Nebraska C-NAFME

As a Collegiate member of NMEA there are opportunities to serve in apprentice leadership positions within the organization, contribute articles to the Nebraska Music Educator magazine, and participate in our Collegiate Showcase recital. 


Collegiate member dues follow the academic year schedule and are good from whenever you join through June 30th. If you are still in college, you may rejoin as a collegiate member starting July 1st. 

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2023 Collegiate Symposium
Chapter of Distinction
Student Teacher Grant
NMEA Board Position
Guest Articles
Contact Info


The 2023 Collegiate Symposium will be held on Thursday, November 16 at the Cornhusker Hotel in downtown Lincoln and the Westbrook Music Building on the UNL campus. Registration is $25 per student and includes tickets to the Awards Dinner on Friday, November 17. Lunch is NOT included. Registration forms will be sent to chapter advisors by Director of College/University Affairs Brian Alber, or you can download the form below. Registration forms are due November 1.

Download the Symposium Registration Form
11:30am-12:00pm Check-in by College Chapter President Cornhusker Hotel (CH) Atrium
12:00pm-12:45pm Welcome and General Meeting CH Atrium / Grand Ballroom
12:45pm-1:35pm SESSIONS  
  I Got My First Teaching Job! It's Pre K-12 Vocal and Instrumental Music. Now What?, Sarah Consbruck CH Hawthorne
  Rule Number One: It has to be fun! Keeping Singers Motivated in Rehearsal, Mary Daugherty & Paul Robinson CH Arbor 1
  I Have/Am a Student Teacher; Now What?, Chris Marple CH Arbor 2
1:45pm-2:35pm SESSIONS  
  Learn to Hit the Curveball, or Stay Out of the Game!, Frank Tracz CH Hawthorne
  You Got the Job! Now What? A Discussion of What It's Like Out in the Field, Trevor Frost CH Arbor 1
  Small School Success-Tips and Strategies for the PK-12 School Music Program, Eric Heithoff & Emily Heithoff CH Arbor 2
2:35pm-2:55pm Break & Snack CH Lower Level
3:00pm-3:55pm SESSIONS  
  Thinking Instrumental Music: Do I Think I Can?, Danni Gilbert CH Hawthorne
  Never Say Never: What They Don't Tell You About Accepting Your First Job, Sebastian Boelhower & Kelsey Brundage CH Arbor 1
  From the Neck Up: Building Better Woodwind and Brass Fundamentals, Kyle Jones & William Sutton CH Arbor 2
4:30pm-6:00pm Collegiate Recital Westbrook MusicBuilding (WMB) 119
6:00pm-7:00pm Collegiate Social and Networking WMB 130



I Got My First Teaching Job! It’s Pre K-12 Vocal and Instrumental Music. Now What?
Presenter: Sarah Consbruck
12:45pm, CH Hawthorne


Teaching in a small school for the first time can be terrifying, daunting, and isolating. Teaching in a small school for the first time can be liberating, empowering, and enable you to experience joy, beauty, friendship, and gratitude in a way that NOTHING ELSE can. You will be learning on the job no matter where you teach for the first time. Something that is pretty unique to a small school is that you may be the only person teaching music in that district. Though you might feel alone in the building, you will know that you have a whole team behind, beside, and even in front of you if need be. We are creating an instant community today that will carry on throughout our careers.In this session, I will share teacher life lessons and general do's and don'ts of living and teaching in a small community. We will create a digital group where we can share our lessons, joys, struggles, and resources. You will get a digital guide that is intended to help you plan for your first year in a pre K-12 vocal and instrumental music position. We will go through the guide which includes an editable music teacher planner, performance planner, questions to ask/things to consider, forms and documents, as well as links to free curriculum resources.

