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.


Merry Christmas 2017


1st Nebraska wishes all our friends, near and far, the Merriest of Christmases. May you be surrounded by family and friends. May sincere love be shared abroad. May you experience the Peace that Jesus brings. Celebrate the Night of Miracles!

See you in 2018!

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 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

Learn more about 1st Nebraska on our

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!


FOUND: The Grave Marker of Joseph A. Brown

Joseph A. Brown was the Leader of the original 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry’s Regimental Band. He was born in Baden-Wurtemburg, Germany in 1837 and immigrated to the US in 1849-1850. According to the 1860 US Census, Brown married Adelphena ___ from Missouri, and had a daughter Josephine who was born in 1859. At the time of the census the Browns were living in Omaha, and Joseph was employed as a musician.

Joseph Brown enlisted in the 1st Nebraska Infantry in June 1861, and was appointed Leader of the Regimental Band. He and the rest of the band were mustered out of service in August, 1862. That appears to end Brown’s military duty.

Joseph Brown's Grave Marker
Joseph Brown’s Grave Marker

Next, Joseph Brown shows up in Bozeman, Montana in the 1870 US Census working in the Spieth and Krug Brewery. In 1890, Brown applies for an Invalid Pension listing Montana as the state of application, and with his service listed as Principal Musician Band,1st Nebraska Infantry.

At this point I don’t know what happened to Brown’s wife or daughter.

Joseph Brown seems to have lived out the remainder of his life in Montana, often working as a placer miner and boarding in Gardner Park and Chico in Missoula County. The date of his death has not been verified as there are several Joseph Brown’s that worked as miners in various Montana locales. But it seems likely that his death occurred about 1916.

The news of today is: I found Joseph Brown’s grave marker using Billion Graves and Find a Grave. It’s located in the Florence-Carlton Cemetery across the road from Old Carlton Church in Missoula, Montana.

This is a GREAT find!