Poetry & Music Project Concert

Benson Theatre & Livestream

Saturday May 14, 2022

The premier of all eleven original pieces with words Nebraska student poets set to music by composers Alexis Lamb and Matt Browne, performed by Holland Community Opera Fellows Jared Hiscock and Jaime Marie Webb, with Head of Music Sean Kelly. Hosted by Nebraska State Poet Matt Mason and Holland Community Opera Fellow Fernando Antonio Montejano.


Poetry & Music Project: Selections Inspired by Nebraska Flatwater

Gallery 1516

Sunday, May 15, 2022

In collaboration with Gallery 1516, a selection of pieces from the 21/22 Poetry & Music Project inspired by themes of Adam’s Larsen’s installation Nebraska Flatwater at Gallery 1516 will be presented. Performed by Holland Community Opera Fellows Jared Hiscock, Jaime Marie Webb and Fernando Antonio Montejano, with Head of Music Sean Kelly.

2021-22 Selected Poems

Opera Omaha is thrilled to announce the selection of 11 poems for the 2021-22 Poetry & Music Project. These original poems, written by Nebraska students grades 3 through 12, were selected from a pool of 70 submissions. Chosen poems were selected and will be set to music by composers Alexis Lamb and Matt Browne. Their completed works will be performed by Opera Omaha’s Holland Community Opera Fellows, premiering at a free live concert Saturday, May 14, at the Benson Theatre which will also be available for virtual viewing.

The selected poems include:
“Controlled Chaos” Hanna Annis, Gretna High School

“Nature Reassembles” Audra Blessen, Gretna Middle School

“A Bit of Solace” Victoria Bogatz, Lewis & Clark Middle School (Bellevue)

“Dandelion Seeds” Reagan Cheleen, Gretna High School

“Alone” Tom Lacey, Gretna Middle School

“Caterpillar Songs” Ava Larson, Brownell Talbot

“Sea” Phoenix Nehls, Millard South High School

“Piano”, Vivian Williams Gretna Middle School

“Mountain Pride” Jackson Walters, Hayward Elementary

“Zoey the Jelly Fish” Zophia Warren, Hayward Elementary

“Let Me Be” Addison Bailey, Callaway High School

These poets will have the opportunity to work with the composer in a workshop to further develop the piece and collaborate in the behind-the-scenes artistic process.

This year’s themes are inspired by artist Adam Larsen’s immersive installation piece Nebraska Flatwater which explores the natural beauty of Nebraska from a different perspective. Nebraska Flatwater will be installed at Gallery 1516 in Spring 2022, and selected songs will be included in a special performance at the gallery.

Now in its fifth year, Opera Omaha’s Poetry & Music Project is produced in continued partnership with Nebraska Writers Collective and supported in part by Humanities Nebraska. Nebraska Writers Collective identified themes and created prompts, in addition to creating and facilitating writing workshops across the state. Additional Poetry & Music Project partners include The American Opera Project and Gallery 1516.

Themes for Poetry Submissions

Passage of Time

Poetry Book

All submitted poems will be printed in the Poetry & Music Project book which will be distributed to all poets, teachers, concert audience, and available online.

View Book

Project Timeline

September 2021 - Submissions Open
October & November 2021 - Writing Workshops
November 2021 - Submission Deadline
December 2021- Composers Select Poems
January 2022 - Poets of Selected Pieces Notified, Composers Writing Time
March 2022- Music Workshop with Composers and Poets of the Selected Pieces
April 2022- Composers Submit Final Pieces
May 2022- Poetry & Music Project Concert Performance

Project Partners

Poetry & Music Project is supported by

Past Years


For More Information
Contact: Lauren Medici | Opera Omaha Director of Engagement Programs
Lmedici@operaomaha.org | 402-346-7372