2022 NMEA Conference/In-Service Clinic Schedule

NMEA's annual Conference/In-Service Clinic will be held November 16-18 (Wednesday - Friday) in Lincoln, NE. Registration headquarters and Expo are at the Embassy Suites, 1040 P Street, with conference sessions across the street on UNL's main campus (Westbrook Music Building) and at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. The Cornhusker Marriott Hotel will also be used for sessions.

*The conference schedule is subject to change.

Online Registration is Now Closed

On-site registration will be available during the conference.
Conference Schedule PDF

Click here to download a PDF of the current version of our at-a-glance 2022 Conference schedule.


Keynote Speaker
Wednesday Sessions
Thursday Sessions
Friday Sessions
Thurs Morning Concert Hour
Thurs Afternoon Concert Hour
Fri Morning Concert Hour
Annual Membership Meeting
Awards Dinner
Exhibit Times


Looking for information about the Tri-M or Collegiate Symposiums?

Visit the C-NAfME and Tri-M pages to see registration and schedule information for the symposiums.

Collegiate Symposium Info
Tri-M Symposium Info



Wed. Nov. 16 8:30 am - 6:15 pm Conference Registration (pre & onsite) Embassy Suites
Wed. Nov. 16 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Exhibit Check-in and Setup Embassy Suites
Thurs. Nov. 17 7:00 am - 3:30 pm Conference Registration (pre & onsite) Embassy Suites
Fri. Nov. 18 7:00 am - 12:00 pm Conference Registration (pre & onsite) Embassy Suites



Wed. Nov. 16 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm Exhibits Open Embassy Suites
Thurs. Nov. 17 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Exhibits Open Embassy Suites
Thurs. Nov. 17 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CLOSED FOR LUNCH  
Thurs. Nov. 17 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Exhibits Open Embassy Suites
Fri. Nov. 18 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Exhibits Open Embassy Suites

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Wednesday, November 16


String Orchestra Reading Session: More Diverse Repertoire for Your School Orchestra 
Presenters: Matthew Brooks
8:15 am, LC S

Our student orchestra’s repertoire is a vital part of our curriculum. As we try to make our lessons more inclusive and diverse, we must continue to find and program diverse repertoire. Building on the repertoire shared last year, this session will highlight diverse string orchestra repertoire from middle school to high school grade levels with a brief overview of the skills that are emphasized in the music, the technical and musical challenges, and other important considerations, such as the purposeful selection of music that represents diverse perspectives. In partnership with J.W. Pepper, each session participant will be given access to a virtual booklet containing the scores and parts for each piece of music. Session participants are encouraged to bring their string instruments—either as a string expert or string novice—to join the reading session orchestra in order to experience the music firsthand as we perform it together.

Matthew J. Brooks is Assistant Professor and Director of Orchestral Activities in Music & Medicine at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and courtesy faculty at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. At UNO, he leads the orchestras, teaches graduate conducting and undergraduate music theory. He was critical in creating the Nebraska Medical Orchestra, for which he is the current music director. Dr. Brooks is an award-winning educator, having been recognized both by both UNMC and UNO. As an academic conductor, he has led orchestras at James Madison University, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Shasta College, and remains active as a guest conductor and clinician across the United States and abroad. He regularly presents about orchestral conducting pedagogy, arts and wellness, and music and medicine at international and national conferences, including American String Teachers Association, National Association for Music Education, medical/healthcare conferences, and various state music conferences.


S-Cubed: Successful Sight Singing for Middle School Teachers and their Students
Presenter: Dale Duncan
8:15 am & 6:00 pm (repeat of session), LC C

Are you tired of the moans you hear from your students when you tell them to pull out the Sight Singing books? Do you feel like the method you are using with your young beginners skips steps in the teaching process leaving your children (and you) feeling unsuccessful? It's time to change that! Inject some fun and step-by-step success into your daily lessons with S-Cubed: Successful Sight Singing Course for Middle School Teachers and their Students. In this session, you will learn how to use several of the techniques in this new, dynamic, fun-filled Sight Singing method that is designed specifically for this age group. Many aspects of the method can also be used with Upper Elementary students with success.

Session handout (click to download)

Dale Duncan is the creator and developer of S-Cubed: Successful Sight Singing program for Middle School Teachers and their Students. In 2002, after moving to Georgia from New Jersey and seeing the very high level of requirement in the Sight Singing room at LGPE, Dale realized he needed to create a system to help his beginners be successful! So, in August of 2013, Dale began videotaping himself teaching his own beginning 6th grade group and placing the lessons on YouTube along with numerous teaching tips specifically designed to help Georgia teachers improve their performance in the sight singing room at LGPE. He also began blogging about his experiences. Dale Duncan leads over 300 students in the choral program at Henderson Middle School in Dekalb County. His students have consistently received Superior Ratings at LGPE. He has presented his Sight Singing materials for NAFME and articles about his work with sight singing have been published in ChorTeach for ACDA and for Choral Director Magazine.


Teach Music Like a Pirate!
Presenter: Danni Gilbert
10:30 am, LC S

Based on strategies for successful teaching developed by Dave Burgess in "Teach Like a Pirate", this interactive session will lead attendees through ideas aimed at increasing student engagement, boosting creativity in teaching, and employing effective leadership in school music settings. Geared toward music educators at any level and area, we will learn ways to ignite passion and enthusiasm in our teaching, facilitate immersive learning experiences, build rapport, ask and analyze to solve problems, and work towards transforming our classrooms to promote teaching and learning success.

Danni Gilbert is Associate Professor of Practice in music education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Glenn Korff School of Music where she teaches courses in undergraduate music education and serves as the Coordinator of Music Field Experiences. In addition, Dr. Gilbert teaches online graduate music education courses for Kent State University. Originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, Dr. Gilbert received her bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She received her Master’s degree in saxophone performance and her Ph.D. in music education, both from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Gilbert’s research interests are focused on pre-service music teacher preparation. Dr. Gilbert frequently serves as a clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor. In addition, she regularly performs as a saxophonist with the Omaha Symphony.


Repertoire for the Developing Choir - The Passion of Text, Melody, and Harmony
Presenter: Greg Gilpin
10:30 am, LC C

The developing choir can range from upper elementary to young high school as well as any age where the experience has been limited and the choral art is being newly discovered. Repertoire with quality text crafted with melody and harmony for this genre of singer may be the most important tool. It sets to the tone and foundation for all other vocal and interpretive teaching. Greg Gilpin will share some of his favorite pieces he has conducted around the world and gems from his own library of choral works, why they work so well for the developing choir and how he uses them in his own teaching.

Session Handout Link

Greg Gilpin is a well-known ASCAP award winning composer and arranger and a highly respected choral conductor throughout the United States and internationally including the respected and historic venues of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland. He also conducts educational choral tours for singers of all ages to various locations throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is currently Director of Educational Choral Publications for Shawnee Press and is a member of ACDA. NAfME, SAG-AFTRA, and is a Life Loyal Member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.


Discussion Forum: NSAA
Presenters: Taryn Retzlaff and Evan Lee
2:00 pm, WMB 109

Join Taryn Retzlaff, Assistant Director at the Nebraska School Activities Association, and NMEA Past President Evan Lee to discuss District Music Contest.

Discussion Forum: Auditions
Presenter: Doug Bogatz
2:00 pm, WMB 107

Join NMEA Director of Auditions Doug Bogatz for a discussion to provide feedback for our 2022 All-State auditions process.

Auditions Forum
Auditions Feedback

24 Ways to Improve Every Rehearsal Through Inspired Teaching!
Presenter: Peter Boonshaft
6:00 pm, LC S

This session offers 24 ways you can immediately improve every rehearsal or class using simple techniques and strategies to improve the quality of your ensemble, make any rehearsal more productive and energize the power of your teaching. Useful for conductors of any level and type of ensemble.

Called one of the most exciting and exhilarating voices in music education today, Peter Loel Boonshaft has been invited to speak or conduct in every state in the nation and around the world. Honored by the National Association for Music Education and Music For All as the first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education," Dr. Boonshaft has recently been named Director of Education for Jupiter Band Instruments. Dr. Boonshaft is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise. He is also co-author of Alfred Music Publishing’s new method book series, Sound Innovations for Band and Sound Innovations for Strings. He is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he is Professor of Music and Director of Bands.


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The annual NMEA Membership meeting will take place at 7:30 pm in WMB 119. We are excited to announce that NAfME President Scott Sheehan will be addressing the membership at our annual meeting with a State of NAfME Address. We will also reveal the results of our 2022 NMEA Board of Directors Election.

A nationally recognized advocate and leader for the advancement of music education, Scott Sheehan is the Director of Bands and Music Department Chairperson at the Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School in Hollidaysburg, PA where he directs the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Marching Band and teaches AP Music Theory, Fundamentals of Guitar, and Rock, Rap, and Revolution!. Hollidaysburg has been named one of the Best Communities for Music Education in the United States by the NAMM Foundation for the past eight years under Scott’s leadership. In addition to his duties at Hollidaysburg, Mr. Sheehan was a finalist for the 2019 GRAMMY Music Educator Award and is an Educational Clinician for Conn-Selmer. He is also a consultant for strategic planning and association development. 

Before his tenure as President of NAfME, Mr. Sheehan was the president of the NAfME Eastern Division from 2015-2017. During his presidency, he served on the National Executive Band and Executive Committee and was the Program Chair of the NAfME All-National Honors Ensemble. As an active member of the Pennsylvania MEA, Scott has served as State President, as well as a District President and Curriculum and Instruction State Representative.  He coordinates the PMEA Leadership Academy, serves on the PMEA Mentoring Program Steering Committee, is chair of the PMEA Model Curriculum Framework project.

Mr. Sheehan is a member of Phi Beta Mu, the International Bandmasters Fraternity, and served as a liaison to the NAfME National Band Council. He was recognized at the state level as a Pennsylvania Keystone Technology Integrator by the Department of Education, was named Teacher of the Year in 2013 by the Hollidaysburg Area School District, and received the Outstanding Music Educator Award from Penn State University’s College of Arts and Architecture in 2016. He is an active guest conductor and clinician throughout the country and performs trumpet with the Hollidaysburg Community Band and with the Altoona Brass Collective. Scott holds a B.S. Degree in Music Education and a B.M. Degree in Music Marketing from Clarion University, and holds a Master’s Degree in Music Education from the Pennsylvania State University. Scott and his wife Amy are the proud parents of their daughter Ellie.


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Thursday, November 17


An Annotated Rehearsal: Reawakening to Why We Do What We Do
Presenter: Tom Trenney
8:00 am, LC C

It is easy to rehearse our students a certain way because that's how we've always done it...or at least, that's how we've gotten used to doing it recently. But, perhaps, it could be helpful to take part in a rehearsal ourselves and to experience in real time an active explanation of why we do what we do. Participants will be invited to sing warm-ups and repertoire as we explore ways to bring our bodies, minds, spirits, and voices together to create music and community. Both practical and philosophical, this session will encourage more compelling and inspiring rehearsals in the days to follow.

Tom Trenney is blessed to serve as Minister of Music to First-Plymouth Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, and as Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choirs at Nebraska Wesleyan University. He is Artistic Director of Lincoln’s Abendmusik Concert Series and Conductor of sounding light—a professional choir he founded in 2003. Tom’s choirs have been honored to perform for state, regional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association.A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music, Tom is grateful for the inspiration of his teachers and mentors – especially Anton Armstrong, David Davidson, Craig Hella Johnson, (Mister) Fred Rogers, William Weinert, Anne Wilson and Todd Wilson. His choral compositions are published by Augsburg Fortress, Beckenhorst Press, Choristers Guild, E.C. Schirmer/Galaxy, Morningstar, Musicspoke, Pavane, and G. Schirmer.


