Say It With Music


Say It With Music


This 1935 editorial in the Daily Nebraskan praises the Kansas band for their performance, manner, and uniforms while accusing the Nebraska band for their shabby, unenthusiastic, outdated methods and uniforms. The inflammatory article chastises the Nebraska band members for belonging to band in order to get out of drill requirements.


Daily Nebraskan


University of Nebraska, Library Media Services, 38/1/2 Mfilm AP2 D355


1935, Nov 10


Say It
With Music.
Nebraska said it with football Saturday and copped its sixth Big Six crown in eight years. But Kansas had its say too, although in a different manner. The Jayhawkers said it with music with the finest college band that has appeared in Memorial stadium in many a year and went home with the plaudits of the entire crowd ringing in their ears.
Uniforms glittering, the Kansas band, marching proudly, splendidly, and playing magnificently, treated Nebraska fans to a program of college band music that has seldom been witnessed in Memorial stadium. Stirring was their music, quick their step, and martial their mien. Difficult maneuvers were executed precisely and without a slip. It was a grand show, fit accompaniment for the big Six title struggle.
After listening to Kansas’ band whoop it up in a way that thrilled every spectator, Husker students experienced a rather odd feeling as the Nebraska band, playing the same old dirges and ditties, marched forth sounding like it was on the way to a funeral and not a very important funeral at that. Some good marches were played but they sounded empty. The backbone of the band seemed utterly lacking. The martial spirit, the fire, the zest, the snap that go to make bands the most soul stirring music in the world, were lacking.
* * * *
Some time ago, when the year was yet young, the Nebraskan suggested that something be done to revitalize the Nebraska band, to give it that certain essential something that makes people’s blood course through their veins and their spirits mount high. Some one or two new formations were adopted by the band, and that apparently, is the extent of its efforts to improve.
As the Nebraskan has previously said, it is hard to criticize an organization that has given so much time and effort to the university. But if we are to have a band, we should have a good and outstanding band and there is no reason why this should not be the case.
Nebraska’s band just isn’t in it when it comes to competing with other bands like Kansas. It reeks of the hidebound conservatism which holds Nebraska back on altogether too many fronts. What the band needs is pepping up in all departments and renovizing of many of its ancient practices.

* * * *
Looking at the band in its dull and colorless gray uniforms brings to mind the comment of New York papers when the band went east to the Army game some years ago, that they looked like a band of messenger boys. Its very outward appearance is not characteristic of the spirit that should prevail within its ranks. Brighter uniforms would help a lot.
Some pride is taken in the fact that Nebraska has one of the largest bands in this section. This appears to be a doubtful honor for one of the difficulties of the band is its terrible ponderousness. It is too unwieldy under present conditions and that part of the band that is good is held back by others who are just enough behind in everything to spoil the general effect. Perhaps the entire membership can be molded into a band that will act and function smoothly together but if this cannot be done, the band should be reduced to a smaller number of capable and skilled musicians who can work together and in spite of their size give Nebraska a good band.
The move might be advisable if not for this reason, then from the standpoint of weeding out the loafers and uninterested band members who are there only to escape taking military science. It is these same laggards who take advantage of every opportunity to evade practice and abuse the good treatment given them by their conductor. These men have no place in the band.

* * * *

How splendid it would be if the Nebraska bands could march and play with the spirit and vigor and excellence so well displayed by Kansas. How much more interest would be shown in the band were it to present something original and different from time to time instead of the “same old stuff.” And how proud not only the university but the band itself would be if it were the center, the motivating force, the essence of school spirit and enthusiasm, and if it were an organization in which membership was made a high privilege instead of a retreat from military training.
Lots of things need improvement on the Nebraska campus. One of these is the band. A good band is not an impossibility for Nebraska. Surely we have the talent and the director to accomplish the important transformation that is desired. We hope we are coming out of the doldrums on the campus and one of the best ways we can imagine to let the world know would e to improve our band and say it with music.




Daily Nebraskan, “Say It With Music,” Nebraska U, accessed December 16, 2018,