Cornhusker Marching Band Exhibition, August 21

The 2015 exhibition of the Cornhusker Marching Band is Friday, August 21 at 7:00 PM in Memorial Stadium. Here’s a little teaser…

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Honoring Jack R. Snider through Fund

The Band Alumni Association Inc (BAA) would like to announce the re-naming of our general trust fund the Jack R. Snider Band Alumni Association Fund. Currently the funds in this account go towards the UNL Bands.

Services the BAA provides the band through this fund include: donations for the band banquet, TGIO event, nail bags for band camp, hosting the Highlights concert reception, drill writing software for the directors, and so much more! A small percentage goes towards our operating costs which includes our website and maintenance and Post Office Box fees. All of our board members and officers are volunteers.

New to the Jack R. Snider Fund will also include scholarships for marching band members. We have designated that 75% of those scholarships go towards non music-education majors and 25% to music education majors. We will consult with the directors of the band and will be able to grant scholarships to deserving individuals, as well as recruit for sections that need to be filled!

At any time throughout the year, you may donate to the Snider Fund or to the Lentz Fund, which provides funding to the School of Music to commission new works for the concert bands and to fund the appearance of guest artists with the UNL concert bands. In the next week there will be a “Give Now” button on the right hand side of our website in which you can make your donation!

You may also donate money to either fund as you register for the reunion weekend. Your membership fee ($25 individual or $40/couple) goes directly towards the Snider Fund and helps fund the band program and students. Your marching fee secures your spot on the field and you’ll be given a name tag and music.

If you have any questions about our funds, please contact us.

We hope to see you at the reunion weekend September 4-6: registration is now LIVE!
http://nebandalums.org/registration/

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State of the Bands Report

by Dr. Carolyn Barber, director of Bands

Although I’ve been procrastinating just a bit in writing this article, I’m pleased to report that the state of the bands is strong. The reason for the delay is purely internal. We’ve been busy imagining, designing, and carefully laying the groundwork for an amazing initiative with the Cornhusker Marching Band. I think we can let you guys in on it even though it will take at least another season to complete. For several years, we’ve been dreaming up a plan to outfit the entire marching band with iPad Minis. Having worked through multiple scenarios, we’re confident that we’ll be able to use a broad spectrum of ready-made apps to enhance the ensemble’s work. Sheet music will be pushed out as arrangements are ready, students will be able to read their drill charts and see the designs animated on the screen, Smart Music will help with memorizing and accuracy, and of course basic tools like metronomes and tuners are readily available. The next phase of our thinking moved to more specialized apps and tools like iBeacon to expedite attendance, Coach’s Eye (or similar) to assist with precision in marching fundamentals, and a high camera live video stream to enable students to see themselves on the field during rehearsal from the perspective of the press box. Doug, Tony, and a wide variety of students completed a video shoot last month to create the raw materials for the CMB’s new eBook handbook. This will allow students to see marching fundamentals in real time, hear accurate renditions of the fight songs, review the intricacies of the uniform policy, learn how to maintain their instrument properly, and a host of other essential items.

Several obstacles are in our path at the moment. Nothing insurmountable, but significant enough to slow us down. For example, Westbrook doesn’t have enough wifi capacity to enable all 300 band members to log on at the same time in a rehearsal. We’re also trying to figure out if there might be some sort of super lyre that could hold an iPad Mini. It brings to mind that scene in Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man where Tommy is trying to invent a piccolo lyre that doesn’t cut off circulation in your arm. Then there are the logistics of software licenses, not to mention figuring out a way to check out 300 iPads to the students and train them how to use them. I also know what you’re thinking and we’re way ahead of you: they’ll have LifeProof cases that are water proof, shock proof, dirt proof, and snow proof. Making them 18-22 year old proof isn’t possible, but we have a team of experts including Brian Moore and the whole Hixson-Lied tech squad giving it their best shot. The hope is to have the whole system up and running by August 2016, pending funding. Wish us luck!

Thanks to our fantastic partners in the Athletic Department, we’re ahead of the game with regard to scheduling. The CMB is excited for you all to join us for the reunion game on September 5, and the band will be headed to Champaign-Urbana for the October 3 game. We also just got word that Tuba Day with the CMB will be September 12. A select group of high school tubists from around the state will have the opportunity to perform with the CMB for the South Alabama game – stay tuned for details. And speaking of fantastic, I had the chance to meet Coach Riley last month and he proclaimed himself to be the band’s “biggest fan.” He saw the CMB in action at out in San Diego last December and immediately developed a rapport with the students and staff. Having several hundred band alumni on hand on opening day will be a great way to strengthen the bond.

