Well, as of today I've been living in Cleveland for about four weeks now, which has flown by in the midst of classes, rehearsals, life in general, etc. And while we're all still in the first few stages of the new school year, CIM hasn't wasted any time in gearing up for the plethora of performances we will all be taking part in in this one semester alone. In the meantime however, I've taken advantage of the leniency of my current school schedule to "explore" the ins and outs of the Cleveland Institute of Music.
When entering the building, there are two points of entry; one on the south side and one on the north side of the building. Both entrances are regulated by security staff that have their own security desk for when it comes to letting people into the building who don't have CIM ID cards, which we use to gain access to the building. The ID cards also grant us CIM students the privilege of requesting our studio rooms for practicing, letting us pay for printing or mailing services, and obtaining our free tickets to see the Cleveland Orchestra for free (Yes, I said free). The security staff opens and closes the institute everyday, to ensure that the students are safe and where they need to be at all times.
There's almost never a point in time when there's no one walking in the hallways of CIM, with people going to classes, rehearsals, lessons, their practice rooms, or even studying sessions in our repertoire library, which is rich with primary and secondary sources of materials including scores, practice parts, biographies, and music history and pedagogy books. Anyone that is a CIM student or faculty member can checkout any of these articles for research or practice purposes. I for one was able to find music that wasn't even public domain from that library when it came to finding practice parts for auditions that requested certain "oddball" excerpts, which can be found in works by composers who have passed away within the last 75 years, such as Stravinsky, Shostakovitch, and other composers who've died since 1948 onward. Bartok has recently just been added to the public domain list, however it took until 2015 to upload his materials onto public domain forums since 1945, for educational purposes.
The library also offers students work study, which allows them to manage certain tasks in how to organize scores, compose practice parts, and document new additions of scores or books to CIM's collection. This provides avid training for anyone who desires to become a professional orchestral librarian.
Surprisingly, this isn't all what the library offers here at CIM; located underneath the ground floor of the library is a magnificent collection of records and private record players that document performances of the numerous masterworks. Headsets are provided along with the LP players for private listening.
Many of the students also make copies of their music just so they don't deface their originals whenever they need to mark in things for rehearsals or lessons. Practice parts are also distributed for audition prepping, obtaining excerpts that aren't public domain, and planning ahead for what CIM will be performing in the next cycle.
After this particular day of school, a friend and I decided to head to what's known as "Little Italy" for lunch. Little Italy, a well known historic district in Cleveland, houses many of the students that attend CIM and CWRU with apartments, and even some houses. But what Little Italy is really known for is it's nearly authentic Italian cuisine, with restaurants that serve almost nothing but Italian food and wine for the public. My friend and I decided to go to "Mama Santa's Restaurant and Pizzeria", which I believe is the best pizza in all of Cleveland, if not all of Ohio. There are other wonderful locations on this strip that meet the eye, such as bakeries, bars, and venues where lots of jazz groups play.
Along with the vast array of places to eat and enjoy lunch, the architecture of Little Italy itself is enough for you to appreciate it. The area has a likeness to Manhattan in a way; everything is close together so you're able to walk to from several locations to wherever you want to go. That being said, parking also has a likeness to Manhattan, where if you're able to get through Little Italy in a car, then you're a better driver than 90% of everyone else that walks to their destination. The church in Little Italy is also astounding due to the sheer size of the building compared to the other shops around it. It even has a working bell that they still ring on the hour!
While there is still much, much more to explore in Cleveland and at CIM, I'm excited to be finding my way through the city as nicely as I am, and with new friends!
Until the next post!