Five Westside Students Named Recipients of Nebraska Young Artist Awards


Junior Caden Cervantes plays the trumpet at a Westside band performance. Cervantes recently was awarded a Nebraska Young Artist Award for his trumpet playing skills.

Five Westside students have been announced as recipients of the 2023 Nebraska Young Artist Awards. 

The Nebraska Young Artist Awards recognize 11th grade students who excel in visual art, dance, music, theater, film and emerging media arts. Students applied for the recognition and submitted examples of their work. 59 students across the state were selected for this honor.

Junior Elise Templeton received an award for her excellence in dance. Templeton explained how she heard about the application.

“The director of my dance studio received information about it, and she encouraged me to apply,” Templeton said. 

Templeton said there were many parts to the application.

“Students can apply themselves, but you do need to get a letter of rec from a guide or someone who knows you as part of the application process,” Templeton said. “I had to fill out a few questions about why I wanted to apply, as well as answer a few questions and send in some videos of me dancing.”

After dancing for the majority of her life, Templeton said she is well-versed in many different styles of dance.

“This is my 14th year [dancing],” Templeton said. “I primarily do ballet, but also I do some musical theater, tap and contemporary through Adair Dance Academy.”

Templeton said she is eager to see how the award will impact her future.

“It was exciting just knowing the opportunities it would give me,” Templeton said. 

Junior Caden Cervantes received an award for his superior trumpet performance. Cervantes said he submitted many different types of music as part of his application.

“My band director Mr. Krueger told me that I had a high chance of making it, so I just auditioned and submitted everything that I think I’m talented at, and I just went with it,” Cervantes said. “I played trumpet with jazz, I played classical parts and then I played some high trumpet parts as well.”

Cervantes explained how the award will grant him more opportunities within the music world.

“It puts my name out for UNL, and some of the big wigs in the music industry in Omaha actually see that, so I guess it’s just putting my name out there,” Cervantes said.

Cervantes explained what recipients of the award will receive at the ceremony on April 5.

“I get a little plaque, and I get a professional photo and a tour of UNL,” Cervantes said.