In other news, the Big Red Express had another strong season. If you missed it, we increased the roster to 120 members last fall in order to provide better and more flexible coverage for all the sports that BRE supports. Always a challenge are the games that fall during holiday breaks and the bowl trip, and the seemingly endless array of post-season basketball events. With four 30-piece bands now in the rotation, that burden is alleviated somewhat. The band has also been shaking things up a bit with events like Tubapalooza. Who knew the arena could withstand such sonic bombardment? Actually, the sound engineering team at PBA has done great work making sure the band’s work can be heard well throughout the space. If you haven’t experienced it, plan to get to a game next fall.

The Campus Bands have been on a steady upward trajectory for the last several years. You may recall the infamous live-Tweeting concert of 2014 (Dr. Richmond still owes us all bacon, by the way). 2015 brought an outstanding recruiting campaign that increased enrollment and instrumental diversity, all highlighted in a family friendly webcast concert last month. If you missed it, you can see the archived version on GKSOM’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/UNLSoMusic If you browse around, you’ll also see other fun features like Drumline videos and concerts by the Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. Thanks to a new hard-wired system of cameras in Kimball Hall, live webcasting is rapidly become routine for all of the School’s ensembles. Keep your eye on the GKSOM website for the schedule, and tune in.

Webcasting, Skype, and other electronic resources have been powerful tools in connecting the bands not only to friends and family, but to composers. The Symphonic Band’s March 12 concert webcast garnered positive commentary from Anthony O’Toole, and students acted in partnership online with Ben Hjertman as he composed the piece the SB premiered in April.  The Wind Ensemble enjoyed correspondence with both James Syler and Gernot Wolfgang surrounding their April 25 webcast as well. The WE is currently involved in seven commissioning consortia which should come to fruition in the next academic year.

And speaking of next year, members of the Wind Ensemble will be joining me in Chicago in December to serve as a demo group for a session at the Midwest Clinic. Our session is called Ensembleship in Practice: Techniques to Evoke Creativity in Rehearsal and Performance. For those who are unfamiliar with Midwest, it is the single largest international conference of band and orchestra conductors, administrators, and pedagogues in the world. Annual attendance includes well over 15,000 musicians and educators representing all 50 U.S. states and more than 30 countries. In addition to clinics and concerts, all of the major associations of instrumental music educators hold meetings in conjunction with the conference. This will be the first time student musicians from UNL will be heard at this important event, and the perfect opportunity for us to highlight the ensemble games, creative and informative assessment strategies, and cutting edge rehearsal techniques we’ve been developing in the Band Department. To put it simply, folks want to know what we’re up to here in Lincoln.

Last but not least, our outreach activities have been growing and evolving steadily. The Winter Festival debuted a new schedule that included ensemble demonstrations by the faculty chamber ensembles, a special music education informational session, and a new interactive workshop format for the student chamber performances. You’ll be seeing a great promotional video for the festival popping up on UNL’s pages in the fall. For a preview, check out the UNL Media Hub at http://mediahub.unl.edu/media/4232 The summer camps are also morphing a bit with a new off-set schedule. The High School Marching Band Camp will start first and finish up just as the Middle School Band Camp is getting underway. This will give us more room to maneuver in Westbrook which, frankly, we need when wrangling 100 middle schoolers. Also new this year with the high school camp: our own Dave Hall will be joining the instructional staff. If you know any percussion students out there, this is something they won’t want to miss. After a year’s hiatus, Chris Werner will be back on the team for the middle school camp working on a special project involving Nolan Schmidt’s new piece Steampunk.

As you can see, the bands have been busy and there is no sign of slowing down. You can be proud of your alma mater, proud of the students who are following in your footsteps, and proud of the faculty and staff who are setting the foundations for the next chapter – a chapter we hope you’ll all be a part of. Your BAA board is working tirelessly on your behalf. Help them out by staying in touch and pitching in when you can. That team effort is why there is no place like Nebraska!

