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.

Washington County Heritage Days, October 6-7

The annual Washington County Heritage Days is soon upon us. The event will again be held in Ft. Calhoun and at Ft. Atkinson on October 6th & 7th. Come out to see old time machinery, crafts, clothing, rides, and, of course, good music.

The 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band will perform under the tent at Ft. Atkinson from Noon to 1:00 on Sunday, October 7th. The Fort’s cannon will signal the start of our program of authentic Civil War era music. Our musical arrangements come from the books of actual Civil War bands of both the North and the South. We’ll play lots of toe-tapping marches, polkas, and patriotic songs, plus music of popular composers of the mid-19th Century.

New this year, the band will feature it’s recently purchased rope-tension snare drum, made for us by the Florance Drum Company of Pennsylvania. The drum was hand crafted following the pattern of snare drums used in the Civil War. Four of our cornet players will be performing on period authentic rotary valve instruments, such as the one in the photo below. These instruments all help us to recreate an authentic sound of a mid-19th century brass band.

We hope that you’ll come out and enjoy the fun of an old-time fall festival and listen to our great music. See you on October 7th at Ft. Atkinson!

Washington County Gives, November 28

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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.
#WashingtonCountyGives

Rain, Rain, Went Away


The band had another very good performance yesterday at the Washington County Heritage Festival. Rain threatened to close down the event, but fortunately by the time we arrived to setup the sun was breaking through the clouds.

There were more vendor tents at the festival this year, and we could smell the grilled sausages all over the grounds. It’s good to see vendors supporting this two-year old festival.

The band played its standard concert repertoire for the last time in 2017. Our next event is the Christmas at Union Station festival at the Durham Western Heritage Museum on December 10 at 2:30. For this program the band will play Leroy Anderson’s “Suite of Carols” for brass, and some other delightful Christmas arrangements.

What new music will we add for the 2018 program? Thinking about Aura Lee, the Prima Donna Waltzes, and the Light Cavalry Overture. Our season will start early on February 2 with a performance at the National Quilt Museum in LIncoln, NE.
Hope to see you at one of our events soon. 

Concert at Ft. Atkinson

This past Sunday, October 2nd, 1st Nebraska performed for the Washington County Heritage Days at historic Ft. Atkinson in Ft. Calhoun. NE. It was a beautiful fall day with sunny skies and temperatures hovering around 70 degrees. The band set up in a tent cover while the audience sat in the sun, sorry. All along the path to the fort entrance Living History re-enactors demonstrated skills of the early 1800’s, the period in which the fort was active.
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Ft. Atkinson was built to protect the Missouri River following Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery’s navigation and exploration. The fort served as a trading post for trappers and Native Americans, and as an emissary of the federal government. Today, the rebuilt fort contains barracks, store house, commissary, ammunition storage, a schoolroom and offices  all bordered by a stockade.
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We had a wonderful time performing and meeting people hosting and exploring this new festival in Northeastern Nebraska.