Even the world's best musicians have to start somewhere.
A recent article from the Omaha World-Herald celebrated the talents of Cole Palensky. Palensky, 17, is a high school student from Papillion, Neb. who received the rare opportunity to learn from master musicians and even perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City as one of just 22 high school students from across the country to participate in NYO Jazz, a program that supports elite, young musicians.
Prior to his trip to New York, Palensky spent a week in June on the UNO campus as part of the annual UNO Jazz Camp. Palensky has spent several years at the UNO Jazz Camp where young musicians from across the region come to learn and perform with professional musicians.
That's not the only UNO influence on Palensky. He is also a member of the Metropolitan Area Youth Jazz Orchestra (MAYJO), a UNO-sponsored ensemble featuring the finest high school students from the Omaha area.
"It has been fun to watch Cole develop as a musician over the years through his participation in UNO's Metropolitan Area Youth Jazz Orchestra," says Pete Madsen, director of jazz studies at UNO. "He has progressed rapidly to become a very fine young musician as evidenced by his ability to win nationally competitive auditions on several occasions. Cole is also a nice, polite young man and it's a pleasure working with him."
One of UNO's own faculty is also closely connected with Palensky. Darren Pettit, D.M.A., assistant professor of music and a UNO alumnus himself, has personally trained Palensky on his preferred instrument - the saxophone.
“He’s fantastic,” Pettit told the World-Herald. “I’ve been teaching sax to students pretty close to 30 years and he is hands-down the most talented student I’ve ever seen.”
While Palensky's music career is just getting started, it is clear he's a true Maverick musician poised for greatness with UNO there to support him along the way.
Read the rest of the article, "Papillion teen is going places with his tenor sax. Next stops: Carnegie Hall and Europe"
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.