All Means All: Adaptive Strategies for the Music Classroom
Presenters: Kathy Ohlman, Megan Stroop, Dr. Denee Wehrs
8:00 am, LC S

Through various expertise backgrounds this session will examine planning strategies, content knowledge, resource development, and practical application models for effective teaching in the inclusive and adaptive music classroom. Come and hear from a practicing elementary music educator, a career special educator at both the K-12 and higher education levels, and a higher education, K-12 music educator as they navigate the wonderful opportunities to adapt, modify, and accommodate learners in today’s music classroom.

Kathleen Ohlman is the Director of Music Education at Doane University in Crete, Nebraska. Kathleen is currently in her thirty-fourth year of teaching. In the past she has served as Nebraska’s representative to the National Association for Music Educator’s Advocacy Leadership Force and as Public Relations/Advocacy board member for the Nebraska Music Educators Association. Kathleen has presented at Nebraska state music conferences, teacher in-services/workshops, various research conferences and serves as a choral adjudicator and clinician. Kathleen was honored by the National Association for Music Education with a Lowell
Mason Fellow in 2020.

Megan Stroup is currently in her eighth year of teaching K-5 General Music at Zeman Elementary in Lincoln Public Schools. In 2018, Megan was honored as Young Music Educator of the Year by the Nebraska Music Education Association. Megan attended Doane University where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and a Master's Degree in Curriculum & Instruction with an English Language Learning Endorsement. She completed her first level of Orff at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, her second level at VanderCook College in Chicago, and her third level at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. In addition to her Orff training, she has completed Levels I, II, and III of World Music Drumming. Megan and her husband Frank, a music educator as well, live in Lincoln with their daughter, Scarlett.
Dr. Denee Wehrs is an Associate Professor in the Doane University College of Education where she has been a faculty member since 1996.  She serves as the Director of Undergraduate Special Education, teaching undergraduate and graduate students. Her research interests include teacher quality, and effective methods of supporting paraeducators.  


Composing with Your Beginning Instrumental Ensemble! You are Crazy!
Presenter: John Bailey
8:00 am, WMB 9

I often hear from people that there just is not enough time to compose with students when they are first learning to play an instrument. Between learning how to play the instrument, necessary assessments, and concerts, composing just is not a priority. We know that in order to develop well-rounded musicians, we are to include Creating, Performing, and Responding, all while still teaching kids how to put together and play their instrument. It can be overwhelming. This session will include step-by-step examples of how teachers can include composing into their teaching while only seeing students 30 minutes a week. Help excite your students about music beyond their instrument and give them tangible documentation for an educational portfolio in the instrumental music class. You never know you may inspire the next great composer.

Session Handout (click to download)

John Bailey is a 5th grade band instructor for Lincoln Public Schools and has been composing with his students since 2001. In his 23 years of teaching, he has taught in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Nebraska where he has taught K-12 vocal music and 5th-12th grade band. He has been a guest conductor for Lincoln All City events, adjudicated solo/small ensemble, large group contest, and All-State auditions. John has organized a district seminar with David Newell, participated in conducting and instrumental clinics working directly with Eugene Corporon, Jack Stamp, Tim Lautzenheiser, and the Dallas Brass. John has been a member of NAfME since 1993, served as State Collegiate President, participated in the Young Teacher Symposium, attended conferences across the Upper Midwest, and presented at both State and National Conventions with Dr. Lance Nielsen. He received the “Who’s Who in American Teachers” 2002 and has received various educational and community grants.


REV Performance: Gaining a Reliable, Exceptional Voice
Presenter: Diane Owens
8:00 am, WMB 104

Data show that teachers are at significantly higher risk of developing a voice disorder over the course of their lifetime than people in other professions. Not surprisingly, music teachers rate among the most vulnerable of all. It is especially common for teachers to experience hoarseness, vocal fatigue, tightness, or even total voice loss. Drawing from research in the field of vocology, this session will offer quick, practical ways for teachers to proactively strengthen their voices in the areas of tightness, hoarseness, and vocal fatigue. In this interactive seminar, participants will implement proven techniques, discover preventive measures to preserve vocal health and efficiency, and learn where to get further help if necessary. These exercises translate readily to music classrooms and can benefit music students of all levels as well.

Session Handout (click to download)

Soprano Diane Owens has appeared as soloist with The Pittsburgh Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Utah Symphony, Tucson Symphony, Pittsburgh Opera, Syracuse Symphony, Des Moines Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica del Valle, Utah Opera, San Bernardino Symphony, Boise Symphony, and many others. Awards include Regional Finalist and First-Prize District Winner for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Second Prize in the Bel Canto Singing Awards, First-Prize Regionals for The MacAllister Awards in Opera and she received the Tennessee Arts Commission's Award in Voice. Diane is a trained Vocologist/Singing Voice Specialist and is a NCVS Affiliate. Degrees include a Master of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University, a Bachelor of Music with Honors from the University of Iowa, and a Zertifikat from the Goethe-Institut in Germany. She serves on the voice faculty of Creighton University, and is licensed as a K-12 Music and 7,8 Generalist teacher in the state of Iowa.


Native American Composers: How to Celebrate and Incorporate the Music of Indigenous People
Presenter: Mary Daugherty
8:00 am, WMB 105

We’ll begin with a brief history of Native American music including the three categories: songs passed down aurally, songs with a ceremonial/medicinal function, and those received through dreams. Their early music was primarily monophonic, sometimes accompanied winds and/or percussion. Due to wars, population loss, property deprivation, and historic exclusion, their music remains largely underrepresented. Attendees will participate in making music and sharing ideas to bring awareness to this topic. For elementary and high school levels, I will present pieces and give a variety of resources for choral, orchestral, and band music. I will also provide public domain Native American melodies to inspire composers/arrangers in attendance. For collegiate levels, I will give repertoire resources, and share information about living Native American composers available for commission. The presentation, occurring during Native American History month, will be a timely reminder to elevate the rich traditions of Indigenous people!

Mary Daugherty is a second-year DMA student in choral conducting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Diversity-In-Action intern for the NYC Choral Consortium. Recent research projects include work on Dr. Marques Garrett's 'Beyond Elijah Rock; Non-Idiomatic Music of Black Composers', and her own project, 'Native American Composers; how to celebrate and incorporate the music of Indigenous people.' When Mary is not conducting or researching, she enjoys teaching piano, singing, cooking, and traveling with her husband, Andrew.


Classroom Management with Trauma in Mind
Presenter: Katie Morris, Krista Couton
8:00 am, WMB 109

Students in trauma express their needs in many different ways. Can you think of those students who consistently have a hard time? The students who are disengaged or refuse to participate? What about the sleeping student or the student who disrupts class? Almost always there is a deeper reason for these challenges. These students may be hungry, scared, tired, or something more serious. Come learn strategies and ideas to help students from trauma find success and felt safety in your classroom. Classroom management doesn’t have to look strict or boring. It can be fun and engaging while creating consistent boundaries and a safe space for all students. These strategies could be adapted for older students but this session will primarily focus on the elementary classroom.

Katie Morris is a teacher at Elliott Elementary in Lincoln, Nebraska where she has taught for three years. Katie previously taught in Syracuse as the 4-12 vocal music teacher for three years. She also taught at Saratoga Elementary, Zeman Elementary and Plainview Public Schools. In 2019 Katie was named Outstanding Young Music Educator. Katie has a passion for teaching students from hard places. She currently lives in Omaha with her husband Scott.
Krista is in her 7th year teaching General Music in Lincoln Public schools. She began her teaching career abroad at the National Taiwan College of Performing Arts with the Fulbright Foundation for Scholarly Exchange, then returned to Lincoln and began teaching at Huntington Elementary which quickly became home. She is now honored to be the inaugural music teacher at Robinson Elementary. She has presented seminars with colleagues and supervisors in the areas of Students with Exceptionalities in Music, and now, Trauma Informed Practices in General Music. She is a proud graduate of Doane College, where she graduated with Bachelors Degrees in Music Education and Spanish, and a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Restorative Practices, and an ELL endorsement. Krista finds support in the phenomenal music teachers in the state of Nebraska and is excited to contribute to this thriving community.


Affective Teaching is Effective Teaching
Presenter: Brett Epperson
8:00 am, WMB 110

Students in music ensembles participate with the hope of expressing some beauty or truth through their music-making. Music educators should strive to teach not just music literacy and technique, but imbue thoughtful sensitivity and meaningful expression through deliberate teacher vulnerability modeling. This session will focus on using affective teaching strategies to increase student engagement, motivation, and meaning.

Brett D. Epperson is the new Director of Choral Activities at Hastings College. Most recently, Epperson was a Choral Graduate Assistant in the College of Music at Florida State University, pursuing the PhD in Music Education-Choral Conducting. Prior to doctoral coursework, Epperson was Vocal Music Director at East High School and Choral Scholar at First Plymouth Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. Epperson earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Luther College (Decorah, IA) and his Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University.


Warm-up and Ensemble Development Exercises that Work!
Presenter: Peter Boonshaft
8:00 am, WMB 114

Specific exercises you can use to develop ensemble performance in the areas of balance, blend, intonation, rhythm, rhythmic subdivision, listening, articulation, dynamics and virtually every aspect of large ensemble playing.

Called one of the most exciting and exhilarating voices in music education today, Peter Loel Boonshaft has been invited to speak or conduct in every state in the nation and around the world. Honored by the National Association for Music Education and Music For All as the first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education," Dr. Boonshaft has recently been named Director of Education for Jupiter Band Instruments. Dr. Boonshaft is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise. He is also co-author of Alfred Music Publishing’s new method book series, Sound Innovations for Band and Sound Innovations for Strings. He is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he is Professor of Music and Director of Bands.


Yes, The Blues: A Simple Approach to Experience the Joy of Swingin’ the Blues
Presenter: Paul Ketchen
8:00 am, WMB 130

This session will invigorate aspiring jazz educators and experienced directors alike with this take on concepts, skills, and philosophy guaranteed to enable you and your students to experience the tremendous joy found in playing the blues! Drawing on the legendary Clark Terry’s systematic approach to teaching and learning the language of jazz: (1) Imitate, (2) Assimilate, and (3) Innovate, we’ll explore simple ways to help students start their journey, add to their bag of licks by imitating echo patterns everyday…singing (based on Clark Terry’s ‘doodle’ tonguing) and playing on instruments. There is NOTHING to be afraid of, so bring your horn and let’s have some fun!

Session handout (click to download)

Paul Ketchen is currently the Director of Bands and Instrumental Music at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, NE. He teaches courses in beginning and advanced winds and percussion, and directs the Concert Band, Percussion Ensemble, Jr. Jays Pep Band, CP Jazz Collective, and Jazz Combo. Mr. Ketchen started teaching in Nebraska in 2019 for Springfield Platteview Community Schools, directing 6th Grade Beginner Bands, the PC Jazz Collective, and the 7th and 8th Grade Concert Bands. Prior to moving to Omaha, Mr. Ketchen taught in Massachusetts in Belmont Public Schools from 2014-2019. When he’s not spending time with his beautiful wife, Jenna, and two amazing kiddos Adaline (6) and Elliott (4), Paul loves to be active as a trombonist and clinician in the Omaha metro area.


