2020 Russ Swanson Outstanding Band Members Announced

On Saturday, February 20, 2021, the Cornhusker Marching Band held their Band Awards Ceremony online instead of their usual banquet. During that time, the UNL Band Alumni Association was pleased to award the 2020 Russ Swanson Outstanding Band Member Awards to Jacob Coughlin and Sydney McGahan.

Sydney McGahan

Sydney McGahan
Sydney McGahan

Sydney McGahan, from North Platte, Nebraska, has been a member of the Cornhusker Marching Band for five years as a member of the trombone section and as drum major this past year. She graduated December 2020 with a major in Music Education and a minor in Leadership and Communications. Sydney’s older brother, Nathan, played sousaphone in the band. She is currently applying for teaching jobs, with the hopes of teaching K-5 General Music.

Why did you choose to attend UNL?
Both of my parents attended UNL, and I was pretty excited to do the same! I’ve wanted to be a member of the CMB since I was little. You can’t really do that while attending a different college!

What is the first impression you had of the UNL Band/Game?
My very first husker game, I was 8 or 9 I think, I was sitting in North Stadium with my mom. During pregame, there was a flyover (I couldn’t see it coming because we were in North Stadium) and it was so loud that I managed to drop my root beer, let go of my balloon, and cry at the same time. Once I was calmed down, my mom offered to get me another drink around halftime. I, rather forcefully, told her that I was there to watch the band and that we could get a new drink “while the football was happening.” 🙂

What is a memorable moment with the CMB you’d like to share?
I feel like I’m expected to say something along the lines of my first pregame, but I definitely blacked out for that and don’t remember it. I made it out okay on the other side, but the details are fuzzy 🙂 So instead: During the away trip to Wisconsin, a few band members and I went under the stands to buy some of the infamous cheese curds. There was a Wisconsin fan in front of us that INSISTED we needed to be treated to the best part of Wisconsin football and bought an order of curds for each of us. There’s also the Michigan State game that the only points were from field goals. After the game, it had started snowing, and a few of the trombones started making snow angels on the field. I have so many memories that are worthy of being shared, but that would take entirely too long. My favorite part of being a member of the CMB is all of the people I’ve met. I gained numerous lifelong friends, and I owe that to this ensemble. 

How may the scholarship help you?
Since I’ve already graduated, the money will be going toward supplies for my future classroom!

“I’m incredibly honored to be chosen for this award! I’ve done nothing short of pouring my heart into the CMB, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!”

Sydney McGahan

Jacob Coughlin

Jacob Coughlin
Jacob Coughlin

Jacob Coughlin, from Millard North HS in Omaha, Nebraska, has been a member of the Cornhusker Marching Band playing Baritone/Euphonium and also served as Drum Major. He is a 5th year Senior with a Business Management major with a minor in music (Euphonium emphasis). After graduation, Jacob plans to pursue the field of public service in the role of firefighter and/or paramedic.

If the name sounds familiar, Jacob’s older sister, Meghan, was in the CMB from 2013 to 2017. She marched clarinet, then a Drum Major for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Meghan and Jacob were Drum Majors together during the 2017 season (Jacob’s Sophomore year and her second Senior Year).

Why did you choose to attend UNL?
My decision to come to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was quite simple. At the time, I was interested in pursuing a music education degree and UNL was both finically responsible while still boasting an incredible music education program. While at UNL, my dreams and ambitions have changed, but the music and band programs here continue to be one of the primary reasons I love this University.

What is the first impression you had of the UNL Band/Game?
My first impression of the UNL band was while I was in high school and I attended one of the exhibition nights to watch my sister. I was blown away by the level of professionalism they were able to show while having so much fun. It was such a fun and engaging experience that ignited my interest in being in the ensemble.

What is a memorable moment with the CMB you’d like to share?
My most memorable times with UNL Bands would be when the Cornhusker Marching Band travels. During my time in the band, I have had the opportunity to go to Northwestern University (2016 season), the Music City Bowl in Nashville, TN (2016 season), University of Wisconsin-Madison (2018 season), and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2019 season). CMB trips always bring fun stories, whether it’s going out at midnight to get pizza in the middle Springfield, Illinois or marching an entire halftime show at a Madison, WI high school in torrential downpour, CMB always makes the most out of every situation.

How may the scholarship help you?
I plan to use this scholarship towards a Life-membership in Kappa Kappa Psi once I graduate. While here at Nebraska, I have had the opportunity to serve the UNL band program alongside my brothers, and I hope to be able to continue that service as a life member of Kappa Kappa Psi for many years to come.

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Glow All In February 17-18, 2021

Save the date to Glow All In on Feb. 17-18 for Glow Big Red — 24 Hours of Husker Giving!

