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NWS Virtual Performance – Earth Song by Frank Ticheli
Earth Song was chosen for its deeply meaningful words and sentiment during this difficult time. Ticheli wrote the poem and then set it to music.  He adapted the wind ensemble edition of Earth Song from his own original choral setting.
Regarding this work, Ticheli writes:
“Earth Song is one of only a few works that I have composed without a commission. Instead, it sprung out of a personal need during a time when so many in this country, including myself, were growing disillusioned with the war in Iraq. I felt a strong impulse to create something that would express my own personal longing for peace. It was this longing which engendered the poem’s creation. I knew I had to write the poem myself, partly because it is not just a poem, but a prayer, a plea, a wish – a bid to find inner peace in a world that seems eternally bent on war and hatred. But also, the poem is a steadfast declaration of the power of music to heal. In the end, the speaker in the poem discovers that, through music, he is the embodiment of hope, peace, the song within the Song.”
This is the poem:
Sing, Be, Live, See…
This dark stormy hour, The wind, it stirs. The scorched earth cries out in vain:
O war and power, You blind and blur. The torn heart cries out in pain.
But music and singing Have been my refuge, And music and singing Shall be my light.
A light of song Shining strong: Alleluia!
Through darkness, pain and strife, I’ll Sing, Be, Live, See…

Listen and enjoy: https://youtu.be/N0NJOqBvrLI.

Summer 2020 Concerts Canceled
NWS regretfully announces the cancellation of our summer concerts scheduled for Sunday, June 28 and Friday, July 3.  We are very disappointed that the novel coronavirus has impacted our ability to gather to rehearse and perform as a group.  We believe that canceling this summer’s performances is the right decision to make for the safety of our membership, our patrons, and our friends and families.

Our music director, Josh Kearney, speaks about the cancellation of our summer concerts.

Stay up to date with the Nebraska Wind Symphony by visiting us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at the pages below.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NebraskaWinds/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NebraskaWinds 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/NebraskaWinds/


A Different Kind of Music by NWS Playing Members

In 1952, noteworthy American composer John Cage conceptualized a work that changed the landscape of music composition: 4’33” (read four minutes and thirty-three seconds or simply four thirty-three). In 4’33”, audience members and performers sit in a performance space and make no sound – there is only silence. The piece was premiered in the Maverick Concert Hall in the middle of a forest near Woodstock, New York.

The soundtrack was provided by participating playing members of the Nebraska Wind Symphony. They recorded their surroundings during the time of COVID-19. These recordings have been layered to create a soundscape and paired alongside still photos of our home – Nebraska. Though the video is four minutes and forty-two seconds in length, the audio track supplied is exactly 4’33”.
Check back as additional tracks will be layered for future iterations of this project along with updated photographs.

May 15, 2020 video

May 1, 2020 video – https://youtu.be/PgUQ-FujorA

April 13, 2020 video – https://youtu.be/VfDAMCzxFZM


Announcing our 44th Concert Season for 2020-2021

These are the tentative dates, times, and locations for our upcoming 44th concert season.
NWS is busy making plans for different types of concert experiences as the coronavirus situation continues to unfold.  Check back with us in September to see updates to these planned concert dates, times, and locations.
Fall Concert – Sunday, October 18, 2020 at the University of Nebraska at Omaha
featuring Dr. Kristín Jónína Taylor, Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, piano soloist
Holiday Concert – Sunday, December 13, 2020 at the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Winter Concert – Sunday, February 14, 2021 at the University of Nebraska at Omaha
featuring our NWS Middle School All-stars
Spring Concert  – Sunday, April 11, 2021 at the University of Nebraska at Omaha
tentatively featuring our 2021 NWS Scholarship Winner


We welcome  Dr Joshua Kearney as our new  Music Director!    Josh is Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  He brings a lot of enthusiasm and a love for all different kinds of music for concert band.  Please join us in welcoming Josh!
Our former Music Director, Larry MacTaggart has decided to not return in our upcoming 2020-2021 season so he can commit more time to writing music and other interests.  We thank Larry for his service to the Nebraska Wind Symphony for 5 years and wish him well.  We are looking forward to playing more of Larry’s original music for concert band.


We Couldn’t Do This Without Your Support!

NWS relies on financial support from its playing members, concert patrons, and businesses and individuals from around the Omaha metropolitan area.  These gifts help us to pay for rehearsal and concert space, music director and other staff salaries, new music purchase and rental, performance rights, insurance, replacement equipment, and so many other things.
Consider providing your financial support of NWS through one or more of these methods:
Direct Financial Donation
Concert Series Sponsorship
Program Advertisement Purchase
Omaha Gives
Donation Programs like  AmazonSmileGiving AssistantTAGG (Together a Greater Good)

Thank you for your past and future support!


