Glenn Korff School of Music Blog

Glenn Korff School of Music Blog

The halls of the Westbrook Music Building are busy with activity, but our faculty, staff, alumni and students are out in the world doing amazing things too! Read about all of their activities here.

Hans Sturm

Hans Sturm was named the ASTA Private Studio Teacher of the year. Presenting the award is Nissa de la Torre, President of Nebraska ASTA. Sturm is Associate Professor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies; Area Head for Strings in the Glenn Korff School of Music.

Chiara String Quartet

The Chiara Quartet is the Quartet-in-Residence this season at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  The residency consists of four concerts spread throughout the course of the season. The most recent concert, on November 13, featured a collaboration with pianist Simone Dinnerstein on the New York premiere of Jefferson Friedman’s piano quintet, The Heart Wakes Into--a piece written for Simone and the Chiara which had its premiere last season at the Library of Congress.

As part of the Chiara Quartet’s commitment to engaging with the community, the group is performing this fall at every high school in Lincoln, and is mentoring the students of the UNL chamber music program to engage in outreach performance to such diverse venue as Madonna Rehab Hospital and the Landing.

Paul Barnes

Paul Barnes' New Generations has been released on iTunes.

Peter Eklund

Eklund will be conducting the 600-voice Iowa All-State Chorus November 19-21, 2015.

Anthony Bushard

Bushard published articles on The Doors and Pearl Jam in a 2-volume encyclopedia entitled, The 100 Greatest Bands of All Time: A Guide to the Legends Who Rocked the World (ABC-CLIO/Greenwood, 2016).

He also attended the National College Music Society Conference in Indianapolis and fulfilled his duties as a member of the Conference Program Committee as well as president of the Great Plains Chapter of CMS. While there he participated in a panel of fellow chapter presidents and addressed attendees on the CMS 2015 Common Topic: Sustainability. He also organized the Performer’s Showcase and chaired some sessions. 

While it’s not music-related, he was inducted into his high school’s (O’Gorman High School, Sioux Falls, SD) hall of fame (athletic wing) honoring the 1991 State Football Champions (11-AA, the highest class at the time) of which he was a member. 

Molly Rezich

Student Molly Rezich invites everyone to come join her at Dempsey’s Burger Pub on Tuesday’s from 6:30-10:00 for the weekly Night of Sharing!

"This is an open mic setting and all talents are welcome and appreciated. Dempsey’s has so much to offer: Free Wifi, wonderful food and drinks, amazing people, and the atmosphere is incredible!," she said. "I started this in hopes of bringing new stuff to light in the Lincoln community, but I need your help! Bring a new piece you are working on and would like to perform, a poem that you feel passionately about, a speech you have prepared, ANYTHING. Feel free to contact me through my Facebook page ( if you have any questions or would like to book a spot! I look forward to seeing you there, Cheers!"

Peter Eklund

Professor and Director of Choral Activities Peter Eklund has captured the many travels he has taken through photos including:

Eklund and UNL music students before their concert in the Notre Dame Cathedral in the Summer of 2015

Eklund conducting 1,256 high school musician's during the South Dakota All-State Music Festival in October

Eklund conducting members of the Varsity Men's Choir singing the national anthem at Pinnacle Bank Arena before the Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks exhibition game

Eklund conducting 440 high school singers at the University of Southern Mississippi in September at their statewide music festival

Mike Foley

Music Education senior Mike Foley is music directing "Urinetown" at the Haymarket Theatre, which is running (last weekend and) this weekend, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30 and Sunday at 2:00. Tickets are available online at, or by calling the theatre, and of course at the door.

It's Mike's first time directing a Main Stage production.

"It's been such a comprehensively musically demanding experience; I have to wear so many hats - vocal coach, choir teacher, bandleader, conductor, warm-up specialist, and so on. For a music education student, getting to apply my skill set and concept of musicality in so many different capacities has been challenging but very satisfying! It's been an excellent educational and professional experience; I've definitely learned a lot of good lessons and habits I'm glad to be taking forward with me. The best part, though, has been the enjoyment that comes from working with such a talented, passionate, and motivated group of people. Our cast has been just great."

Mike has previously been involved with youth theatre music direction at the Haymarket Theatre, as well as the music direction of the 2014 Penguin Project production of Annie Jr., recipient of the Mayor's Arts Award of Outstanding Cultural Significance.

This  hilarious, satirical musical takes place in a dystopian future, where worldwide water shortages caused local governments to ban private bathrooms - leaving a single monopolizing Corporation in charge of all "Public Facilities". Winner of the 2001 Best Musical Score and Best Musical Book Tony awards, Urinetown pokes fun at capitalism, corruption, populism, and social justice. It also heavily parodies musical theatre as a form of art, and other musicals - with references to Les Miserables and other classics. 

Donna Harler Smith

Donna just finished a sold out run of The Addams Family at TADA in the Haymarket.  She was Grandma Addams.  "We got rave reviews and the experience, though time-consuming - was tremendous fun," she said. "It is so wonderful to allow people to laugh!"

Michael Cotton

Michael Cotton won, for a second time, the "Collaborative Pianist of the Year Award," which is to honor the most professional and artistic performance of a pianist in the NATS concert finals (the final round of competition for seniors and graduate students)

According to UNL's Alisa Belflower, to facilitate scheduling, the competition limits each pianist to a dozen auditions, which is nearly 50 or more songs/arias to master and then perform with the students in three rounds of competition. Cotton divided his availability equally among the faculty's studios and played nearly non-stop for two days. 

"He played magnificently and always let the singers shine, supported by his musical sensitivity and his calm, reassuring presence," she said. "My students love working and performing with Michael. Their best music making is inspired by working with him. He is remarkably patient, in being kind and encouraging to them—always remembering that they are in the middle of learning."