"What If..." Original Music

A project about creativity and innovation should feature original music by Nebraska composers!

So in our stories we showcase original music, submitted for "What If..." use by a wide range Nebraska composers. Since 2019 we've used 143 pieces of music created by 33 different composers in our award-winning stories and shows!

Submission details:

  • Nebraska composers of all ages and levels; finished music with no lyrics and at least 30 seconds long; WAV format, 48K, 24 bit stereo; and all styles and multiple submissions are welcome!
  • Composers of music will not be paid, but will be notified and credited while the piece is being used in a segment, during end credits and on the "What If..." web site.
  • Composers retain all rights for other uses of their music, and any submitted pieces will only be used in "What If..."
  • Send your original music (and any questions) to "What If..." producer/host Mike Tobias at mtobias@NebraskaPublicMedia.org.

These songs were used in these What If... segments, listed with the composer who created the piece.

D-Wayne - Season 5, Episode 1

  • “Cerulean Shadows” by Michael Stephens
  • “My Neighbors’ Singing Dogs” by John Carlini
  • “Mysterious Trap” by Alana Triplett
  • “Untitled Beatboxing” by D-Wayne Taylor (Kreutz mix)

Nerd Creativity - Season 5, Episode 1

  • "Sparrow Song" by John Carlini
  • "Dark Dreams" by Lawrence Chatters
  • "Cascade" by Michael Fitzsimmons
  • "Flight" by Eshaan Giri
  • "Era of the Setting Sun" by Thomas Hughes
  • "That Night" by Thomas Hughes
  • “Cruzin” by Tatyana Moreira
  • "Everything" by Solus Synthetica

Fast Forward - Season 5, Episode 2

  • "Back to Morning" and House of Mirrors" by Daniel Christian
  • "A Capriccio in G" by Don Clausen
  • " On the Run Around the Cosmic Serpent’s Rainbow" by Richard Jones
  • " Symphony in E Major: III: Presto giocoso" by Winston Schneider

Tri Faith - Season 5, Episode 2

  • “Stars” by Michael Fitzsimmons”
  • “Electrophobia” by Shawn Bell
  • “Haiku” by Krista Connelly
  • “Tristesse” by Sheryl Radke
  • “Black Elk Sings, mvt 3” by Michael Murphy

Little Church - Season 5, Episode 2

  • “Toccata in D Minor” by Matthew Haakenson
  • “River” by Peter Sukstorf
  • “March of Honor” by Eshaan Giri

MIND Mobile - Season 5, Episode 2

  • "Speed of Life" by Lawrence Chatters
  • “The Trees” by Solus Synthetica
  • “Three Times a Charm” by Conner McConnell
  • “The Heart’s Home” by Sheryl Radke
  • "DOH" by Lawrence Chatters

Surgical Robot - Season 5, Episode 1

  • "Completion" by Nathan Todhunter
  • “Foxtrot for the Rising Stars of Pleiades” by Richard Jones
  • “Friends” by John Carlini

No More Empty Pots – Season 4, Episode 1

  • "Juliana" by Daniel Christian
  • "Shnookums" by Don Clausen
  • "Grocery Shopping with Tomita" by John Carlini
  • "Joydance" by Michael Fitzsimmons

Making Macarons – Season 4, Episode 1

  • "Get Twerking Daddy" by John Carlini
  • "Fire Dancers" by Michael Fitzsimmons

Good Living Camp – Season 4, Episode 1

  • "Salt Creek Tiger Beetle Quintet 1st Movement" by Winston Schneider
  • “Cruzin” by Tatyana Moreira
  • “Hard at Work” by Conner McConnell
  • "Dolmure” by Chris Wheeler

Ranch Technology – Season 4, Episode 1

Trick Shots cold open – Season 4, Episode 2

  • "Journey Through Lost Time" by Thomas Hughes

American Outlaws – Season 4, Episode 2

  • “Lost in Panama” by William Danze
  • “Emotional Value” by Visual Aura
  • “Mbira” by Michael Fitzsimmons
  • “The Lies Between Us” by Visual Aura
  • “Duke Flute” by John Carlini
  • “Diamante” by Byron Jensen

Opendorse – Season 4, Episode 2

  • “All Dressed Up with No Place to Go” by Stephen Tefft
  • “Was That the Door” by John Carlini
  • "Better Now" by Philip Daniel

SheMate – Season 4, Episode 2

  • "Serendipity" by Sheryl Radke
  • "A Winter’s Moon" by Jonathan Jaworski, performed by UNK Symphonic Band

Whiteclay Makerspace – Season 4, Episode 2

  • “Black Elk Sings, second movement” by Michael Murphy
  • “Ponca Corn Comes Home” by Michael Murphy
  • “Phoenix” by Michael Murphy
  • “Hope for Peace” by Michael Murphy
  • “Foxtrot for the Rising Stars of Pleiades” by Richard Jones

