Opera Omaha & Nebraska Writers Collective Announce Student Finalists for Poetry & Music Project

By David Salazar

Omaha Opera and the Nebraska Writers Collective has announced student poets for its 4th annual Poetry and Music Project.

Over 500 students from elementary, middle, and high school students across Nebraska took part in the workshops led by project composer Frances Pollock and several Nebraska Writers Collective teaching artists. Of those 500, 11 were selected to further develop their respective pieces with the composer and musicians. The completed works will be presented in a virtual showcase in May of 2021.

The winners include Lily Barry of Lincoln Southwest High, Harper Burgert of Whitetail Elementary, Connor Callen of Hayward Elementary, Heidi Donegan of Callaway Public School, Brooklyn Grandgenett or Lyons-Descatur Northeast, Kyson Lammers of Holy Trinity Elementary, Ava Larson of Lincoln Southwest High, Mackenzie Painter of Lincoln Southwest High, Beckett Pinder of Whitetail Elementary, and Brooklyn Westlund of Lincoln Southwest High.

“It has been wonderful to see the growth of this project over the last four years. By taking the writing workshops virtual this fall, we were able to meet hundreds more students from all across Nebraska. It’s so exciting to see their creativity spark as they make the connection between poetry and music and their own writing. To be able to make that further connection between these young poets and working composers as their pieces are turned into original music is a highlight of our year,” said Lauren Medici, Director of Engagement Programs for Opera Omaha in a press release.