NCDA Awards

Cornell Runestad Award for Lifetime Dedication to Choral Music in Nebraska

You will need to provide contact information for yourself and the nominee, as well as, a statement regarding his/her work.


The Cornell Runestad Award is to be given to a deserving choral director in Nebraska. It is to honor those professionals that have made the commitment to singers in Nebraska through choirs under their direction. These conductors have spent a significant portion of their careers in the State of Nebraska. They may have worked with choirs of any level or variety. The inspiration of their artistry has touched many lives, and has set the bar for the many directors who follow in their paths. In short, they have left a legacy.

Named for Cornell Runestad, this award uses as a model the dedication of a man that used his own varied experiences in choral music to develop a choral program at Wayne State College. Under Runestad’s direction, this choir consistently represented the best in our choral art. Choirs in school districts and colleges around the state are being led by former students from Wayne State. The collegiality that is consistently shown by Dr. Runestad has offered encouragement to choral directors of every level. Through his kind nature, he has been able to inspire each of us to be determined in our resolve to be the best that we can be. In this way we offer the singers of Nebraska nothing less than excellence.

This award is to be awarded as deemed appropriate by the President of the Nebraska Choral Directors Association. Only one should be granted at a time. This will allow for the due respect to be given the deserving recipient.

Cornell Runestad Award for Lifetime Dedication to Choral Music in Nebraska Nomination Form






Please describe the candidate's contribution to choral music in Nebraska.

Make specific comments regarding sites where this person has taught/directed and the length of service at each site. Include information regarding evidence of creativity, originality, activities and honors received, community impact, etc.


Cornell Runestad Award

  • 2019 TBD
  • 2018 Jim Elsberry (posthumously)
  • 2017 Randy Hayes
  • 2016 David Cecil
  • 2015 Fred Ritter
  • 2014 Boyd Bacon
  • 2013 Cheri Helmer-Riensche
  • 2012 Dr. William Wyman
  • 2011 Dr. Roger MacNeill
  • 2010 Robert Yanike
  • 2009 Carolee Curtright
  • 2008 Don Reimer
  • 2007 Jon Peterson
  • 2006 Ray Miller
  • 2005 Earl F. (Pete) Jenkins
  • 2004 Don Peters
  • 2003 Cornell Runestad