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:

Student Updates

As we like to do towards the end of a Spring Semester, we will be giving updates on our students' future plans (info will be added in this post). Be sure to join us online for the GKSOM Honors Convocation & Awards Ceremony this Thursday (29th) at 3:30. Here is the direct link:

Michael O'Brien

I will be the 7-12 band and choir director at Wiggins Middle and High school in Wiggins, Colorado.

Nathan Wallace

I have been accepted into Northwest Missouri State’s Master’s of Education - Curriculum and Instruction Program. This summer I will begin taking my first classes towards this Master’s degree. In addition to starting Grad school, this fall I will begin my teaching career at the brand new middle school in Elkhorn Public Schools as the vocal music teacher. The school is called North Ridge Middle School and I get to be on the team of teachers who will open the building for the first time this August!

Lauren Hofer

Continue as a Music Education Major next fall, and potentially add a music technology minor.

Erik Strickland

Summer classes and then Senior year!

Hannah Rothermich

Auditions for an Omaha dance company, grad school, and anything that means I keep dancing.

Karin Berg

I plan to apply for graduate programs in Europe and the United States.

Alyssa Soppe

Summer classes and then my victory lap! 

Victoria Hartley

Graduate School, University of New Mexico String Pedagogy 

Bella Rose Redd

Pursuing MM in Horn Performance at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Jeremy Duck

I will be working on my DMA document. I will be continuing to teach over the summer. I will be subbing at a church that is partially opening until the regular organist and choir director are vaccinated and feel comfortable returning. Hopefully, my second church job can start back up over the summer, too. I will be learning Roger Smalley’s Variations on a Theme of Chopin in preparation for a recital. I will continue live-streaming music on Twitch and uploading music to YouTube and TikTok. I may also begin working on Busoni’s Variations on a Theme of Chopin.

Mark Cyphers Stewart

Continue with Music Education Major and Music Tech minor

Rachael Huxley

Just to continue with my music degree

Mason Siragusa

To continue making music, and branch out into more digital and solo music 

Gracie Fagan

My plan this summer is to write a ton of music, play at some jazz jam sessions with my trumpet, take a few courses, and work!

Maddie Kline

working all summer back at home 

Olivia Kitterman

I'm going to be the 5-12 Band Director for Elm Creek Public Schools in Elm Creek, Nebraska.

Alaina Blaker 

I have military training this summer, then I will be back to continue music education. I plan to graduate May 2024. 

Jack Carlson

Continue on the BME path

Makena Lindblad

Stay in the school of music

Madeline Reddel

Vocal Music Teacher - Marian High School; Event Specialist - Jazz in June

Anthony Nesland 

Master’s degree in Secondary Education 

Jacob Goetz

Continue my studies here at UNL

Regan Hennings

Teaching Pre-K and 6-12th Band and Choir at Parkview Christian School.

Allison Tolliver

Teaching at North American Martyrs in Lincoln

Catherine Martinez

I will be moving back to Macomb, IL to live with my husband. I will set up a private studio and PA/Sub for the music department at the Junior High and High Schools. Go Macomb Bombers!

Kabin Thomas

Continue to study and hopefully prepare for my next recitals.

Nicole Munroe 

Teaching PK-8th grade music at St. Columbkille Catholic School in Papillion 

Maddie Pressler

Finishing up senior year and taking on more responsibilities in my management position with Osborne Family Enterprises!

Brett Lytle

Teaching orchestra in Manhattan Public Schools

Ally Akerberg

I am working as a choreographer this summer for 2 theatre camps, one junior high and one high school. Next semester, I am returning to Lincoln as usual to continue my work on my dance degree.

Sapphire Skye Toth

This summer I will be interning with Paladino Media, scoring a short film, running Season 2 of my podcast series "Chatting with Creators," preparing grad school applications, and recording my first album!  

Cameron Stussie

Teaching vocal music at Bellevue East High School!

Clara Smith

Going ahead with my junior level classes in the fall

Rebecca Nederhiser 

I have accepted a faculty position at Wartburg College for next year 

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: