OCMI is the Conservatory’s week-long summer music camp. We bring in world-class guest-artist musicians from around the world to create the most, vibrant, and fun experience possible!
Strings, piano, and voice students ages 5 to seniors in high school!
Each day is packed full of classes and private instruction, and wraps up with a concert. You'll perform on some of them and learn from others!
July 18-25, 2020 — Ages 9+
Camp hours are between 8:45am - 5:45pm. (Drop off/pick up times vary slightly depending on assigned class schedules)
July 27-31, 2020 — Ages 5 - 8
Camp hours are 8:30am - 12:30pm
For students ages 5 and 6, a caregiver or parent chaperone must attend with the student. For students age 7 - 8, parent/guardian are welcome to attend but not required.
- cannot be combined with any other offers -
Our full-day camp is open to all levels. Students are accepted into the program and placed in appropriate ensembles and classes based on their age and ability. Students are assigned a six hour schedule each day. Participtants will receive a 30-minute private lesson each day of Institute from Sunday through Friday and many other fun courses specifically targeted to build leadership and musicianship skills. Audition required for all students: Every student should submit a short video of their most polished piece, no accompaniment necessary.
As a teenager, Bobby Scharmann originally found his love for the bass through transcribing the electric basslines of bassist Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Previously a student of piano and viola, Bobby quickly formed a number of rock bands, joined his high school jazz band and area youth orchestra, and discovered the bass as his primary musical voice.
A native of Manhattan, KS, Bobby is a stylistically diverse bassist and educator with experience in a wide range of genres. Bobby currently performs in the bass section of Omaha Symphony, and is assistant principal bass in Lincoln Symphony. His festival appearances include the Aspen Music Festival and the National Repertory Orchestra. In addition to his orchestral career, Bobby has performed jazz, rock, and pop throughout the United States, appearing at such venues as The Jazz Kitchen and The Chatterbox in Indianapolis, as well as Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.
He received two awards from Downbeat Magazine’s Student Music Awards in 2015 for work with his co-led jazz septet JKS. The septet released their debut album “Moonflower” later that year. Bobby was also invited to Ravinia’s Steans Institute Program for Jazz in 2014, where he studied with faculty Dr. David Baker, Rufus Reid, Curtis Fuller and Dr. Nathan Davis. Bobby received his Master of Music degree from Indiana University as a student of Kurt Muroki and Jeremy Allen, and his Bachelor of Music degree from Kansas State University as a student of Gordon Lewis and David Littrell. When he is not practicing, performing, or teaching, Bobby enjoys spending time with his cats, playing video games, and dreaming about his mediocre comedy career.
A native of Longview, Washington, Clark Potter is Professor of Viola at the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, where he is also on the conducting faculty. Mr. Potter is principal viola of the Lincoln Symphony, director of NEBratsche (the UNL viola ensemble), and he is an active performer as a solo recitalist and chamber musician. Mr. Potter has conducted the Lincoln Youth Symphony since 2007 and has conducted that ensemble in Rome, Prague, Budapest, Dresden, Leipzig, Vienna, Dublin and Belfast. He is also a member of two chamber ensembles: the Nebraska Chamber Players and the Trans-Nebraska Players, and he is in demand as an adjudicator and clinician at schools in Nebraska and around the region. He has conducted All-State Middle School Orchestras in Iowa, Oregon and Alabama, and he has appeared more than 20 times as a guest conductor of high school honors orchestras in Kansas, South Dakota, Nevada and Nebraska. In 2007, Mr. Potter was selected to receive the award for Private String Teacher of the Year by the Nebraska chapter of the American String Teachers Association, and in 2008 he was honored as the String Educator of the Year in Nebraska by the same organization.
In 2019, Potter traveled three times to Europe. In March, he conducted the Lincoln Youth Symphony in Rome. In April, he was invited to conduct a youth orchestra in Budapest comprised of musicians from International Christian Schools from many of the major cities of Europe as well as Istanbul and Moscow. Then in October, Mr. Potter was invited to give a lecture regarding "The Shakespeare Project" and perform with his quintet, the Trans-Nebraska Players, at the Musical Intersections in Practice conference held at Churchill College, Cambridge University in Cambridge, England. That performance included works which Potter arranged of orchestral pieces inspired by Shakespeare's plays and readings from Shakespeare by scholar and actor, Mr. Tim Cribb, a fellow at Churchill College.