KEYNOTE SPEAKER - Dr. Rhoda Bernard

Arts Better the Lives of Everyone: Personal Philosophical, Political, and Practicalrhoda Perspectives on Arts Education for People with Disabilities
9:15 am, WMB 119

Rhoda Bernard is the managing director of the Berklee Institute for Accessible Arts Education. Bernard also oversees the Master of Music in music education (autism concentration) and Graduate Certificate in music education and autism programs. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in government from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Music with academic honors in jazz voice from New England Conservatory. She received her master’s and doctorate degrees in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Bernard regularly presents keynote presentations and research at conferences throughout the United States and abroad, and she provides professional development workshops for educators in local, national, and international forums. Her work has been published in several book chapters and in numerous journals, including Music Educators Journal; Music Education Research; Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education; Mountain Lake Reader; and Arts and Learning Research Journal. Bernard has been honored with the Berklee Urban Service Award (2017), the Boston Conservatory Community Service Award (2011), the Boston Conservatory Faculty/Staff Spirit Award (2007), and the Outstanding Dissertation Award, Honorable Mention (Second Place) from the Arts and Learning Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association. An active arts education advocate, she is the chair of the Arts Education Advisory Council of Americans for the Arts, and she serves on their speakers bureau. A vocalist and pianist who specializes in jazz music and Jewish music in Yiddish and Hebrew, she performs regularly with a number of klezmer bands and has recorded two CDs with the band Klezamir.


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Omaha Central High School, Central High School Singers
Directed by Sara Cowan
10:30 am, StP

The CHS Singers is a highly select chamber choir chosen from the membership of the acclaimed Central High School A Cappella Choir. CHS Singers annually hosts a Madrigal Feast and performs popular selections for the CHS Roadshow. They are in demand throughout the year for performances at many civic functions, including singing the National Anthem for NSAA State Championship sporting events and the College World Series and performing for the Nebraska Renaissance Festival. In 2002, CHS Singers was a featured choir at the NC-ACDA Convention in Des Moines, IA. They served as a demonstration choir for the NC-ACDA Convention in Fargo, ND in 2008. They have performed for the NMEA Fall Conference Clinic several times and consistently receive superior ratings in state and regional competitions. Many of if its members have been selected for state, regional and national honor choirs each year.

  Sara Cowan is in her eleventh year of teaching at Omaha Central High School, where she directs the A Cappella Choir and CHS Singers, teaches AP Music Theory, and serves as Performing Arts Department Head. Ms. Cowan was named the NCDA Outstanding Young Choral Director in 2016, the Central High School Teacher of the Year in 2021, and earned a Music Teacher of Excellence Award from the Country Music Awards Foundation in 2022. She served on the NCDA Board as Women’s Choirs Repertoire & Resources Chair from 2014-2019, and currently serves on the NMEA Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access Committee. She holds a BA in Music from Grinnell College and an MM in Choral Conducting from the University of Minnesota. She and her husband Brian are both proud alumni of Central High School and parents to daughters Miriam and Clara.


UNL Jazz Singers
Directed by David von Kampen
10:30 am, WMB 119

The UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN JAZZ SINGERS is a select ensemble of singers and rhythm section that performs traditional and contemporary jazz literature and reharmonized arrangements of contemporary popular songs. The ensemble includes UNL students from a variety of degree programs and performs on and off-campus each semester. Auditions are held in August and January of each year, and the ensemble rehearses twice per week.

David von Kampen is a composer/arranger from Lincoln, Nebraska. David’s music spans a wide variety of genres and styles, including jazz, choral music, hymnody and liturgy, art song, chamber music, and musical theater. David is a six-time Downbeat Award winner in graduate-level jazz writing categories and was named MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year for his song cycle "Under the Silver and Home Again." David was the recipient of an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer award, winner of the San Francisco Choral Artists New Voices Project, winner of the National Band Association’s Young Jazz Composers Competition, and received Honorable Mention in the New York Youth Symphony First Music Commissions. David has over 60 published choral and instrumental compositions and arrangements.At the University of Nebraska, David directs the award-winning UNL Jazz Singers and teaches music theory, ear training, and other courses. Learn more at www.DavidvonKampen.com.


Nebraska Wesleyan University Symphonic Band
Directed by Joshua Roach
10:45 am, LC

The Nebraska Wesleyan University Symphonic Band is a small concert ensemble comprising music majors, minors, and non-majors alike. The ensemble caters to musicians who wish to continue performing in an ensemble setting past their high school years. They perform works in a variety of musical grades and styles, from traditional band repertoire to contemporary music. Playing as a part of the NWU Symphonic Band provides musical and personal growth opportunities for its members through participation in performance.

Joshua Roach serves as the Director of Instrumental Activities at Nebraska Wesleyan University. He has also taught at the Crane School of Music at that State University of New York at Potsdam, The College of New Jersey, California Lutheran University, Southwestern Michigan College, and Peru State College. Before teaching full time at the collegiate level, Roach lived in Los Angeles where he was the music director of the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble, instrumental coach for the Grammy award-winning Diamond Bar High School, and orchestral administrator for the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. For eleven years, he spent his summers teaching at the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program, and from 2015-2017 he was also on the brass staff for the Phantom Regiment drum and bugle corps.


The Intergeneration Orchestra of Omaha
Directed by Mark Benson
10:45 am, KRH

One of the most unique musical ensembles in the United States, the Intergeneration Orchestra of Omaha bridges two diverse age groups through the common language of music and is now in its 37th season. With musicians who must be either age 25 and under or 50 and over, the Intergeneration Orchestra combines the best of both generations, blending the spirit and promise of youth with the experience and wisdom of the older generation. Together they create lively, uplifting music that appeals to all ages. The Intergeneration Orchestra was founded in 1985 by Chuck Penington, who served as its conductor and musical director for 34 seasons. Mark Benson has been the orchestra’s conductor and musical director for the last three seasons. The Intergeneration Orchestra is a nonprofit organization and a project of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging (ENOA). Funding is provided by ENOA and through gifts from corporate and individual donors.

  Mark Benson is the conductor of the Intergeneration Orchestra of Omaha. He is also an adjunct professor at Peru State College where teaches applied woodwinds and directs the Peru Stare Jazz Band, and an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he works with music education students. Previously, he was the Director of Instrumental Music at Mission Middle School in Bellevue. He is a saxophonist with the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra and a clarinetist with the Lincoln Municipal Band. He is an active freelance performer, composer, arranger, and adjudicator, and holds degrees from Northern Illinois University and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.


Elkhorn South Concert Choir
Directed by Call Cross and Molly Gonring
11:00 am, StP

The Elkhorn South Concert Choir is the auditioned mixed choir at Elkhorn South HS in Omaha. These 10-12 grade students are leaders in sports, cheer, band, forensics, National Honor Society, community service, show choir, theater, and many other activities both in and out of the Elkhorn South community. We are happy to represent our program, school, district, and NMEA.

  Cal Cross is in his third year teaching vocal music at Elkhorn South HS in Omaha, NE. At ESHS he co-directs three curricular choirs, varsity show choir, spring musical, and JV show choir. Cal graduated in 2019 with his Bachelor’s of Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied voice with Dr. Jamie Reimer and is currently pursuing his Masters of Music Education at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Outside of teaching and attending school Cal enjoys cooking, running, and teaching his dog about personal space.
  Molly Gonring earned both her Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in Music Education from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. During her time at UNL, she co-founded the university’s first treble a Capella group, Boots & Cats. She is currently working on her Curriculum and Instruction Master’s degree at Peru State.Molly spent three years with Millard Public Schools. She taught K-5 general music and directed Millard North’s mixed-prep show choir.Molly is in her sixth year at Elkhorn South High School. At ESHS she co-teaches all the curricular choirs, directs Shock Wave (varsity treble show choir), co-directs Blackout (varsity mixed show choir), and the Spring Musical. She was honored to receive the Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation 2018 Golden Apple Teacher of the Year.


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Universal Design for Learning and Music
Presenter: Dr. Rhoda Bernard
1:15 pm, LC C

In this session, participants will learn the instructional framework for Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and its application in music education environments. Universal Design for Learning guides the design of learning experiences to proactively meet the needs of all learners. Explore the principles and best practices of UDL, see how to employ them through activities and lesson planning, and analyze music classrooms and activities using the lens of UDL. 

Presenter: John Jacobson
1:15 pm, LC S

Come sing new arrangements of classic jazz standards and learn some fun and useful moments to give them new life. Swing, Big Band, Bossa Nova, Blues, Dixieland, and all that Jazz! Also tunes from American standards composers like Gershwin, Berlin, Joplin and more. 

Session Handout 1 (click to download)
Session Handout 2 (click to download)
Session Handout 3 (click to download)


John Jacobson is the author and composer of many musicals and choral works that have been performed by millions of children worldwide, as well as educational videos and tapes that have helped music educators excel in their individual teaching arenas. He is also recognized internationally as a creative and motivating speaker for teachers and students involved in choral music education. John is the founder and president of America Sings! Inc., a non-profit organization that encourages young performers to use their time and talents for com-munity service. Most recently, John created John Jacob-son’s Music Experience an annual subscription program for k-8 music classrooms that includes songs, sheet music, instructional choreography videos, motivational videos, rehearsal and demo tracks, exciting interviews with industry leaders, and so much more. www.jjand-meinc.com


Teaching Students Who Do Not Look Like You
Presenter: Joshua Harris
1:15 pm, WMB 9

Teaching students in your classroom who do not look the same as the educator. Sharing the perspective as a former minority student and now a minority teacher, with the flipped roles.

Joshua R. F. Harris is a Nebraska Music Educator. He is a Nebraska resident and a graduate of UNL. He is married to his wife of over 5 years and together they have one daughter.


Interdisciplinary Connection through Music
Presenter: Kevin Cooley
1:15 pm, WMB 104

This session will look at meaningful ways to create and implement interdisciplinary projects in the ensemble setting. Attendees will learn about how to build their own project and see examples of other successful projects as well as how to avoid common roadblocks.

Kevin Cooley teaches AP Music Theory, Digital Audio Production, and all things Band at Platteville High School in Platteville, WI. A Nebraska native, Kevin received his Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his Masters in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2021 Kevin was named to Yamaha's "40 under 40" list of up-and-coming music teachers around the country. He has presented multiple sessions at the Wisconsin Music Educators Conference and serves on the Wisconsin School Music Association Marching Band Committee. He and his wife Michelle live with their daughter Holly in Dodgeville, Wisconsin.


Software Tools for Sight Reading & Performance Assessment
Presenter: Julianna Mateyko
1:15 pm, WMB 105

Accuracy is essential for your students’ success. You want to help them improve their sight singing accuracy, and you also need to be able to reliably and accurately assess their performance proficiency. Discover software tools that will build these skills through aural training and increasingly rigorous exercises, as well as automated assessment to help you target problem areas and increase your ensemble’s confidence with new repertoire.

Julianna Mateyko is the Director of Support and Training for MusicFirst. Born in Southern Maine, they completed a bachelor’s degree in Music Education at Syracuse University and a master’s degree in Music Education at New York University. Julianna’s teaching experiences range from first grade general music to high school marching band, with much in between. As a researcher, they focused their energy on community in the music classroom. Julianna believes strongly in the integration of technology in the classroom and knows it can be used in a variety of ways to support community during and after school hours. As a classical saxophonist, they enjoy playing in ensembles of varying sizes and specifically loves saxophones in consort. Other interests include arranging Beethoven symphonies and music education philosophy.


The Band Director Appendix: A Playbook for Logistical, Musical, and Humanitarian Success in the Instrumental Classroom
Presenters: Brian Vuu, Elias Gillespie
1:15 pm, WMB 109

When you compound the daily needs of teaching with the copious tasks required to keep your band program afloat, you find yourself running out of time. We present the Band Director Appendix, a compilation of accessible forms, documents, and other resources which will help build your program and provide a fresh perspective on directing, teaching, and learning. With a decade of combined teaching experience spanning three distinct schools, the Band Director Appendix is your one-stop shop to expedite all your program needs.