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The BAA is officially on Facebook

If you like to get updates through your Facebook feed, you can now follow us there. You can find us at https://www.facebook.com/nebandalums.

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Remembering John DeWayne Wolf

John Wolf passed away on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 in Kearney, Nebraska. John was a member of the Cornhusker Marching Band for the 1941 Rose Bowl and was one of six who helped write Band Song while on the train to California. His grandson, Andrew, was in the CMB in the 2000’s. Condolences to Andrew and the family and friends of John DeWayne Wolf.

You can read the entire obituary at Omaha.com. Online condolences may be shared at www.osrfh.com.

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Thank you for remembering Bill Beave

Thank you to everyone who gave memorial money in remembrance of UNL Band Alumnus, Bill Beave. All funds have been deposited into the UNL Band Trust Fund for use by the UNL Band Program.

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2015 Reunion Date Announced

We just found out this week that the UNL Band Alumni Reunion Game will be September 5 vs. BYU. Mark your calendar for this weekend. As usual, we will not have start times until a later time. We will post more information about how to register as it becomes available.

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ABC’s Jeff Zeleny (UNL Band Alum) moving to CNN

Jeff Zeleny, ABC News senior Washington correspondent, will join CNN’s Washington bureau and political unit as CNN senior Washington correspondent next Monday to cover the 2016 presidential race for both television and digital, according to industry sources.

The papers were signed Monday, letting Zeleny out of his ABC contract. ABC News President James Goldston and CNN Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist plan a joint announcement later Tuesday morning. CNN poached Zeleny, 41, because he has become a polished on-air correspondent and can also write long-form pieces for CNN.com.

Jeff — a native of Exeter, Nebraska — sprinted from Lincoln Journal Star to The Des Moines Register to the Chicago Tribune (where he covered home-state Sen. Barack Obama) to The New York Times to ABC. He is covering his fifth presidential campaign.

Robert Barnett was the lawyer for the deal.

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Richmond receives alumni award from William Jewell College

John W. Richmond, director of the Glenn Korff School of Music, is one of three Achievement Day honorees at his alma mater, William Jewell College.

John. W. Richmond

John. W. Richmond

“As you can imagine, I was surprised, humbled and truly honored to learn I was to be one of three 2015 Achievement Day honorees,” Richmond said. “The list of past honorees is really quite impressive. Jewell’s nickname is the ‘Campus of Achievement’ and their alumni magazine is called ‘Achieve.’ I simply don’t know of alumni recognition for a Jewell alumnus that could mean more to me than the William Jewell College Citation of Achievement.”

Richmond will accept the honor during their Celebration of Achievement March 4-6.

Richmond has been at UNL since 2003. He received his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in music education from William Jewell College in 1977, in addition to a master’s degree from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and a Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University.

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Remembering Jack Snider

Jack Snider, 93, Lincoln, died Friday, February 20, 2015, of natural causes. Born July 24, 1921 in McCook, Neb., to Harvey Martin and Alice Elizabeth (Amen) Snider. Served as director of bands/marching band and professor of French horn at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1950-1986. Graduate of UNL with undergrad and masters degrees in music. Also attended Peru State Teachers College and Wilber High School. Served in the United States Army during World War II.

Jack Snider

Jack Snider

Member of the American Bandmasters Association, Nebraska Bandmasters Association, College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, Phi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Gamma Lambda and Kiwanis International. Awards include: Don Lentz Outstanding Band Master Award 1976, Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from UNL College of Fine Arts 1995 and Kiwanis Distinguished Service Award 1997.

Survivors: Son, daughter-in-law, Robert and Ann Snider; granddaughter, Erin; grandson, David William Snider and wife Nicole; great-grandsons, Dylan and Nicolas Snider; nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Loyd Snider, Jane Snider, Hervon Snider, and Dorothy (Snider) Price; Beloved wife of 45 years, Mary Alice (Peterson) Snider in 1992, and their son, David Martin Snider in 2006.

Memorial service to be held 2:30, Sunday, March 1, 2015, at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 1144 ‘M’ Street. In lieu of flowers, memorials to: HealthConnect at Home/Saint Elizabeth Hospice, 245 South 84 Street, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE 68510 or The Jack and Mary Alice Snider Fund c/o University of Nebraska Foundation, 1111 Lincoln Mall, Suite 200, Lincoln, NE 68501. Condolences at: roperandsons.com.

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