In 2017, Professor Potter gave the world premiere of the 1946 viola sonata by Oscar-winning film composer Ernest Gold in Lincoln with Professor Mark Clinton, and later in the year presented a lecture/recital of the work at the American Viola Society meetings in Los Angeles.
Mr. Potter worked for several years with Dr. Gregory Bashford and students of UNL's Biological Systems Engineering department to develop an instrument that measures breathing rates and intensities while playing the violin or viola. Results of initial testing were documented in the presentation "How do Upper String Players Breathe When They Play? Can Anything be Done to Help?", given at the March 2015 ASTA National Conference in Salt Lake City and the Nebraska Music Educators Conference in November of 2015.
In addition, Profesor Potter recently completed editing his second edition of the first five of the six cello suites by Bach for viola.
In the spring of 2013, Mr. Potter received two significant awards. First, he was awarded "Outstanding Faculty in Outreach, Engagement and Service" for the College of Fine and Performing Arts at UNL. Second, he was awarded the "Golden Baton Award" for his dedication and work as a musician and citizen in Lincoln's Symphony Orchestra.
Prior to his appointment at Nebraska, Mr. Potter taught nine years at Eastern Oregon University, where he was associate professor of strings and conductor of the Grande Ronde Symphony. He received his graduate degrees from Indiana University and California Institute of the Arts and his bachelor's degree from Western Washington University. He has studied with Peter Marsh, James Dunham, Charmian Gadd, Richard Goldner, and Mimi Zweig.
During the summers, Mr. Potter is on the faculty of the University of Nebraska's Chamber Music Institute and the Omaha Conservatory of Music Institute. He has been a performer in the Oregon Coast Music Festival Orchestra, a guest artist at Rocky Ridge Music Center, artist/teacher of viola and chamber music at the Young Musicians and Artists summer program in Salem, Oregon, the Puget Sound Chamber Music Workshop, Lutheran Summer Music program and the Csehy Summer School of Music. He is active in the American String Teachers Association: he served six years on the board of the Nebraska chapter, he was president of the Oregon chapter, and he has written for the organization's national magazine. Mr. Potter recently served a three-year term on the Nebraska Music Educators Assoc. executive board. He has also dabbled in composition, having composed three pieces for young orchestras, music for two contemporary ballets, one full-length "cowboy" musical, several pieces for choir and pieces for smaller instrumental combinations, including a viola sextet.
In 2010, Mr. Potter performed the viola solo in Vaughan Williams' Flos Campi with the Lincoln Symphony, and with the same orchestra he was featured with violinist Anton Miller, performing Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante in 2005. In 2010 he performed the premiere of Martin Gaskell's Fantasia for Viola and Orchestra in Austin, TX. In addition, he is half way to his goal of performing as a soloist or chamber musician in each of the 50 states.
Clark would rather be at home than anywhere else in the world, however, enjoying time with his family (wife, Jan; daughter Shannon and her husband Phillip; and son Samuel and his wife Alexandria). He is a big baseball fan, and his favorite hobby is to run and race on roads and trails year around.
Duanduan Hao was hailed “a genius artist that only appears every fifty years” by the great pianist Aldo Ciccolini. Laureate of the 63th Geneva International Music Competition and numerous other international piano competitions in Germany, France, China and Italy, Mr. Hao has performed throughout Europe, China and the United States in prestigious festivals such as Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Musical Festival, Festival of Radio France and Montpellier, “Orchestre National de Lille” Piano Festival, Focus Festival of Contemporary Music in New York, etc. Mr. Hao had also collaborated with great conductors such as Jean-Bernard Pommier, Michael Palmer, Scott Weiss, and Christian Ehwald. In addition to his career as an international soloist, Mr. Hao participates in musicological activities. Since January 2013, he is a member of the research group PLM-AIEM of Sorbonne University of Paris, which focuses on musical semiotic and rhetorical studies. As a member of the Chinese Translators Association, Mr. Hao’s translation of Debussy’s Monsieur Croche from French to Chinese is published by People's Music Publishing House in China in September 2018. Mr. Hao advocates the importance of music in the community and at all levels of society. In April 2012, he was appointed to be the “Music Love Ambassador” by China Shanxi Music Radio. He has set up the Love Music classroom under his name at schools of poor area, and donated piano and other musical instruments. Born in China, resident in Paris and New York, Mr. Hao obtained his PhD in Musicology from Paris-Sorbonne University (including an exchange program with Columbia University). He is currently completing his DMA in Piano Performance at the Juilliard School, where he studies with Jerome Lowenthal as a recipient of the C. V. Starr Doctoral Fellowship and the Presser Graduate Music Award. At Juilliard, he also holds the teaching fellowship in Piano Education and Music Theory Departments. Mr. Hao recorded his third CD with Naxos on May 2017.
