How UNO Helps with the Sounds of Marian’s Orchestra

By J1 Reporter Ellie Farner

    Getting to see—and hear for that matter—orchestra students progress from point A to point B is just one of the reasons why fine arts teacher Mr. Paul Niedbalski truly appreciates the time that he gets to spend working with Marian’s orchestra. “I just love to hear the improvement,” Niedbalski said. 


Students are gathered around a UNO instructor, eager to learn more from him. Photo by Emily Lamilla ’20

    With the help of the UNO’s string faculty, Marian students are able to learn from some of Omaha’s top orchestra professionals. This is all because of Partners in Performance. Partners in Performance is a program that Marian participates in, together with Omaha South in which members of UNO’s string faculty are sent to work with the students and offer their expertise.

These members are some of the best professionals around; some are even a part of the Omaha symphony. Niedbalski knows that Partners in Performance is great for Marian orchestra students. “It’s a chance for me and the girls to learn from the best of the best,” he said.

   The students also really appreciate this program as well. “After a while you get used to hearing the same corrections from the same person and you feel as you don’t improve. So, when we have the people from UNO coming in to work with us, we are told new concepts and techniques that we had never thought of or talked about before,” sophomore violinist Emily Lamilla said.

    Senior Kaylie Ewing, who has been playing the violin since third grade, said, “The professionals that come in to help us are really influential. The best part [of the program] is being able to learn from them.” Ewing said that it has been very helpful to work with the UNO members and they help with many parts of the orchestra’s music pieces.

    Sophomore Shruthi Kumar, who has been playing the violin since fourth grade, said she enjoyed playing with a larger orchestra. Marian played with both Omaha South’s orchestra and UNO’s orchestra in their final performance on Nov. 21 at the Strauss Performing Arts Center on UNO’s campus. “It has been really great to play with a large orchestra because the Marian orchestra consists of six or seven girls, and I had lost touch of what it felt like to move together in a large group, so that was really nice.”

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