Lincoln Municipal Band's 2012 season
A true pillar of the arts in Lincoln, the Lincoln Municipal Band has been performing free concerts for our community for an incredible 105 years, entertaining many generations of Lincoln citizens. In 1907, Lincoln residents were treated to the first concerts of the Lincoln Municipal Band at the state fairgrounds, and today the ensemble continues a regular summer concert series at Antelope Park, a tradition that began in 1911. The Lincoln Municipal Band remains Nebraska's only professional wind ensemble and the state's oldest professional music organization of any kind. The band's summer concert series offers audiences an opportunity to hear Lincoln's finest professional musicians, in the beautiful park setting, free of charge.
At the turn of the last century, most communities in the United States with over 1000 residents had a town band performing on Sunday evenings in the city park. Lincoln is fortunate that our band has not only continued to exist, but grown and expanded, while most other cities have lost that tradition. Each year, the Lincoln Municipal Band now presents seven summer concerts. The organization also presents educational outreach workshops in Lincoln schools and holds the John Shildneck Young Artist Competition. The award's namesake, John Shildneck, became director of the band in 1939 and was a driving force in the ensemble's success for five decades.
Said Shildneck in an interview with Lincoln Journal Star, "I just try and select what people like to hear. You've got to play music that people can listen to and walk away and whistle." While he made it sound simple, it is the tireless dedication of Shildneck, the outstanding musicians, and the excellent work of the band's directors and staff through the years that has allowed it to thrive today. The sentiment expressed by former instrumental soloist Marla McCabe holds true: "Lincoln folks were proud of their Lincoln Municipal Band because it served as an enjoyable gathering place for quality music as well as a pleasant spot to socialize."
The Lincoln Municipal Band traditionally performs new band music in addition to standards of the repertoire. During the past decade, the Lincoln Municipal Band has premiered new compositions and arrangements from Nebraska composers Randall Snyder, Boyd Bacon and Jay Pralle, and has recorded a new work by nationally renowned composer Robert Jager. The 2012 Lincoln Municipal Band season is underway, with concerts at 7:00 pm at the John Shildneck Memorial Band Shell at Antelope Park each Sunday evening through August 12.