Megan Osterhaus has performed on Broadway in shows such as Mamma Mia!covering the role of Sophie, the original cast of Mary Poppins where she played the leading role of Winifred Banks and the Broadway revival of Les Miserablescovering the role of Fantine. She has also toured nationally across the U.S. and Canada performing inJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat playing the Narrator, Cameron Mackintosh’s American Premiere of Martin Guerre and Mamma Mia! where she met her husband, Chris Bolan. She also played the title role of Mary Poppins in the Mexico City premiere and Toronto productions.
Selected regional credits include The Guthrie Theater, Music Theater of Wichita, Papermill Playhouse, PCLO, and Lyric Theater. She’s a Native of Oklahoma and holds a BFA from the University of Central Oklahoma. She studied voice from her mother, Kay Creed, who was an Opera Singer for the New York City Opera and has taken that training in Opera and applied her own technique to be geared towards musical theater. She also studied with her father, Carveth Osterhaus, who directed all over the country and ran the theater program at Oklahoma City University and the University of Central Oklahoma. Her mother and father were both founding members of Lyric Theater. She teaches voice both at WCSU and privately in Westport. She also choreographs various productions throughout Connecticut and Upstate New York.
Jeremy Powell is a voice teacher with experience internationally, working with singers of varying genres, varying ages, and achieving a variety of goals for clients, all within one area of specialty: TECHNIQUE.
Jeremy has formed a strong international reputation as a specialist in two major areas of technique: 1. Building voices from the ground up for those who are new to vocal technique, and 2. Solving problems and repairing injuries/poor habits for established professional singers.
As an experienced professional onstage performer, as well as an experienced professional pianist, Jeremy's knowledge of the demands on a working singer provide insight into not only what is required by casting directors/directors/musical directors, but also the physical demands on the voice from the singer's perspective. (It doesn't hurt to have a professional standard pianist as your voice teacher either...)
It should be fun! When building or repairing a voice, it is very much Jeremy's philosophy that the sessions should be extremely focused and productive, but also enjoyable... We can laugh a lot at the same time as we make that voice brilliant!
Korean-American violinist Vicky HyunJin Lee is a top prizewinner at the Osaka International Competition, MTNA National Solo Competition, ASTA National Solo Competition, and the Guri Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. She is a recipient of the Starling Violin Scholarship, and the R. Joseph Scott Award.
She has appeared in major concert halls including New York, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco, Texas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Switzerland and Seoul. Dr. Lee made her solo debut at age 12 with the Korean Symphony Orchestra in Seoul, performing Lalo’s ‘Symphonie Espagnole.’ Dr. Lee has performed live at the South Dakota's Public Broacasting, "Classical24," Seattle Classical KING FM 98.1 for their "Sunday at 7:00” Recital Series and “Martha Zeeman’s Classic Kid FM Show."
As an active chamber musician, Dr. Lee has collaborated with members of the Emerson Quartet, the Tokyo Quartet and the Borromeo Quartet and has worked closely with prominent artists including Kyung-Wha Chung, Chee-Yun Kim, Peter Oundjian, and Joseph Silverstein.
Founder and an artistic director of Forte New York Chamber Series, she is devoted to offer free, world-class classical chamber music concerts to communities throughout the greater New York City metropolitan area. She offers musicians with the unique and occasional opportunities to collaborate with some of the world’s most renowned musicians.She represents jury members of the New York International Music Concours, Long Island Conservatory Soloist Competition. She also served as a mentor and adjudicator for New England Conservatory's Preparatory School. Dr. Lee is currently holds an Artist Residency at Omaha Conservatory of Music and the Pace Institute of Music in New York.