43rd Concert Season – 2019-2020

Sunday, October 20, 2019 – Fall Concert
“NWS Spooktacular” – 3PM
with Dr. Jared Staub, Guest Conductor
Omaha Conservatory of Music, 7023 Cass St, Omaha, NE
We invite you to join Visiting Music Director Dr. Joshua Kearney and Associate Music Director Keith Davis for the Wind Symphony’s frightfully fun NWS  Spooktacular. Audience members will cackle with sheer delight upon being treated to the gleefully eerie sounds of the Halloween season. In addition to works by many of the country’s best composers for concert band, the NWS will present the world premiere of  Associate Music Director Keith Davis’s newest transcription for band, Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Cossack Dance from the opera Mazeppa. Joining the Nebraska Wind Symphony as a featured guest conductor will be Dr. Jared Staub, Director of Bands at Grand Rapids Community College.
This family-friendly event promises to be delightfully otherworldly!
Tickets: $10-Adults; $5-Seniors/Students; Free-Children under 12
Purchase advanced tickets online or at the door the day of the concert.  On site Box Office opens about 45 minutes before the concert.

Sunday, December 8, 2019 – Holiday Concert
“HOmaha for the Holidays” – 3PM
featuring Dr. Marie Rubis Bauer, Organ and an audience sing-a-long
The Jan and John Christensen Concert Hall
UNO Strauss Performing Arts Center, 60th and Dodge, Omaha, NE
This concert is sponsored in part by Ortho Nebraska.

Tickets: $10-Adults; $5-Seniors/Students;
Free-Children under 12
Purchase advanced tickets online or at the door the day of the concert.  On site Box Office opens about 45 minutes before the concert.

Sunday, February 16, 2020 – Winter Concert
“In Two Places”- 3PM
Omaha Conservatory of Music,
7023 Cass St, Omaha, NE
Featuring NWS Middle School All-Star Saxophones, Dr. Patrick Brown, saxophone soloist, and Dr. Adam Fontana, guest conductor
This concert explores repertoire that includes many wonderful American classics as well as contemporary works for winds that challenge the listener to think differently about many aspects of our day-to-day lives.
Program to include: Star Spangled Banner (A Love Song to Our Country) arranged by Jack Stamp, Selections from the New England Triptych by Pulitzer Prize winning composer William Schuman, In Two Places by Haley Woodrow, Diversion for Alto Saxophone and Band by Bernhard Heiden, Saxophobia from “Tribute to Rudy Wiedoeft” arranged by Gunther Schuller, the Governor’s Own March by Alton Adams, and Omar Thomas’ incredibly profound work Of Our New Day Begun – composed to honor the nine worshipers and victims of the senseless 2015 shooting at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
The Middle School All-Stars will perform Harlem Nocturne and Yakety Sax.

Sunday, April 5, 2020 – Spring Concert – “¡Song and Dance!” – CANCELLED
This event has been cancelled as we assist with local efforts for social-distancing in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).  We are looking at options to include the music planned for this concert in our 2020-2021 concert season or for our upcoming summer concerts.
Dr. Kristín Jónína Taylor, Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Nebraska
at Omaha is our guest piano soloist.
This concert features music by composers of Latin and Spanish descent as well as music influenced by those regions. The performance will include music by Arturo
Márquez, Joaquín Turina, Victoriano Valencia, and Jaime Texidor as well
a work for piano and winds by Julie Giroux entitled Cordoba.

Free Summer 2020 Concerts
NOTE – these concerts have been cancelled
Nebraska Wind Symphony and the NWS Swingtones
Sunday, June 28, 2020 – 6PM – St Robert Bellarmine, 11802 Pacific St, Omaha, NE
Friday, July 3, 2020 – 6PM – SumTur, 11691 S 108th St, Papillion, NE


See and listen to our salute to Women of the Military


Hey Nebraska Wind Symphony Fans!

For information on all of our concerts see our 2019-2020 Concert Season page.
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Omaha Gives – Thank You for your support!

We received great support from our playing members and friends through Omaha Gives May 20, 2020. This year, 30 donors gave a total of $4,810!  These donations fill a large void created by the loss of summer concert revenue.  Thank you for helping us to continue to function and make music joyfully in the greater Omaha area.


NWS Memorial Scholarship News

2020 NWS Concerto/Scholarship Competition  award amount is $1,000.
2020 application period has ended.
Congratulations to Kendall Wooden for being selected the 2020 scholarship winner! Plans are in place for Kendall to perform with NWS at an upcoming concert.  Read more about Kendall and our other scholarship winners at our scholarship recipients page.
Visit our scholarship page for additional details about the NWS Scholarship.



Larry MacTaggart Receives NSBA Distinguished Service Award

The Nebraska State Bandmasters Association (NSBA) awarded the Duane Johnson Distinguished Service Award to NWS Music Director, Larry MacTaggart in March 2019.  This award is given by the NSBA Executive Board to individuals who have helped make “Better Bands for Nebraska”.  The award is designated in honor and recognition of  Duane E. Johnson and the many invaluable contributions he made to bands of Nebraska.
Other 2019 recipients of this award were Tom Jaworski (Retired, Adams Central Public Schools) and Joanie Mathis (Omaha Symphony).
Congratulations Larry!


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with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment