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.

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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.

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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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1st Nebraska Helps Celebrate St. Barbara

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On a cold, rainy/snowy night on December 3rd, the 1st Nebraska traveled two hours to Lake View, Iowa to play for the St. Barbara’s Day Banquet for a sister reenactment group, the 2nd Iowa Light Artillery. In spite of the weather our hosts were very warm-hearted and were an appreciative audience. They even treated us to a catered dinner of roast beef, pork, and all the trimmings.

As an artillery company, the 2nd Iowa travels to events around western Iowa displaying, and firing, their cannon, and setting up camp in the manner of Civil War soldiers. Not only do the men dress in uniform, but the women also don period costumes.

The Order of Saint Barbara is an honorary military society of the United States Field Artillery. Both U.S. Marine and Army field artillery, along with their military and civilian supporters are eligible for membership. Thus, Artillerymen of the present are linked with artillerymen of the past in a brotherhood of professionalism, selfless service, and sacrifice symbolized by Saint Barbara.

The Feast of Saint Barbara occurs yearly on December 4th, and includes quite an intricate ritual. Click here for more information.

We first met the 2nd Iowa while performing for the Woodbine Sesquicentennial, and were happy to be invited to share in their celebration. Hopefully, both units will cross paths at future events and reenactments.

Woodbine Sesquicentennial

On a beautiful summer evening, Saturday, August 27th, the residents of Woodbine, Iowa gathered in the City Park to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of their town. Woodbine is a remarkable late Victorian town with beautifully maintained houses and stores. It’s well worth the drive east on US Route 30 from the interstate to take in the atmosphere. Woodbine is on the old Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway in the United States. Below you can see a route marker at the intersection of two brick paved streets.

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Here’s an example of the local architecture

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The evening’s events were announced by the firing of Civil War cannons by Battery B of the 10th Iowa Light Artillery Battalion. Members of the battery camped in City Park the whole weekend holding Living History demonstrations to the delight of young and old.

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The town chefs fired up their grills and treated everyone to wonderful steak sandwiches and hamburgers. Then it was time for the evening’s entertainment, concerts by the 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band, the Iowa Western Community Band, and the Notables.

The audience retreated to the shade to ward of the direct rays of sunshine beaming in their faces, but the mid-80s weather with a gentle breeze was perfect for enjoyment of the music. 1st Nebraska received many compliments from the sponsors and audience, who appreciated our performance of standard Civil War songs and popular music of the day.