Brian Vuu is in his eighth year of teaching. His teaching experiences include Lincoln East, Lincoln Northeast, and Norris Public Schools. Brian graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015 with a Bachelor's in Music Education Degree. During his college experience, Brian served as drum major for the Cornhusker Marching Band, performed with all concert bands, jazz bands, and jazz combos, and was a member of the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Brian is currently active in the community, serving on the board of directors for the Capital Jazz Society and performing with community groups such as the Lincoln Municipal Band and Monday Night Big Band, Downtown Collective, and Diamond Empire Band. Brian Vuu is currently the director of bands at Norris High School. He teaches concert band, percussion techniques, guitar, and piano. He also assists with all middle school ensembles in the district. Brian is head of the marching band, jazz band, and pep band.
Elias Gillespie is from Wichita, Kansas. He received his Bachelor of Music Education Degree in 2018 from Kansas State University. While working on his Bachelor's degree, Elias studied trumpet with Dr. Gary Mortenson and Dr. Rebecca Walenz, all the while being heavily involved with University ensembles and leadership organizations. The most relevant of these opportunities are: Salina Symphony Orchestra, KSU Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Concert Jazz Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, Marching Band and Marching Band Staff, President of Kappa Kappa Psi (National Honorary Band Service Fraternity,) and conducting the Kansas State University “University Band” for 2 semesters. He also had the opportunity to be part of an internationally recognized research team that studied “Cultural Relevancy in Music Education.” Elias is currently an Instrumental Music Educator at Lincoln Northeast High School in Lincoln, Nebraska. He teaches Honors Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Marching Band, Percussion Techniques, Music Theory, and Music Technology.


Together, We Are THE Advocates
Presenter: Scott Sheehan
1:15 pm, WMB 110

This session focuses on the essential components of effective advocacy at the local, state, and national level. Scott Sheehan, NAfME President, will share insights into building capacity to ensure the long-term viability for music education through collaboration and building relationships. Attendees should come prepared to share their advocacy victories as well as challenges. We're all in this together!

A nationally recognized advocate and leader for the advancement of music education, Scott Sheehan is the Director of Bands and Music Department Chairperson at the Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School in Hollidaysburg, PA where he directs the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Marching Band and teaches AP Music Theory, Fundamentals of Guitar, and Rock, Rap, and Revolution!. Hollidaysburg has been named one of the Best Communities for Music Education in the United States by the NAMM Foundation for the past eight years under Scott’s leadership. In addition to his duties at Hollidaysburg, Mr. Sheehan was a finalist for the 2019 GRAMMY Music Educator Award and is an Educational Clinician for Conn-Selmer. He is also a consultant for strategic planning and association development.

Before his tenure as President of NAfME, Mr. Sheehan was the president of the NAfME Eastern Division from 2015-2017. During his presidency, he served on the National Executive Band and Executive Committee and was the Program Chair of the NAfME All-National Honors Ensemble. As an active member of the Pennsylvania MEA, Scott has served as State President, as well as a District President and Curriculum and Instruction State Representative. He coordinates the PMEA Leadership Academy, serves on the PMEA Mentoring Program Steering Committee, is chair of the PMEA Model Curriculum Framework project.


To Proficiency and Beyond: Functional Piano Skills for Pre-service and In-service Teachers
Presenter: Jenna Braaksma
1:15 pm, WMB 114

One of the most useful skills for music educators is the ability to utilize the piano as a teaching tool. Recent research suggests that preservice teachers are leaving their undergraduate degree programs feeling less confident in their ability to use the piano in the classroom. In this session, we will explore the possibilities of playing the piano beyond proficiency, moving toward mastery of functional piano skills helping to equip teachers with the techniques to effectively play in a variety of instructional situations. Practice strategies for developing technical facility, harmonizing melodies with various accompaniment patterns, and transposing melodies and chords will be presented. Demonstrations will specifically highlight step-by-step learning sequences for score reading, transposing instruments, and the art of reducing more advanced piano accompaniments. This presentation will also provide current teachers a crash course to jump-start or refresh their piano skills!

Session Handout (click to download)

Dr. Jenna Braaksma currently serves as the Piano Faculty and Collaborative Pianist at Buena Vista University, and Adjunct Faculty of Music at Dordt University. Her responsibilities at BVU include directing the group piano program, teaching applied piano lessons, and accompanying the choirs. At Dordt University, she teaches the Piano Pedagogy and Introduction to Music Literature courses. Along with her teaching, she remains active as a collaborative pianist for vocalists, instrumentalists, and choral ensembles. Prior to teaching at BVU, Dr. Braaksma directed the Understanding Music & Piano program at Augusta Raa Performing Arts Middle School in Tallahassee, FL. As Adjunct Faculty of Music at the University of Missouri, she taught undergraduate-level group piano classes, coordinated the Experiencing Piano program for young children and adults, and accompanied for all MU choral ensembles. Dr. Braaksma holds a PhD in Music Education with an emphasis in Piano Pedagogy from Florida State University.


Can you “La Like a Lobster”?
Presenter: Maria Ellis
1:15 pm, WMB 119

Description coming soon!

Maria A. Ellis is a passionate educator and conductor. She is the owner of Girl Conductor LLC, a company that creates diverse music education resources and currently serves as the Director of The Sheldon’s City of Music All-Star Chorus and Choral Instructor at Sumner High School. Maria is an active clinician, adjudicator and presenter throughout the United States and abroad. She holds a B.M. in Music Education emphasis on Voice (K-12 Certified) Degree from the University of Missouri- St. Louis. She has served as the Arts and Administrative Fellow for The St. Louis Symphony and has served as the Community Engagement Manager for The St. Louis Children’s Choirs. Maria is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, National Association of Music Educators, Missouri Alliance for Arts Education, where she is chair of the RIDE (Race, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity) Committee and holds Level 3 Certification from the CME Institute for Choral Teacher Education. 


Steps to Score Mastery: How is this supposed to go?
Presenter: Onsby Rose
2:30 pm, LC C

This session with explain a method of learning and internalizing an ensemble score in the most efficient and thorough way possible. The session will be interactive and allow the attendees to learn skills of audition, and score reading. By the end of the session, attendees will have a full-proof method for learning, interpreting, rehearsing, and absorbing a musical score.

Session Handout (click to download)

Dr. Onsby C. Rose is the Director of Instrumental Activities at Dordt University. He holds degrees from East Tennessee State University (BM), Appalachian State University (MM), and The Ohio State University (DMA). He is also the principal conductor of the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra as well as having 15 published compositions from his pen.


Panel Discussion: Administrator 101
Panelists: Bill Lentz, Tucker Tejkl, Sarah Stratton-Babb, Lance Nielsen
2:30 pm, LC S

Hear from Nebraska school administrators about their perspectives on hiring and evaluating music educators. They'll discuss topics such as what they hope to see when observing your music classroom, components of an excellent lesson plan, and how to cultivate trust in the administrator-educator relationship.

William "Bill" Lentz was a 22-year teacher and coach in several Nebraska schools including Hyannis High School (1980-1985), Grand Island Senior High School (1985-1988), Valentine Rural High School (1988-1998), and Kearney High School (1998-2002). From 2002 to 2014 he served as the Secondary Principal/Fine Arts Director for David City Public School. In 2014 he became the Director of Education Administration in the College of Graduate Studies at Concordia University. In 2016 he stepped back into the Secondary Principal role for Ainsworth Community Schools and was there until his retirement in 2018.
Tucker Tejkl is in his 2nd year of being the superintendent at Shelby-Rising City Public Schools in Shelby, NE. He was a principal at Riverside Public Schools in Cedar Rapids for three years prior. His educational career began in 2013 in Denver, CO and taught 7th grade science. From 2014-2018, he taught and coached at Battle Creek Public Schools as the 7th, 8th, & 10th-grade science teacher. He is married to his wonderful wife Kylie, and they are blessed with three (crazy) boys; Weston (8), Cohen (6), and Jack (3). 
Dr. Lance Nielsen is the Supervisor of Music for Lincoln Public Schools where he supervises all music programs preK-12. He received his Bachelor of Science in Education, Masters of Music with emphasis in Music Education, and Doctorate of Philosophy in Music with an emphasis in Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has published articles in Music Educators Journal, Teaching Music, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, and the ISTE Leading with Innovations journal. He served as President of North Central Division of NAfME, Chair of NAfME Professional Development Committee, President of NMEA, NAfME National Tri-M Chair, and NMEA Chair of Band Affairs. He has been awarded the NSBA Distinguished Service Award, NMEA Distinguished Service Award, NMEA Hall of Fame, UNL Hixson-Lied Performing Arts College Outstanding Alumni Award, NSBA with the Outstanding Administrator of the Year Award and NFHS Music Educator of the Year.
  Info for Sarah Stratton-Babb coming soon!


Lead with Love: How to Rebuild Your Choral Program in the Aftermath of a Pandemic
Presenters: Marci DeAmbrose, Andrew Jacobson
2:30P pm, WMB 9

Choral music programs were forever changed by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. While educators used a variety of technologies and classroom adaptations to create positive music experiences, these approaches were focused on creativity, community, and responsiveness to navigate through uncertainty as to whether our music programs would survive. We conducted a case study where data is collected to gain an in-depth understanding within a bounded system that allowed us to gain a sense of commonalities amongst students related to singing in a choral ensemble through the pandemic, as well as to develop themes related to their lived experiences. Using group interviews, participant observations, and participant communications, we identified themes and corresponding codes that display participants expressing joy for returning to the classroom in-person without hybrid learning but also expressing a sense of regression in vocal technique development as well as motivation to practice. 

Dr. Marci Malone DeAmbrose is currently the director of choral activities at Lincoln Southwest (LSW) High School. In the past, she has also served as the director of the Collegiate Chorale at Doane University in Crete, NE and the Women’s Choir at Concordia University in Seward, NE. She is a member of the Nebraska Music Educators Association (NMEA), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the National Association for Teachers of Singing (NATS), and the International Association for Music Education (ISME). Dr. DeAmbrose also serves as a commissioner for the Music and Schools and Teacher Education Commission (MISTEC). She received her Bachelor of Music Education from Baker University, her Master of Music and Artist Diploma from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, and her Ph.D. in music education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is looking forward to using all of her different experiences to serve the students at LSW.
Andrew Jacobson has served the students at Lincoln Southwest High School since 2010 as the Director of Show Choirs and Assistant Choir Director. He is also the newly appointed Music Technology instructor. He received his undergraduate in Voice-Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is an active adjudicator and clinician for Show Choirs and Show Bands across the Midwest. As well as directing Show Choirs, he spends his summers as a clinician for Nebraska Show Choir Camp and arranging for Show Choirs in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Texas. When he’s not working for High School Choral programs, Andrew spends his time golfing, being with his nieces and nephews, and traveling as much as he can. (Especially to Husker activities and other sporting events!)


Cultivating Well-Being and Belonging in the Music Classroom
Presenters: Kaitlin Beck, John Spilker
2:30 pm, WMB 104

Wellbeing research provides powerful resources for students and teachers, especially as we grapple with the ongoing impact of social atrophy during COVID-19 and division around vital community conversations. The music classroom offers possibilities for students to practice wellbeing, connection, and belonging. This interactive workshop begins with the theoretical aspects of integrating well-being in the classroom, including developing resilience, embracing failure, and creating skills for belonging. Participants will engage with practical classroom examples that utilize singing, speaking, moving, and playing as a means of affirmation and empowerment. Building on the information from the theoretical and practical presentations, attendees will gather in small groups to discuss challenges and opportunities for integrating well-being in their classrooms, to brainstorm modifications, or to create new strategies. Although the practical examples in this session are tailored to the elementary general music experience, these ideas are applicable in any type of classroom.

