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.

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,

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:

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.

Nels Daily

Here is a piece by faculty Nels Daily, a work commissioned by Justin Lepard as an opener for his concert in February 2015. It is an aggressive, motoric, and incessant piece.

Here is a link to the piece:
Paul Barnes

Paul Barnes

Paul Barnes recently presented a master class for University of Oregon piano students and the general public and also performed  (“Liszt and the Cross: Music as Sacrament in the B Minor Sonata” is a provocative recital that explores the intimate relationship between religion and art in the life and music of Franz Liszt. His B Minor Sonata serves as an icon for the ears, communicating the essence of the religious symbolism through music) at Beall Concert Hall. 
Here is a link to the article:

Sam Loeck

Alum Sam Loeck performs the Koussevitzky Double Bass Concerto with the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music University Orchestra, led by David Neely. January 28, 2015.

Here is the link:

Paul Marchese

Alum Paul Marchese was recently announced as a 2015 Sycamore High School Music Hall of Fame inductee. 

Marchese is a 1996 SHS (Illinois) graduate and vocalist. He was a member of the concert choir, jazz choir, madrigals and performed in musicals throughout high school. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Carthage College and a master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Nebraska.

He has taught at all levels of music education, from kindergarten to college. He has been active as a director of liturgical music for different churches throughout his career. He also has developed numerous music programs, created men’s and women’s chorales, and has been an adjudicator for numerous solo and ensemble contests and organizational contests.

Here is the full article:

David von Kampen

David von Kampen

Alum David von Kampen is one of the recipients of the 2015 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards. Established by The ASCAP Foundation in 2002 to encourage gifted jazz composers up to the age of 30, the program carries the name of the great trumpeter and ASCAP member Herb Alpert in recognition of The Herb Alpert Foundation’s multi-year financial commitment to support this unique program. The recipients, who receive cash awards, range in age from 16 to 30, and are selected through a juried national competition.

Here is the full story:

David von Kampen (b. 1986) is a composer living in Lincoln, Nebraska. David’s creative work spans a wide variety of genres and styles, including jazz, choral music, hymnody and liturgy, solo voice, chamber music, and musical theater. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas, and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Nebraska. David is a four-time Downbeat Award winner in graduate-level jazz writing categories, winner of the 2014 San Francisco Choral Artists New Voices Project, winner of the National Band Association’s Young Jazz Composers Competition, and received Honorable Mention in the 2014 New York Youth Symphony First MusicCommissions. He has over 40 choral and instrumental compositions and arrangements published with G. Schirmer, Concordia Publishing House, UNC Jazz Press, and others. David is active as a pianist and musical director in jazz and theater settings, and as a clinician for both vocal and instrumental ensembles. He is currently an adjunct professor of composition at Concordia University, Neb., and directs the Chamber Singers and Women’s Chorus at Christ Lutheran Church in Lincoln. David is a member of ASCAP and the American Choral Directors Association. He lives with his wife Mollie and daughter Gretta.