The halls of the Westbrook Music Building are once again busy and our faculty, staff, students and alumni are all doing amazing things! Read about them here:

Douglas Bush (left) and Judy Bush (right)

Douglas Bush

Glenn Korff School of Music Lecturer, Assistant Director of Bands Douglas Bush was recently awarded the Bryan R. Johnson Distinguished Service Award for service to the Nebraska Music Education Association and to the profession. Presenting him with the award is Interim Executive Director Judy Bush.

"This means so much just knowing that someone nominated me for an award named for Bryan," Bush said. "Truly a highlight of my career as a music educator.

"I had a few connections with Bryan. First, I knew him as music educator. I also served on the NMEA Board with him. He served as treasurer for NMEA for many years and gave it the attention it needed. And I work alongside his sister, Rose Johnson here at the GKSOM. Bryan Johnson was just a very honest, kind, sweet man with a servant’s heart. He would do anything he could to help someone. He was very involved in his community (Craig, NE) not only as a teacher, but as an all-around community member serving wherever he was needed."

Scott Rieker

Alumni Update -- Scott Rieker

Scott Rieker (M.M. 2015), Department of Music at Frostburg State University, was principal author of “COVID and the Choral Director: Preparedness, Perceptions, Attitudes, and a Way Forward,” which was published in The Choral Journal’s February 2021 issue. This quantitative study details the impact of COVID-19 on choral music educators, particularly demonstrating that choral teachers felt unprepared for pandemic-impacted teaching, but that they rose to the occasion by independently seeking out new training and skills in great numbers. The article recommends that K-12 school districts discover ways to validate non-traditional forms of professional development, that they refrain from expecting unpaid, self-directed training from teachers (e.g. “Learn how to make a ‘virtual choir’ amidst your other duties.”), and provide subject-specific professional development that aligns with specific teachers’ needs. Rieker also had his composition "'Famous' Last Words" (for SATB choir, reader and piano) selected as one of the three winners for the Missoula Community Chorus' "The Way Through, Composition Contest in the time of Covid-19" composition contest. Only music written during the Covid-19 pandemic was eligible for consideration. His humorous work is a send-up of elegies and eulogies that memorialize the great and good. Instead of incorporating noble and edifying texts, he has set rather ignominious last words (for example, Civil War General John Sedwick's memorable "The couldn't hit an elephant at this distance.") in an attempt to inject some levity into an otherwise grave situation. The award comes with a cash prize and a premiere of the winning works by the Missoula Community Chorus in the fall of 2021.

GKSOM Activity

GKSOM Activity

As the Spring semester gets underway, we will continue to show all of the different ways classes, ensembles, applied lessons and other activities continue to take place at the Glenn Korff School of Music.

Glenn Korff School of Music senior Emma Thomas (top right) takes her vocal lesson (from Westbrook) via zoom and soundjack with GKSOM Associate Professor of Voice Dr. Jamie Reimer Seaman (from her home).

The Glenn Korff School of Music Symphonic Band (top left) continues to meet socially distanced and masked up three days a week in Westbrook. They will have a performance via live webcast on April 28. Symphonic Band Director Anthony Falcone says all of the pieces on the performance are composed by African American composers.

The Glenn Korff School of Music Strings Skills class (bottom right), taught by Graduate Teaching Assistant Kate Mathews, takes place every Tuesday and Thursday around noon time. The class participants are practicing their violins and violas in one of Westbrook’s rehearsal spaces, 132, socially distanced and masked.

Glenn Korff School of Music Professor of Music History Peter M. Lefferts (bottom left) teaches his American Music survey (MUDSC 489/889) class, which includes both undergraduate and graduate students, via Zoom from his home basement office. On this day, the class was continuing to discuss a section on African-American Sacred and Secular Folk Songs.

Educator of the Year Award

Nebraska Music Educators Association (NMEA) President-Elect Clay Blackman presents Glenn Korff School of Music Associate Professor of Practice in Music Education Danni Gilbert with the Educator of the Year Award plaque in Westbrook Music Building on Friday.

Recipients of the NMEA Music Educator of the Year Award display excellence in every facet of music teaching in Nebraska. Nominees must have completed at least seven years of teaching and are currently active teaching.

Dave Schaefer

Alumni Update -- Dave Schaefer

Dave Schaefer is currently the Choral Director at
South Garland High School in Garland, TX. Prior to this position, he was the
Choral Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Nebraska at Omaha,
and served as the Vocal Music Teacher at Ralston Middle School (NE) for 5
years. He received his Bachelor of Music in Education degree from the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting
from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Mr. Schaefer has presented on
topics including Technology in the Classroom, Classroom Management, Vocal
Development for Middle Level Voices, and Marching Band/Show Choir techniques
in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and South Dakota. Outside of the school day, Mr.
Schaefer regularly teaches marching band as a visual consultant, is heavily
involved in wedding/portrait photography, and loves experimenting with film

UNL Opera

Thanks for attending this weekend's Opera

Thanks for attending the UNL Opera performance this weekend if it was by the webcast or in-person!

UNL Jazz Singers

Jazz Singers Video

The DownBeat award-winning University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music Jazz Singers has produced another video they are excited to share with you.

Video Link:

Chamber Singers Video

Chamber Singers Video

“Holy God, Mighty Immortal” by David von Kampen is a choral work based on a Greek Orthodox chant commissioned by Paul Barnes for the 2020 Nebraska Music Teachers Association and repurposed for Barnes’ recital with the solo piano version based on the same chant. We hope you enjoy this virtual world premiere performance.

Video Link:

Cunning Little Vixen

Cunning Little Vixen Video

Delightful puppetry for the many animal characters has been created by Nebraska Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Andy Park and Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film alumnus Jill Hibbard (M.F.A. 2020), who most recently designed the UNL operas “The Gambler’s Son” and “The Tender Land.”

Video Link:

Christopher Marks

Professor of Music, Organ Christopher Marks was included in a recent Pipedreams episode on American Public Media performing a commissioned piece by Kurt Knecht.

Each week, Pipedreams host Michael Barone shares selected organ works and performances, and in doing so, encourages listeners to engage both their ears and imaginations to gain a greater appreciation of this instrument. He talks with composers, organists, organ builders and restorers. The show features brand new instruments in churches and concert halls, plus historic pipe organs recorded in locations around the world, from ancient instruments in vast cathedrals to the “mighty Wurlitzers” of movie house fame.