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.

Zach Paris

Zach Paris


Zach Paris recently won the Heartland Marimba Festival Solo Competition. The competition featured college percussion applicants from around the country that each recorded two marimba solos to be judged by the HMF panel. The award for winning the competition is free tuition to the festival, the opportunity to perform a solo work on the festival recital, as well as the opportunity to perform a xylophone solo with a full concert band. 

The Heartland Marimba Festival is held June 22-28 at the Iowa State University Campus in Ames, Iowa. The faculty at the festival are top notch professionals in the music industry including: Iowa State University percussion professor Dr. Matthew Coley, professional percussion quintet Clocks in Motion, percussion composer Dr. Andrew Ardizzoia, and recording engineer Chad Jacobsen. The festival experience includes attending faculty recitals, private percussion lessons with various camp faculty members, solo and ensemble performance opportunities, master classes, and marimba recording sessions. 

Robert Woody

Robert Woody


Dr. Robert Woody was interviewed on a podcast episode recently. The podcast is called Where There's Smoke http://www.wheretheressmoke.co and he is in the episode called "The Way It Is (Taste)." He expands on taste as it relates to fandom, and teaches us about “burging” and “corfing”.

David von Kampen

David von Kampen


Alum David von Kampen received a Downbeat Graduate College Winner award in the Original Composition – Large Ensemble category for the composition “Crooked Number.” He also received an Outstanding Performance award in Jazz Arrangement (Graduate College division) for “California Dreamin’.” With these awards, von Kampen has won six DownBeat Student Music Awards in the past four years.

Megan Tantillo


Megan Tantillo is the Omaha area's brightest young show choir talent!

With 20 years of professional dance experience to her name, Megan is an elite creative choreographer; having designed 30 shows for 15 different schools and studios in the metro area since 2010.

In addition to her dance prowess, Megan boasts a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

While on campus, Megan served as the student director of UNL's prestigious show choir, "The Big Red Singers", and was the music director of the institution's premier female a cappella group on campus, "Boots & Cats."

Megan currently serves as the Assistant Vocal Music Director and Director of Show Choirs at Millard South High School.  She conducts the freshmen girls' choir, "Bella Voce", the Junior Varsity concert choir, "Cantori", Junior Varsity show choir, "Stage One", and Millard South's Varsity show choir, "South on Stage."

Megan recently accepted the position of Head Vocal Music Director of Millard North High School. She cannot wait to begin this new chapter of her life as a Mustang!

Adam Fieldson

Adam Fieldson


UNL alumnus Adam Fieldson (B.M., M.M., Vocal Performance) won Third Prize in the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition.

Now in its 18th year, the Lotte Lenya Competition is an international theater singing contest that recognizes exceptionally talented singer/actors, ages 19-32, who are dramatically and musically convincing in a wide range of repertoire, with a focus on the works of Kurt Weill. Since 1998, the Kurt Weill Foundation has awarded more than $700,000 in prize money to outstanding young performers and continues to support previous winners with professional development grants.

His credits include performances as Nicely Nicely in Guys and Dolls and Galahad in A Connecticut Yankee at Ohio Light Opera Company, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus at New York Opera Exchange and Jack in Into the Woods at Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. Other performances include his Carnegie Hall debut in 2013 as the tenor soloist in Schubert’s Mass in G presented by Manhattan Concert Productions. Adam is the 2012 winner of the Musical Theatre division of the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition. He holds both a Bachelors and Masters of Music from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he performed the title role in Candide, Nerone in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo in Roméo et Juliette in UNL productions. Adam currently lives in NYC, but is planning a move to Minneapolis this summer to be closer to friends and family and join the city’s thriving arts community.

Katie E. Rice

Katie E. Rice


This summer one of UNL’s master students, Katie E. Rice, will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel and perform as principal clarinetist and staff member with the International Youth Symphony Orchestra (IYSO) sponsored by the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan. The IYSO is one of six international touring ensembles (Choir, Northern Winds, Southern Winds, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra, & Ballet) formed by the Blue Lake International Exchange Program.  This program is an opportunity for talented middle school & high school students to experience life of a touring ensemble, as well as gain new cultural insights during their stay with host families at each stop on tour. The group will tour in seven different cities in Germany from June 22-July 16. They will stop in Ahrensburg, Friedrichshafen, Augsburg, Itzehoe, Magdeburg, Aschersleben, & Stassfurt. Additionally the group will perform two concerts in Ann Arbor on July 28-29, and will finish their tour with a last performance at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp on July 31.

