Party Like It’s 1880!

On Saturday evening, August 24, 2019, Joslyn Castle, the former residence of George and Sarah Joslyn, in Omaha, Nebraska, held an 1880s style Summer Fete. On the grounds were lawn games like croquet and badminton, and dinner tents for a royal feast.

The event was a recreation of a fete that the Joslyns held for their neighbors back in the late nineteenth century. According to the Joslyn Castle website: “The original Summer Fete featured a Russian tea room, fortune tellers, lawn games, refreshments, and music from the military brass band on loan from Fort Crook.” The 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band provided the period music to help bring the event to life.

We greatly enjoyed playing at the castle, and the temperatures in the low 70s made our wool coats very comfortable. We were greeted by a lawyer who had played trombone in high school. He asked why there were no trombones in our recreated Civil War band, and we commented on the dusty roads on which the armies marched that were death to trombone slide mechanisms due to all the grit that would grind away on the metal surfaces.

Another visitor from New York State commented that we were playing “America’s music,” and that none of the European countries of the nineteenth century performed American patriotic and popular songs.

All in all it was a great evening for the attendees and the band alike.

Vintage Wheels at the Fort – August 18th

It’s time for Ft. Omaha’s annual auto show; and what a show it is! Not only do you get classic cars from the ’50s, but there are cars from the 1920s and maybe even the 1910s. You can even get an old car ride at the show.

The 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band provides old-time music to go with the old-time cars in the Douglas County Historical Society’s annual car show. Held this year on Sunday, August 18, the band will kick-off its program at noon.

In addition to cars and music, there are some good eats to be had! The aroma of freshly grilled sausage always wafts through the air making everyone’s mouth water.

So come out to Ft. Omaha on Sunday the 18th and enjoy some good music, good food, and see some great old cars! The event is free!

Wessels Farm Saturday

Join the 1st Nebraska this Saturday, August 10, at Wessels Living History Farm in York, NE. We’re playing for their annual Summer Fair and we begin at noon on the porch of the farm house.

Wessels Farm is located on Rte. 81 just south of the I-80 interchange.

Plenty to see and do at this free event.

Glorious Time in Northfield

The 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band returned from the Vintage Band Festival in Northfield, MN on Sunday afternoon. We had a GLORIOUS time during our 3.5 days in the beautiful victorian town, and played a total of 7 performances. There were about 50 bands at the festival including one from Germany and one from Belgium.

The festival, which occurs every three years features bands that recreate different eras in American history, including Civil War, Cowboy Rodeo, Victorian, and World War I. It was a treat to hear so many wonderful performances by dedicated musicians and to hear such a variety of music being played.

1st Nebraska opened its slate of performances with a Thursday evening informal concert on the deck of our hotel. That was followed on Friday by formal concerts on the Way Park Stage and later the main stage at Bridge Square Park.

On Saturday, we presented a paper on the history of the 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry Regiment Band of 1861-1862, and then played in the Battle of the Bands along with 7 other groups on either bank of the Cannon River. That last event recalls several times during the Civil War where Union bands and Confederate bands serenaded their respective troops on either side of a river the night preceding a battle.

Saturday evening found the band playing for the crowd at the Reunion Restaurant, Northfield’s hot spot. Then on Sunday morning, the band provided special music for the worship service at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.

This was our first experience playing in the Vintage Band Festival. We want to thank our host and festival director Paul Niemisto for the invitation to participate, and we look forward to 2022, the year of the next festival, and to our hopeful return.

Next Up – Vintage Band Festival

The next set of performances for the 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band will be in Northfield, Minnesota on August 1-August 4, 2019. We’ll be participating in the Vintage Band Festival that will include 15 bands from around the country and some from overseas, as well. Bands will be performing ethnic traditions, Victorian American, World War One American, and American Civil War styles. The festival is free to the public and Northfield is a great example of a Victorian town. Did you know that Jesse James staged his last Train robbery there?

Come out to Northfield to see us.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 1

8:00 PM FAIRFIELD INN AND SUITES

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2

12:00 PM WAY PARK BANDSTAND

3:00 PM BRIDGE SQUARE BANDSTAND

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3

9:00 AM EARLY BRASS SYMPOSIUM, WEITZ CENTER, CARLETON COLLEGE

12:00 PM BATTLE OF THE BANDS, CANNON RIVER RIVERWALK

8:00 PM REUNION RESTAURANT

SUNDAY, AUGUST 4

9:00 AM ST. PETER’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, NORTHFIELD, SERVICE

July 13th Performances in Council Bluffs and Fremont

Next up for 1st Nebraska are 2 gigs on Saturday, July 13th.

We begin the day in Council Bluffs, IA as we kickoff Railroad Days and the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad. We’ll play in Bayliss Park from 10:30-11:00.

Then on to Fremont, NE where we play for the annual John C Fremont Days. We’ll be in the Chautauqua Tent from 1:00-2:00. Lots of fun family activities and good fair food. Get your sausage and come to the tent for some good old band music.

New music for 2019 includes The Empress Quickstep by Grafulla, and the return of some favorites in Omaha Guards Waltz by Edmund Dworak and Tenting On the Old Campground by Kitteridge. We still have plenty of your Civil War favorites like Dixie, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, and Battle Hymn of the Republic.