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.
Alum Brian Jeffers was mentioned in Opera News in a review of Cracked Orlando.
"Brian Jeffers offered a heroic, flexible tenor as Medoro."
Here is the complete review:
NEW YORK CITY
Center for Innovation in the Arts | The Juilliard School
“CRACKED TO PIECES, where is Orlando?” sings the title character in Jonathan Dawe’s Cracked Orlando, presented by Juilliard’s Center for Innovation in the Arts at the Rosemary and Meredith Willson Theater (seen March 24). The answer was everywhere, both visually and aurally. John Erickson’s projections played across jagged screens that suggested Orlando’s altered state (the result of enchantment by the sorceress Alcina) and offered hope of his restoration via Pangaea-like fusion were they to connect. The screens also played home to the rocky coastal landscape of Alcina’s island, as well as to a corps of dancers, filmed months earlier, who impersonated shipwreck victims swimming to freedom as well as cavorting statuary at Angelica and Medoro’s wedding. At one point, they stood in for Orlando himself, rushing from one screen to the next as he tried to escape Angelica’s cave. In a show of true theatrical sorcery, Alcina was an avatar vanishing and reappearing on the screens, animated by mezzo Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek’s physical movements, which were picked up by motion sensors as she sang in a room across the hall. In addition to controlling the projections, video artist Phoebe Dunn manipulated a hologram representing the torch Alcina used to bewitch Orlando, making it wax, wane and change colors with graceful hand movements.
Dawe’s score is like Handel in a blender, framing melismatic vocal lines against a dissonant, fragmented instrumental soundscape. Singing in both Italian and English, the fearless singers managed to make Dawe’s thorny score sound like their natural mode of expression, despite the paucity of pitch reference. The singers were miked in order to create echo effects and to match Kwiatek’s piped in vocal presence. This made all their voices sound edgy in the small space, but countertenor Brennan Hall, an alternately sorrowful and unhinged Orlando, found moments of sweetness, especially in his affecting final aria. (Hall is a veteran of another adventurous Orlando: R.B. Schlather’s WhiteBox Art Center exhibition of the Handel opera, in which he played Medoro as a strutting pimp.) Soprano Sharon Harms made a regal Angelica, and it was her facial expressions that set the emotional stakes. She executed the score’s most florid passages with shiny confidence and empowering chest tones. Brian Jeffers offered a heroic, flexible tenor as Medoro. With so much musical and visual cacophony, director Kerry Warren wisely kept the staging simple. Conductor Ryan McAdams brought out the lyrical moments in Dawe’s fractal score while maintaining a precise rhythmic engine. —Joanne Sydney Lessner
Anita Breckbill, professor at University Libraries and head of the music library, wrote a research article that earned a place on the cover of September 2017 issue of The Flutist Quarterly. The article, “Dismal Sounds: Flute Playing in the Fiction of Charles Dickens,” examines the way Dickens portrays flutists in four different stories. The National Flute Association publishes The Flutist Quarterly.
National NATS Student Auditions
Seven Glenn Korff School of Music Voice Majors were named one of the top 14 young artists in their gender/age category(s) of entry in the National NATS Student Auditions. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has national semi-finalists in five of the eight collegiate categories and one of the two graduate categories. Each singer listed below has been judged by 18 professionals in six rounds of auditions to reach this national level.
COLLEGE Freshmen/Sophomores Women's MUSICAL THEATRE
Victoria Handford (Alisa Belflower's studio)
Liza Piccoli (Alisa Belflower's studio)
COLLEGE Freshmen/Sophomores Men's MUSICAL THEATRE
Matthew Carter (Alisa Belflower's studio)
Tyler Cox (Alisa Belflower's studio)
COLLEGE Freshmen/Sophomores Men's CLASSICAL
Matthew Carter (Alisa Belflower's studio)
COLLEGE Freshmen/Sophomores Women's CLASSICAL
Alison Gillespie (Kate Butler's studio)
COLLEGE Junior/Senior WOMEN
Kate Johnson (Kate Butler's studio)
Arica Coleman (Alisa Belflower's studio)
The NATS National Student Auditions Semifinals and Finals will take place in Boulder, Colorado on July 20-21, 2017.
JUSTIN LEPARD RELEASES HIS DEBUT CD, THE CHRONIC CONDITION #PSYCHEDELICCELLO, ON JUNE 1
Justin Lepard, an improvising cellist who is both a virtuoso and a genre-crossing creative force, makes his recording debut on The Chronic Condition #PsychedelicCello.
When one thinks of the cello, it is generally of its warm presence in classical music, or sometimes of its use as an upper register bass in jazz. But when one listens to Justin Lepard, it is important to put away all preconceptions. He breaks the sound barrier on his instrument, and his electronic designs and patterns on The Chronic Condition make him a one-man orchestra.
