Project catalogs Cornhusker Marching Band history

Reprinted with permission by Joan Barnes | University Libraries

The Cornhusker Marching Band and the Archives and Special Collections of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries celebrated 140 years of tradition with the unveiling of a new website that highlights the evolution of the band program.

The website [bandhistory.unl.edu] was revealed during an Aug. 30 open house. The site is organized into three sections, featuring the sights and sounds of the band, with images, documents, video and audio; the timeline, which outlines the band’s chronological history and noteworthy events; and in-depth interviews and articles in the stories section. The digitization of close to 60 videos hosted on the website was made possible by band alumnus Gary Steffens, the Band Alumni Association and University Libraries.

The project is a collaboration between the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, Glenn Korff School of Music, and University Archives and Special Collections in University Libraries.

Jessica Dussault, band alumna and programmer in the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, developed the website. The project began in 2009, when Dussault was a Husker student in a digital history class. She was required to build a digital project based on an aspect of the university’s history. As a recent member of the marching band, she chose to explore its history and found considerable resources in the University Archives. Her focus then was the early history, when the band was part of the military department.

Years later, Dussault found herself working for the University Libraries, which brought her into contact with the University Archives on a daily basis. A chat with a colleague inspired them to explore boxes of band materials in the archives. Curious about the reels of footage that could not be watched due to their poor condition, Dussault and her colleague tackled the project of digitizing them before they were lost. Through the generosity of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities and fellow band history enthusiast Steffens, Dussault and her colleague were able to watch the reels about a year after they started the project.

Encouraged by colleagues and Cornhusker Marching Band Director Tony Falcone, Dussault started to construct the band history website where the digital videos of the reel footage would be hosted. The content and scope of the website grew quickly.

“The University Archives has so many great resources on the band’s history, spread across many collections — the ROTC records, collections of past band directors, University Communication — that it seemed important for the website to try to pull documents and images from them together in one place,” Dussault said.

The website includes more than 200 images, audio from a concert and an early album (both provided by the band program), transcriptions of an interview with a former band director and video of an interview with a current band staff member.

Falcone said people in the band program are excited about the website unveiling and eager for the public’s response.

“Our faculty, staff, students and alumni care a great deal about the long and interesting history of our organization and take great pride in our tradition,” he said.

The plan is to continue to add content over time. The materials to be added next include correspondence and drill charts.

Photos below from the Open House event by Erin Colonna with University Libraries.

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2019 Cornhusker Marching Band Exhibition to be held this Friday, August 23rd

You’ll see highlights of what the Cornhusker Marching Band has been working on during their pre-season Band Camp, including the famous “drill down,” a preview of the first halftime show and hear many more Husker favorites.

There’s no better way to get “into the game” for the upcoming season! Enter Memorial Stadium through Gate 3 (SW Entrance) and Gate 11 (NW Entrance). The event is free and open to the public. Gates will open at 6 p.m. The clear bag policy is in effect for this event.

Drumline’s performance at Sheldon will be at 5:30 p.m. prior to the march to the stadium.

CMB Exhibition poster
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Reunion Weekend Registration Deadline Extended

Online registration closes at midnight on AUGUST 18, 2019. You can register at <<registration closed>>. The deadline was extended to accommodate our alumni who are waiting to hear if their offspring made the cut for the CMB that evening. If you have any questions about the reunion or registration, email us at info@nebandalums.org.

Our block of football tickets have sold out. You may still be able to purchase tickets online or by phone (800-8-BIGRED) from the Nebraska Athletic Ticket Office. You can also purchase tickets via StubHub, the official ticket reseller of Nebraska Athletics.

The halftime show we will be performing will feature moon/rocket songs to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. The Alumni tune is “Moondance” and we will moonwalk. Music and a moonwalk how-to video with song recording will be available at a later date.

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2019 Reunion Weekend Registration

The tradition continues with the 2019 Reunion Weekend! Be a part of the halftime experience in Memorial Stadium one more time.

REGISTER BEFORE AUGUST 18, 2019 online at <<registration closed>>. If you prefer a printed registration form or have any questions about the reunion or registration, please email us at info@nebandalums.org.

Join us on Friday for two events:

  • On Friday, August 30th at 3:30p, you are invited to an open house in the Lentz Room of Love Library South to celebrate the launch of a band history website celebrating 140 years of tradition. One of the highlights will be over 60 videos of the band from as early as the 1920s as well as some of the materials in the UNL Archives and Nebraska Bands collections, such as photographs, bowl game memorabilia, scrapbooks, drill charts, and more. There will be brief remarks and acknowledgements by band director Tony Falcone and band alum/site developer Jessica Dussault. Come and go as it suits your schedule between 3:30-4:30p.
  • Our Tailgate and Annual Business meeting is at the Talon Room in downtown Lincoln. You’ll get a recap of our financial status as well as that of our trust funds. This year there will be a vote on two members the Board of Directors as Julie Duensing and Erin Thomas are up for re-election. Every paid member has a vote and a voice at this meeting. You will also hear updates from leadership of the Glenn Korff School of Music and Nebraska Bands. We’ll also hear from one of the UNL Pep Bands.
    • Socializing: 6:00 p.m.
    • Buffet open: 6:30 p.m.
    • Business Meeting: 7:30 p.m.

Saturday is game day!

Check-in is under the tent outside Westbrook Music Building. Check-in will close promptly at the start of the indoor rehearsal. Flags and pit equipment are provided. All others must bring their own instrument. There are a limited number of instruments to rent for the reunion and can be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis on the reunion weekend registration form online. View the complete schedule.

  • Check-in Begins: 5:30 a.m.
  • Indoor Rehearsal: 6:00 a.m.
  • Field Rehearsal: 6:30 a.m.
  • Final Warm-up: 9:15 a.m.
  • Line up WMB: 9:45 a.m.
  • Kickoff: 11:00 a.m.

Parking can be reserved in advance through the City of Lincoln Parking Services webpage at parkandgo.org. Since most garages are not staffed so early in the morning, you’ll need to print your receipt and use the installed barcode scanners for the monthly parking to scan the barcode on your receipt to gain entry to the garage.

If you are bringing a guest, we have a very limited number of football tickets in the stands available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are unable to march, you may request two tickets. If you require ADA seating, contact the Nebraska Athletics Ticket Office directly at 402-472-3111.

For complete details, visit our website at nebandalums.org and click on the Reunion Weekend links in the top navigation bar. If you have specific questions, please email us at info@nebandalum.org.

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Reunion Registration coming soon!

We are just finalizing details for our 2019 reunion and registration is set to go live at the end of this month! We do have a lot of new details on our website under the “Reunion Weekend” tabs. Check them out!

Changes for this year:

Instead of a post-game party, we are offering a boxed breakfast so you can chat with other band members between rehearsals (and not have to stand in long lines downtown)! This will be pre-pay only, but you may order boxes for yourself and any guests you would like (they don’t have to be in the band!) Coffee and water included.

Our Friday kick off party will be held at the Talon Room at 12th and Q with a similar menu to last year’s event! We hope many of you will be able to join us!

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