She received both Bachelor's and Master’s of Music degrees from New England Conservatory and a Doctorate of Music Arts from Stony Brook University. Her teachers included Philip Setzer, Hagai Shaham, Paul Biss, Ian Swensen, James Buswell, and Nam-Yun Kim.
In 2019-20 season, she will be releasing a Piazzolla piano quartet album collaborating with Clint Edwards and its US concert tour which includes New York, New Jersey, Boston, Omaha, Seattle, and Washington D.C.
American Violinist Dr. Pasha Sabouri was born in 1983. Dr. Sabouri has performed recitals and concerts all over the world in places like: Holland, Sweden, Austria, Germany as well as the United States.
Dr. Sabouri has soloed for the opening of the Edinburugh Festival, as well as with the Texas Chamber Orchestra, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Henderson Symphony, the Early Music Ensemble at the Butler School of Music, and the Ottawa Sinfonette. He has also won first prize in the National Federation of Music Clubs Young Artist Competition, as well as being National Finalist for Music Teachers National Association Young Artists Division, The Texas Young Artist Competition, and the Coeur D’Alene competition. He has attended such festivals as IMS Prussia Cove, International Holland Music Sessions, International Sommer Akademie (Semmering, Austria), Aurora Chamber Music Festival (Sweden) Aspen Music festival, London Master Classes taught by Gyorgy Pauk (Professor of Violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London), Strings! featuring members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Sound Encounters, and the Blanche Bryden Institute at the Sunflower Music Festival.
Dr. Sabouri has also performed in such orchestras as the Pittsburgh Opera, Wheeling Symphony, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston, Austin Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, and Aspen Chamber Symphony. He has also participated in master classes for such artists as: Itzhak Perlman, Anne Akiko Meyers, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Cho-Liang Lin, Robert McDuffie Roland and Almita Vamos, Sylvia Rosenberg, Miriam Fried, Shmuel Ashkenazy and Ida Kavafian.
Dr. Sabouri has served as Adjunct Strings Professor at Concordia College as well as Violin faculty and Artistic Director at Concordia College Music Academy in Austin, Texas. Prior to this position, he was appointed Lecturer Violin Professor at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana. Dr. Sabouri also served as Brian Lewis’s teaching assistant at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin where he received his Doctorate and Masters degree. Dr. Sabouri received his Bachelors degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has also been faculty at the Austin Chamber Music Center and the Brian Lewis Young Artist Program. Pasha’s principal teachers included Brian Lewis, Naoko Tanaka, Dr. Won-Bin Yim, and Martha Gronemeier. He performs on a Cuyper Violin made in 1793.
Adrienne Sengpiehl will be a guest-artist-faculty member at Omaha Conservatory of Music Summer Institute in July. Principal second violinist of Midsummer Mozart and a member of the Sun Valley Symphony. Since playing with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, she continues her career actively free-lancing with Bay Area orchestras: San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Santa Rosa Symphony, Berkeley Symphony and Marin Symphony.
With a ten year college education spanning from Juilliard to USC, Rhys Buchele has studied with some of the most famous instructors in the world. He has also enjoyed an exciting performing career appearing with both the New York and the L.A. philharmonic, recording for multiple large scale Hollywood films and documentaries, and producing an impressive list of recordings at studios like Capitol Records and Paramount Pictures. His greatest love, however, has always been teaching. Rhys lives in Fullerton, CA with his amazing wife, Carrie where they homeschool their two children and look after a small farm of cats, dogs, rats, frogs, chickens and stick bug
Suzanne LeFevre is currently in residence at University of Houston, Moores School of Music where she is an Assistant Instructional Professor of Viola. Her duties include teaching viola, pedagogy, and organizing the chamber music program at the university.
Suzanne is a member of the Houston Grand Opera, which she joined in 2005. She performs in the section regularly with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and has joined them on tour to Europe and Russia. She is co-principal viola of River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. She was also part the management team of ROCO, positions that included personnel manager and assistant artistic director. Suzanne has been on the faculty of Texas Strings Camp in Austin, Texas since 2015.
