Party Like It’s 1880!

On Saturday evening, August 24, 2019, Joslyn Castle, the former residence of George and Sarah Joslyn, in Omaha, Nebraska, held an 1880s style Summer Fete. On the grounds were lawn games like croquet and badminton, and dinner tents for a royal feast.

The event was a recreation of a fete that the Joslyns held for their neighbors back in the late nineteenth century. According to the Joslyn Castle website: “The original Summer Fete featured a Russian tea room, fortune tellers, lawn games, refreshments, and music from the military brass band on loan from Fort Crook.” The 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band provided the period music to help bring the event to life.

We greatly enjoyed playing at the castle, and the temperatures in the low 70s made our wool coats very comfortable. We were greeted by a lawyer who had played trombone in high school. He asked why there were no trombones in our recreated Civil War band, and we commented on the dusty roads on which the armies marched that were death to trombone slide mechanisms due to all the grit that would grind away on the metal surfaces.

Another visitor from New York State commented that we were playing “America’s music,” and that none of the European countries of the nineteenth century performed American patriotic and popular songs.

All in all it was a great evening for the attendees and the band alike.

Vintage Wheels at the Fort – August 18th

It’s time for Ft. Omaha’s annual auto show; and what a show it is! Not only do you get classic cars from the ’50s, but there are cars from the 1920s and maybe even the 1910s. You can even get an old car ride at the show.

The 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band provides old-time music to go with the old-time cars in the Douglas County Historical Society’s annual car show. Held this year on Sunday, August 18, the band will kick-off its program at noon.

In addition to cars and music, there are some good eats to be had! The aroma of freshly grilled sausage always wafts through the air making everyone’s mouth water.

So come out to Ft. Omaha on Sunday the 18th and enjoy some good music, good food, and see some great old cars! The event is free!

Wessels Farm Saturday

Join the 1st Nebraska this Saturday, August 10, at Wessels Living History Farm in York, NE. We’re playing for their annual Summer Fair and we begin at noon on the porch of the farm house.

Wessels Farm is located on Rte. 81 just south of the I-80 interchange.

Plenty to see and do at this free event.

July 13th Performances in Council Bluffs and Fremont

Next up for 1st Nebraska are 2 gigs on Saturday, July 13th.

We begin the day in Council Bluffs, IA as we kickoff Railroad Days and the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad. We’ll play in Bayliss Park from 10:30-11:00.

Then on to Fremont, NE where we play for the annual John C Fremont Days. We’ll be in the Chautauqua Tent from 1:00-2:00. Lots of fun family activities and good fair food. Get your sausage and come to the tent for some good old band music.

New music for 2019 includes The Empress Quickstep by Grafulla, and the return of some favorites in Omaha Guards Waltz by Edmund Dworak and Tenting On the Old Campground by Kitteridge. We still have plenty of your Civil War favorites like Dixie, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, and Battle Hymn of the Republic.

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!

Concert in Stromsburg

1st Nebraska returns to Stromsburg Friday evening, July 6, 2018 for a First Friday Concert at 7:00 pm in the park on the city’s town square.

The band played last year as a part of Stromsburg’s Swedish Festival, participating both in the parade and an evening concert. We were pleased to receive an invitation to return as a part of the City’s First Friday Concert Series.

1st Nebraska will play a variety of musical styles all taken from the Civil War and middle of the Nineteenth Century. Our featured soloist is tenor James Lund who will sing a medley of Stephen C. Foster’s well known songs “I Dream of Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair” and “Beautiful Dreamer.” The band also will play the “Coronation March from Le Prophete” and the “Firemen’s Polka” in addition to standard patriotic repertoire.

Come on out tomorrow evening for this free concert in an very enjoyable setting.