Session Handout (click to download)

Kaitlin Beck teaches K-5 general music at DC West Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska. After school, she acts as co-director and choreographer for the Disney Musicals in Schools program and sponsors ukulele club. Before teaching at DC West, Kaitlin held a 2-year tenure with the Omaha Children’s Choir as Associate Director of Choirs and Director of Marketing and Development, as well as serving as the Music Director for the Alleluia, Amen! Children’s Choir at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lincoln. Kaitlin holds a Bachelors of Music in Education from Nebraska Wesleyan University and has completed her Orff Schulwerk and World Music Drumming certifications. She serves as membership chair for the Great Plains Orff Chapter and is active in NAfME and AOSA. Kaitlin presents at the state and national level, most recently at the 2021 AOSA National Conference, and is inspired by the intersections between movement, literature, and the visual arts.
John D. Spilker is Associate Professor of Music (affiliate faculty in Gender Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies) at Nebraska Wesleyan University. Together with Colleen Renihan and Trudi Wright, he is contributing co-editor of "Sound Pedagogy: Radical Care in Higher-Education Music", under contract with University of Illinois Press. His research on dissonant counterpoint and Henry Cowell is published in American Music and the Journal of the Society for American Music. He has presented research at the American Musicological Society, Society for American Music, College Music Society, and Association of American Colleges & Universities.


Teach Music Like a Pirate! 
Presenter: Danni Gilbert
2:30 P WMB 105

Repeat session from Middle Level Symposium.

Banda Sinaloense: The Implementation of Mexican Wind Band in the Nebraska Music Education Setting
Presenter: Ben Coatney
2:30 pm, WMB 109

Banda Sinaloense, also known as Mexican Banda or simply Banda, is currently one of the most popular styles of Regional Mexican music today, with a rich tradition of wind band music dating back to the 1880’s in Sinaloa, Mexico. The need for culturally relevant music material in the classroom exists now more than ever, and Banda offers one opportunity to address that need in a wind band setting. This is especially relevant in Nebraska due to the growing Latino/a population. In this session, the presenter will share his experience in creating a Banda ensemble at UNO and present how high school directors can incorporate this into their own programs.

Session Handout (click to download)

Ben Coatney is the current Director of Bands at Bennington High School, where his responsibilities include conducting the Concert Band, directing the Jazz Band, Marching Band, and Pep Band, and teaching courses in music theory. Ben earned a Master of Music in Conducting at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. where he studied with Dr. Karen Fannin. At UNO, he assisted with all aspects of the UNO Band Program, including guest conducting the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the University Band, along with working with the Athletic Bands. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prior to his studies at UNO, Ben taught for three years in Schuyler, NE, where his responsibilities included directing the Schuyler Central High School Concert Band, Chamber Ensemble, Marching Band, and Pep Band.


Laying the Groundwork: Designing Scope and Sequence in Beginning-Intermediate Orchestra Curriculum
Presenter: Jeanne Dymond
2:30 pm, WMB 110

This session will give teachers the tools to organize and sequence the knowledge and skills they want to teach. Teachers will be shown an easy and effective way to make a plan and organize their materials for teaching. Teachers will also be shown a way to create their own online workbook out of materials once they get them organized.

Jeanne Dymond received a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from the University of
Nebraska at Lincoln and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Doane
University and is currently in her 19th year of teaching. Throughout that time, she has taught
orchestra ranging from grade 4th through 12th. She is currently teaching in Millard Public
Schools. Her passion has always been for curriculum. She has devoted her career to finding the
most effective way of sequencing and organizing teaching to maximize outcomes for students.


Building Creative Collaboration Through Music
Presenter: Michele Hobizal
2:30 pm, WMB 114

Music is a team effort. Through creating and composing music, students learn how to work together towards common goals and communicate effectively with one another and their audience. This session will walk through examples of how to create collaborative musical composition activities using digital tools. Attendees will talk through the activity process from idea to creation, review, and revision.

Michele Hobizal taught elementary music for 31 years in Texas and is currently an Instructional Coach for QuaverEd. She has a BME from Texas State University and is a past conductor of the Katy ISD District Elementary Honor Choir. She served two terms as the TMEA Elementary VP, is a Past Elementary VP for the TCDA, and is a cadre member of CEDFA.


Diversity and Inclusion Strategies for your Music Ensembles
Presenter: Jeff Mount
2:30 pm, WMB 130

This session will be a discussion of inclusive strategies and techniques that you can use in your classroom so that all students know their voices are heard and respected. Topics for discussion will include trends in the diversity of our nation and classrooms, culturally responsive teaching, strategies for recruitment and retention for students of color, inclusive strategies for the elementary classroom, the use of alternative ensembles, and recruiting future music educators. Attendees will be encouraged to share strategies that have worked in their classrooms as well. Participants should bring something to write with, as we will be filling out a cultural competencies checklist during the session.

Jeff Mount recently retired as the director of bands from Blair High School where he taught for 22 years. Prior to teaching in Blair, Mount served eight years as 5-12 band director in Manning, IA; one year as 5-12 band director in Albert City, IA; and three years as 5-12 band director in Delcambre, Louisiana.  Mount earned a B.A. in Music Education at Louisiana Tech University and also has a Master’s degree from Drake University in School Leadership. Mount has served as president of the boards of NSBA and NMEA and chaired the DEIA committee for NMEA from 2020-2021.  Jeff’s wife, Jan accompanies choirs for the Blair Community Schools and Tekamah-Herman School District and teaches piano lessons. Jeff currently works part-time as an educational service representative for Dietze Music in Omaha. The Mount’s have two children, Alana and Ryan, and two grandsons, Calvin and Theo. 

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4:00 pm, WMB 119

Stapleton High School Choir
Directed by Bryan Regier

The Stapleton High School Choir is open to any student in grades 9-12. They have consistently earned high ratings at both our Conference Music Contest and at District Music Contest. In 2021-22, the Stapleton High School Choir was named the Top Small Vocal Ensemble and the Mid-Nebraska Activities Conference Music Contest and a Superior Rating from all three judges. They also earned a Superior rating from all three judges at District Music Contest at North Platte St. Pat High School.

Bryan Regier is the Director of Music at Stapleton High School for the past 2 years. He teaches K-12 Music, Band, and Choir, and is the Community Liaison for the District and the Chamber of Commerce. Bryan has taught at various sizes of schools for the last 29 years, ranging from Class D2 to Class B. Prior to teaching at Stapleton, he has taught at Hyannis, Archbishop Bergan, McCook, Bridgeport, Arcadia, and Rushville. He is a member of NMEA, NAfME, NSBA, NCDA, and NSEA. Bryan and his wife, Kelly have been married for 18 years, and have 3 dogs, Molly, Gizmo, and Ziggy.


Tri County Guitar
Directed by Nathan Morrissey

The Tri County Guitar program was founded in 2010 by Nathan Morrissey and in 2012 an Advanced Guitar level was added. Since 2010, the program has seen 96 Guitar Players and Counting. The students perform at two concerts a year.

Nathan Morrissey is a music educator at Tri County Schools in De Witt, NE. Since starting in 2008, the band has more than doubled in size and has been recognized statewide and nationally. He founded the guitar program in 2010 and has since taught guitar to over 100 students. Musicians in the Tri County Band program have been selected for multiple All-State Bands, numerous collegiate honor bands, and the U.S. Army All American Marching Band. Tri County Schools has been designated a Best Community for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation more than any school in Nebraska. Mr. Morrissey is a 2005 graduate of Peru State College, in 2012 he was a participant in the Conducting Workshop for Music Educators at The Juilliard School in New York City. In 2013, Mr. Morrissey earned a Master's Degree in Music Education from Boston University and in 2019 he earned a Master's Degree in Music Education from the American Band College of Central Washington University. Mr. Morrissey lives in De Witt, Nebraska with his wife Nicole and daughters Lucy, Eleanor, Stella, and son Spencer.


Grand Island Senior High, Islander Chamber Singers 
Directed by Jesse LaBrie
4:00 pm, StP

Islander Chamber Singers is one of six vocal music ensembles at Grand Island Senior High, and performs repertoire from the 16th century to contemporary. This group performs several concerts a year and performs in the community at various events and functions.

Jesse LaBrie is currently the vocal music director at Grand Island Senior High. Prior to this position, he was an adjunct instructor of voice at Concordia University, in Seward, Nebraska. In addition, while working on post-graduate degrees at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, he taught voice lessons, assisted with Musical Theater Techniques and had various responsibilities within the music department. Before post-graduate work, Jesse was an adjunct instructor at Hastings College, teaching studio voice, directed the women’s choir, taught world music, vocal pedagogy, and diction for vocal education majors. In 2002, Mr. LaBrie began his career teaching at Grand Island Senior High. Jesse is currently a Doctoral Candidate for the Doctorate of Musical Arts; Voice Performance, from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He received his Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in 2015. In 2002, he earned a Master’s of Arts in Teaching; K-12 Vocal Music, from Hastings College and a Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance from Hastings College, Hastings, Nebraska, in 1999.


Bluffs Middle School 8th Grade Band
Directed by Michael Koch
4:15 pm, KRH

The Bluffs Middle School 8th Grade Band is open to all 8th grade students and meets daily for 45 minutes. The band members participate in marching band at the beginning of the school year and perform at the Old West Weekend Parade and the Veteran’s Day Parade. The band presents three concerts throughout the school year, performs at the Western Nebraska Middle Level Solo and Large Ensemble Contest and at the Music in the Parks Festival at Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colorado. The Bluffs Middle School 8th Grade Band, under the direction of Mr. Koch, has performed for NSBA Convention in 2000, 2016, & 2022 and for NMEA Convention in 2002 & 2018.

Michael A. Koch is currently in his 34th year in the classroom and his 24th year as Director of Bands at Bluffs Middle School in Scottsbluff, NE. He directs the 5th Grade Beginning Band, the 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Bands, Middle School Jazz Band, and Middle School Marching Band. He also assists with the High School Band. Mr. Koch received a Bachelor of Music degree from Hastings College (1988) and a Master of Music Education degree from the University of Nebraska Lincoln (1998). He received the Jack R. Snider Young Band Director Award (1994) and was selected Music Educator of the Year by the Nebraska Music Educators Association (2013). Mr. Koch is a past Board Member of the Nebraska Music Educators Association (Middle Level Affairs), he is a staff member for the Nebraska Ambassadors of Music, and a member of Phi Beta Mu International School Bandmaster Fraternity.


Doane University's Doublewide
Directed by Kurt Runestad
4:30 pm, StP

Doublewide is one of four choral ensembles at Doane University, and consists of 14-16 tenors and basses. The group’s name comes from its original size of eight singers: a double quartet. Directed by Dr. Kurt Runestad, Director of Choral Activities at Doane, Doublewide sings in a variety of a cappella genres, focusing on popular styles: barbershop, doo-wop, gospel, spirituals, and vocal jazz. Auditions for the group occur each fall and the group rehearses twice a week during the academic year. Doublewide tours twice annually, once with Doane Choir in the late winter and again in the spring with Doane’s jazz choir, Jazz Unlimited. The group has performed all over the US and world, and has appeared at several previous NMEA fall music conventions.

Dr. Kurt Runestad has been privileged to teach at Doane since the fall of 2004. He conducts or co-conducts three of Doane’s four choirs, including the acclaimed Doane Choir, which under his direction has performed in twelve countries on four continents, and throughout the US. A native of Wayne, Nebraska, Runestad graduated magna cum laude from St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minnesota) with a B.A. in music education, taught 10 years in the public schools of Iowa and Minnesota, and earned two graduate degrees in choral conducting from the University of Iowa. His arranged transcriptions of music by the Soweto Gospel Choir are published by www.musicspoke.com. Runestad has twice received the “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” award from Doane’s Student Congress. He lives in Lincoln with his wife Carly Woythaler-Runestad and their two children, daughter Avery (13) and son Owen (10). Runestad also enjoys reading, (mostly) organic gardening, backpacking, camping, and traveling.