Suzanne has had an active orchestral, chamber music and teaching career in the United States and Europe. In addition to her current positions, she has held the position of principal violist of Mercury Baroque, principal violist of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, acting- assistant principal violist of the Charlotte Symphony. She has played with the Nederlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Granada Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, and the New Haven Symphony. She was Adjunct Professor of Viola at Loyola University in New Orleans LA, from 1998-2000. She has recorded with Ahmad Jamal and the Assai Quartet. She has also performed seasonally in many festivals, including the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Peninsula Music Festival, Music on the Hill in Rhode Island, the Madison Chamber Music Festival, the Colorado Music Festival, and Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival.
Suzanne received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She was awarded the Strelow Scholarship, and she graduated with distinction. After graduation, Suzanne studied for a year at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, where she studied with Matthias Maurer, the principal violist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. She returned to the United States and enrolled at the Yale University School of Music, where she earned a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma, She was awarded the Elizabeth Battel Stoeckl Award for excellence in Chamber Music.
Her primary teachers included Jesse Levine, and members of the Toyko quartet, Peter Oundjian, and Kazu Isomura.
Dr. Jun Seo started playing cello at age 13 and he soon attended Seoul Arts High School where he won the 1st prize from the Seoul Young Artist Chamber Music Competition. During his high school years, he came to the United States to study abroad and attended the Walnut Hill School in Natick, MA. He received the 2nd prize from Newton Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition, Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Concerto Competition, the International Chamber Music Society in Boston and the Sorantin International String Competition. He received a 1st prize from Mid-Texas Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, Colorado College Summer Music Festival Concerto Competition and UT Butler School of Music String Competition. He has also received Best Instrumentalist award from Sidney Wright Competition and two honorable mention awards from Sidney Wright Competition, Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition. He soloed with the Mid-Texas Symphony Orchestra, University Orchestra at the University of Texas-Austin, Colorado College Summer Music Festival Orchestra and Austin Civic Orchestra. Dr. Seo was an adjudicator for numerous competitions, such as University of Texas String Project at Austin, Texas Strings Camp, Austin Chamber Music Center, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville Suzuki Program and Jackie McGehee Young Artist’ Competition.
He received a Bachelor of Music Degree from the New England Conservatory School of Music in Boston in 2009. He received a Master’s of Music Degree and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Music Performance from the University of Texas at Austin studying under Professor Bion Tsang. At the same time, he was a teaching assistant for Professor Tsang and a faculty member at the UT-String Project for three years. Dr. Seo received full scholarships to attend the Heifetz International Music Institute, StonyBrook Summer Music Festival, Killington Music Festival, and Colorado College Music Festival. In 2013, Dr. Seo was a resident artist at the Lake George Music Festival in Lake George, NY. From 2010-2015, Dr. Seo was a music director at Austin Korean Presbyterian Church. He also was a cello faculty member at Omaha Conservatory of Music Summer Institute, String Orchestra Camp at Webster University Community Music School, Chamber Music Encounter at Webster University Community Music School, Austin Chamber Music Center, Songbird Rising String Camp at Austin, Assistant Director at Texas Strings Camp Young Artist Division and he also was a cello instructor at various public schools in Austin area.
Dr. Seo has studied cello with Jin-kyung Chee, Hee-song Song, Laura Blustein, and Yeesun-Kim. He also played in Cello masterclasses of Brinton Smith, Laurence Lesser, Alexander Baillie, Ralph Kirshbaum, Peter Wispelwey, Lynn Harrell and Anner Bylsma. He has collaborated with artists such as David Ying, Phillip Ying, Mark Fewer,Yehonatan Berick, Lynn Chang, Thomas Landschoot, Sheila Browne, and Christof Huebner. In the summer of 2009, Dr. Seo performed alongside the Cappella Choir of Seoul Theological University in their European tour. In the summer of 2014, he toured several European countries such as Switzerland and Scotland with the Austin Eurythmy Ensemble. Recently, Dr. Seo recorded the cello part for “Learning Together: Sequential Repertoire for Solo Strings or String Ensemble Volume 2 by Laurie Scott, Winfred Crock and William Dick”. He has maintained a full private studio since 2007. Dr. Seo joined as cello faculty, Traditional and Suzuki, at Webster University Community. Dr. Seo joined as cello faculty at University of Illinois at Springfield as well as University of Illinois at Springfield Community Music School in Fall 2019.
