PERFORM | UNO School of Music Magazine

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Welcome to the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media The College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media (CFAM) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha is dedicated to inspiring the creative expression and cultural growth of all of our students. We are comprised of three distinct schools in three unique facilities: the School of Music (Strauss Performing Arts Center,) the School of the Arts (Weber Fine Arts Building), and the School of Communication (Arts & Sciences Hall). Each school is built on a rich tradition and a diverse array of courses led by a nationally-known faculty of musicians, artists, performers, writers, and scholars. Music, art and art history, communication studies, journalism, theatre and creative writing provide unmatched opportunities, skill development and experiences for every student in preparing them for their professional fields. I invite you to create your future with us and learn how a degree from one of our programs can put you on a successful path. I also invite you to attend one of our many musical and theatre performances, gallery exhibitions, public readings and other events throughout the year. Sincerely,

Michael L. Hilt, Ph.D.

Dean, College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media Professor of Communication General Manager of KVNO 90.7



Welcome to the School Music On behalf of our entire musical family, we invite you to join the University of Nebraska at Omaha School of Music to take advantage of artistic and academic opportunities of the highest caliber. Our programs provide the community with a professional environment that stimulates excellence in music education, performance, research, creativity, entrepreneurship, technology, advocacy and service. Our focus on student-centeredness allows us to provide students with opportunities of unique quality and value. Whether it is through internships in the city, presenting at national and international conferences, successfully participating in competitions, securing relevant jobs in the music field, representing the city in events of national and international caliber or immersing students in other activities that bring them professional growth, the School of Music prepares 21st century musicians who quickly become essential members in the community. Washington A. Garcia, D.M.A. Director, School of Music Professor of Piano 402.554.5939



Our core mission also focuses on community engagement by maintaining and developing partnerships that address the concerns and interests of the broader community both within and outside the arts. We are constantly enhancing our role as integral and active members on and off-campus by starting creative initiatives that help to improve the quality of life in the city. It is within this spirit of collaboration that we continue to establish ourselves as forerunners in the Healing Arts field by engaging our students and faculty in performances throughout hospitals, schools and retirement communities in the area. We are also proud to have started the Nebraska Medical Orchestra in collaboration with UNMC. The recent renovation and expansion of the Strauss Performing Arts Center is not only enhancing the School of Music’s growing reputation as one of the top cultural and academic destinations in Nebraska, but it is also providing students, faculty and staff with state of the art facilities and acoustics to strengthen scholarly and creative activities. Although we are proud of our facilities, academic programs and initiatives, one of the main aspects that define us is our strong sense of community both internally and externally. We believe our collaborative approach will continue to help us become one of the leading music programs in the country.


I invite you to join us in the musical journey upon which our School of Music has embarked. It is an exciting time to be part of UNO!




Orchestra | 1929

MUSIC EDUCATION MISSION The mission of the music education program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha is to prepare outstanding music educators for the classrooms of the present and future.

HISTORY Prior to the founding of the Omaha University Department of Music in 1933, the music program existed as a joint community and university organization called the “Conservatory of Music.”

BACHELOR OF MUSIC IN MUSIC EDUCATION The Bachelor of Music in Music Education leads to PK-12 music certification in the state of Nebraska. Students experience a strong foundation through a core base of musical knowledge, high-quality performance experiences, and teaching skills. Music education majors can expect to participate in practicum experiences with public school students throughout the curriculum. Our Music Education students graduate as skilled musicians, inquisitive thinkers, and innovative practitioners. MASTER OF MUSIC IN MUSIC EDUCATION The Master of Music program in Music Education enhances students’ musical skills, teaching skills, and introduces students to the wider profession of Music Education through advanced studies. Graduate courses emphasize pedagogy, individualized instruction, and the practical application of music skills and research for teachers at all levels. Courses are offered online, evenings, and during summers, making it accessible and convenient for working educators.

