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 [] 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.

Morgan Dennhardt, Russ Swanson Outstanding Bandsman Award Recipient 2019

Congratulations to Morgan Dennhardt, is this year’s recipient of the Russ Swanson Outstanding Bandsman Award! She is a Music Education major from Grand Island, Nebraska.

While being a part of the Nebraska Bands program, Morgan participated on many instruments in different ensembles. In the Cornhusker Marching Band and Big Red Express she played mellophone and in most concert ensembles she played French horn. She participated in the following ensembles: Symphonic Band, UNL Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and the Husker Horn Choir. She graduated in May and will be moving to Lafayette, Indiana where she will be teaching elementary music.

Morgan says:
“I would love to share a few of my favorite UNL band experiences! One of the greatest memories I have are from Friday nights while being a part of Misty’s pep band. The feeling of energizing a full house with No Place, Hail, and Hooked on A Feeling was exhilarating, and the burgers and prime rib afterwords were also a college highlight. Speaking of food, I never minded a Big Red Express hot dog while playing for basketball, gymnastics, softball, and our champion volleyball teams. In all seriousness, I had a wide array peak musical experiences in the UNL band program that I will always cherish. From stepping out on the field for my first CMB pregame to playing Maslanka’s Symphony No. 7 with UNL’s Wind Ensemble, I have gathered experiences I wouldn’t trade for the world.”

Congrats, Morgan!

Barber is Newell Visiting Scholar at Georgia College

Reprinted with permission from the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts.

Carolyn Barber
Dr. Carolyn Barber

Carolyn Barber, the Ron and Carol Cope Professor of Music and Director of Bands in the Glenn Korff School of Music, is the Newell Visiting Scholar this spring at Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia.

In addition to her musical training, Barber has developed significant interest and expertise in the creative process as it applies to teaching, learning and the development of artistry.

Barber will teach a course and engage with the campus during the spring semester. Her course, titled “Exercising Creativity: Problem Finding, Flocking, & Aesthetic Intent,” provides students with the techniques and tactics to maximize their creative potential. Core experiences will include multidisciplinary exploration for individuals, in small groups and larger-scale ‘flocking’ exercises rooted in game play. Principal goals are the development of aesthetic intent, mindfulness, question generation and collaborative strategy.

She will also give public presentations on various facets of music and creativity, with special emphasis on what she has called Flock Innovation, or the combination of the creative process with group dynamics. She will teach an interdisciplinary course on creative practice and will, in collaboration with Georgia College students, coach young artists in area schools to develop their creative potential. 

Barber earned her doctor of music in conducting and bachelor of music in horn performance at Northwestern University and her Master’s in horn performance from Yale University. Her writing has been published in the Journal of Band Research, and she is a regular contributor to the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band reference series.

She has been at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Glenn Korff School of Music since 2001.

A Celebration of Music and Milestone, N 150

Reprinted with permission from the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts

On Charter Day, Feb. 15, 2019, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln will celebrate its 150th anniversary with a monumental evening of live performance and multimedia entertainment titled, “A Celebration of Music and Milestone, N 150.” At this special event, host Jeff Zeleny, University of Nebraska alumnus (Cornhusker Marching Band alumnus), native Nebraskan and Senior White House Correspondent for CNN, will guide the audience through some of the University’s major accomplishments.

“Our university’s 150th anniversary is an important milestone, and this event is a perfect finale for our Charter Day celebration and opportunity to launch into our next 150 years,” said Chancellor Ronnie Green. “I encourage everyone to attend this special performance and share in an extraordinary evening.”

More than 175 artists unite to perform a program including Wagner’s “Entrance of the Gods,” Orff’s “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana and N 150-commissioned new works by Nebraska alums David von Kampen and Garrett Hope. Special features include tributes to celebrated alumni Willa Cather, Roxane Gay and Ted Kooser.

Performing ensembles include the Cornhusker Marching Band, UNL Symphony Orchestra, UNL Opera, UNL Dance, Chamber Singers, University Singers and the Varsity Singers. They will be joined throughout the evening by notable Nebraskans, including actress Marg Helgenberger. The production will seamlessly integrate multimedia and projection, music and lighting in an impressive tribute to the University.

“The Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts is thrilled to showcase our students, faculty, alumni and friends in this special Music and Milestone, N150 event,” said Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts Endowed Dean Chuck O’Connor. “We know audiences will enjoy the performances of our ensembles, including the premiere of two, new compositions specially created for this event by our alumni Garrett Hope and David von Kampen. All of the performers at this event deserve the spotlight of the world-class Lied Center stage to showcase their tremendous talents. We are proud to be a part of this important celebration.”

Tickets are $30 and are available at, by phone at 402-472-4747 or at the Lied Center box office, 301 N. 12th St. UNL students can purchase tickets at a 50 percent discount with a valid NCard. Children 18 and younger are eligible for half-price tickets. A limited number of free Arts for All tickets for students are available at

For more information on the University’s N150 celebration, including a full schedule of Charter Week events, visit

Remembering Tyler Butterfield

On Friday, October 26, 2018, a car accident claimed the life of Corhusker Marching Band Member, Tyler Butterfield. Jenna McCoy, a sophomore trumpeter from Hickman, and Eliseo Torres, a freshman trumpeter from Bellevue were also taken to the hospital. Twenty-year-old Tyler Butterfield died at the scene. 

Tyler Butterfield
Tyler Butterfield (images courtesy of Nebraska Bands)

Tyler was a Rank Leader for B Rank in the Cornhusker Marching Band, a member of the Football Friday Pep Band, the Big Red Express, participated in Campus Band and was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity.

Funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at the First Christian Church in Norfolk with Tim DeFor officiating. Interment will be at the Prospect Hill Cemetery, Norfolk. Visitation will be held 4:00-7:00 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30 at the Stonacek Funeral Chapel in Norfolk. You can read the full obituary and leave condolences at Stonacek Funeral Chapel website. In lieu of flowers the family asks for memorials to be made to the family for a later designation.

A Go Fund Me account has been created to help Tyler’s family with expenses.