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.
I've been invited to teach at a Summer Music Camp in Cange, Haiti from July 13-July 28.
I'm a music education major (I just finished sophomore year). This summer, I have been working for my school system in Fairfax, Virginia. Currently, I am assisting a Fairfax County School System program called Instruments For All. We collaborate with a local music store to provide affordable rental instruments to students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch. As our school year is finally coming to a close, we are collecting the instruments from the schools and sending them in for repairs. Next week, I will also begin my third year working at the Frost/Robinson Summer Band Camp as a clarinet instructor. Once that camp ends, I will also be assisting at the FCPS Institute For The Arts, a summer program with a variety of music, drama, dance, and visual art classes.
Scott Anderson will perform in the trombone section with the Des Moines Symphony on their annual 4th of July Concert. Anderson has been playing with the Symphony since his undergraduate days in the early 1980s.
Karissa Van Liew
I am a senior Music Education major from Lincoln, Nebraska. This summer, I am doing a Cultural Exchange Internship in Southeast Asia for two months. I came at the end of May and will be here until the end of July. I am working on an ethnomusicology research project of an Asian minority group. The music culture of the minority group is fascinating! I am making observations of their natural music environment, interviewing people, and reading books/journal articles about the culture. The project will result in paper about the people group's music and how foreigners are affected by the music and how we have influenced their music.
I am also taking lessons on a traditional Asian string instrument, which has been a fun, yet challenging experience, especially since my lessons have to be translated into English. Once a week, I go out to a countryside village school and help teach English to elementary students. I have also spent a sizable amount of time at an American-run coffee shop, which acts as a place of cultural exchange in the city. While I have been there, I have helped put on English-teaching activities using music and performed Western-style music on my flute. And of course, I am spending a lot of time building friendships with the locals.
I have really enjoyed my time in Southeast Asia learning about the music, being immersed in the culture, and meeting new friends! Overall, I am loving my time overseas. This internship has given me a greater idea of what ethnomusicology looks like, how it works, and how it is beneficial in the music field. Yet, I think what has been most enjoyable is meeting the locals, building friendships, and exchanging with one another about our different cultures.
This coming Friday I'm leaving for Michigan, where I'm on the piano faculty at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. It is my second summer working there and I love it! The surroundings are incredibly beautiful and I get to teach piano and perform some chamber music with colleagues.
I am taking summer classes while working part-time for most of this summer. As a drum major for the Cornhusker Marching Band, I am also planning meetings with other leadership members so we can begin laying out the groundwork for the coming season. I am also going to be a counselor for UNL High School Marching Band camp, where I will be working with high school drum majors from around Nebraska. Following this, I will be traveling to Eastern Illinois University for the Smith Walbridge Clinics Drum Major camp, which I have been involved with for six years now.
I am currently teaching at the Summer Bassoon Extravaganza at Emory University in Atlanta GA. I am also preparing to compete at the NPC Masters Nationals Bodybuilding Championships in Pittsburgh PA on July 19.
I am returning at the end of June to work for two-to-three weeks at the Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene, Oregon as I have for many summers — Singing with choir [Verdi Requiem, etc] and working with young singers as faculty for the Youth Choral Academy; also teaching sessions for Teachers' Workshop that runs concurrently with the Youth Choral Academy and the Festival. Also, a possible trip to the UK in late July to visit friends and colleagues, and also teach several workshops for teachers/singers while in the area. I've been invited to serve as guest clinician for the summer retreat of the Crystal Children's' Choirs from the San Francisco Area at the beginning of August and invited to establish a new set of festival/workshops involving both conducting choirs and teaching two choral directing workshops on the islands of Chios and Mytilene, Greece, in mid August.
I was featured in multiple performances with members of the Montecristo Ensemble in Israel and Bulgaria from April 23 to May 21, 2014.
Due to the tragic death of her husband earlier this year, our cellist was unable to join us for our scheduled performances in Israel. On relatively short notice, therefore, it was decided that violinist Mihai Craioveanu and I would put together a varied program of works for solo piano, solo violin, and violin/piano duo for the Israeli portion of our tour. Our first performance in Israel was at the Or Yehuda Conservatory, and it attracted an enthusiastic audience of students, faculty, and patrons from the surrounding area. Prior to the performance we had the opportunity to meet with the Director of the Conservatory (Hana Ajiashvili), who is also an internationally acclaimed composer. Our discussions culminated in plans to collaborate with her in the very near future. Also while at Or Yehuda, I gave a masterclass for talented young piano students from the conservatory, including a sixteen year old girl who currently studies with renowned Israeli pianist and pedagogue Asaf Zohar. The second performance in Israel was at the prestigious Felicja Blumental Centre, located in the heart of Tel Aviv. It was enthusiastically received by an audience that included Professor Zohar, whose overwhelmingly positive comments following my performance of Beethoven’s “Appassionata” Sonata were extremely gratifying to me. The strong connection that I established with Professor Zohar during this trip undoubtedly will lead to further teaching and performing opportunities for me in Israel
All four members of the Montecristo Ensemble were able to be present for both performances in Bulgaria. Our first appearance there was the opening concert for the International Chamber Music Festival in Kyustendil, with a packed house in the auditorium of the Bratstvo Cultural Center. Our second performance was in Sofia at Philip Koutev Hall at the Union of Bulgarian Composers. This performance was attended by a number of prominent Bulgarian musicians including Vladislav Grigorov (horn), Geoffrey Deane (cello), Daniela Dikova (piano), and Josef Rodionov (violin). Professor Rodionov serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Plovdiv International Chamber Music Festival, and following our performance he invited the Montecristo Ensemble to appear at the prestigious festival next summer.
• Collaborated with Zhang, Xiaolu, Director of Jazz Studies and Professor of Saxophone at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music to premiere a new composition for jazz orchestra titled EAST RHYTHM
• Composed a new set of All-State Jazz Ensemble Audition Etudes commissioned by NMEA
• Created original music and performing with the UNL Faculty Jazz Ensemble on their Summer European Tour. Venues include the Montreux and Vienne Jazz Festivals
• Commissioned to write a new arrangement of SATURDAY NIGHT IN THE COSMOS by the Virginia Tech University Jazz Studies program. The piece is part of a tribute to the late pianist-composer Don Pullen.
• Commissioned to write a new arrangement of composer Ellen Seeling's CHEVERE for jazz orchestra to be featured on an upcoming recording by the Montclair Women's Big Band (http://montclairwomensbigband.com/)
• Composing and arranging new music for the "New" UNL Jazz Orchestra!