            This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the International Exchange Program. To celebrate this milestone, the IYSO and choir will join together at various stops on their tour to perform Te Deum by Anton Bruckner, Festival Mass by Ludolph Arens, and That Music Always ‘Round Me by local Michigan composer, James Niblock. The music director of the 2015 International Youth Symphony Orchestra will be Michael Klaue. Michael is currently the conductor of the Ahrensburg Youth Symphony Orchestra in Ahrensburg, Germany, and has served on the conducting faculty of the State Music Conservatory of Hamburg since 2002. He will be conducting the orchestra in performances of the following repertoire: Capriccio Espagnol by Rimsky-Korsakov, The Firebird Suite by Stravinsky, Academic Festival Overture by Brahms, and Hungarian March by Berlioz.

            Another unique feature of the Blue Lake International Exchange Program is the combination of students and staff members in each ensemble. The IYSO has 92 members and consists mostly of talented middle school & high school musicians as well as a few hired staff members, like Katie. These staff members serve a dual purpose of counselor and performer. Katie’s duties will be to act as orchestra librarian, mentor, section leader, and counselor for the kids traveling with the group. She will also serve as the principal clarinetist in the orchestra and help co-lead woodwind sectionals alongside other staff members. Having served as a camp counselor at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in 2013, Katie is looking forward to touring with these talented students and experiencing Germany the Blue Lake Way! 

Karl Lyden

Karl Lyden


UNL trombone alumnus Karl Lyden's debut album, Undercurrents, has been released. You can find it on iTunes, Amazon, or CD Baby. 

Karl Lyden is a low-brass musician in New York City. He performs with big bands, horn sections, and in Broadway pits for Kinky Boots, Matilda, and On the Town. Karl also worked in the show bands of Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Lines. In the summer of 2013, he performed in Disneyland as lead trombonist with the All-American College Band. His principal instruments are trombone, bass trombone, and electric bass.

Karl is equally active as a composer and arranger. His first big band chart “Downside Up” was the 2011 Winner for Undergraduate Orchestrated Work in Downbeat Magazine. He regularly arranges music for salsa bands, swing bands, and singer songwriters. Karl leads an 8-piece "Mixtet" that combines minimalism with post-bop for a unique blend of chamber jazz. He received his B.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he became well-versed in jazz and classical. Karl then completed a Master's at New York University where he was an adjunct faculty instructor.

Those in New York City are invited to an album release show at Rockwood Music Hall stage 2 on April 19th at 9 pm. By attending the show, you receive a FREE download of the album! 

Kurt Knecht


Knecht's "Michelangelo's On Beauty" was performed at Carnegie Hall on Sunday night.

This Saturday (March 21) at the Lied as part of Nebraska Sings, Nova will sing "Michelangelo's On Beauty", while the UNL Chamber Singers will sing "Sero Te Amavi". "Let There Be Music", a three-movement work commissioned by the Lied Center for its 25th anniversary featuring texts by Nebraska poets writing about music, will be premiered by a mass choir, conducted by Tom Trenney, at the Lied Center with simultaneous premieres in Omaha and North Platte.

Richard Fountain

Richard Fountain


After graduating with his DMA in 2008, alum Richard Fountain was hired as Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, TX.  Essentially, his job combines features of a traditional applied-piano professor position (teach lessons and piano-related classes, perform regularly, develop recruiting connections and function as the administrative head of piano) with those of a staff accompanist (accompany choral ensembles, opera workshops, vocal and instrumental students, and travel on tour and to competitions with those ensembles/students).  

One of the major projects he's completed since leaving UNL is recording a solo piano CD.  The album, “American Ivory,” was released in 2012 and features an all-American lineup of piano music, including quite a few new pieces by a colleague of his at Wayland,  composer Gary D. Belshaw.  

He's also enjoyed performing with Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra as the principal keyboardist for both ensembles.  

For more information visit,  www.richardfountainpianist.com

Kurt Knecht


Faculty Kurt Knecht wrote on his blog about a funky, latin jazz cello sonata and included video from a recent performance. 

Here is the link: http://kurtknecht.blogspot.com/2015/02/my-funky-latin-jazz-cello-sonata.html

He also just found out that his arrangement of Go Tell it on the Mountain was featured on With Heart and Voice. His second composition on a nationally syndicated NPR show this year.

Pages