Wyatt's Bomb Squad - Season 4 digital extra

Season 3, Episode 1 theme music

  • “Swashbuckling Revelation” by Thomas Hughes

Offutt Lab - Season 3, Episode 1

  • “The Raven” by Billy Tefft 
  • “Al Lado Del Mar” by Eshaan Giri
  • “Unfold” by Philip Daniel
  • “Prayer” by Stephen Tefft

Fungus Creations - Season 3, Episode 1

  • “Nocturne” by Matthew Haakenson
  • “The Factory” by Conner McConnell
  • “Genesis” by Conner McConnell
  • “Keeper” by John Carlini

Retail Aware - Season 3, Episode 1

Grain Weevil - Season 3, Episode 1

  • “Ra” by Eshaan Giri
  • “Afterthought” by Krista Connelly, performed by Louis Raymond-Kolker, steel pans
  • “Finally” by John Carlini
  • “That Evening” by Thomas Hughes

Experimental Music - Season 2, Episode 1

Feya Candles - Season 2, Episode 1

Storm Chasing - Season 2, Episode 1

Raising Shrimp - Season 2, Episode 2

  • "'Surrender' from 'Two Poems'" by Krista Connelly, feat. Adam Pelandini (saxophone) and Aaron Hirsch (piano)
  • "The Pasture" by Eshaan Giri
  • "Happy Morning" by Conner McConnell
  • "Mischief" by Conner McConnell

Root Research - Season 2, Episode 2

Upstream Farms - Season 2, Episode 2

  • "Eclipse" by Jonathan Jaworski, performed by the Univ of Nebraska at Kearney Wind Ensemble
  • "Random Funk" by Conner McConnell
  • "Salamanca" by Dmitrii Shaposhnikov
  • "Shadow Man" by Simon Tefft
  • "Homecoming" by Nathan Todhunter

On the Go Gelato - Season 2, Episode 2

Dog Braces - Season 2, Episode 3

  • "For Her" by Philip Daniel feat. Shawn Williams
  • "Sprightly" by Eshaan Giri
  • "Three Times a Charm" by Conner McConnell
  • "Mom's Heart" by Dmitrii Shaposhnikov
  • "Over All of This" by Rob Temple

Homestead Painting Restoration - Season 2, Episode 3

Spidercam - Season 2, Episode 3

Mullen Remote Education - Season 2, Episode 3

  • "III. Nocturne" by Mathew Fuerst
  • "Olympus" by Eshaan Giri
  • "Overcoming" by Dmitrii Shaposhnikov
  • "Lonely" by Simon Tefft
  • "The Jolly Friar" by Stephen Tefft

Do Space - Season 2, Episode 4

Bike Union - Season 2, Episode 4

  • "Dandelion" by Daniel Christian
  • "All Dressed Up With No Place to Go" by Stephen Tefft
  • "Discovery" by Nathan Todhunter

Highlander - Season 2, Episode 4

  • “Crossing Paths” by Peter Sukstorf
  • “Crusin Around for the 80s Sound” by Jaymeson Pon
  • “Music of the City” by Conner McConnell
  • “To Build a Bond So Strong” by Josh Spaulding
  • “Homage” by Shawn Bell
  • “Innovation” by Eshaan Giri

Ord Economic Development - Season 1, Episode 1

UNO Biomechanics - Season 1, Episode 1

  • “Happiness & Celebration” by Dmitri Shaposhnikov
  • “Juniper” by Philip Daniel, feat. Shawn Williams
  • “Bruisin' the Bricks” by Daniel Christian
  • "Pursuit of Happiness" by Conner McConnell
  • "Sunday Comics" by Peter Sukstorf

Winston - Season 1, Episode 1

Church Renovation - Season 1, Episode 1

UNMC's iEXCEL - Season 1, Episode 2

  • “The Tiny Sailboat” by Conner McConnell
  • “Shards of Light” by Josh Spaulding
  • “Progress” by Nathan Todhunter

Quantified Ag - Season 1, Episode 2

Growing Great Beginnings - Season 1, Episode 2

Flywheel Workplace Culture - Season 1, Episode 2

Listen to a special episode of The Verge featuring music by our What If... composers!

Dmitrii Shaposhnikov sits before three tiered keyboards, singing and playing
Dmitrii Shaposhnikov (Artist Provided)
Daniel Christian, dressed in white shirt with black tie and vest, sleeves rolled up, plays a guitar standing up while singing
Daniel Christian (Liliedahl Imaging)
Meredith Ollerich poses with trumpet on a bench outside in bright sunshine, wearing long, sleeveless black dress
Meredith Ollerich (Swinarski Photography)