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The annual Awards Dinner will take place on Thursday, November 17 at the Cornhusker Hotel Atrium / Grand Ballroom. Social hour will take place from 5:15 pm with live music. The dinner will begin at 6:00 pm.

Advance ticket purchase is required to attend the Awards Dinner. Collegiate Member's tickets are included with their conference registration.

Purchase Awards Dinner Tickets

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Friday, November 18


Mini Maestros: Using the Principles of Movement to Improve Individual and Ensemble Musicianship
Presenters: Joshua Roach, Patricia Cornett
8:00 am, LC C

Once students complete the elementary general music curriculum and begin playing instrumental music, they can often lose the connection between sound and physical movement. This session demonstrates a method for “re-merging” these two disciplines in concert ensembles by using short and simple games that explore the principles of movement that conductors use every day.

Session Handout (click to download)

Joshua Roach serves as the Director of Instrumental Activities at Nebraska Wesleyan University. He has also taught at the Crane School of Music at that State University of New York at Potsdam, The College of New Jersey, California Lutheran University, Southwestern Michigan College, and Peru State College. Before teaching full time at the collegiate level, Roach lived in Los Angeles where he was the music director of the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble, instrumental coach for the Grammy award-winning Diamond Bar High School, and orchestral administrator for the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. For eleven years, he spent his summers teaching at the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program, and from 2015-2017 he was also on the brass staff for the Phantom Regiment drum and bugle corps.
Patricia Cornett is the Director of Bands at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music & Dance where she conducts the Wind Symphony, Concert Band, and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting. Prior to joining the faculty at Temple, she was the Director of Bands at Cal State Fullerton. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan, Master of Music degree from Northwestern University, and Bachelor of Music dual degree in music education and saxophone performance from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Cornett taught at Essex High School in Essex Junction, Vermont from 2007–2010 and was the director of instrumental music at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls, Connecticut, from 2003–2005. She is published in the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series, the CBDNA Journal, The Instrumentalist, and has presented sessions at The Midwest Clinic, national and regional CBDNA conferences, and numerous state conferences. 


It's a Musical World: Travel the World Through Music
Presenter: John Jacobson
8:00 am, LC S

Explore the music, movement, and customs of countries around the world. Join John Jacobson for a “feets-on” workshop that will teach you how to travel the world with your students without ever leaving the classroom. Come learn songs, games and dances from around the country and around the world. Folk dance, lines dances, classroom games and more. It is a musical world and the musical traditions of that world are a wonderful resource and outlet for any classroom and any age of student.

Session Handout 1 (click to download)
Session Handout 2 (click to download)
Session Handout 3 (click to download)

Beyond “Gamification:” Reclaiming Master Teaching from Video Games
Presenter: Jared Brockmeyer
8:00 am, WMB 9

Video games have saturated our culture and seem to dominate our students' attention - but the truth is that game designers have to solve the same sorts of teaching problems that we do (and use a lot of the same tools)! This session will examine the similarities between game design and music education, isolate some of the tricks game designers use, and offer examples of how to leverage the same ideas in our classrooms.

Session Handout (click to download)

Jared is currently serving in his 11th year as assistant director at Rockwood South Middle School where he conducts the 7th Grade band, assists the 8th Grade band, and teaches beginning horn and trombone. During Jared’s tenure, the Rockwood South and Summit band programs have continued a proud history of achievement, earning annual “Superior” ratings at state contest, consistent representation in the All-State and SLSMEA All-Suburban Honor Bands, four performances at the Missouri Music Educators Association state convention, and multiple finalist performances at Bands of America Regional and Super Regional marching competitions. Most recently, Jared has acted as guest conductor for the Eastern Missouri Conference Honor Band, the Manchester Community Band, and the Kansas City Metro #5 District Honor Band. Jared regularly presents clinics on music pedagogy throughout Missouri, most recently for Palen Music, the St. Louis Suburban Music Educators Association, and at the Missouri Music Educators Association conference.


This clinician is sponsored by New Directions, Travel & Events, Becky Long, Owner.

Making the Special Education-Music Education Connection
Presenter: Dr. Rhoda Bernard
8:00 am, WMB 104

This session will show participants a wide range of evidence-based instructional practices in special education and the ways that they can be translated for music education settings. Explore the connections that can be made between strategies, frameworks, and practices in special education and music education and apply these connections to real-world situations through student profiles and classroom scenarios. 

Training for Independence: Critical Thinking in the Choral Classroom
Presenter: Adam Zrust
8:00 am, WMB 105

Can the common singer learn to be independently musical? Is it possible for the choir to see the same thing the conductor sees in the score? Wouldn’t it be great if our singers just knew what to do—how to bring a score to life? They can! Participants in this session will explore techniques to train singers to be independent musicians. Topics discussed will focus on activities the conductor can use to build and instill personal responsibility in the ensemble member, how to teach for transfer through experiential learning, and questioning strategies that allow the conductor to work smarter, not harder.

Session Handout 1 (click to download)
Session Handout 2 (click to download)

Adam Zrust is Director of Choral Studies and Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education at Northwest Missouri State University. He maintains an active schedule conducting honor choirs and is frequently invited to present at various conferences across the United States and abroad. As a scholar, Dr. Zrust’s expertise is grounded in rehearsal efficiency. He has been published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, Florida Music Director, and GIA Publications. Adam earned a PhD and MME in Choral Conducting and Music Education from Florida State University and holds degrees in Music Business and Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, Missouri Music Educators Association, and the National Association for Music Education. He lives in Missouri with his wife, Kate Zrust, and three-year-old twin sons, Benjamin and Samuel.


Tips and Tricks to Turn your Ensemble into a “Family”
Presenters: Dan Hays, Matt Hill
8:00 am, WMB 109

Two college professors, Dan P. Hays, Director of Theatre at Midland University in Fremont and Dr. Matt Hill, Director of Vocal Music at Peru State College in Peru, will team up to share examples of exercises, games, events and practices that lead to a great bonding of your ensembles. It is reasonable to think that an ensemble will sing/play together better if they become more trusting, more familiar and more aligned in their expectations. This is a hands-on session and participants will leave with a packet of bonding games that can be done in any size classroom and with any groups -- vocal, instrumental or theatre.

Dan P. Hays is an educator, actor, director, music director, choreographer and clinician. He currently serves as the Director of Theatre at Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska, and is the director of the Nebraska All State Musical. He taught Vocal Music at Blair High School and Elkhorn High School in Nebraska. Before his career in education, Dan spent many years in the professional world of performing as an actor/dancer/director/singer/choreographer. His awards include Distinguished Alumni Award from University of Nebraska Kearney, Show Choir Camps of America Teacher of the Year, NCDA Outstanding Young Director of the Year, Nebraska Music Educator of the Year, Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Education and the Sertoma Club Man of the Year Award. He has served as NMEA’s Chair of Choral Affairs; as a member of the Commission for Nebraska State Standards; as a reviewer of the National Standards of the Arts; and on the Boards of NCDA and the ACDA Regional Convention.
Dr. Matt Hill earned a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting at Oklahoma State University in 2012, and a Doctorate in Choral Conducting at the University of Nebraska in 2019. Dr. Hill joined the Peru State faculty in September 2014 as Director of Choral Activities. He founded Sing Omaha in 2007. This nonprofit serves as the nation’s only K-12/adult choral arts organization, and offers eight choirs which serve more than 350 singers annually, and two studio locations have 150+ students enrolled in weekly lessons. Dr. Hill serves as Executive Director and Artistic Director of Sing Omaha, conducting three choirs, teaching applied voice, and overseeing a faculty of thirty educators. Matt is proud to serve ACDA as the National Community Choirs R&R Chair.


Blended Learning with Your Ensembles - A New Way Forward
Presenter: Julianna Mateyko
8:00 am, WMB 110

Does the idea of introducing technology to your ensemble evoke nightmarish visions of mountains of prep work, device incompatibility issues, and content creation? Software should maximize instruction time and make your job easier. We’ll introduce you to a single-sign-on platform, compatible across all devices which integrates seamlessly with your favorite software tools, includes curated content, and enables you to track student growth.

String Orchestra Reading Session: More Diverse Repertoire for Your School Orchestra
Presenters: Matthew Brooks
8:00 am, WMB 114

Repeat session from Middle Level Symposium.

Middle School Matters: Choral Rep for Developing Voices
Presenter: Andy Beck
8:00 am, WMB 119

Join clinician Andy Beck as we sing through the best and most appropriate repertoire designed specifically for middle school singers. Music in this session will address your big concerns, like finding music for changing voices, balancing fun selections with educational repertoire, motivating singers, easy movement ideas, and more. A complimentary music packet will be given to each director in attendance.

Andy Beck is the Director of Choral Publications at Alfred Music. A prolific composer and arranger, he has over 450 popular choral works, vocal resources, and children’s musicals currently in print, including the highly regarded method books Sing at First Sight, Foundations in Choral Sight Singing and Vocalize! 45 Vocal Warm-Ups That Teach Technique. Mr. Beck is in demand as a guest conductor, choreographer, adjudicator, and clinician for music educators and students throughout the United States and beyond. He has been a  commissioned composer and/or guest conductor for honor choirs of all ages, including all-state groups throughout the Southeast. Andy enjoys performing in and directing musical theatre, singing with the North Carolina Master Chorale Chamber Choir, and has been an Alfred Music studio singer since 1992. With a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and a Masters degree in Music Education from Northwest Missouri State University, Mr. Beck is fully committed to arts education, music literacy, and choral artistry. 


Engage Your Hard-to-reach Students by Combining World Music Drumming Techniques, Junk Percussion, and Homemade Instruments
Presenters: Kim Bejot, Jacob Hoffman, Mark Irvin
Part 1: 8:00 am, WMB 130
Part 2: 9:15 am, WMB 130

Over two back-to-back sessions, participants will be able to immerse themselves in hands-on playing, learn teaching techniques, learn how to adapt this to their own programs, all while playing original and World Music Drumming repertoire, and will present a Showcase during Concert Hour. Topics will include: how to adapt WMD and find instruments on a zero budget, how to incorporate 21st Century Skills into EL and MS Music Programs, how to see sound from a different point of view, how to awaken students' creativity and teamwork skills through sound, where to find resources, how to make your own instruments, how to teach original thinking and creativity, and much, much more. Come ready to be immersed into great engaging music!

Session Handout 1 (click to download)
Session Handout 2 (click to download)

Kim Bejot retired from a long career as K-6 General Music, and 5-12 Band Instructor in Ainsworth in 2020. During her time teaching, she also founded and directed her junk percussion ensemble, B.E.A.T. During their 15-year run, they performed at AOSA and NMEA Conferences, and across Nebraska. She continues to share her love of junk percussion whenever she can. In retirement, Kim is excited to visit family, have time to practice, give lessons, and have new adventures. She continues to volunteer as Affiliate Director for Nebraska Destination Imagination, and loves the opportunities to be an adjudicator and clinician.
Jacob Hoffman is in his 11th year of teaching Music. Currently, he is the 2-12 Music Instructor at Kimball Public Schools. In Kimball he directs 5 vocal ensembles of various ages along with teaching Music Technology, World Music, Introduction to Music Education, and 2-5 General Music. Prior to teaching in Kimball, Jacob was the 5-12 instrumental music instructor in Minden, NE. He is a graduate of Bayard High School and received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane University.
Mark Irvin is a music educator, singer/songwriter, recording artist, and freelance musician from Omaha, Nebraska. Mark was a self-taught musician out of high school and then spent most of the next decade (the 1980’s) working as a musician, both solo and with several bands. Mark, was inducted into the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame in 2010. Mark entered college in 1989 at the University of Nebraska Omaha where he earned a BA in Music Education in 1994. In 2011 Mark received his Masters Degree in Education In Curriculum and Instruction from Doane University. He continues to work solo and group dates in support of his music as well as free-lancing for other groups in the area. He retired from teaching this year. His teaching career included 12 years as a high school band director and 15 as a middle school band director. Schools he taught at include Irving Middle School, La Vista Middle School, Gretna and Platteview High Schools. Along with directing concert, marching and jazz band, he also taught guitar, World Music Drumming and history of rock classes. Mark continues to teach at Metro Area Community Colleges as well as doing clinics and directing honor bands around the Midwest.


