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Gering student chosen as Nebraska Young Artist: Sabala among 64 students in state chosen to perform at UNL
February 27, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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Ciara Sabala

The Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has announced the winners of the 17th annual Nebraska Young Artist awards. Among the winners is Gering student Ciara Sabala, an alto saxophone player in the high school jazz band.

The awards recognize 11th-grade students from Nebraska who are gifted and talented in the areas of visual art, dance, music, theatre, and film and new media. These students exemplify the pinnacles of creativity in one of the fine and performing arts.

Sixty-four students from more than 35 high schools across the state have been selected to participate in the special day of activities on April 9 at UNL.

Students applied for the recognition and submitted an example of their work. Applications were received from 188 students across the state.

Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts faculty chose the 64 students who will come to campus to be recognized.

“I really push this award because it’s a big deal,” said Gering Director of Bands Randy Raines. “They do a nice job of honoring these kids at UNL. I had three people audition and they picked Ciera. She’s one of our better players.”

Raines said he’s had students who were awarded as Nebraska Young Artists the past four years. “Dr. Paul Haar, the saxophone instructor at UNL is one of the judges,” he said. “He also picked Vanessa Woolsey last year, so he’s been very impressed with our kids.”

Sabala said knowing that her classmate had won the award last year made her a bit nervous. “When I got the email, I was really excited. I’ve worked so hard on it and I was really proud of what I accomplished.”

For her audition, Sabala performed a contest piece called “Andante and Allegro,” which she played the previous year for district competition. “The jazz band isn’t as structured as a concert band, so we get to have fun with the music,” she said.

Sabala, a junior, said she hasn’t chosen a college yet, but is leaning toward a major in music education. Eventually, she would like to teach.

Honored students will take tours of the arts facilities, attend classes, and meet faculty and college students. Their parents will also be invited, and they will also take tours, as well as receive information on careers in the arts and college curriculum.

Students selected to participate in the Nebraska Young Artist Awards will also be asked to nominate the teacher who provided them with the greatest amount of mentoring and support in the development of their special talents.
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