--- Joslyn Music Annex Classroom |1972


KODÁLY GRADUATE CERTIFICATE The Kodály graduate certificate program is designed to provide music educators with an opportunity to enhance their pedagogical skills with a program that promotes music literacy through experiential learning in singing, movement, and reading activities. The Kodály program—named for the methods developed by Zoltán Kodály, a Hungarian composer and ethnomusicologist—includes courses that provide classroom applications of the method, folksong literature research, conducting experiences, and instruction in solfege. This program is offered in a two-week session each summer to allow music educators to obtain the certificate over four summers.






Portables on the current site of the Strauss

HISTORY Built in 1972 as a building for fine arts, the Strauss Performing Arts Center has been the home to UNO’s music programs since its construction. In 1984 it was officially named after Janet A. and Willis S. Strauss, an Omaha philanthropist couple.

Keyboard The Keyboard Area provides opportunities for students to develop their solo and ensemble skills in a wide variety of performance venues, both on campus and in the community. In addition to weekly lessons, piano students are required to attend a performance class where they play on a regular basis and learn about technique, stage presence, practice methods, audition/jury/competition preparation, and essential concepts of piano pedagogy and literature. Students also have the opportunity to study organ and play on a double-manual French harpsichord. Brass Brass Area faculty gathers some of the most dedicated educators and performers in the country who maintain careers as active professional musicians including extensive experience in symphony orchestras, jazz, chamber music, and professional wind bands. Students are provided with a wide array of performance as well as academic opportunities including access to master classes, workshops and clinics by guest artists. The programs of study for brass majors are designed to develop versatile performers in a variety of idioms including solo and chamber literature, orchestra, and jazz improvisation.


4 Strauss construction 1972


Percussion The percussion program covers a wide range of percussion applications. The core of the program focuses on Western classical percussion techniques including snare, timpani, mallets and multiple percussion. Additionally, there are ample opportunities to explore other percussion applications such as world drumming, drum set, electronic percussion, orchestral techniques, and marching percussion. With the recent expansion of the Strass Performing Arts Center, the Percussion area moved into a stateof-the-art space that gives students access to new rehearsal, instructional and practices spaces. Strings The cornerstone of UNO’s String Program is studio instruction. Emphasis is placed on technique, the development of musicality, exposure to standard solo, chamber, and orchestral repertoire, and learning how to play with efficiency and ease. The string faculty have a diverse array of national and international teaching and performing experience. The String Area also pilots all-state help session videos for students across the state which feature UNO string faculty giving feedback and tips on required all-state audition scales, etudes, and excerpts.

Voice The School of Music offers a substantial voice program with a wide range of experiences for voice majors. Students have the opportunity to participate in specialized workshops, masterclasses by renowned guest artists, and international/national conferences, competitions, and tours. Students perform in a variety of ensembles including the University Chorus, Concert Choir, Opera, and chamber groups. Students are frequently selected as soloists to perform with the UNO large and small ensembles. Voice majors also collaborate frequently with the Theatre department. Woodwinds Members of the UNO woodwind studios participate in numerous ensemble opportunities including the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra, Jazz Ensembles, Flute Choir, and chamber groups such as woodwind quartet and saxophone quartet. In addition to enjoying regular opportunities to work with prestigious guest artists, students are taught by a nationally and internationally distinguished faculty. The programs of study in the woodwind area are designed to develop a mastery of the standard solo, ensemble, and orchestral literature for their instruments. Jazz Award-winning ensembles in the Jazz Area continue to receive acclaim for their outstanding musical performances from internationally recognized jazz artists, clinicians, and adjudicators. Students can take classes in Jazz Piano, Improvisation, and Jazz Pedagogy in addition to private lessons and weekly masterclasses. Ensembles make regular appearances in prestigious venues in Asia, Europe and throughout the United States. They have also been selected multiple times by nationally competitive recorded audition processes to perform at premier festivals and conferences.



