope you will join us in the months ahead as we celebrate the accomplishments of our last 150 years and look forward to the promise of the next 150 years.

You can learn more about CCM's history by visiting Keep reading The Village News to learn more about CCM's Sesquicentennial Celebration beginning in the Fall of 2017!

Did You Know?
A Glance at Some of CCM's Famous Firsts


The conservatory becomes one of the founding members of the accrediting body the National Association of Schools of Music.


The Conservatory becomes the first major music school in the United States to offer a formal training in dance, with an emphasis on the academic tradition of classical ballet.


The College begins offering classes in radio and establishes the first collegiate broadcast department.


CCM Establishes the country's first BFA program in musical theatre, which served as the model for the National Association of Schools of Music and the National Association of Schools of Theatre in creating their guidelines for the accreditation of musical theatre programs nationwide.