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Doane's music and education departments to receive multiple awards from NMEA

Doane's music and education departments to receive multiple awards from NMEA

Doane music performing

Doane’s music department will be center stage at the Nebraska Music Education Association (NMEA) awards banquet Thursday evening in Lincoln.


A Doane music faculty member, recent alumnae, and student chapter will all receive awards at the banquet, scheduled for Thursday at 5:30pm at the Cornhusker Marriott hotel.


Dr. Jay Gilbert, director of instrumental music at Doane, will be honored with the Bryan R. Johnson Distinguished Service Award. Megan O’Brien ’15, a K-5 music teacher at Zeman Elementary in Lincoln, will receive the Young Music Educator of the Year award. Additionally, Doane’s student National Association for Music Education (NAfME) chapter will receive the Chapter of Distinction Award.


The NMEA provides continuing education opportunities, recognition, scholarship, and advocacy for the educators. For their students, NMEA offers education, auditions, competition, and performance opportunities. NMEA has approximately 1,200 members across Nebraska and membership is open to all individuals engaged in music teaching or other music education work.


Dr. Gilbert, who is in his 26th year of teaching at Doane, conducts the Doane Concert Band and the Doane Tiger Pep Band. As department chair of the music program, Dr. Gilbert has worked with hundreds of students over the years. He has also been a guest conductor throughout the United States and Canada and has served as a presenter for numerous state conventions and the Midwest International Band/Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. Gilbert is also an internationally-known composer and arranger with several published compositions for Band.


On receiving the Distinguished Service Award, Gilbert said, “I’m humbled to be honored by my peers in this way. It’s wonderful recognition to receive, but what I’m really proud of is our students. Not only did Megan O’Brien get the Young Music Educator of the Year award this year, but Maureen Beck ’12, another Doane graduate, received the award last year.


Both Megan and Maureen are so student-centered and I think that’s what we teach here at Doane -- both in our education program and in our music education program.”


O’Brien interned with Lincoln Public Schools during her senior year at Doane and was offered a job with LPS in the spring. She is in her fourth year teaching at Zeman, where she says she continually implements lessons she learned from Doane into her own classroom.


“Doane prepares its music students to be lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and compassionate leaders in their communities,” O’Brien said. “It makes me very proud to call myself an alumnus of this wonderful institution. I see the future of music education getting even better through the bright, articulate practicum and student teachers I have hosted from Doane.”


Doane’s student NAfME chapter will also be recognized on Thursday, receiving the Chapter of Distinction award.


Kathy Ohlman, who oversees the music education program at Doane, is the chapter advisor for the group, which consists of around 25 music education majors.


One of the biggest events Doane’s student chapter puts on is a cabaret in the winter - a mix of music, theater, and dance that is a student talent show in which proceeds go to the Food Bank in Crete. In the spring, members of the student chapter teach music to students at CEDARS Preschool in Lincoln, a school that primarily consists of students from families with a low socioeconomic background. In addition, the chapter performs at the Children’s Museum in Lincoln, volunteers with the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, assists the admissions department with Music Visit Day, and helps the music department with the set-up of recitals and concerts on campus.


Every college in Nebraska that has a music education program has a NAfME chapter and Doane’s was chosen as the best among them all.


“It’s gratifying that my students are doing quality work and they’re getting quality experiences when they’re preparing to become teachers,” Ohlman said. “For them to receive this statewide recognition, it’s very rewarding.”


Riley Herringer ’20, who was vice president of the chapter last year, is the current president of the chapter. Chelcey Mannel ’19 was president of the group last year, which is the group the award is recognized for.


“We really care about what we’re doing and we want to continue to be more involved on campus and off campus,” Herringer said. “We’re proud of the work we do in the department to keep up our great reputation. It’s a great honor for us to receive this award.”


For more information on NMEA visit their website here.