US Bank Support Allows Ballet to Flourish

US Bank Support Allows Ballet to Flourish

Cincinnati Ballet just concluded its production of ALICE (in Wonderland). A few of us at LEAD Cincinnati were able to see the show, and we thought it was visually stunning. But, of course, a production of that size is not a small undertaking. It wouldn't be possible without the support of organizations around Cincinnati willing to finance the arts so that we in the audience can delight in them.

The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank is one such organization. Last year, they were named the Leading Sponsor of Music Director Carmon DeLeone of Cincinnati Ballet. 

"We couldn’t be more thrilled with the new corporate partnership. By establishing association with an institution of the caliber of The Reserve, Cincinnati Ballet anticipates a continuation of the enrichment, reputation and impact live music and ballet have on Cincinnati audiences," said Missie Santomo, Chief Operating Officer at Cincinnati Ballet, in a 2014 interview with LEAD Cincinnati. 

"The Ballet is such an important community jewel. It is our honor and particularly apropos to be able to support the Ballet in this way for Carmon’s anniversary," said Michael Bailes, Personal Trust Managing Director at The Reserve, in the same interview.  "When we work with our clientele there are so many concepts we must carefully coordinate. Wealth management decisions cannot be made in a vacuum. Every decision must be thoughtful as to how it affects each member of the family, tax issues, long and short term cash flow and other professional family interactions."

Through U.S. Bank’s corporate citizenship initiative, Bailes joined Cincinnati Ballet’s board of trustees and was appointed to the organization’s executive board as the Treasurer last year. Corporate citizenship is an important part of the culture at U.S. Bank. Each employee is given a lapel pin on their first day that reads, "Serving You." The pin is a daily reminder to serve their customers, their fellow employees, and the community in which they live and work.

"We use our vast resources to creatively engage with our clients to provide them our best expertise to ultimately honor their unique goals. Similar to Carmon, he must gently guide the ballet dancers, orchestrate the individuals of the symphony and creatively interact with every detail to make beautiful music and art. It is the 45th anniversary of Carmon being here; he isn’t only a creative genius who brings it all together, but a great member of our community and a wonderful man – people love Carmon."

"Just last month we celebrated my 50th anniversary of conducting," said DeLeone. "It all started at the University of Cincinnati, and just five years later, I was hired by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Conductor. Very soon after, I became the Music Director of the Ballet, so it’s been 45 years and looking to the future."

DeLeone possesses an impressive list of accomplishments and has been recognized not only for his work locally, but throughout the world. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for the original score he created for the full-length ballet, Peter Pan, based on James M. Barrie’s tale of the boy who didn’t want to grow up.

"Last season we presented a brand new full-length ballet, King Arthur’s Camelot, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Cincinnati Ballet. The last time our company did a completely original ballet was 20 years earlier in 1994 when we produced the Peter Pan ballet, and I was asked to compose the music. Since then the piece has been very successfully produced nationally and internationally," said DeLeone.

In November 2014, the Cincinnati Ballet performed Peter Pan as the first full-length production of the 2014-2015 ballet season. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, led by DeLeone, played the score.  

Following the production of ALICE (in Wonderland), Cincinnati Ballet’s 2014-2015 season concludes with Mozart’s Requiem on March 20-21, Ballet Toybox on March 22, and Director’s Choice: Chasing Squirrel, Classical Symphony and Feast of the Gods on May 8-9 with music performed by the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra.

"Cincinnatians should be very proud of the fact that their ballet company dances to live music throughout our season, and we’re very lucky to be doing so," said DeLeone. "This means, though, that we have to raise lots of money to maintain our live music, because there are two productions with orchestras we need to hire, and many other musical expenses above and beyond."

As Cincinnati Ballet winds down from another exciting season, it is clear that the support of generous corporate and individual donors, such as The Bank Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank, are instrumental in keeping beloved artists like Maestro DeLeone in our city.

"Our ballet company is one that appeals to all citizens of the area," said DeLeone. "When people who are unfamiliar with ballet come to us for the first time, we find that it’s easy to get them back in the door because they see the beauty and athleticism of our dancers. That has always been an inspiration to me as well. I love my job with the Ballet!"

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