1st Nebraska Worships with Immanuel Lutheran

If you’re in the Benson area on Sunday morning November 25th, come worship at Immanuel Lutheran Church (60th and Maple) with the 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band! We’ll be providing special music for the 8:15 and 10:15 services.

Our prelude is the Renaissance carol “Gaudete, Christus est natus” or Rejoice! Jesus is born. The refrain has an infectious rhythm and the verses have beautiful flowing melodies. The anthem will be “Angels We Have Heard On High” that features a short fugal section as well as the traditional cascading lines of “Gloria.” Gustav Holst’s carol “In the Bleak Midwinter” will be played as the offertory, and the postlude is Tchaikovsky’s well-known “Nutcracker March.”

You’ll notice that we’ve broken from our Civil War music mode. Brass players love Christmas music, so, we’re broadening our repertoire to have some musical fun during the holidays.

You can also hear the 1st Nebraska at the Durham Western Heritage Museum on Saturday, December 22nd, from 1:30 to 2:00 pm as we perform the above songs plus some other fine brass Christmas music.

Join us, won’t you!

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.

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.

Washington County Gives, November 28


I’m happy to announce that the 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band will be one of the 501c3 non-profit organizations eligible to receive donations through Washington County Gives. The 24-hour charitable event will be held on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, and 100% of the funds donated will be received by the designated organization. Online donations may be given at WCNEGives.org the day of the event.

1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band is a 15-member musical ensemble providing living history, education, and musical entertainment for the citizens of Nebraska and surrounding areas. The group portrays the band of the original 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry Regiment of 1861-1862. 1st Nebraska wears Union infantry uniforms and plays authentic musical arrangements taken from actual Civil War band books.
1st Nebraska has served Washington County through performances at Christ Lutheran Church, Good Shepherd Communities Assisted Care, and in Ft. Calhoun at the Washington County Heritage Days. Other nearby performances in Nebraska include Bennington, Elkhorn, Plattsmouth, and Omaha. Nearby performances in Iowa include Logan and Woodbine.
Funds donated to 1st Nebraska will be used to support our Living History performances through the purchase of music, uniforms, and period musical instruments.


alto player1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band, a Civil War reenactment band based in Omaha, has immediate openings on E-flat Alto Horn.

Alto Horn plays vital harmonic rhythm parts and occasional melody lines in our authentic Civil War era music. The mouthpiece is slightly larger than a standard trumpet mouthpiece, but the notes read just like regular trumpet music and the fingerings are the same.

1st Nebraska owns both the instrument and uniforms, so getting started in a reenactment group is relatively cost free.

1st Nebraska performs in Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa for Civil War events, civic and patriotic events, community festivals, and public service occasions. We are presently in rehearsals for our 2016 program and have some dates already scheduled.

If you are interested in this opportunity please contact Bill Hall, Leader, at 402.575.8220 or whall1946@gmail.com

Learn more about 1st Nebraska on our website:1stnebraskaband.wordpress.org

Serenading at the Durham Museum

On Sunday afternoon, December 6, 2015, the 1st Nebraska performed before a large and appreciative crowd at the Durham Western Heritage Museum. Each year the museum decorates a huge Christmas tree and places it in the Great Hall. Then on successive weekends the museum sponsors community music groups to perform before the visiting crowds.

Beautiful shot of the Christmas tree and the incredible ceiling of the Durham Museum

The museum is housed in the former Union Pacific Railroad passenger station in downtown Omaha. It has incredible architecture and certainly makes an big impression. As you view the photos be sure to look at the ceiling details.

The basement of the museum houses several pioneer days displays and a huge HO model train layout. It’s worth the visit just to see the trains.

Christmastime at Durham Museum

We enjoyed serenading the public with several modern brass arrangements of favorite hymns and carols, and will repeat the program for the Elk Ridge Villages senior centers this Saturday.

Fill up that crescendo!