Glow Big Red - 24 hours of Husker giving

First, give. Make a gift of $5 or more to support students. Make a gift of $60 or more by Feb. 18 to Glow Big Red, and you’ll get a Nebraska scarf! You can support the UNL Band Alumni Association Snider Scholarships at https://glowbigred.unl.edu/organizations/unl-band-alumni-association.

Second, light it up! Light your room, home or business red to let your pride shine.

And third, share your Nebraska story using the hashtag #GlowBigRed.
Who you are?
Who you glow for (tag them)?
What area you will support on Glow Big Red 2021? (e.g. Nebraska Bands, UNL Band Alumni Association)

Help spread the word!

When you share the video found at glowbigred.unl.edu on social media using #GlowBigRed before noon Feb. 17, your name will be entered in a drawing to win a special Glow Big Red prize package (post must be made public to qualify).

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Remembering Walter Schmidt

Walter Schmidt
Walter Schmidt

Walter H. Schmidt died November 17, 2020, at Toledo Hospital from COVID-19 complications.  He was born September 19, 1935, to Harold and Helen (McGaughey) Schmidt in Sheridan County, Nebraska. Walter attended grades 1-7 in country school and attended the University of Nebraska School of Agriculture at Curtis, Nebraska for high school graduating in 1953.   He attended University of Nebraska and was a member of the Cornhusker Marching Band and Farmhouse Fraternity.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in June of 1957.  After spending three years in the United States Army, he returned to the University of Nebraska and received a Ph.D in crop production in June 1965.  He was employed by The Ohio State University as Area Agronomist with the Cooperative Extension Service, retiring in June 1995 after thirty years of service. 

You can read the full obituary on the Sheridan County Journal Star web site.

There will be no visitation.  A Celebration of Life will be held later.

Burial will be at Gordon, Nebraska. In lieu of flowers it is suggested memorials be made to: Shriner’s Hospitals for Children with “in memory of Walter”, and sent to Zenobia Shriners 8048 Broadstone Blvd., Perrysburg, OH 43551 or East Side Presbyterian P.O. 525, Fremont OH 43420.

Online Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.whhfh.com

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Remembering John Ellis

John Ellis
John Ellis

John Dale Ellis, 95, was born August 19, 1925 and was welcomed home by his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on November 22, 2020. John was born in Wilderness Park, Lincoln, Nebraska where his father was caretaker and superintendent of grounds at Epworth Methodist Park. His parents were John Hughes Ellis and Velda May (Rush) Ellis. John graduated from Lincoln High School and served in the Army during WWII. He graduated from the University of Nebraska with Bachelor and Master degrees in Music Education and played trumpet in the Cornhusker Marching Band. He was the vocal music and band teacher at schools in Minatare, Stamford, Loup City, Stromsburg, Beaver Crossing, Silver Creek and Benedict.

John sang with the Lincoln Senior Chorus and the Nebraska Christian Men’s Chorus. He also played trumpet with the Lincoln Community Band. John enjoyed playing piano for the residents at Gateway Vista.

Private Family Service. Memorials to the family for future designation. Condolences may be left at RoperandSons.com. The full obituary may be read at Legacy.com.

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Remembering Sarah Groteluschen

Sarah Groteluschen, 39, of Maryville, Missouri, died Monday, November 16, 2020, at her home in Maryville.

Sarah Groteluschen
Sarah Groteluschen

Sarah was born August 22, 1981, in Columbus, Nebraska, to David and Janelle (Malasek) Groteluschen. She attended Columbus Public Schools and graduated from Columbus High School in 2000. As a youth she attended her first Cornhusker Football game and decided then and there that she wanted to play in the marching band when she grew up.

Sarah continued her education by attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2006. She continued to further her education pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Northwest Missouri State University. Sarah was a proud member of both the Cornhusker and Bearcat marching bands while attending those universities. Sarah was an alumna of the Epsilon Omega and Kappa Delta Chapters of Kappa Kappa Psi.

Sarah started teaching music in Bethany, Missouri, area schools for several years. Her current teaching position was at West Nodaway Schools, teaching the K-12 students at Burlington Junction, Missouri.

Sarah was active in UNL’s and NWMSU’s alumni band associations. She was active in the First Christian Church in Maryville where she was a member of the choir, praise band, and senior bell choir. She was a member of the Railmen Drum and Bugle Corps. She will be remembered for her kindness, compassion for teaching, and a big heart for all those around her.

The funeral service will be held on Saturday, November 28, 2020, at St. John’s Lutheran, Shell Creek, with Rev. Dave Hall officiating. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery. The funeral service will be broadcast live on Gass Haney Funeral Home Facebook page. Memorials may be directed to St. John’s Lutheran Church – Shell Creek, donor’s or family choice.

You can read her full obituary and service details at http://www.gasshaneyfh.com/obituary.php?obitid=10764

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