Creating Meaningful Music Programs in Rural Settings
Presenter: Chris Harper
9:15 am, LC C

This session offers a framework to aid in recruiting and retaining students in rural/small schools. Attendees will learn how to work with limited resources, how to develop and maintain community engagement, build positive relationships with administration, and methods to get students excited about joining your program and staying in. Additionally, techniques for developing skills for innovative thinking and strategic planning will be discussed with consideration of the standards of creativity, performing, responding, and connecting.

Session Handout (click to download)

Chris Harper is the Band Director at Martha Puckett Middle School in Jesup, Georgia. He earned his music education degrees from Valdosta State University and Troy University. He is active as a consultant, guest conductor, and adjudicator for band programs and festivals throughout the state. During his 22 years as a teacher, bands under his direction have received consistent Superior ratings. Mr. Harper holds professional affiliations with the National Association for Music Education, Georgia Music Educators Association, National Band Association, and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators. Mr. Harper has been featured in numerous publications for his ideas of ensemble programming, integrating music technology within a wind band program, and practices for recruitment/retention of band students. Mr. Harper’s research interests include building successful band programs in rural areas and the effects of teacher burnout on a music program.


Panel Discussion: What I Wish I Knew Then That I Know Now
Panelists: Hunter Holoubek, Grace Lueders, Nathan Novak
9:15 am, LC S

Learn from a panel of young music educators as they reflect on their first 1-5 years of teaching and share tips and tricks to help set first-year teachers up for success.

Hunter Holoubek is currently the 5-12 Director of Bands at Yutan High School, where his responsibilities include conducting the 9-12 Concert Band, 7-8 Concert Band, 5th & 6th Grade Concert Bands, and Marching Band. This is Hunter's 1st year of teaching. Hunter earned a Bachelors of Music Education at the University of Nebraska, at Omaha. At UNO, he participated in Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra, Jazz Too, Four Omaha WW Quartet, Marching Band, Maverick Machine Pep Band, and was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi. Hunter also runs the largest private bassoon studio in the state and has several students participate in NMEA All-State each year. Outside of teaching and music, Hunter loves spending time with his 2 dachshunds and creating things with Legos. 
Grace Lueders is in her second year with Grand Island Public Schools teaching K-5 general music at Shoemaker Elementary. She received her bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Nebraska Kearney in 2021. Lueders is currently working on her Master’s of Music Education at UNO where she has completed Kodály Level 1.
Nathan Novak is the Instrumental Music Director at Falls City Public Schools where he teaches High School Marching Band, High School Concert Band, High School Orchestra, 8th Grade Band, 7th Grade Band, 6th Grade Beginning Band, 8th Grade Guitar, 7th Grade Guitar, and 6th Grade Music Fundamentals. Under his direction, the Falls City High School Tiger Marching Band has received recent success at multiple marching band contests throughout the state of Nebraska.


Building a Culture of Expectations: Strategies for Building an Inclusive Classroom for Band & Choir 
Presenters: Richard Hodges, Patrick Moore
9:15 am, WMB 9

Developing a culture of expectations for any music director can be a challenging task. Knowing what to expect from students, how to implement certain expectations, and when to execute those expectations can be challenging. With so many other challenges to focus on in the classroom, it is essential that every director of band and choir set expectations to ensure their program is on a path of success. This clinic will discuss strategies for building expectations while allowing all music educators to develop new ways to explore creating a culture of expectations and success in their classroom.

Session Handout (click to download)

Dr. Patrick Moore is an active percussion performer, educator, arranger, adjudicator and international clinician. Dr. Moore is a versatile percussionist with experience in many areas. He has performed at various state Day of Percussion events, and presented clinics at numerous music education conferences. Dr. Moore has done special performances with Jeff Queen, Robert W. Smith, The United States Army and Field Band, and at the International Society of Music Education in Beijing China. Dr. Moore earned a Doctorate in Education from Abilene Christian University, Master in Music from Texas Tech University, where he arranged and instructed for the percussion section of the Texas Tech Drumline and Steel Drum Band, and a Bachelor in Music from the University of Arkansas. Dr. Moore is the Director of Bands at South Carolina State University. Dr. Moore is also a published author having arrangements published by Alfred Publishing company and Kendor Music.
Richard L. Hodges, is a native of Greensboro, N.C. Richard is a 2019 nominee for Best Lead in a Musical with the Las Vegas Valley Awards for his role in Gianni Schicchi with Vegas City Opera. His other recent roles include the Preacher in Sweet Land with The Industry L.A., Michele in Il Tabarro, and Hamlet in the opera Hamlet to name a few. Some of his other roles include Frank in Die Fledermaus, Porgy from Porgy and Bess and Peter in Hansel and Gretel. He is an Emerging Artist in the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices program and has received several awards. Richard received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Master of Music from University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Bachelor of Music from North Carolina Central University. He currently serves as the Assistant Professor of Voice at South Carolina State University.


Jump Aboard the Creativity Train: Tracks to Creativity and Composition in the Elementary Music Classroom
Presenter: Kathleen McBee
9:15 am, WMB 104

When given the appropriate tools and a safe space, students can show their creativity in the most incredible ways. In the music room, we have a unique opportunity to guide this creativity. Using movement and speech, our students can create their very own compositions. In this session we will walk through two lessons that showcase creativity and composition. The first is based on the book, The Donut Chef. Students will get to create word chains using their favorite donuts and then take those word chains to the mallet instruments for improvisation and composition. Next, we will practice composition through movement. Using letters of the alphabet as our inspiration, students will create movement compositions with partners. Get ready to jump in, get creative, and create and compose with your students.

Session Handout (click to download)

Kathleen McBee is in her sixth year with Elkhorn Public Schools teaching K-5 general music at West Bay Elementary. Kathleen graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor's in Music Education in 2016. She has completed all three levels of Orff Schulwerk at UNL and all three levels of Kodaly at UNO. In her free time, Kathleen likes to teach and practice yoga, read, and spend time with her husband, Jesse, and their dogs, Stu and Winston.


Hand in Hand: Lesson Planning and Behavior Management 
Presenter: Judith Bush
9:15 am, WMB 105

Lesson planning and behavior management skills are the two anchors for successful teaching but are usually taught separately and therefore almost always thought of as two separate areas in the classroom. The most successful teachers are those who intertwine these two skills to create engaging classrooms. This session will provide step-by-step strategies to take these two essential skills to create a safe, engaging classroom at every level, using thoughtful lesson planning, transitions with behavior expectations in mind and procedures that match.

Judith Bush is the Music Teacher Leader for Lincoln Public Schools after 29 years teaching K-5 General and Choral Music. Judy earned her BME from Northern Kentucky University and her Orff Certification from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music with graduate work from Xavier University, Miami of Ohio and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music. She is a Past President of NMEA, currently serving on the National Executive Board of NAfME as North Central Past President and is a co-chair of the NAfME Professional Development Committee where she chairs the 2022 PreK-12 National Conference.Judy has presented at state, national and international conferences including the ASCD International Conference in 2014, 2015 and 2016 with the Whole Child Network of Schools and has written for the Nebraska Music Educator magazine, the NFHS Music Journal, the Orff Echo and the SmartMusic Blog, in addition to her blog at musicteachermidlifemusing.blog.


It All Starts Here: The Mouthpiece
Presenters: Nathan Mertens, Louie Eckhardt
9:15 am, WMB 109

Most music educators understand the importance of the mouthpiece, its functions, and a few exercises that go along with the mouthpiece - but how exactly does this enforce proper playing? Eckhardt (trumpeter) and Mertens (saxophonist) will go in-depth into what exactly mouthpieces can do for both brass and woodwind students’ fundamentals. Eckhardt will dispel a few myths around “just buzz that” and will explore how mouthpiece buzzing can be used to improve all aspects of brass playing. Mertens will focus on proper saxophone mouthpiece voicing and pitch-bending exercises. While the approaches are different, brief explanations of embouchure, tongue placement, and air support will also be discussed as they are critical to the success of both brass and woodwind students. Additionally, both will plan to give recommendations for beginner and intermediate mouthpieces.

American saxophonist, Nathan Mertens (he/him) currently serves as the Teaching Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Arkansas. As an active soloist and chamber musician, he has performed recitals in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Croatia, Bolivia, the United Kingdom, and throughout the United States. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras including the Busan Philharmonic Orchestra, Hastings Symphony Orchestra, The University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Arkansas Saxophone Ensemble. Mertens’ orchestral experience includes performances with the San Antonio Symphony and the Omaha Symphony. In competition, he was awarded Third Prize in the 14th Kurashiki International Saxophone Competition, Second Grand Prize in the North International Music Competition in Sweden, and has been a finalist for many national competitions.
Dr. Louie Eckhardt is currently Assistant Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music and Theatre at Hastings College, where he teaches applied brass, music theory, and history, and conducts the Hastings College Band. Dr. Eckhardt is currently the principal trumpet of the Hastings Symphony Orchestra, the Monroe Symphony Orchestra, and the Cathedral Brass Quintet. He has also performed with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, Boulder Chamber Orchestra, and the Rapides Symphony Orchestra. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the INTEGERS New Music Series, and is a featured artist at the New Music on the Bayou Festival in Louisiana.Dr. Eckhardt holds degrees from Hastings College (B.M), Penn State University (M.M.), and a D.M.A. in Trumpet Performance from Louisiana State University. He has studied trumpet with Daniel Schmidt, Langston J. Fitzgerald, III, and Brian Shaw.


Chorus of Voices: Sharing Our Stories of DEI
Moderator: Lance Nielsen
Panelists: Jon Marquez, Josh Harris, Christine Valish, Chase Crispin, Chiyo Trauernicht
9:15 am, WMB 110

“For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it”. -A. Gorman. This session is designed to tell the stories of music teachers who have experienced marginalization. Members of a select panel of music educators will each share their own unique lived experiences in order to expand our notions of who we believe we are as music educators. Through the diverse stories of struggles for inclusion, we will begin to expand our conversations on how our profession can and will evolve in order to provide safe and inclusive music learning environments for both music students and educators. Our strength lies in our differences, not in similarities.

Dr. Lance Nielsen is the Supervisor of Music for Lincoln Public Schools where he supervises all music programs preK-12. He received his Bachelor of Science in Education, Masters of Music with emphasis in Music Education, and Doctorate of Philosophy in Music with an emphasis in Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has published articles in Music Educators Journal, Teaching Music, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, and the ISTE Leading with Innovations journal. He served as President of North Central Division of NAfME, Chair of NAfME Professional Development Committee, President of NMEA, NAfME National Tri-M Chair, and NMEA Chair of Band Affairs. He has been awarded the NSBA Distinguished Service Award, NMEA Distinguished Service Award, NMEA Hall of Fame, UNL Hixson-Lied Performing Arts College Outstanding Alumni Award, NSBA with the Outstanding Administrator of the Year Award and NFHS Music Educator of the Year.