AN EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER The Strauss Performing Arts Center enjoys exceptional facilities and resources that prepare our students for the finest stages and venues in Omaha, across the United States and internationally. The School of Music hosts more than 200 concerts, festivals and master classes within the Strauss Performing Arts Center, the UNO campus and iconic performing venues in the metro area such as the Holland Performing Arts Center. Students, faculty and artists from around the world learn, perform and share knowledge within and outside the walls of the Strauss, making UNO an incubator of talent and creativity. Completed in 1972 and renovated and expanded in 2019, the Strauss building is designed to meet the needs of the artists of the 21st century.

MUSIC TECHNOLOGY The Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in Music Technology (BAM-MT) is a four-year degree program focusing on the technical, theoretical, and creative skills required to pursue professional careers in the growing field of music technology. Students enroll in both traditional music studies and innovative technology courses in audio recording, sound reinforcement, analog and digital synthesis, and performance with interactive electronics. The program combines the rigorous training of a traditional university music program, a practical hands-on approach through real-life opportunities, and a curriculum that combines platform-independent core competencies with emerging technologies and aesthetics. MUSIC TECHNOLOGY AREAS OF FOCUS Recording Production Live Sound Synthesis Sampling

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STRAUSS FEATURES • Jan and John Christensen Concert Hall (422-seats) • 100 seat Recital Hall with flexible acoustics • Recording Control Room/Classroom • Recording Tracking room suitable for 18 piece jazz band • Recording isolation room for drumset • Recording isolation room for vocals • Recording isolation room with grand piano • Collaborative Piano Rehearsal/Teaching space • Piano Studio • Dedicated piano practice rooms with grand pianos • Percussion Rehearsal Room • Percussion Studio • Six percussion teaching studios/practice rooms • Music education percussion studio • Multiple student collaboration areas • State of the art audio/visual infrastructure • Acoustically isolated design and construction throughout • Twenty general practice rooms • Five chamber music rehearsal rooms • Five Jazz Rehearsal spaces • Multiple large ensemble rehearsal spaces


A HISTORY OF MUSIC AT UNO Prior to the founding of the Omaha University Department of Music in 1933, the music program existed as a joint community and university organization called the “Conservatory of Music.” The first band at Omaha University was organized by Henry Wendland who was hired by the institution for the purpose of establishing a band program; Wendland was considered to be among the top band leaders in Omaha. That fall there were thirty-five members in the band with oboist Evelyn McDonald serving as the first drum major. They performed at all home football games and traveled to Norfolk, Nebraska where they paraded down main street and performed a concert in the hotel lobby. They also traveled to Fremont for a game there, but a trip to Maryville in November was canceled because of the weather. The band continued to be active after the football season with Bogdan Schlanta assuming the role of conductor of the band and orchestra. During that first season, Wendland decided to invite a friend to come to Omaha for a performance at Omaha’s Technical High School with his own professional band. Tech also happened to be OU drum major

Evelyn McDonald’s Alma Mater. During the first half of the October 8, 1928 concert the guest band leader conducted the Omaha Tech band prior to his ensemble’s performance. At intermission the guest bandleader asked Ms. McDonald to come up on the stage for a special presentation. When she reached the stage the guest conductor said, “I take great pleasure in presenting you with this baton” that he had used in conducting the Tech band. Evelyn was quoted in the “Gateway” (the OU Student Newspaper) as being “thrilled to death” to receive the baton from America’s greatest band leader... John Philip Sousa!

THE STRAUSS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER The Janet A. and Willis S. Strauss Performing Arts Center has hosted thousands of vocal and instrumental performances since opening its doors in 1973. Originally named the UNO Performing Arts Center from 19731984, Strauss has been home to the School of Music for decades, rooting a community of fine arts students deep in the University’s history.

