October 2006 UNK Department of the Month - UNK "Pride of the Plains" Marching Band
Director: Dr. Neal Schnoor
Director of Bands: Dr. Gary Davis
The directors and members of the UNK Marching Band believe strongly in the value of service to our department, campus, city, state and region. As an example, last Fall’s "regular season" found the band performing at 5 home football games, hosting the annual Band Day parade competition, then quickly switching gears to prepare a symphonic concert at the Nebraska Music Educators Association Conference Clinic and again for the annual Holiday Concert. In addition, the band performed at 9 post-season volleyball matches and an additional Loper football game. The drum line was also presented high school clinics and performed at football games at Franklin and S-E-M. This year, the UNK Marching Band has traveled to Omaha for the annual UNK vs. UNO football game. NETV broadcast the game and half-time show across the state of Nebraska. The entire half-time shown was with no commercial breaks. The next week the marching band performed at the Wayne State football game and will perform at each of the remaining home games this year.
Last January the UNK "Pride of the Plains" Marching Band became the first band from the United States to appear in the Rome New Years Parade 2006. The parade culminated in St. Peter's Square with the annual New Year's Blessing by Pope Benedict. The band also toured and performed in Florence, Siena, and Montecatini for thousands of Italian patrons. The UNK band is planning a return trip in 2008-09.
September 30th, the Band again hosted 28 bands from Nebraska at Band Day, drawing thousands of students and patrons to the UNK campus and community. Also, the band has successfully bid to host the NSBA State Marching Band Contest for classes A, B, C, and D. The event will feature 30 competitive bands and again draw between 8,000 – 10,000 high school musicians, directors, and patrons to the UNK campus and community.
The UNK Pride of the Plains Marching Band works to provide more for its members than just a quality musical ensemble. For six years, the directors have trained student leaders in a Principle-Centered Leadership model. The students have embraced the concept of service-oriented leadership and work synergistically with the directors to create a continuously renewing musical organization that focuses on quality relationships and helping students develop important attitudes and skills that will help them throughout their lives. Students have been active in various campus activities including: recruitment, retention, day-to-day band operations, rehearsal planning and delivery, development of DVD’s and on-line resources, service as clinicians, uniform care and maintenance, and social activities. Additionally, directors and students volunteer one week prior to the beginning of fall classes to prepare for the upcoming season. Service is more than a word, but a way of life for members of the band.
Professionalism requires discipline and a sense of stewardship. Whether band members are representing their country in Italy or keeping the band room clean on a daily basis, members are expected to give of themselves for the benefit of the organization. Members demonstrate character by attending rehearsals on time, preparing music and drill prior to rehearsal, and doing their part to help the band achieve quality on and off the field. Band members are challenged to project a professional attitude whenever they represent our university at UNK, at away games and tournaments, and during trips throughout the state/region/abroad.
The band will continue to strive to contribute to excellence through quality musical performance, contribution to school pride, representation throughout the state/region/abroad, and through extra-musical service activities. The band is excited to have members from over 20 departments, all colleges, and traditionally every professional program on campus; and in recent years has enjoyed increasing contributions of international students. Each is called upon to give of themselves, to embrace the motto that "Quality Begins with Me", and to perform to the best of their abilities in service to the ensemble. After the band’s recent appearance in the Rome New Year’s Parade a proud American (Wyoming native) living seasonally in Florence excitedly approached the directors and said, "Europeans constantly bash America, the discipline, their level of performance, it was so great to have you here to show them they were wrong!"
For all of these reasons, as well as truly being the Pride of the Plains, Staff Senate is privileged to recognize the UNK Marching Band as the October 2006 Department of the Month.
Thank you to Department of the Month sponsors UNK Athletics and UNK Staff Senate.