2021 NMTA State Conference
October 21-22, 2021
On behalf of the NMTA Executive Board, I am pleased to provide details of the 2021 Nebraska Music Teachers Association State Conference, as well as Competition and Festival events. The campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lincoln, Nebraska will host all events and act as co-sponsor. We are excited to be back in person this fall! We will send out detailed information regarding any restrictions or adjustments closer to the event.
NMTA State Conference: October 21-22
NMTA Performance Competition: October 23
MTNA Performance Competitions: October 23-24
NMTA State Festival: October 23-24
Conference Guests Artist
Dennis Alexander, guest clinician
Since his affiliation with Alfred Publishing Company in 1986 as a composer and clinician, Dennis Alexander has earned an international reputation as one of North America’s most prolific and popular composers of educational piano music for students at all levels. Professor Alexander retired from his position at the University of Montana in May 1996 where he taught piano and piano pedagogy for 24 years. Upon moving to California, he taught privately in addition to serving on the faculties of Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge. He currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he maintains an active composing and touring schedule for Alfred Publishing Company.
Professor Alexander is a native Kansan, having graduated from the University of Kansas where he was a student of Richard Reber. In 1972, he was invited to join the faculty at the University of Montana and served as piano department chair in addition to his teaching duties in applied piano, class piano and piano pedagogy. In 1987, he made his New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall with violinist Walter Olivares and continues to be active as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician. He has served as a collaborative artist for numerous internationally recognized soloists, instrumentalists, and chamber groups. A former president of the Montana State Music Teachers Association, he is a popular clinician at state and national music teachers conventions. In 2009, he was invited by MTNA to conduct the intermediate level master class at their national convention in Atlanta. In 2014, Professor Alexander was invited to judge a national piano competition in India called “Musiquest” and has toured twice to the far East where he performed recitals and workshops in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Korea.
Over the years, numerous organizations and state associations have commissioned him to write compositions. His “Concertante in G Major” was commissioned by the Montana Music Teachers organization for their state convention, and his 2-piano work, “Fanfare Toccata Rondo” was commissioned by Goshen College. Many of his compositions are included in the National Federation of Music Study Clubs Festival required list and his music is being performed by students throughout the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe. One of Mr. Alexander’s most significant contributions to the repertoire is “24 Character Preludes” in all major and minor keys which includes a CD with Dennis Alexander as soloist. He is also a co-author of an exciting and innovative piano method entitled “Alfred’s Premier Piano Course”. His latest collections, 6 books called “5-Star Solos”, contain solos from early elementary through late intermediate levels. Bks. 1-3 have optional teacher duet accompaniments that enhance the student solos. MTNA commissioned him to compose a chamber music work for piano, violin, and cello entitled “Dance Suite” and this work was premiered at the 2013 national conference in Anaheim, California. In 2015, he was honored with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.
Mr. Alexander’s personal website (www.dennisalexander.com) has become a favorite with piano teachers and features recordings, videos, teaching tips, and more! The “Dennis Alexander Piano Competition”, sponsored by the New Mexico School of Music, is an annual event in Albuquerque open to students from the age of 7 through 15.
Moran Woodwind Quintet, guest artist
Nathan Koch, bassoon
Diane Barger, clarinet
John Bailey, flute
Alan Mattingly, horn
William McMullen, oboe
One of the most active and visible quintets in the Midwest, the Moran Woodwind Quintet is the resident faculty woodwind quintet of the Glenn Korff School of Music. Formed in 1986 and named for the late John Moran, Director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Music, the Quintet has toured extensively, including performances in Kansas, Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, Oklahoma, Illinois, South Dakota, Arkansas and Texas. They have also performed at conventions of the College Music Society, the International Double Reed Society and the International Horn Society. The Quintet has recorded three CD’s for Crystal Records, including two CDs featuring music of the early 20th-century German composer Theodor Blumer and one with American woodwind quintets (music of Heiden, Higdon, Murdock and Lieuwen). The Quintet has also recorded on the Coronet label.
Arnaldo Cohen, pianist, guest of Lied Center
Brazilian-born pianist Arnaldo Cohen, now living in the United States, has long had a reputation for astonishing his audiences with the musical authority and blistering virtuosity of his performances. As a former professional violinist, teacher of physics, mathematician, cocktail pianist, and avid soccer fan, Mr. Cohen’s unconventional background contributed to the aura of surprise and discovery that attended virtually every one of his public performances. Long in demand internationally, Mr. Cohen has, in the past few years, entered a rarefied echelon among performers in America as well. He is regularly invited to appear as soloist with major orchestras, such as The Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. His solo recitals everywhere draw enthusiastic crowds of cognoscenti. Critics, too, marvel at his mixture of musical complexity and élan.
After winning first prize at the 1972 Busoni International Competition in Italy, Mr. Cohen scored a triumph at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Soon after, he moved to London and went on to build a repertoire of some 50 concertos, performing with such orchestras as the Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra of Rome, collaborating with conductors Kurt Masur, Kurt Sanderling, Klaus Tennstedt, and Yehudi Menuhin. He appeared in the major concert halls of Europe, and later in the United States.
In addition to his recital and orchestral appearances, Mr. Cohen has dedicated himself to the art of chamber music. For five years he was a member of the prestigious Amadeus Trio, and he has performed with many string quartets, including the Lindsay, Chillingirian, Orlando, and Vanbrugh Quartets.
Mr. Cohen is a frequent recording artist. Recently, BIS released Mr. Cohen’s recording of the two Liszt Piano Concertos and Totentanz with the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, which Gramophone declared, “for unapologetic bravura combined with intimate poetry, a complete empathy with Liszt’s intentions and full-blooded recorded sound, Cohen and his cohorts are hard to beat.” He has also recorded for the label Three Centuries of Brazilian Music and an all-Liszt solo recording, both which received international acclaim. Mr. Cohen’s previous recordings for other labels such as IMP Classics, Naxos, and Vox have included classic performances of works by Liszt, Schumann, and Brahms.
An artist of diverse interests and talents, Mr. Cohen began his musical studies at the age of 5, graduating from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro with an honors degree in both piano and violin, while also studying for an engineering degree. He went on to become a professional violinist in the Rio de Janeiro Opera House Orchestra to earn a livelihood while continuing piano studies with Jacques Klein, a disciple of the legendary American pianist William Kapell. At the urging of Klein, Mr. Cohen pursued further training in Vienna with Bruno Seidlhofer and Dieter Weber.
Mr. Cohen is the recipient of a fellowship awarded by the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and taught at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2004, after living in London for 23 years, Mr. Cohen relocated to the United States where he is now a Distinguished Professor at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
David von Kampen, 2021 NMTA Commissioned Composer: From Lincoln, NE, David von Kampen’s work spans a wide variety of genres and styles, including jazz, choral music, hymnody and liturgy, solo voice, chamber music and musical theater. His work Trisagion will be featured in piano solo and choral versions Thursday afternoon.
The conference will also feature presentations by NMTA members Paul Barnes and Madeline Rogers.
Hyatt Place Lincoln/Downtown-Haymarket
600 Q Street
Lincoln, NE 68508
Rate: Two Queen Beds, $89
**Includes parking, internet and breakfast
Call 1-888-591-1234 and give group code G-6428
or go to https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/group-booking/LNKZL/G-6428
Cut-off date: Wednesday, October 6, 2021