Very much a solo album since the cellist plays all of the instruments (up to a dozen cello layers in spots) and wrote the eight originals, The Chronic Condition is filled with surprising and colorful music. Its opener, “In The Garden Of Earthly Delights,” has otherworldly sounds, a rockish feel, and Lepard’s vocal alternating with cello solos over a menacing-sounding background. “Cold Fearing People” features infectious rhythmic patterns filled with unusual sounds while utilizing Lepard’s voice as part of the ensemble along with the cellos.
The three-part “Cello Song,” which is titled “Wind,” “Sea” and “Fire,” displays the cellist’s classical background while offering eerie musical depictions of the wind, the sea (one can feel the waves) and a fast-moving fire. The other performances include the ominous strut “Start Over” which has some narration along with a rocking groove, the moody and atmospheric “1999,” and the unique electronic patterns of “Land Among The Stars.”
But in reality the music and sounds on Justin Lepard’s debut are beyond simple description. His career as a cellist is as wide-ranging as his music. He has extensive classical training and also studied jazz cello with Darryl White. In addition to classical ensembles, Lepard has performed with singer-songwriters, jazz groups, and with such conductors as Keith Lockhart and Jeff Tyzik. Justin Lepard has also toured with the Lucerne Young Performance Ensemble, premiered new music with members of the JACK Quartet, and in 2016 worked with experimental musicians in six different countries. Whether performing contemporary classical music, jazz, or his own original work, he always displays a distinctive and adventurous musical personality.
Justin Lepard’s brilliant playing and high energy cello flights are on display throughout The Chronic Condition #PsychedelicCello, a remarkable debut from a cellist who clearly has a very significant future in the creative music world.
Congrats to members of our faculty, staff and students for taking part in running the Lincoln Marathon this past weekend.
Faculty/Staff included: Rhonda Fuelberth, Stan Kleppinger, Tom Larson, William McMullen and Brian Reetz
Students included: Cal Cross and Ryan Savage.
On a side note, faculty member Clark Potter was one of the volunteer/officials at the starting gate.
Over the 2016/17 school year, Mead was awarded a UCARE Grant to compose and arrange music for the Husker Horn Choir. One of her pieces, Flanders Fields, was brought to the Mid South Horn Workshop in Cape Girardeau in Missouri. At the end of the year, projects are presented at the Union and judged based on college.
Flanders Fields was originally a poem by John McCrae, and the piece was composed for a seven voice a Capella choir by Paul A. Aitken. She took the piece and arranged it for eight horns using Finale. Mead added a few techniques unique to Horn, such as stopped and muted horn, to create certain emotions. After presenting her project to the HLCFPA judges, she was one of two students awarded with a scholarship based off of her semester's work.
Chamber Music Program's Community Outreach
From April 18-23, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chamber Music program's Community Outreach was in high gear. Each of the groups performed at a community venue, either at a retirement home or hospital, or at a Lincoln Public School. The groups that gave interactive presentations in LPS classrooms did intensive preparation in a Teaching Artist class offered for chamber groups in the spring semester. The locations included the Grand Lodge at the Preserve, Morley Elementary School, Belmont Elementary School, Lux Middle School, the Landing at Williamsburg Village and the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital.
We asked our students to share their future plans, be it this Summer or long range. They will all be listed here in order of when the information is received (adding from the top). Here are their thoughts:
I'm happy to share that I have accepted a position as a music teacher at Page Middle School in Page, Arizona! I will be teaching band and one choir class. I'm very excited to make a positive impact in the lives of the students there and to encourage them to discover the joy of making music! I'm so grateful that God has given me this opportunity at this time. I'm especially looking forward to living in an area with so many National Parks nearby, like Glen Canyon and the Grand Canyon. I want to thank all my mentors, family, and friends who have supported me during my job search.
This summer, I will be working as the Music Director at the Seward United Methodist Church. This coming fall, I will be attending the University of Arkansas for an MM in Music Theory. I will be conducting research in their Music Cognition Lab, and I am incredibly excited!
I'm extremely excited to continue my education in the fall of 2017 at the University of North Texas for my master's degree in jazz studies. I will also be recording a new album with my mom, Christine Hitt, this summer in Los Angeles, California.
I will be attending the College-Conservatory of Music next fall in Cincinnati for my masters in oboe performance.
This summer I've accepted a fellowship at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival and in the fall I have accepted the Graduate String Quartet GTA at University of Louisville and will pursue a masters in cello performance.
I have accepted a teaching position for the next year at Meridian Public School in Daykin, NE! I will be teaching PreK-8 vocal music. I am very excited!