Sarah Consbruck Professional Biography Sarah Consbruck received her Bachelor of Music, K-12 Certification from the University Of Nebraska, Omaha in 2010 and is currently in her 14th year of teaching Pre K-12 Vocal and 5-12 Instrumental Music at Giltner Public School. A strong advocate for student engagement, lifelong learning, and fostering a love for music in every child, she involves her students in family building at school as well as combining high expectations and discipline with novelty and excitement in the classroom. Sarah’s interest in student engagement and helping every student reach their maximum potential led her to Atlanta Georgia in the Spring of 2016 where she engaged in teacher training at the Ron Clark Academy. Her love of learning and teaching led her to attain her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an Emphasis in Music Education from Doane University in the Winter of 2016. Sarah’s professional interests include creating large opportunities in small schools, community building, and mentorship.


Rule Number One: It has to be fun! Keeping Singers Motivated in Rehearsal
Presenters: Mary Daugherty and Paul Robinson
12:45 pm, CH Arbor 1

Our session begins with the sharing of personal experiences and science-based techniques for keeping people of all ages engaged in rehearsals. Attendees will observe and experience these ideas, and share their own ideas in a mock rehearsal toward the end of the session.

Mary Daugherty is a DMA student in choral conducting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She earned her BA in Piano Performance and her MA in Choral Conducting from Pensacola Christian College in Florida. She has directed mixed choruses, children's choirs, college groups, and a barbershop chorus. She currently serves as the Diversity-In-Action intern for the NYC Choral Consortium, and a Research Fellow for the Institute for Composer Diversity. Mary lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with her husband, Andrew.
Paul Robinson currently serves as the Director of Music at Saint Paul United Methodist Church in Lincoln, NE, where he employs his skills as a vocalist, conductor, composer, organist, and jazz pianist to bring a creative and wide-ranging approach to church music. In addition to his work within the church, Paul is a professor of advanced conducting at Concordia University and is engaged frequently as a vocalist, conductor, and organist. Led by a passion for congregational song and hymnody, Paul has composed and arranged dozens of hymn tunes for use in worship and has led several workshops on hymn-writing and jazz hymnody for the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada. Paul is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music (vocal performance) and is doing graduate work in choral conducting at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


I Have/Am a Student Teacher; Now What?
Presenter: Chris Marple
12:45 pm, CH Arbor 2

The process of student teaching can be incredibly beneficial for the student teacher and cooperating teacher. It can also be incredibly stressful! For the student teacher, this may be their first experience with a major amount of time in front of an ensemble or classroom. The cooperating teacher is also giving up a great deal of control to an inexperienced educator. In order to get through this experience, communication is key! For this presentation, I provide a look at some of the topics that may benefit novice educators, music educators who have never had a student teacher, and those who may need a refresher. This conversation will also benefit future student teachers.

Originally from Bellevue, NE, Chris Marple is the former Director of Choral Activities at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, MO. He taught conducting, secondary choral methods, choral literature, supervises the music education student teachers, and conducted the choral ensembles. Dr. Marple is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University (B.S.Ed.), The University of Nebraska-Omaha (M.M. – Choral Conducting), and The University of Iowa (Ph.D. – Music Education). He taught vocal/choral music for 12 years (TX, WI, and IA) during which he has conducted choirs of many types including vocal jazz, show choir, and madrigal ensembles.His research interests include continued participation in curricular choral singing and educating preservice music teachers. He has presented his research at conferences in the United States, the Czech Republic, and Azerbaijan. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Jealaine, and their 9-year-old daughter, E.J. They live in Kansas City with their two dogs, Sasha and Brinkley.


Learn to Hit the Curveball, or Stay Out of the Game!
Presenter: Frank Tracz
1:45, pm CH Hawthorne

The music teaching profession is changing on a daily basis and the "old school" thoughts and methods sometimes will not work. "Curveballs" are thrown at us daily, and we sometimes fail to successfully navigate the "pitch" and become disenchanted, confused, and even depressed about our situation. This session will use the baseball metaphor (my favorite past-time) to look at what, how, when, and where we do the things we do to successfully navigate those daily challenging curveballs. Managing our challenges in this profession is the key to stability, longevity, and happiness for ourselves, our students, and our programs. Let's learn to "play ball" and win the music-teaching game!

