Hot Time on the 4th

1st Nebraska’s most recent performance was in Logan, IA for their Sesquicentennial. Thanks to retired band director Ragene Darling and his wife Mary for the invitation to perform for the good folk in Logan.

Logan 2

It was a very humid and hot 90 degrees on Tuesday, as the band performed at 1:00. We were surrounded by cement, which reflected the heat AND our sound. It was so easy to hear each other in the amphitheater-styled band shell.

We added two special numbers to our program: “I Dream of Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair & Beautiful Dreamer” sung by cornetist and tenor James Lund. James has a gorgeous voice and gave Stephen Foster’s songs a great rendition.

Logan 1

The second special number was the descriptive battle piece “Beauregard’s Retreat from Shiloh,” narrated by tenor horn player Dave Krecek. A descriptive battle piece relates the story of the battle accompanied by music. It’s sort of like the piano that accompanies silent movies. Both special numbers were conducted by Shelly Hall, who also did the concert narration.

This Saturday, July 8th, the band travels to Boone, IA for the Iowa Municipal Band Festival which will be held at Herman Park in the covered pavilion. Bring your folding chairs. Music starts at 11:00; 1st Nebraska plays at 4:00.

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Star of the County Down

This is a traditional Irish folk tune from the mid-nineteenth century. The song is sung from the point of view of a young man who chances to meet a charming lady by the name of Rosie McCann, referred to as the “star of the County Down.” From the brief encounter the writer’s infatuation grows until, by the end of the ballad, he imagines wedding the girl. Charles Johnston, a former band director from Monroe Louisiana, and member of the 2nd Louisiana String Band, arranged it for Civil War era brass band. 1st Nebraska’s performance is from the Iowa Municipal Band Festival on July 11, 2015.

1st Nebraska plays at the 2015 Iowa Municipal Band Festival
1st Nebraska plays at the 2015 Iowa Municipal Band Festival

When Johnny Comes Marching Home

This version is based on two authentic Civil War band arrangements. We took some liberties with a couple of the interludes. Recorded live at the Iowa Municipal Band Festival in Boone, IA, on Saturday, July 11, 2015.

post-concert photo of 1NVBB
post-concert photo of 1NVBB

“Johnny” was written and published in New Orleans in 1863 by Patrick S. Gilmore, Bandmaster of the 22nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Originally attributed to Louis Lambert (a pen name of Gilmore) and based on a traditional Irish tune (Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye). the song quickly became popular with war weary civilians and soldiers alike. It regained popularity during the Spanish-American War in 1898.