Alexander Martino of Plano is part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's 299-member Cornhusker Marching Band, which will make its 2019 debut Aug. 31 at Memorial Stadium with pregame and halftime performances at Nebraska's football season opener against South Alabama.
Martino, a freshman pre-architecture major, plays percussion.
In honor of the university's 150th anniversary this year, all halftime shows will carry themes related to "In Our Grit, Our Glory."
This year's band includes representatives from nearly every region of the country; though, 78 percent of the students are from Nebraska. Twenty-one percent of the students are music or music education majors. The rest are studying in more than 70 other degree programs across campus. Each band member passed two auditions to gain admittance to the group.
The drum majors for the 2019 marching band are senior Jacob Coughlin of Omaha, senior Madeline Kelly of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and senior Ethan Millington of Cortland. The twirlers are freshman Carrigan Hurst of Little Chute, Wisconsin, and junior Kimberly Law of La Quinta, California.
Anthony M. Falcone, associate director of bands in the Glenn Korff School of Music, is the director of the Cornhusker Marching Band. Douglas W. Bush is the assistant director of bands and assistant marching band director. Carolyn Barber, Ron and Carol Cope Professor of Music, is director of bands. Other band staff members are graduate teaching assistants Josh Cutting, Ruben Dario Gomez and Matt Smoot. Conner Viets is the percussion instructor, and Samantha Brown is the color guard instructor. Rose Johnson is the administrative technician, Jan Deaton is the office associate, and Nolan Schmit is the "voice" of the band.
The Cornhusker Marching Band, which resides in the Korff School, was founded in 1879 as an ROTC unit and is one of the oldest marching bands in the nation. The band has received many honors throughout its 140-year history, including a Distinguished Recognition Trophy presented by John Philip Sousa in 1927 and the John Philip Sousa Foundation's Sudler Trophy in 1996. The Sudler Trophy is the highest honor given to collegiate bands.
The "Pride of All Nebraska" has been seen by millions of viewers on television. The band was the first collegiate ensemble to perform at all of the major football bowl games: Rose, Orange, Fiesta, Sugar and Cotton. The full marching band will travel to the Nebraska at Illinois game on Sept. 21.