1st Nebraska was invited to perform for the Grace University Concert Band’s annual fall retreat, which was held Sunday, August 23, 2015 in Suckau Chapel. The students spend a day in bonding and musical activities and frequently invite a musical guest to perform. We were delighted to be invited by band director, Jeff James, who’s a great gentleman and friend.
We played our entire program for the students, who responded with enthusiastic applause throughout the performance. Here are two videos from that concert.
1. Nabucco Quickstep
Civil War bands often serenaded the officers during their evening meal. The officers liked to hear arias and other music from European operas. Claudio S. Grafulla (1812-1880), one of the best composers for bands during the Civil War period, wrote several opera medleys based on tunes for various operas. Nabucco (1841) was a popular opera by Giuseppe Verde (1813-1901), with a story of the plight of the Jews as they are assaulted, conquered and subsequently exiled from their homeland by the Babylonian King Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar). This arrangement comes from the 3rd New Hampshire Regiment Band, aka, The Port Royal Band.
2. Battle Hymn Quickstep
The music to the Battle Hymn of the Republic existed long before Julia Ward Howe penned “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The chorus of “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah” was a Southern camp meeting song, and the verse, written by William Steffe, was used by the soldiers for “John Brown’s Body Lies a Mouldering in the Grave.” However, it was Howe’s 1861 visit to Washington, DC, where she saw all of the encamped soldiers and all of the wounded that her poet’s soul was kindled and set down the immortal words. This arrangement come from the 25th Massachusetts Regiment Band.