Band Alumni Reunion Weekend- Register Now!

Registration closed August 21, 2021. Reunion information email was sent out August 28th with the music and schedule.

Football Friday

Our Friday night event will be held in conjunction with the Nebraska Alumni Association’s family-friendly event series at the Wick Alumni Center from 5-7 pm. This event is free to attend, but registration will be required. There will be Valentino’s pizza and Pepsi products for purchase. We will have a room for our meeting. Learn more…

Reserve a parking space

Parking spaces go quickly and it is highly recommended you reserve a space in advance in one of the area parking garages for the game on Saturday. Visit the City of Lincoln Parking Services webpage at parkandgo.org to reserve a space.

Football Tickets

Marching alumni do not need to purchase a football ticket but non-marching alumni and guests must purchase a ticket. You may 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.

We are still making arrangements and will update as we have more information!

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Jack Snider Day, July 24

As Jack’s 100th birthday approaches on July 24th, we’d like to take a moment to share some of the many highlights of his 37-year career at the University of Nebraska. Jack served as director of bands/marching band and professor of French horn at UNL from 1950-1986.

After serving in the United States Army during World War II, Jack completed his undergrad and master’s degrees from the university. After teaching at Kearney High School for one year, he was asked to come back to the university in 1950 to teach low brass, percussion and assist with the band program under Donald Lentz.

Jack expanded the band program in his first years, made improvements and took different approaches – all with the goal of improving the situation for the students.

Jack Snider giving marching instructions to band students outside.
Waving both arms and pointing in two directions at once, Director Jack Snider shouts instructions to the University of Nebraska band during a marching rehearsal. November 12, 1961

Jack’s first show as director of the Cornhusker Marching Band was the 1961 North Dakota game where it rained ALL week. The film of that halftime show is (now) humorous… the highlight being when twirler Joyce Burns made her debut, jumping out of the oversized bass drum just as the sun broke through the clouds, starting the tradition of the twirler being called the “Sunshine Girl.”

The first women auditioned for the Marching Band in 1971, but of the five who auditioned, none were accepted. The next year, five women were accepted into the group.  

Band leader directing band rehearsal indoors.
Jack Snider leading rehearsal.

In 1973, Jack assisted in getting alumni together to form the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Band Alumni Association to establish resources for both long and short term projects and to assist the Cornhusker Marching Band in raising funds for a three-week European tour.

From May 15-June 6, 1974, Jack led 168 band members on a European tour visiting Switzerland, Germany, England, Belgium and the Netherlands, giving a total of nine concerts. Jack designed a 60-minute half time show with marches, show tunes and Disney tunes. Such exposure brought national recognition to the Nebraska Bands and attracted students from all over the country.

“Jack Snider was nothing short of an iconic figure in music at UNL. His storied career as Director of Bands was the stuff of legend. No UNL Band Alumni Weekend ended without a standing ovation for Jack Snider. Very few concerts on the UNL campus happened without Jack Snider in the audience. His mind and ears were formidable. His humor was dry, yet generous and so very smart. He was an inspiration to all.

John W. Richmond, former Glenn Korff School of Music Director
Man conducting
September 22 1985

Jack was a member of the American Bandmasters Association, co-founder and charter member of the Nebraska Bandmasters Association, College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, Phi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Gamma Lambda and Kiwanis International. He also co-founded the Nebraska Marching Band Festival, the nation’s largest indoor marching band competition.

Community and state-wide activities also occupied much of Jack’s time and energy. He was active in Lincoln Symphony as well as church functions. Each summer he worked with the All-State Music Clinic for high school students.

Jack was known as a faculty member who showed great concern for individuals and his students with friendship extending beyond the members of the groups in which he participates, reaching many members of the university community both students and faculty.

Snider’s greatest pleasure is “his kids – seeing what they’ve done, watching them grow.” “One of the great things about the marching band is that it pulls kids from all areas of campus, from cattle ranchers to doctors.”