Dr. Frank Tracz is professor of music and director of bands at Kansas State University. He earned his B.M.E. from The Ohio State University, the M.M. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University. He has public school teaching experience in Wisconsin and Ohio and has also served as Assistant Director of bands at Syracuse University and Director of bands at Morehead State University. Dr. Tracz has served as an adjudicator, clinician, speaker in various schools and conferences and has conducted All-State and Honor bands across the United States as well as in Canada, Singapore, South Africa, Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand.


You Got the Job! Now What? A Discussion of What It’s Like Out in the Field
Presenter: Trevor Frost
1:45 pm, CH Arbor1

This open Q&A session is geared toward college students who are interested or are preparing to enter the field of music education. This is an opportunity for these students to ask a panel of 1st to 3rd year teachers who have taught in the public schools across all grade levels (K-12) and subjects (band, chorus, general music, etc.). The goal is simply to get an idea of what it's truly like in the field and what college students can expect to see and experience. Topics can range from how to handle administrations, to that first interview and tips on how to approach it.

Trevor Frost is currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he is working toward a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Band Conducting with a related area in Composition. His duties at UNL include work with the Ensemble Performance Lab, Symphonic Band, Campus Band, the Big Red Express pep bands, and the Cornhusker Marching Band. Prior to joining the team at UNL, Frost served as the music director at Paul Elementary School in Wakefield, New Hampshire creating a band, chorus, and general music program. He received his Master of Arts in Music: Music Conducting degree from the University of New Hampshire in 2021, and his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the University of New Hampshire in 2016. Frost remains active as a composer receiving commissions from the New Hampshire Youth Band, the University of New Hampshire Wind Symphony, the Keene State Concert Choir, Lebanon High School (NH), and Pittsfield High School (MA).


Small School Success - Tips and Strategies for the PK-12 School Music Program
Presenters: Eric Heithoff and Emily Heithoff
1:45 pm, CH Arbor 2

Small schools are often lacking in three areas: lack of time, lack of students, and lack of resources. We both have unique situations that require some creative ideas to get the most out of the time we have with our students. We’ll take a look at ways to make teaching more efficient, recruit more students, as well as some solutions for lack of funds. Our goal is to provide some ideas to make teaching more effective, efficient, and enjoyable in the small school setting.

Mr. Eric Heithoff graduated from Wayne State College with a Bachelor of Science in music education in 2011. Mr. Heithoff started his career as a music teacher in the fall of 2012 and has been at Elgin Public Schools for the past 10 years teaching PK-12 Music.
Mrs. Emily Heithoff graduated from Wayne State College with a Bachelor of Science in music education in 2014. Mrs. Heithoff started her career as a music teacher in the fall of 2014 at Clearwater-Orchard Public Schools. Mrs. Heithoff spent three years teaching 5-12 band and 9-12 choir. After the reorganization of the schools, she spent the next four years teaching K-12 music at Orchard. When the Summerland Public School district formed, she took the position as the 5-12 band and 7-12 choir teacher.


Teaching Instrumental Music: Do I Think I Can?
Presenter: Danni Gilbert
3:00 pm, CH Hawthorne

Geared toward collegiate students, this interactive session will lead attendees through ideas aimed at improving their self-efficacy towards teaching in secondary instrumental music settings. Students’ beliefs about their abilities may strongly influence their choices when applying for jobs, curricular decisions, success in teaching, and ability to overcome challenging situations. We will explore the effect that instrumental practicum experiences, methods courses, applied area of study, and ensemble participation may have on self-efficacy. A panel of in-service instrumental music educators will offer advice, facilitate discussion, and answer questions.