Cellist Mitchell Lyon approaches music making with a zeal for harnessing the unique power of musical experience. At home with audiences of all types, he has performed in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to intimate private homes.
An accomplished chamber musician, Mitch specializes in ensemble collaborations that run the gamut from classical piano trios, to crossover string quartets, to jazz combos, to dance and theater collaborations. His crossover trio project, Empire Wild, is currently recording their debut EP featuring original music and songs for cellos, voice and piano.
A native of Philadelphia, Mitch has performed extensively as a soloist, chamber musician, and in orchestras throughout the United States, France and the United Kingdom. As a recipient of Juilliard’s Gluck Community Service Fellowship, he brought music to new and underserved audiences, including patients in New York area hospitals, nursing homes and alternative care facilities. Mitch arranges, organizes and performs house concerts at private residences throughout the boroughs of New York City and in other locations by arrangement.
Passionate in his quest to spread the joy of music to young performers, Mitch has taught the children of New York through various Juilliard-funded fellowship programs at schools including Children’s Promise Zone and Harlem Promise Academy II. As a director of Juilliard’s student-run outreach organization, ARTreach, Mitch led several Juilliard teams to New Orleans, reaching out to children displaced by Hurricane Katrina and doing hands-on labor with Habitat for Humanity. Mitch continues his educational outreach mission in his current role as Teaching Artist Faculty for the New York Philharmonic School Partnership Program.
Mitch earned his MM degree with Timothy Eddy at the Juilliard School in May of 2014 as a Margaret J. & Roy H. Pollack and William R. Hearst Scholar. He earned his BM degree from the Juilliard School in May of 2012 as a student of Bonnie Hampton, where he held scholarships from the foundations of the Juilliard Alumni, Ruth Katzman, Presser, J & B Werter, and Stephen E. Somers. His former teachers include Jeffrey Solow and Deborah Reeder. For four years, Mitch held the Myer-Schwartz Piano Trio cello scholarship at Settlement Music School. His awards include the Ambler Symphony Menges Scholarship, the Bach Atonement Scholarship, and others. The summer of 2017 will find Mitch performing from Connecticut to California. During past summers, Mitch has performed as a fellow of the Fontainebleau School in France, as a visiting artist at the Finchcocks Museum of Keyboard Instruments in Kent, UK, at Music in the Mountains in Eagles Mere, PA, as a fellow at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and at the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School in Santa Cruz, CA. Mitch spent four summers as a counselor at the Meadowmount School of Music, studying with Melissa Kraut and Hans Jorgen Jensen. During previous summers he studied at the Castleman Quartet Program, the Montecito Summer Music Festival, and Music in the Mountains. He has performed in master classes for Mark Kosower, Steven Isserlis, Christopher Rex, Andres Diaz, Timothy Eddy, Ko Iwasaki and Anne Martindale-Williams. He has worked privately with Gary Hoffman and Clive Greensmith.
Mitch plays on a Jules Grandjon cello dating from 1880, except when he is rocking out, when he uses a Quintus carbon-fiber cello built by Tony Cook of GraceStrings with an Acoustic Combo Amp, model AG120S and a ceramic under-bridge pickup.
Ernest Richardson is in high demand as a conductor, composer, arranger, violist, organizational leader, and inspirational speaker. His versatility finds him within one season conducting Stravinsky's Firebird Suite or Broadway artists in the works of Leonard Bernstein, a live-to-movie production of Harry Potter, facilitating strategic decision-making for leading arts organizations, or training young musicians in the passionate, persistent pursuit of perfection.
He has been at the forefront of symphonic video/live music productions, conducting live-to-movie scores of the Harry Potter series with Cine Concerts, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, Pirates of the Caribbean, Singin’ in the Rain, Casablanca, Ratatouille, Star Trek (2009), the Charlie Chaplin silent film The Gold Rush, and most recently Star Wars: A New Hope.