This summer I'll be moving back to Beatrice with my family for a couple short months before getting married in July! I'll be very busy (but happily so) with planning that and getting ready for this coming school year. Alex and I will be honeymooning in Estes Park, CO, which is only about 1.5 hours away from where we'll be living next year -- somewhere between Hershey and Ogallala, NE where we got jobs. This coming August I'll start my position as the general music teacher at Prairie View Elementary School in Ogallala. I'm very excited to decorate my classroom and meet all of my students and get my career going! I plan to continue playing flute in church or community groups when I can and teching with high school marching bands to keep my chops up in those areas. I look forward to constantly growing as a musician and as an educator in the future and learning all about how married life works with Alex in the next several years. We plan to make lots of trips back to Lincoln and UNL to see concerts and especially to hear the Cornhusker Marching Band perform on gamedays!
I am working on a masters in composition under Tom Larson. Myself and Stephanie Yu (who is working on a DMA in piano performance under Dr. Mark Clinton) will be performing a dual piano recital at Chung Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan on May 21. The program will feature all 20th and 21st century piano pieces, including the world premiere of my piece, Miniatures, for piano four hands, and the international premier of my piece, Two Songs from the Void, for piano solo.
David Galant is a DMA candidate in orchestral conducting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This summer David will conduct at the Miami Music Festival, the Wintergreen Summer Music Academy in Virginia, and will conduct Carmen with the Muddy River Opera Company in Quincy, Illinois. David currently is the Music Director of the Kanesville Symphony in Council Bluffs Iowa, the Glenn Korff School of Music Campus Orchestra, the Nebraska Christian Men’s Chorus, and the Ralston Trinity United Methodist Church Chancel Choir. In his free time he music directs musicals with the Lincoln Community Playhouse and OmniArts Nebraska.
Next year I will be teaching K-5 general and vocal music at Boone Central Elementary School in Albion, NE.
Jordan B. Redd
I am a first year masters student here at UNL (horn performance). I have been blessed with many performing opportunities this summer. I have accepted a invitation to play in a music festival in Italy!! I will be performing Beethoven 5 and Mozart 40. I will also be performing in the pit of a Mozart opera. I'm really excited for it! I also have been personally invited to audition for the FOOSA Philharmonia festival in California. We will be performing Mahler 6 and Don Juan! So that's what I will be up to this summer!! It's going to be awesome!
A Year by the Sea
A YEAR BY THE SEA, based on text from Joan Anderson’s New York Times best-selling memoir of the same title, is a new song cycle for soprano and string quartet, composed by Charlie Leftridge. Leftridge’s beautiful writing and Katie Pacza’s radiant vocals bring new life to Anderson’s profound words. The cycle will receive its world premiere at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Mankato, Minnesota, on May 12th at 7:30 p.m. The performance will be led by Katie Pacza, soprano, and performers Ioana Galu, violin; Ken Wang, violin; Clark Potter, viola and University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty member; and Karen Becker, cello and University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty member. Joan Anderson, herself, will attend as a pre-performance guest speaker. A reception to follow the performance will be held at Twin Rivers Council for the Arts. This event is free and open to the public.
Ecru Tinge, an entity partnership of Leftridge and Pacza, obtained the creative rights to Anderson’s memoir in October of 2016, as well as an Artist Grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council in Minnesota. The grant, which is awarded through funds from the McKnight Foundation, has enabled Ecru Tinge to present this world premiere. The funding will also enable Anderson to attend and give a pre-performance talk.
More about Joan Anderson:
Joan Anderson is an author and motivational speaker from Cape Cod. Her first memoir, A Year by the Sea, was on the New York Times bestseller list for 32 weeks, and is the subject of a new film.
More about Charlie Leftridge:
Charlie Leftridge is a composer from Minnesota, most noted for his choral writing. Leftridge received his Masters of Music in Music Composition from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and currently serves as the Administrative Coordinator for the Mankato Symphony Orchestra in Mankato, Minnesota.
More about Katie Pacza:
Katie Pacza, soprano, earned her Master of Music degree at the University of South Dakota and her Bachelor of Arts at Iowa State University. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Pacza has a particular interest in contemporary art song and opera for young audiences.
In the Tuba- Euphonium studio this semester, J. T. Mc Laughlin won the Undergraduate Concerto competition and played Harlequin by Philip Sparke with the Wind Ensemble. Masters student, Kevin Madden, won the Mock Orchestra Audition at the Rocky Mountain Regional International Tuba Euphonium Conference in Colorado. Madden was also the runner-up in the Mock Orchestral Audition at the Great Plains Regional ITEC in Ames. At that conference, University of Nebraska-Lincoln freshman euphonium player Ben Petrmichl was the runner-up in the Mock Band Audition. In the upcoming John Shildnick Solo Competition with the Lincoln Municipal Band, two euphonium students that are students of Tuba-Euphonium Professor Craig Fuller are in the finals. They are Junior Music Education major J. T. McLaughlin, and Nestor Pelayo, a Lincoln Southwest High School student who will be attending Nebraska next year as a Music Education major.