Dr. Danni Gilbert is the Assistant Professor of Instrumental Music Education at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. In addition, Dr. Gilbert teaches online graduate music education courses for Kent State University. Prior to her appointment at UMN, Dr. Gilbert served as Associate Professor of Practice in Music Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Assistant Professor of Music at Doane University in Crete, Nebraska, taught saxophone and clarinet at Iowa Western Community College, taught saxophone and music theory at the College of Saint Mary, and directed elementary and intermediate band for Blair Community Schools. 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.


Never Say Never: What They Don’t Tell You About Accepting Your First Job
Presenters: Sebastian Boelhower and Kelsey Brundage
3:00 pm, CH Arbor 1

This session is a guide for collegiate music education students of all focus areas on how to evaluate and accept their first job offers. It expands on the full range of our extensive K-12 endorsement and analyzes how each facet of that degree can manifest itself in job opportunities. This presentation challenges the idea of a "dream job" and encourages those listening to consider other opportunities that they may not have thought of before. This presentation also evaluates how to effectively discern what position is right for each individual person. Music teachers are in high demand which allows us to be slightly more selective in our acceptance choices. However, sometimes our “dream job” is not actually the job of our dreams. This presentation explains how to tell the difference and how to make a choice that’s right for you.

Sebastian Boelhower is a recent graduate from Peru State College and is in his first year of teaching K-12 general music, choir, and band at Falls City Sacred Heart Catholic Schools. He is from Hastings, Nebraska and is the oldest child of two teachers. He has been in the world of education since birth and is excited to finally merge his two passions, teaching and music, in his career. He is a clarinet and saxophone player as well as a baritone singer. Sebastian is an avid traveler, hiker, poet, composer, taco eater, and Denver Bronco fan outside of his teaching career.
Kelsey Brundage is a second year teacher at Johnson-Brock Public Schools. She is the Pre-K through 12th grade music teacher, the only one in her district. She graduated from Peru State college in May of 2022. She is originally from Kenesaw, Nebraska. In her free time, she enjoys doing puzzles, going on walks with her dog, and watching musicals. Kelsey is also the cheer coach at her school, and loves building a sense of school spirit for the students.


From the Neck Up: Building Better Woodwind and Brass Fundamentals
Presenters: Kyle Jones and William Sutton
3:00 pm, CH Arbor 2

In many beginning band contexts, students are encouraged to move directly to practicing with a fully-assembled instrument. Though this instruction expedites the learning of "tunes" by the student, it often does so at the expense of more focused work on the mouthpiece and neck, ultimately delaying the cultivation of solid fundamentals. This presentation will focus on how to better utilize small-piece practice (the mouthpiece by itself, as well as joined with the saxophone neck or clarinet barrel) to address fundamental aspects of brass and single reed instrument playing at various stages of development. These include exercises and concepts that include but are not limited to embouchure, voicing, jaw pressure, articulation, and audiation. By maximizing the function of these instrument parts as "magnifying glasses" to our most basic skills, we can learn to create effective and engaging learning frames for students, regardless of their developmental stage, maximizing time spent in a practice session.
Kyle Jones, saxophonist, is a performer, teacher, and arts administrator. An advocate for new music, Kyle actively collaborates with composers and performers from various styles and genres. Recently, he has been involved in a commissioning project with Dr.Nathan Mertens with the composer Anthony R. Green, as well as leading a consortium for a new work for saxophone and clarinet by composer Gabriela Ortiz. He is currently a doctoral student of Zachary Shemon at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, as well as Instructor of Saxophone at Northwest Missouri State University and MidAmerica Nazarene University.In addition to his performing activities, Kyle serves as a Co-Director for Fast Forward Austin, Kyle serves as Production Coordinator for Kansas City Baroque Consortium, and Grant Writing Associate for Appalachia: A Southeastern Wind Symphony. He holds degrees from The University of Texas-Austin, Peabody Conservatory, and East Tennessee State University.
Dr. William Sutton is an avid teacher and performer of trombone, euphonium, and tuba. Prior to his appointment at Northwest Missouri State University where he teaches low brass and music theory, he held teaching positions at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, Mott Community College, Olivet College, Saginaw Valley State University, The Flint Institute of Music, and The Michigan State University Community Music School. Will has performed with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, St. Joseph Symphony Orchestra, Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Holland Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of Northern New York, Capital City Brass Band, Mountain Town Brass Band, and Mid-Michigan Brass Band. He has performed as a soloist with the Northwest Missouri State University Wind Ensemble, Crane Symphonic Band, Olivet College Wind Ensemble, Saginaw Valley State University Wind Ensemble, and Mid-Michigan Brass Band. He has been invited to perform at the Midwest Regional Tuba and Euphonium Conference and International Tuba and Euphonium Conference, and his solo playing can be heard under the Kendor Music, Inc. label.


