Rainy Day at Ft. Atkinson

Sunday was the annual Washington County Heritage Days at Ft. Atkinson. If you live near Omaha you know it rained. That’s really a shame for this festival that’s trying to make its mark in Eastern Nebraska. The 1st Nebraska showed up to play as planned and discovered that there was no crowd, no vendors, and a bleak atmosphere.

In spite of the weather, the band played through its music for the organizers and staffers that had to brave the rain. Fortunately, we had a tent to play under, so that when it poured we remained dry.

Here are a few photos of the day taken by one of our tenor horn players, Jeff Ingraham. Jeff can be seen in the selfie. Another photo shows alto horn player Gary MIller talking with a re-enactor from Ft. Atkinson. Interesting mix of periods, Civil War and post War of 1812. Finally, you can also see the backside of our drummers, Bruce Chapman and Carl Highman. Bruce is playing our newly purchased rope tension snare drum.

Our outdoor season has concluded, but we hope to perform some Christmas music in the area in December. Keep watching for the announcements of time and place.

Advertisements

Washington County Heritage Days, October 6-7

The annual Washington County Heritage Days is soon upon us. The event will again be held in Ft. Calhoun and at Ft. Atkinson on October 6th & 7th. Come out to see old time machinery, crafts, clothing, rides, and, of course, good music.

The 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band will perform under the tent at Ft. Atkinson from Noon to 1:00 on Sunday, October 7th. The Fort’s cannon will signal the start of our program of authentic Civil War era music. Our musical arrangements come from the books of actual Civil War bands of both the North and the South. We’ll play lots of toe-tapping marches, polkas, and patriotic songs, plus music of popular composers of the mid-19th Century.

New this year, the band will feature it’s recently purchased rope-tension snare drum, made for us by the Florance Drum Company of Pennsylvania. The drum was hand crafted following the pattern of snare drums used in the Civil War. Four of our cornet players will be performing on period authentic rotary valve instruments, such as the one in the photo below. These instruments all help us to recreate an authentic sound of a mid-19th century brass band.

We hope that you’ll come out and enjoy the fun of an old-time fall festival and listen to our great music. See you on October 7th at Ft. Atkinson!

Concert in Stromsburg

1st Nebraska returns to Stromsburg Friday evening, July 6, 2018 for a First Friday Concert at 7:00 pm in the park on the city’s town square.

The band played last year as a part of Stromsburg’s Swedish Festival, participating both in the parade and an evening concert. We were pleased to receive an invitation to return as a part of the City’s First Friday Concert Series.

1st Nebraska will play a variety of musical styles all taken from the Civil War and middle of the Nineteenth Century. Our featured soloist is tenor James Lund who will sing a medley of Stephen C. Foster’s well known songs “I Dream of Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair” and “Beautiful Dreamer.” The band also will play the “Coronation March from Le Prophete” and the “Firemen’s Polka” in addition to standard patriotic repertoire.

Come on out tomorrow evening for this free concert in an very enjoyable setting.

Community Band Festival

community band fest posterOmaha is going to host its first community Band Festival of the Midlands featuring some of the finest musicians in the greater metro area. The setting for the festival is the absolutely gorgeous Turner Park at Midtown Crossing in Omaha. There is a wonderful stage on which to perform and a large grassy area for the audience to sit and listen to the great music being played.

Reserve the date: Saturday, June 30, 2018 from noon to dusk. 1st Nebraska performs in the middle of the program at 3:00.

1st Nebraska Gets New Cornet

Our cornet section auditioned a new (for us) Martin SARV B-flat cornet today. We’re purchasing the instrument from a friend who has a surplus of restored instruments. This will make a fine addition to our band.

We had a round robin try-out for the instrument and discovered that it has a trumpet shank receiver, so most of our cornet mouthpieces don’t work. However, it has very nice compression in all three valves and responds very freely.

The instrument was manufactured in NY, and the maker’s plate gave the address where he produced instruments from 1871-1873 before moving to larger quarters. The horn has no spit valves, showing that it was made in the same pattern as Civil War instruments.

We look forward to hearing it in ensemble with our other vintage instruments.

Opening the Ken Burns Quilt Exhibit

1st Nebraska had a great time last Friday evening, February 2, 2018, performing for a large and appreciative audience at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum in Lincoln. We provided music for the opening of the Ken Burns quilt collection exhibition. Several new pieces for 2018 received their first performance, notably: Captain Shepherd’s Quickstep, The Fireman’s Polka, and The Girl I Left Behind Me.

Following our performance we had the opportunity to mingle with the crowd, and we received many compliments on our program. Here’s a couple of photos.