Concert to Showcase Student Poetry Set to Music

Opera Omaha to Hold Live Concert for World Premiere of Original Songs from Nebraska Students’ Poems

Opera Omaha’s annual Poetry & Music Project will culminate in a remarkable live concert showcasing the world premiere of original songs inspired by poems from Nebraska students, including several from Northeast Nebraska. The concert will feature 15 unique musical compositions, created by professional composers Gabrielle Herbst and J.E. Hern├índez, from a collection of poems written by Nebraska students in grades 3 through 12.

Selected from a pool of 134 submissions, these completed works will be performed by Opera Omaha’s accomplished artists and students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in a free live concert to be held at the Benson Theatre on Sunday, May 7. It will be an entirely student-driven concert, consequently, the audience can expect to see awe-inspiring, unadulterated talents take center stage that day.

Northeast and North Central Nebraska students have contributed several poems to the project, including Maggie Dendinger’s “Capturing the essence of your voice,” Ava Noecker’s “Joy,” Ava Stewart’s “The Land I Call Home,” and MaKenna Love’s “Untitled.” The talented young composers, Herbst and Hern├índez, both recent alumni of The American Opera Project Composers & the Voice program, have leveraged their amazing musical prowess to create striking melodies from the poetry.

Over the past few months, with the assistance of the program, poets further developed their works in music workshops with the composers to acquire more depth in their artworks. All 135 entries will be included in the Poetry & Music Project book, which will be available online by May, providing poets, teachers, and concertgoers with a complete poetic and musical experience.

The Poetry & Music Project, which is currently in its sixth year, has become a vital factor in connecting young poets with professional musicians to create original music and to explore the relationship between poetry and music. Opera Omaha has this year delivered yet another exceptional opportunity for talented young students in Nebraska, and the concert promises to be an extraordinary and unforgettable event.

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