In an effort to recognize the hard work and services the state collegiate chapters provide, the Nebraska Music Education Association will recognize chapters that exceed expectations and stand out in promoting the future of music education in Nebraska.

In order for the award to be given to the most distinguished chapters each year, as well as making sure our Director of Collegiate Members in the state are functioning in a positive order, all state chapters must provide a brief report of their chapters endeavors during the previous school year to the Director of Collegiate Members by May 1st. The Director of Collegiate Members will then pass along copies of the reports to the selection committee that will select the two chapters of distinction. The Director of Collegiate Members will also make copies of the reports and file them away for reference. Chapters are allowed and strongly encouraged to send artifacts such as brochures, flyers, meeting minutes, pictures, etc. along with their reports.

This award is given to at least two chapters that best represent three major areas: Chapter Operations, Service, and Professional Development. The selection committee also takes into consideration the presentation/clarity of the report.

The 2023 Collegiate Chapter of Distinction Award is awarded to:

  • Nebraska Wesleyan University  - Amy Spears, Advisor; Austin Reinke, President
  • University of Nebraska Kearney - Beth Mattingly, Advisor; Ryan Sims, President


A minimum of two grants in the amount of $1000.00 each, will be awarded summer 2023 to students enrolled in a Nebraska college or university that has an active NAfME Collegiate student chapter during the 2022-2023 school year.

  • Applicants must be music majors intent upon pursuing a career in music education.
  • Applicants must be a member of a NAfME Collegiate chapter. Recipients of the grant must prove active membership in their Collegiate chapter, or after June expiration of Collegiate membership, prove first-year membership in NAfME (half price).
  • The grant will be paid directly to the student after the Committee has been officially notified by the college or university that student teaching has been completed successfully.
  • Applications will be accepted once a year, for both the fall and spring student teaching.
  • The deadline for application is May 1 and incomplete or late applications will not be accepted. An official transcript must be uploaded on the online application form.

The deadline for the Student Teacher Grant for the 2022-2023 school year has now closed. Thank you to all those who applied! The committee will review the applications and select two recipients for this year's grants. All applicants will be notified about their decision by the end of June.


NMEA's Bylaws provide for a collegiate member seat on the Board of Directors.  Every year the candidate for the office of Director of Collegiate Members shall be nominated and elected while in their sophomore year by student members of the Association in accordance with the voting procedure approved by the student representative board.  He or she shall serve one year as apprentice (Sophomore year) and one year as Director (Junior year). All Sophomore student members are eligible to run for NMEA's Board of Director of Collegiate Members position.


Are you a College Instructor and NMEA member who would like to contribute a guest article for NMEA's magazine?  If so, please contact Amy Spears to apply to be a collegiate guest contributor.  Collegiate guest article deadlines are as follows:

  • February Issue (deadline January 10)
  • July Issue (deadline June 5)
  • October Issue (September 1)


If you have any questions, please feel free to email Brian Alber, Director of College/University Affairs, at [email protected]