Campus Aerial | 1969

Music Faculty | 1972

8 Music Building | 1956

In 1971, construction began. When the Strauss Performing Arts Center first opened, students and faculty alike praised the building. There were practice rooms, recital rooms, and large classrooms that could hold the number of students attending. The building remained essentially unchanged until 1984 when it was officially renamed after the Strauss couple. Part of its commemoration included the purchase of a Casavant organ that was to be placed in the recital hall. The $300,000 organ was so large it had to be shipped in five-thousand pieces. It stands 28 feet high, 29 feet wide, and weighs around 17 tons. Prior to the School of Music attaining its own building, there wasn’t much of a permanent place for the students or faculty for roughly fifty years. The School of Music—formerly known as the College of Music—nearly has a one-hundred-year-old legacy; in the early 1920s, the first Bachelor of Science in Music was established by the then-named University of Omaha’s Trustees. Moving from its original home in the Redick Mansion on 24th and Pratt Streets to the still-standing Arts & Sciences

Hall, the University of Omaha saw significant growth in its first few decades. During the 1928-1929 academic year, about 350 students were enrolled in the School of Music, which had changed names that year, becoming the Conservatory of Music for a time. As with most subjects and disciplines in the beginning of UNO’s history, music courses were held in the Arts & Sciences Hall, room 382. There was little space for large instruments and equipment among other occupants of ASH. Around 1930, the Conservatory of Music was separated from the University of Omaha—which by then had become the Municipal University of Omaha—though all credits were still recognized for music degree-seeking students. Eventually, music students found a temporary home back on Dodge campus. In the mid-1950s, the Regents decided to add a small Music Annex by the south side of the Fieldhouse; however, the major objectives of campus

construction at that time were to build a student center and an applied arts building, so the Music Annex received much less attention. Later, in the mid-1960s when Dodge campus expanded most existing buildings and, subsequently, student enrollment, the Regents decided to fund the addition of a small metal building primarily used for band and chorus practices. This addition was placed adjacent to the existing Music Annex. Despite coming back to what would eventually be known as the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s main campus, the School of Music was faced with potentially significant cuts to their programs. In the 1960s, thenPresident of the Municipal University of Omaha, Dr. Philip Milo Bail, and the Student Activities Study Committee began evaluating extracurriculars on campus. Those most closely evaluated were student publications, athletics, drama, debate, and music programs. Numbers indicated that

few people were attending things like football games and drama and music productions. After Bail and the Committee conducted a four-month deliberation, it was decided to bring attention to arts programs. By the mid- to late-1960s, music programs received promotion by the University with great effort placed on drawing more attention to the Music department. Throughout 1969, attempts by the university were made to allocate funds towards financing a new building. By the end of the year, $1.9 million dollars was raised. The intention was to make UNO a musical and cultural focal point in Omaha. Their efforts were far from wasted as the School of Music not only showcases talent in a variety of ways across campus, but is home to esteemed, diverse faculty; students who are attuned to music theory, practice, and community engagement; and continued growth in the fine arts communities on campus and in the city of Omaha.

Installation of Casovant Organ

Strauss ground breaking | 1971 Convocation Choir in Arts & Sciences | 1960

The Strauss Performing Arts Center | 1973



BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENTREPRENEURIAL STUDIES This program is one of UNO’s newest degree offerings, one that allows the music student to have ultimate flexibility in choosing electives that are the best match for each student’s professional goals. Whether you want to focus on business aspects of music, arts management, non-profits, or another innovative direction you dare to dream, this major can be customized to make your passions a reality.

OPPORTUNITIES UNO’s School of Music has performance opportunities for everyone. Students of all majors can take advantage of the musical opportunities the university has to offer. Some ensembles require an audition, and some do not. Our faculty are committed to the academic and artistic development of students throughout the United States and around the world. Bands Symphonic Wind Ensemble University Band Maverick Marching Band “Maverick Machine” Pep Band

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN MUSIC STUDIES This degree with a concentration in Music Studies combines the same high-quality experiences of the Bachelor of Music degree with the flexibility of more electives. The degree is a perfect fit for students who are seeking double majors in music and some other area and for the non-traditional music learner. CONCENTRATIONS • Vocal 10• Instrumental • Keyboard

Choirs University Choir Concert Choir Chamber Choir Jazz Ensembles Jazz I Jazz II Jazz Combos Metropolitan Area Youth Jazz Orchestra