Richardson is presently the principal pops conductor and resident conductor of the Omaha Symphony. Since 1993, he has laid the groundwork for and led in the development of the Omaha Symphony’s vaunted education and community engagement programs. In addition to his artistic leadership in the creation of the annual top-selling Christmas Celebration production, he leads the successful Symphony Pops, Symphony Rocks, and Movies Series. The highly successful Family Series was created under his artistic leadership and he is one of the visionary forces behind the innovative Symphony Joslyn Series. As chief architect of the Omaha Symphony’s education and community engagement programs, Richardson has been at the forefront of crafting the vision for the programs and their impact on the community. The pivotal point in his leadership can be traced to the first education report written in the beginning of his tenure with the Omaha Symphony. This report paved the way for the structure, function and programming of the education department leading to innovations in all programming including the creation of Choral Collaborative, Celebrate Creativity, the Family Series, and Mission: Imagination.
Richardson holds the position of music director and principal conductor of the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Under his leadership this organization has grown from a community orchestra to a resident professional orchestra, attracting the area’s finest musicians.
Recent guest conducting engagements include the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Houston Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, and the Phoenix Symphony. He has also conducted with the Nashville Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony, Battle Creek Symphony, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, and Cheyenne Symphony, and has been guest conductor and clinician for regional and all-state orchestras in Arizona and Nebraska. Richardson has also been lauded for his crossover work with singers and choral ensembles.
A recipient of the 2016 Nebraska Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Arts Education, Richardson has encouraged and supported countless young musicians. He is the founding artistic director and CEO of the innovative Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory, and until 2015 also held the position of music director and principal conductor for the Santa Barbara Music and Arts Conservatory.
An accomplished composer and arranger, Richardson composed the symphonic work Three Scenes for Chamber Orchestra, debuted by the Omaha Symphony in 2011. His works are featured largely in the annual Christmas production and on many education and outreach programs and have been performed around the world.
Richardson's achievements in Omaha were foreshadowed by his success with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, where he began his conducting career. Richardson came to the Phoenix Symphony as a violist in 1984, appearing later as a soloist and acting associate principal. He began studying the violin at the age of three with his father, Dr. Vernal Richardson. He continued his string education at Indiana University with Tadeusz Wronski, later concentrating on the viola at the University of Michigan with Donald McInnes. He studied conducting with Samuel Krachmalnick and Gustav Meier. While attending the University of Michigan, Richardson also studied composition with William Albright and William Bolcom.
In addition to his work with musicians, Richardson brings understanding of organizational issues in the industry and provides strategic planning facilitation to a variety of nonprofit organizations.
An avid fly fisherman, he can be found on trout streams in Colorado and the local municipal lakes in Omaha. He has also earned a black belt in tae kwon do. He lives in Omaha with his wife and children.
As a choreographer, Melanie Walter’s work has been seen on the stages of the Omaha Community Playhouse in productions such as Mamma Mia, The Producers, Altar Boyz, Spamalot, Evil Dead, Young Frankenstein, Sister Act, and Legally Blonde. She also serves as choreographer for award-winning high school show choirs throughout Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota.
As a performer, Melanie has appeared on numerous stages around the Omaha metro. Favorite roles include Eva Peron (Evita), Aida (Aida), Velma Kelly(Chicago), Adelaide (Guys and Dolls), Lucy Harris (Jekyll and Hyde), Mary Magdalene (Jesus Christ Superstar), The Narrator (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), and the Lady of the Lake (Spamalot). She was thrilled to receive both the 2015 Theatre Arts Guild Award and Omaha Entertainment Award for Outstanding Choreography and Best Actress in a Musical role for her work in Spamalot.
As a non-profit professional, Melanie spent 10 years working just down the hill at the Omaha Community Playhouse. She served as Development Coordinator for six years before moving into the Education Department, where she served as Director of Education before making the decision to stay at home with her son, Leo.
Our half day camp is open to beginning string and piano students as an opportunity to further their studies and advance their skills in a fun and engaging group-oriented setting. Working with the Omaha Conservatory of Music Artist-Faculty and other local professionals, half day camp students will participate in a wide range of daily instruction and mini-concert experiences. The camp will conclude with a final concert performance for family and friends. Half day camp is for ages 5 - 8. Students ages 5 and 6, a caregiver or parent chaperone must attend with the student. For students age 7 - 8, parent/guardian are welcome to attend but not required. Audition required for all students: Every student should submit a short video of their most polished piece, no accompaniment necessary.