Jon Marquez is a fifth-generation Nebraskan hailing from Alliance. He has spent the past ten years directing high school choirs in both Wyoming and Nebraska. His most recent post was in Hastings, Nebraska, where he was the director of choral activities at Hastings Senior High from 2016-2020. While at HHS, his choirs received consistent superior ratings and drastic increases in enrollment. During his tenure over 60 students were selected to sing in the Nebraska All State Choir. In 2019 Jon received the title of Hastings Public School’s Young Teacher of the Year.

Jon received a Bachelor of Science in K-12 music education from Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska. Currently, Jon is attending the University of Nebraska – Lincoln where he is completing his Master of Music in choral conducting. Jon was recently selected to be the inaugural Director of Choirs at Lincoln Northwest High School, the newest school in the LPS District.

Joshua R. F. Harris is a Nebraska Music Educator. He is a Nebraska resident and a graduate of UNL. He is married to his wife of over 5 years and together they have one daughter.

Christine Valish (she/her) is currently in her seventh year as the director of vocal music at Omaha Bryan High School in Omaha Public Schools. At Bryan, she teaches three choirs, voice lessons, and runs a competitive show choir program. She also directs the musical and the show choir band. Valish fosters the growth of her program through a collaboration with the 7th and 8th grade choirs at Bryan Middle School. Valish obtained her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University with certification in K-12 instrumental and vocal music. Prior to teaching for Omaha Public Schools, Valish taught for Chicago Public Schools and Wahoo Public Schools, as well as accompanied for choirs in various school districts. Her prior teaching experiences range from elementary general music to high school drumline. In addition to her teaching duties, Valish was the guest conductor of the Omaha Public Schools All-City Middle School Choir in 2022.

Chase Crispin currently teaches vocal and general music at Scott Middle School in Lincoln, NE. At Scott, Chase has also sponsored the Ukulele Club, has assisted with 8th grade band, directs the Clarinet Choir, and started a Unified Music course. Chase received his BME in 2019 from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a minor in Spanish. He is also an active clarinetist, pianist and organist in Lincoln.

Chiyo Trauernicht, a native of Chiba, Japan, is the Instrumental Music Teacher at Omaha Central High School since 2021. At Central, her duties include teaching Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Orchestra, Guitar and Piano classes. Prior to her appointment at CHS, she was the band director at Otte-Blair Middle School (2007-2021). She has served as middle level chairs for Nebraska Bandmasters Association and Nebraska Music Education Association, and most recently the president of NSBA. Currently, Trauernicht serves on the Diversity Equity Inclusion Access Belonging committee for NMEA, and Inclusion Diversity Equity Access committee of NSBA. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Arts degree in History from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. She has completed the music teaching certification program at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Trauernicht earned a Master of Music degree in Instrumental Conducting from the American Band College of Sam Houston State University.


Building Positive Student Relationships
Presenter: Tom Miller
9:15 am, WMB 114

It seems now, more than ever, the need to build strong relationships with our students is very important. This session is set-up to provide numerous strategies to help build positive connections with our students that should increase student engagement in our classrooms. Strategies from Marzano, Smith, Whitaker, and Rosenbaum-Lowden are included with some tricks that I have used/created in my classroom.

Tom Miller is a graduate from the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. Having over 20 years of teaching experience, he has taught 4th-12th grade strings and high school show choir in Sioux City, Iowa and is currently teaching at Buffett Middle School, where he directs the 5th – 8th grade Orchestras and the Buffett Drama Club. He has been on the teaching faculty of the Omaha Conservatory of Music, Leo Kucinski Academy of Music and is currently at SNJ Studios, where he also serves as the strings department head. He has been a recipient of the Nebraska ASTA Outstanding Teacher of the Year award and the Omaha Public Schools Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher award. He currently serves as president for Nebraska ASTA, is a sectional coach for the Omaha Area Youth Orchestras, and is an active freelance bassist in the Omaha area.


2-Part Choral: Not Just for Kids
Presenter: Andy Beck
9:15 am, WMB 119

Many middle and high school directors have discovered the effectiveness of singing in just two well-conceived voice parts, but finding texts and topics that are suitable for teen singers can be a challenge. Come sing along as Andy Beck leads us through a complimentary packet of 2-part treble choral repertoire recommended for all ages!

See Andy Beck's bio above under his session "Middle School Matters: Choral Rep for Developing Voices." 

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University A Cappella Choir
Directed by Kurt von Kampen
10:30 am, StP

Concordia University’s A Cappella Choir has been performing concerts and joining congregations in worship for over 83 years. One of the United States’ oldest touring Lutheran collegiate choirs, the A Cappella Choir has performed throughout the U.S., and internationally in Greece, Italy, France, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Austria, Spain, Mexico, South Africa, and Australia. The 72-voice choir is chosen by audition and is comprised of majors from most academic disciplines, representing many states and some foreign countries. Over 180 students audition each fall for the internationally renowned concert choir. The choir has been invited to perform for NMEA and ACDA conferences, and international competitions. They received the Gold Medal for performance at the 12th Australian International Music Festival in Sydney and earned a spot in the winner’s circle at the 42nd International Choral Competition in Spittal, Austria.

Kurt E. von Kampen has been conducting choirs at Concordia University since the fall of 1998, and is the fourth conductor in the 83-year history of the University A Cappella Choir. Prior to accepting the position at Concordia, Kurt served as head of the choral program at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and as director of music at Lutheran High Schools in the Detroit area. Von Kampen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Concordia University in Seward, a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., and a Doctorate in Choral Music Education from the University of Nebraska. In 2007, von Kampen received Concordia’s Outstanding Teacher Award, and in November 2012, was named the NCDA Outstanding Choral Director of the Year. In addition to conducting choirs, von Kampen enjoys composing music, leading choral clinics and teaching choral music courses.


World Music Drumming Performance
10:30 am, WMB 130

This special performance is the culmination of the two back-to-back sessions led by Kim Bejot, Jacob Hoffman, and Mark Irvin on Friday morning. The concert will feature participants from the session and will showcase songs from World Music Drumming, Junk Percussion, and Homemade Instruments.

Trans-Nebraska Players & Frahm-Lewis Trio
10:45 am, WMB 119

Both the Frahm-Lewis Trio and the Trans-Nebraska Players function with the idea that each member brings significant musical expertise and creative energy to the rehearsal and performance processes. Individuals in the group bring are often assigned specific duties relative to what is needed in day-to-day operations regarding music preparation, grant-writing, travel arrangements, and the like. Both chamber ensembles enjoy the support of their various departments and schools (University of Nebraska at Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Kearney, and Chadron State College).

The Trans-Nebraska Players have been performing together since 2010 and, partly due to their slightly unusual instrumentation, have been active performing music that is not in the mainstream. They have premiered more than a half dozen pieces, resurrected works by the old masters and reconstructed existing pieces to work for the ensemble. TNP has already performed across Nebraska and in other exciting venues, including a recital of music by women composers at the Canadian Flute Association Convention in Toronto and the premieres of Maria Newman’s Haunted Houses of the Vieux Carre in New Orleans in 2013 and Leyendas de la Mision San Diego de Alcala in San Diego in 2016 at National Flute Association meetings. The Players also played a truncated version of the “Shakespeare Reimagined” concert at Churchill College Cambridge (UK) at the Musical Intersections in Practice International Conference.
The Frahm-Lewis Trio is the resident faculty piano trio at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK). Formally established in 2012 with a generous endowment, it is named for longtime Central Nebraska cellist and music educator Bettelee Frahm Lewis. The ensemble has performed in schools and public venues throughout Nebraska, including the Joslyn Museum in Omaha. Its repertoire includes much of the standard piano trio literature, adaptations, and lesser-known twentieth century and contemporary works. Recent engagements include recitals and masterclasses in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (November 2018), and Cambridge, England (October 2019).


Lincoln Southeast High School Percussion Ensemble
Directed by Gary Shuda
10:45 am, KRH

The percussion ensemble at LSE is comprised of students grades 9-12. Percussionists in the LSE band program register for one of three concert bands in the spring and are often pulled out of the full ensemble for the development of fundamentals on various percussion instruments, as well as the preparation of percussion ensemble literature. Percussionists at LSE also fulfill all expectations and musical requirements within a traditional concert band setting.

Gary Shuda currently serves as Assistant Director of Instrumental Music at Lincoln Southeast High School where he teaches marching band, concert bands, jazz bands, and music technology. He also directs Pangea, an all-city steel drum ensemble consisting of members grades 6-12 throughout the Lincoln Public Schools district. Mr. Shuda earned his Master of Music degree from The University of Oklahoma where he was a Graduate Assistant and he received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He was also a recipient of the Jack R. Snider Outstanding Young Band Director Award in 2020. Mr. Shuda is a Vic Firth Educational Artist and is active as a clinician and percussion arranger in the Midwest.


Wayne State College Choir
Directed by Matthew Armstrong
11:00 am, StP

The Wayne State College Choir is the institution’s large flagship concert choir. The ensemble consists of many dedicated music majors as well as talented singers representing various academic disciplines throughout the campus. The choir performs a wide variety of secular and sacred literature including new works, staples of the choral repertoire, and major works. In 2022, they will join forces with the Sioux City Symphony to present Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2. In addition to a regular performance schedule on campus, the choir tours regionally and internationally. They also host the annual WSC Festival of Honor Choirs Mixed Choir, present traditional Holiday Dinner Concerts, and intentionally get to know one another as a family unit during and outside of regular rehearsals.

Dr. Matthew Armstrong is Director of Choirs at Wayne State College where alongside collaborative pianist, Shelly Armstrong, he is blessed to lead four ensembles. Active clinicians, they will direct the 2022 NCDA HS Mixed Choir and 2023 Nebraska Ambassadors of Music European tour. Their compositions and arrangements published by Santa Barbara, MorningStar, E.C. Schirmer and MusicSpoke have been performed at honor and all state festivals. Holding degrees from Wartburg College, VanderCook College of Music, and the University of Nebraska, Matthew draws upon fifteen years of K-12 teaching experience. His school choirs had the distinction of earning superior ratings with perfect ballots in concert, chamber, madrigal, jazz, and show choir categories. Three-time winners of the 4A-large school Iowa Jazz Championships, Armstrong’s jazz and concert choirs have been selected to regional and national ACDA conferences. The Armstrong’s reside in Wayne with their children Gabriel (13) and Norah (15), also avid music-makers.


Bryan Elementary African Music Ensemble
Directed by Karyn Lawrence
11:00 am, WMB 130

Located in southwest Omaha, Bryan Elementary School (Millard Public Schools) is home to 350 students. In 2015, music teacher Karyn Lawrence began an after-school drumming program with colleague Kristen Allan. It has grown from a small group of third through fifth grade students playing basic rhythmic patterns to an ensemble of 20-25 dedicated students capable of performing the complex, polyrhythmic music of West Africa. Members play drums (both handmade African kpanlogo and tubanos), “talking drums” or donno, calabash gourds, rattles, bells, and xylophones, and sing traditional West African songs. They learn the music by watching and listening to a leader; it requires intense concentration and focus. The music requires them to rely on each other and builds a great sense of community. The end result is an incredible sense of accomplishment and pride for all involved.

Karyn Lawrence is in her twenty-fourth year of teaching music. She is in her twentieth year as the K-5 music teacher at Bryan Elementary School in Millard, and previously taught music in Lincoln Public Schools and in Hugo, Colorado. Karyn graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN where she earned her Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education in 1998. In 2003, she received a Master of Music Degree in Music Education. Karyn is a certified Orff-Schulwerk teacher, completing her levels training courses at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and has served on the board of the Great Plains Orff Chapter. She has completed all three levels of World Music Drumming training and continues studying West African music with master drummer Sowah Mensah and Afro-Cuban music with Josh Ryan. Karyn lives in Omaha with her husband, three children, and two dogs.


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