Lebita, Zuloaga awarded Glenn Korff Distinguished Artist/Scholar Awards

Sean Lebita and Florencia Zuloaga
Sean Lebita and Florencia Zuloaga

The Glenn Korff Distinguished Undergraduate and Graduate Artist/Scholar Awards were awarded as part of the Glenn Korff School of Music Honors Day Convocation on Thursday, April 29, 2021 as part of a virtual, online celebration.

Intended to recognize and reward excellence in performance and/or scholarship in the Glenn Korff School of Music, the winners of these prestigious awards for 2021 are – Undergraduate: Sean Lebita; Graduate: Florencia Zuloaga.

Sean Lebita is a junior Piano Performance major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He started playing piano in 2007. At UNL, Sean has been focused on piano studying under Dr. Paul Barnes as a classical pianist and an active chamber musician. He won the Nebraska MTNA Young Artist competition for piano in 2018. Despite his studies being mostly classical focused, he continues to play jazz at the Glenn Korff School of Music. He is the pianist for the UNL Jazz Orchestra, plays with the undergraduate and graduate jazz combos, and performs with the Prism Trio. He is also an active church musician who has served various parishes. Sean’s diverse skill set allows him to play many different roles as a pianist. He also plays various gigs around the Lincoln-Omaha area. Sean is a collegiate member of the Lincoln Music Teachers Association and works with fellow pianists and teaches online. In his free time, Sean likes to speed solve Rubik’s Cubes and binge watch YouTube videos.

Native of Argentina, pianist Florencia Zuloaga is a versatile performer who thrives at the intersections of classical, Latin-American and jazz genre. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Music Arts at the University of Nebraska Lincoln with an emphasis on Piano Performance with the guidance of pianist Paul Barnes. Florencia completed a Master in Piano Performance in the University of Arkansas, where she studied with acclaimed pianist Jura Margulis, and a Graduate Certificate under the guidance of Dr. Tomoko Kashiwagi. While studying in Arkansas, she received the “Carolyn Hickson” 2019 Piano Scholarship and the First Prize in the 2018 Concerto Competition, performing Maurice Ravel’s Piano “Concerto in G” with the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra. She was also finalist for the 2019 edition of Northwest Arkansas “Artist 360” program. Being a member of the Jazz Combo at the University of Arkansas, she toured across the state and performed at the 2019 Network Jazz Conference in Reno, Nevada. Having played in the principal venues of Buenos Aires, Florencia has won several piano competitions in her home country. Another major point of her career was her performance of Mozart’s Concerto No 9 K. 271 “Jeunehomme” with the Amadeus Radio Orchestra in Buenos Aires in 2012. She graduated with honors from the “Manuel de Falla” Music Conservatory in Buenos Aires and holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the National Arts University (Argentina). Florencia is an advocate for the performance of underrepresented composers. She has recently participated in the USA premiere of a two-piano arrangement of Victoria Bond’s “Black Light” Piano Concerto with soloist Madeline Rogers. Florencia’s doctoral research project involves works by Argentinean women composers, featuring the recent USA Premiere of the Piano Sonata (1938) by composer Lita Spena (1904-1989). She has appeared as presenter and performer in multiple music conferences in Buenos Aires, including the II National Piano Conference in Argentina (2014).

Other awards and recognitions were handed out as well including:

Edith Kern Sandfort Memorial Scholarship (Music Education) – Katherine Schmit

Ida M. Vreeland Awards in Music (Composition) – Undergraduate: Sam Stanley; Graduate: John Cope

Tous Scholarships – Alyssa Soppe, Josh Brooks, Katherine Schmit

The Hoyt Marching Band Scholarships – Alaina Blaker, Kason Fielder, Lukas Stelzle

The Tony J. Kirkpatrick Memorial Scholarship – Alyse Monismith

The Tyler Butterfield Memorial Scholarship – Paul Circo

The Duane and Laurine Zastrow Marching Band Awards – Glenna Fulitano, Justin Richard

Don and Carole Burt Vocal Excellence Scholarship – Madeline Stark

Leesa Crnogorac Scholarship – Jacob Fee

Anne and William L. Porter Award for Creativity in Dance – Thao Duong

Ruth Diamond Levinson Dance Award – Hannah Rothermich

Presser Scholar – India Enter