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.

Good Shepherd Communities

Bb Cornets
B-flat Cornets

On Saturday, March 31, 2017, The 1st Nebraska performed for the good people living in the Good Shepherd Communities in Blair, Nebraska. They set us up in their chapel, which proved to be a wonderful space in which to perform. The aesthetics were beautiful and the atmosphere was friendly.

We debuted two new selections on Saturday. The first was an arrangement of two Stephen Foster songs, “I Dream of Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair” and “Beautiful Dreamer.” These were sung by E-flat Cornetist James Lund. James has a beautiful tenor voice, and he did a marvelous job interpreting the two songs. During the mid-nineteenth century Stephen Foster was America’s foremost composer of popular songs, and Jeanie and Dreamer are among his best known.


We also premiered “Beauregard’s Retreat from the Battle of Shiloh.” This is a battle scene depiction for narrator and band of the entire conflict. Battle scenes were popular during the nineteenth century, and the best known is Beethoven’s “Wellington’s Victory.” General Pierre G. T. Beauregard was a well ¬†known Confederate general from Louisiana, who was in command of the troops that shelled Ft. Sumter, and was executive officer of the southern troops at Shiloh. When the commanding general Albert Sidney Johnston was killed Beauregard ordered the hasty retreat of the Confederate army leaving the Union army, under Gen. U. S. Grant, with the victory. The battle scene describes the night before the battle, the attack, and the eventual retreat. There are some humorous descriptions of Beauregard’s retreat in the final movement. We selected this piece because of its novelty and because the 1st Nebraska Infantry played a role in the eventual defeat of the southern army.

Introducing Song

Posted on our video page is “Louisville March” recorded at Saturday’s performance. Check it out!

We were pleased to see some friends from Blair who attended the concert, and to perform for the appreciative audience at Good Shepherd.

Check our 2017 performance schedule and come out to hear one of programs.

2017 Performances Have Begun!

This was a busy weekend for the 1st Nebraska. On Friday, Bill drove to Des Moines to acquire an antique baritone horn from the Liberty Band of Iowa. The maker, William Seefeldt, lived in Philadelphia during the Civil War and later and made a wide range of brass instruments. The baritone we purchased had been completely restored and re-plated to look like new, and it’s a beauty. Playing tests revealed its beautiful open tone and the relative ease of operating its Berliner valves. We’re looking forward to adding this instrument to the band.

Our first performance of 2017 was given yesterday at the Elk Ridge Villages Assisted Living Center. We always enjoy performing for senior citizens because they are so appreciative of our music. Many of the folks used to listen to band concerts in their youth, and some even played in their school or town bands. In addition to standard Civil War favorites, such as, Dixie, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, and the Battle Hymn of the Republic, the 1st Nebraska played a variety of quicksteps and marches. We premiered Washington Greys, Coronation March, George Hart’s Quickstep, Louisville March, and Home, Sweet Home.

Our next outing will be on Saturday, April 1st in Blair, NE, where we’ll perform at the Good Shepherd Communities Senior Center at 10:00 AM. If you’re in the Blair area be sure to drop by. Also stay tuned to our 2017 schedule list as it will be filling rapidly.

Christ Lutheran Church – Sunday, February 28, 2016

1st Nebraska had a great time, and an exellent performance for its first outing of 2016. The bandtraveled to nearby Blair to play for worship at Christ Lutheran Church. In addition to our regulr Civil War repertoire we also accompanied hymns and plyed 2 brass choir arrangements: “O For aThousnd Tongues to Sing”and “It Is Well With My Soul.” During the offertory we played “Tenting on the Old Campground” and for the postlude “Glory Hallelujah! Grand March.”



Following the service 1NVBB moved to the fellowship hall and played a mini-concert during coffee hour. Here we played the usual Civil War songs: National Quickstep (Red, White & Blue), Dixie’sLand QS, Yankee Doodle, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, The Bttle Cry of Freedom, and Battle Hymn Quickstep. We also played the Soldiers’ Chorus from the opera Faust¬†(1859) by Charles Gounod.


The congregation is very friendly and welcoming to guests, and the pastor is a very loving man who preaches powerful sermons. Following the mini-concert the congregation passed the hat and presented us with a genrous donation “to feed our horses and mend our tents.”


The band’s next outing is on Saturday, April 16th in Ashland, NE. We’ll play our full program at the National Air and Space Museum at 10:00 am for their “Music and Science” event.

Christ Lutheran-Blair, February 28

Hi Friends,

The first performance of 2016 kicks-off on Sunday, February 28 at Christ Lutheran Church in Blair, Ne. We’ll be providing service music and playing some of our favorite Civil War tunes during the fellowship hour.

The pre-service music begins at 8:25 with “O, For A Thousand Tongues to Sing” an exciting fanfare-like arrangement sure to wake everyone up, ready to lift their hearts in worship. During the service we’ll play on the congregational hymns, and play a special arrangement of “It Is Well with My Soul.”

Following the service we’ll move to the fellowship hall for coffee and baked goods and Civil War music. We’ll begin playing a new (to us) arrangement of Dixie’s Land Quickstep, and the Soldier’s Chorus from the opera “Faust” (1859) by French composer Charles Gounod. This arrangement comes from the 3rd New Hampshire Band. In addition we’ll play several of our regular patriotic and popular songs.

So, get up early on Sunday and travel to Blair. Meet the very friendly folks at the church and listen to some great music. Hope to see you there!