Eight of the students admitted to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music voice program for 2023-2024 were invited to compete on April 2 for one of the three $1000 scholarships funded by Friends of Opera.  The winners were chosen by an independent panel of judges that included Susan Levine Ourada, Associate Professor of Dance and Director of Dance Studies at UNL, Missy Noonan, Board member of Friends of Opera, and Paul Robinson, Music Director at St. Paul United Methodist Church of Lincoln.

Let’s meet our winners:


Samantha Wallenburg, a soprano from Lenexa, Kansas sang “Deh Vieni Non Tardar“ fom the opera The Marriage of Figaro.  She served as co-choir president at her high school, Shawnee Mission West.  Samantha is excited to continue pursuing music at UNL.  Outside of choir she enjoys cinematography, volleyball, and speech.  Double majoring in music and actuarial science, she will also be enrolling in UNL’s Raikes School of Computer Science and Management.



Bri Stai, a mezzo-soprano from Lincoln and graduate of Norris High School, said that she has been “singing, acting, and playing many different sports since I was very young.”  She originally enrolled in a college as a basketball recruit in 2021, but injuries forced her to leave school.  While recovering from her injuries, she taught music for a youth theater program and taught voice lessons with her sister. These experiences resurfaced her love of music and refocused her college plans.  Bri is excited about pursuing a degree in vocal music at UNL.  She also sang an aria from The Marriage of Figaro, “Voi, che sapete.”


Addi Stueve graduated from Bellevue West High School in Bellevue, Nebraska.  Her winning aria was “Il mio bel foco” by Francesco Conti.  Addi says her life revolves around singing and acting and music is her favorite thing in the world.  She is also a cat enthusiast and loves cuddling with her cat.