Opera Opera Theatre Opera/Musical Theatre Workshop Orchestras Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Orchestra Nebraska Medical Orchestra Additional Ensembles Technology-Assisted Performance Ensemble (TAPEnsemble) “ The Herd” Drumline Ensemble Percussion Ensemble Heartland Flute Choir

DEGREES OFFERED Bachelor of Music • Performance - Brass - Keyboard - Woodwinds - Strings - Voice - Percussion • Music Education (K-12 Certification) Bachelor of Arts in Music • Music Technology • Jazz Performance • Music Entrepreneurial Studies • Music Studies - Voice - Keyboard - Instrumental Master of Music • Conducting • Music Performance • Music Education





ADDITIONAL CAMPS AND FESTIVALS • Jazz Camp • Show Choir • Heartland Middle School Honor Choir • Woodwind Day • Brass Day • Piano Day • String Olympics • All-State Help Sessions: Choral and Orchestra


UNO INTERNATIONAL CONCERT SERIES The School of Music has hosted its International Concert Series with great success and an overwhelming reception from the community, not only in Omaha but also from several corners of the State. The UNO International Concert Series is designed to strengthen community engagement and music education in Nebraska as well as give the community access to a wide variety of performances and academic opportunities by some of the most renowned performing artists and teachers in the world.

GREAT PLAINS JAZZ FESTIVAL The Great Plains Jazz Festival is one of the premier educational jazz festivals in the nation. It features nationally renowned adjudicators, clinicians and guest artists. The festival is designed to be an educational experience for band directors and students from middle school through college. In addition to the individualized clinic that each band receives, participants also have the opportunity to attend general clinic sessions presented by guest artists and adjudicators.

BOCH FESTIVAL – BAND/ORCHESTRA/CHOIR The UNO BOCH Festival combines Bands, Orchestras and Choirs to host an event that brings more than 300 high school students from across Nebraska and the Midwest to work with nationally renowned clinicians. This unique experience culminates in a performance at the newly-renovated Strauss Performing Arts Center on the campus of UNO. Students have the opportunity to work with UNO Music faculty and students as well as guest clinicians in both masterclass and rehearsal settings.

SOUND HEALTH Sound Health bridges music and medicine through live performances by students who contribute to the environment of care and gain professional performing experience while contributing to their community. The mission of Sound Health is to enrich the healthcare environment for patients, families, health care providers and staff through live music while providing music students with an opportunity for service learning and professional performing experience. The goals of Sound Health are to contribute to a healing environment and give music students community service learning opportunities.

INTERNATIONAL TOURING Over the past 20 years, the UNO School of Music has completed more than 19 international music tours of its various performing ensembles which have covered over twenty countries in Asia, Europe and North America. During this time a vast majority of the students with music degrees from UNO have had the opportunity to experience at least one international touring experience. The touring program has benefited significantly from a strong relationship with International Programs at UNO.



PERFORMUNO Magazine is published by the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media and the School of Music Contributing Editors Dr. Washington Garcia School of Music Director School of Music Faculty Adam Hilt School of Music Coordinator of Outreach and Recruitment Kelsey Bee CFAM Administrative Assistant Art Direction/Design Randy Mattley CFAM Communication

We would enjoy showing you more or inviting you to be our guest for one of our performances. Find our calendar of events at @UNO_SOM @UNOmusic

We are a college of creators. Take a tour to learn more. Email: @UNOCFAM


Photography University Communications The Gateway HDR Randy Mattley Adam Hilt Zach Lovitch School of Music Faculty University Archives The Special Collections Staff

UNO School of Music


UNO is an AA/EEO /ADA institution. For questions, accommodations or assistance please call/contact the Title IX/ADA/504 Coordinator 402.554.3490 or TTY 402.554.2978 or the Accessibility Services Center 402.554.2872



COLLEGE OF COMMUNICATION, FINE ARTS AND MEDIA Strauss Performing Arts Center 6305 University Dr N | Omaha, NE 68182 |