Charter Week & Glow Big Red

It’s Charter Week, and along with it Glow Big Red! Glow Big Red calls on all Huskers (students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends) to show their spirit for the university on February 14.

Glow Big Red

Huskers across the globe are asked to: 

  • LIGHT IT: Red burns brighter. Prove it by lighting up your house or windows with Husker red lights and glow sticks.
  • FLY IT: It might not be game day, but you can wave, spin or toss your Husker flag like it is! 
  • WEAR IT: Wear your favorite Husker apparel (i.e. your Band Alumni shirt), or throw on a pop of red to show your Nebraska pride.
  • GIVE IT: Build the next 150 years of excellence by contributing to your university during its 24 Hours of Husker Giving. You can use the buttons at to give directly to our funds, or you can choose to donate to the University of Nebraska Foundation.

Anyone who snaps a photo, video or other digital content and posts it on social media using the hashtag #GlowBigRed showing how they light it, fly it, wear it or give it, will be entered to win N150 prizes from the university. If you don’t use social media, submit your photos to to enter. Entries will be collected from now until Feb. 15. Winners announced on Charter Day. Here is your chance to highlight your CMB pride. Consider a photo with your instrument, Band Alumni shirt, or your CMB family.

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The 2019 Reunion Weekend will be August 30-31, 2019. The game on Saturday, August 31st is against South Alabama. No game time is set; therefore we do not have a schedule. Expect to see registration open in July 2019.

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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.

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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

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Reflections, by Bill Tomek

Corporal Bill Tomek
Corporal Bill Tomek

Name: William (Bill) G. Tomek
Branch of Service:  U.S. Army
Rank: Corporal, 4th Armored Division Band (III Corps)
Dates of Service:  1953-1955
Places Served: U.S. (Ft. Hood, TX)

I was drafted in June 1953, three months before my 21st birthday. Fortunately, I was accepted for assignment to the Army Band School after an audition on the trombone. The School was located at Ft. Riley, Kansas, which was only 100 miles from my parent’s home in Table Rock Nebraska. The School provided a course in music theory, a course about the motivation underlying performance practices of army bands, as well as rehearsal time. We were also expected to qualify on the 30 caliber carbine, but I missed the qualification day and was never asked to qualify. (The NCO in charge of the firing range probably “qualified” me on paper.) 

Upon completion of the eight-week school, I and several others were assigned to the 4th Armored Division band in Ft. Hood Texas. In route, we stopped at Ft. Chaffee Arkansas for a few days, and transients like us were used as guards at their stockade (prison). Guards were given a loaded carbine and assigned to a guard tower. I recall thinking that I can’t tell the officer in charge that I was unqualified on the weapon. But, I had hunting experience with a rifle and shotgun. So, I did not say a thing, and since no one tried to escape, it was a non-issue. If the band at Ft. Hood had carbines available, they were not used. Thus, I never fired the weapon that we were allegedly supposed to use. 

Most band members were college graduates or had some college education; our director—a Chief Warrant Officer—was a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music. The drum major and assistant leader was a graduate of Ohio State University, but was only a corporal. The number of privates, corporals and sergeants in a 42 piece band was fixed by an “organization table.” Promoted to private first class upon graduation from band school, I was made a corporal while a band member. The band was integrated by race, but not gender. 

As a corporal, I was the band’s safety “officer,” and attended an occasional meeting with commissioned officers. They treated me politely, but safety had to do with topics like weapons handling and driving vehicles, which had little relevance to a band. (We traveled by bus, provided by the motor pool.) 

Band members lived in suites designed for three persons, with small private bedrooms, shared bathroom, and shared living room. A rehearsal space was nearby and close to division headquarters. (The division commander sometimes attended rehearsals with his staff, I know not why.) The band had a variety of uniforms that required frequent cleaning or laundering, which was provided. We did polish our boots and belt buckles. Meals were provided at a mess hall for independent units like the band and the military police.   

          A typical day started with section rehearsal followed by band rehearsal. Since many jobs involved marching, relatively little additional marching practice was needed. Performances usually occurred afternoons, weekends, or evenings. With the rehearsal time plus performances, I became quite a good trombonist, though I did not have the natural talent to be “great.” Monday was the most common day off. On days with no job, we played volley ball, talked, wrote letters, or perhaps went to the PX or a movie. None of us had a car; so off-post recreation was limited. 

The band did many types of performances. One was playing for on-post graduation exercises. The monthly cook school graduation was a favorite, as they treated us to cake and coffee, and it was an “easy job.” (We played the national anthem and a little music before the ceremony.) The NCO school graduation was another regular job, where a one-star general gave the same speech every month. This became a subject of humor, as we silently (?) anticipated his words. The band played concerts at various venues, especially on holidays, and we also participated in variety shows on post, sometimes collaborating with professional singers.

The band played for many kinds of parades that often included units ranging from battalions to (rarely) the entire division. I have a photo of our band marching on Veterans Day, November 11, 1954 (below), and since the trombones are in the first row, I am quite visible (2nd from left). We occasionally met dignitaries at a nearby airport. This type event involved the dignitary reviewing an honor guard, escorted by a host, while the band played. We did some traveling within the state of Texas, e.g., to county fairs. We went to San Antonio several times while I was in the band, and stayed at the historic Fort Sam Houston. 

Veteran's Day Parade, 11 November 1954
Veteran’s Day Parade, 11 November 1954

          The band marched in a 6 x 7 (= 42) formation. Combining playing, watching the drum major (who did not use a whistle) and keeping alignments and spacing was a bit of a challenge. Band members felt a little superior to the other troops in parades, as some of them collapsed from heat exhaustion or just plain exhaustion, while the band never lost anyone. But, of course, we marched frequently and were in good physical shape. 

The various types of engagements required that we play a variety of kinds of music. Concerts included transcriptions for band of classical music as well as “lighter” popular music. Of course, for parades and concerts, Sousa marches (e.g., Liberty Bell, the U.S. Field Artillery March, Washington Post, King Cotton) were a staple. Since the commanding general was a West Point graduate, the Official West Point March was played frequently. 

          Playing for an occasional memorial service for those whose bodies were returned to the U.S. from Korea was a touching experience. My impression is that very few of the dead were returned, but full military honors were provided for those that were. I can still “hear” a military band playing hymns and also Chopin’s Funeral March. For me, it is an emotional memory. Related, my mother died in September 1954 (I went home on an emergency leave.).

Although asked to reenlist, I of course was not interested. However, our group had excellent esprit de corps. We were highly disciplined, partly because of the demands of music performance. It was a maturing experience for me. Upon returning to the University of Nebraska, I rejoined the University Band, and played until completing a master’s degree in 1957. But when I moved to the University of Minnesota to do a PhD (in economics, specialty agricultural economics), my music “career” was over. I ultimately gave my trombone to my God daughter. One postscript: I joined a church choir as a tenor, and although I could read music, my inability to sing as well as I thought I should frustrated me.

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