Jack Snider, 4/2/5/1983 Daily Nebraskan

After Jack passed away in February 2015, the Band Alumni Association chose to honor him by renaming the general fund the Jack R. Snider Band Alumni Association Fund. In addition, a scholarship was established in his name for marching band members to help students manage band-related expenses such as uniform dry cleaning, instrument maintenance, marching shoes and the credit hours required for participation in the band. Thanks to contributions from many of our alumni, we’ve been able to expand the number of scholarships offered and increase the amount of scholarship in the past five years.

Please consider a donation to https://go.unl.edu/sniderfund to continue Jack’s legacy of helping the students he loved so much.

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Save the Date!

We have been approved for our Band Reunion performance with the Athletic Department and Glenn Korff School of Music. Save Saturday, September 4, 2021, for our reunion. We are still in planning stages and are not we sure if there will be a Friday night event or not.

Calendar with Sept. 3-4 circled

Game time is set for 11:00 a.m. CT and will be aired on FOX.

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Remembering Gary Johnson

Gary Owen Johnson, 62, of Lincoln, passed away on May 13, 2021, in Lincoln. Born on December 17, 1958, in Butte, Nebraska to Owen and Lavaun (Parks) Johnson. 

Gary Johnson

Gary graduated from Butte High School in 1977. After high school, Gary attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications, where he played trumpet in the Cornhusker Marching Band. After college, Gary went on to have a 30-year career as a revered broadcast journalist for KOLN in Lincoln and WOWT in Omaha. He was a member of Cathedral of the Risen Christ of Lincoln, where he proudly volunteered his time as a CCD teacher. Gary enjoyed being outside and active, often enjoying biking, swimming, and playing golf. 

Rosary will be Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 7:30pm at Butherus Maser & Love Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday, May 20, 2021 @ 10:30am at the Cathedral of The Risen Christ, 3500 Sheridan Blvd. burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery. Memorials to the Family for later designation.

Read the full obituary from Butherus, Maser & Love Funeral Home.

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Remembering our Charter Member, Bob Maag

Bob Maag

October 31, 1935 – May 11, 2021
Robert G. “Bob” Maag was born on October 31, 1935, in Denver, Colorado, to Arthur and Edna (Willis) Maag. Bob graduated from McCook high school in 1953. He attended Colorado A&M (now CSU) and McCook Junior College before enrolling in the University of Nebraska—Lincoln where he was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Gamma Lambda Band fraternity and Theta Xi. He received his Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1958 and the Master of Music in 1962. Bob was a charter member of the UNL Band Alumni Association.

On July 19,1958, in Lincoln, he married Joy Ann Schmidt of Red Oak, lowa. That same year he was hired by Waverly Public Schools to teach K-12 vocal and instrumental music. Bob taught in Waverly for 33 years where he developed an instrumental music program recognized statewide for its excellence. After retiring from Waverly, he taught elementary school band in Lincoln Public schools from 1991-1995. He then worked part-time for 18 years in the sheet music department at the downtown Dietze Music store. In 2008 he founded the Waverly Area Community Band which he conducted for 8 years.

Bob was a charter member and past president of Nebraska State Bandmasters Association where the Varsity Band was invited to perform at the state convention in 1983 and 1990. He co-authored a book entitled “History of the Band Movement in Nebraska”, published in 2006 which earned him NSBA’s Distinguished Service Award. ln 1988 he received the NSBA’s highest honor, the Donald A. Lentz outstanding Bandmaster Award and also the National Band Association Citation of Excellence.

He was a member of the National Association for Music Education and a lifetime member of the Nebraska Music Educators Association. He served as the NMEA Band Chairman from t977-I979 and was inducted into the NMEA Hall of Fame in 2013. He was a lifetime member of the NEA and the NSEA.

Bob played tuba in the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra for 18 years, the Lincoln Municipal Band for 24 years, and the Lincoln Community Concert Band for 19 years.

Memorial Service: 10:30 am Wednesday (5-19-21) Waverly United Methodist Church with Pastor Jacob Cloud officiating followed by a reception at the Waverly Community Center. Livestream at firstunitedwaverly.org/worship

Memorials to First United Methodist Church of Waverly or School District #145 Foundation for Education.

Read the full obituary.

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