Lt. Governor Mike Foley was the keynote speaker at the Wednesday joint session of Boys’ and Girls State. Lt. Governor Foley addressed the students and answered their questions. Prior to the keynote address, the band and chorus performed for the 800 students in attendance. University of Nebraska coaches Amy Williams, Bob Diaco, and John Cook shared words of encouragement.
Wednesday marked the second joint session between Boys’ and Girl’s States. To kick off the session, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts addressed the delegates, speaking about issues ranging from the recent repeal of the death penalty to the economic developments that promise to move our state forward. Ricketts underscored his focus on creating a Nebraska fosters, retains, and attracts the best young talent from all around the world.
Also making an appearance at the Wendesday night session were key members of the University of Nebraska Athletic Department, including basketball coach Tim Miles, volleyball coach John Cook, and members of the University’s softball team.
Rounding out the program was a joint band and choral concert, conducted by Dr. Peter Eklund and Jim Kucera, director of bands at Waverly High School in Waverly, Nebraska.
This evening, the Band and Chorus gave stirring performances during a joint session of Boys’ and Girls’ State in Kimball Hall. Led by Waverly High School band director Jim Kucera, the combined Boys’ and Girls’ State Band began the evenings’ musical festivities. They played a variety of tunes, including “Ballad of the Green Berets;” “Amazed,” by the country band Lonestar; and the classic, “There is No Place Like Nebraska.” Following the instrumentalists came the combined Chorus, led by UNL Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Peter Eklund. They performed a beautiful repertoire of pieces, ranging from movingly emotional to bouncy and fun. Both the Band and Chorus received a standing ovation after nearly every song was completed. While the incredible musical talent of these young men and women is not surprising given their other credentials, what is truly remarkable is that this amazing performance was rehearsed in only two days! The Boys’ State program sends out a very special ‘Thank You!’ to Dr. Eklund and Mr. Kucera for volunteering their time to lead these incredible young people this week. Overall, the band and chorus performances were a showcase of remarkable talent and a ton of fun for everyone present.
Yesterday afternoon, members of 2011 American Legion Cornhusker Boys’ State and American Legion Auxiliary Cornhusker Girls’ State met for the first time in Westbrook Music Building to begin their week of music-making in band and chorus. The Band Director is Mr. John Franssen, while the Chorus is directed by Dr. Peter Eklund. Unfortunately, the first rehearsal of the 2011 Boys’/Girls’ State Chorus was conducted behind-closed-doors, leaving us to wait in eager anticipation of the splendid performance the Chorus surely has in-store for us on Wednesday.
Mr. Franssen and the Ladies of 2011 Girls’ State
A Prospective Band Member from Yorktown
Dr. Eklund and the Chorus
This evening witnessed a joint session of both American Legion Boys’ State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls’ State for a concert of the Boys’ and Girls’ State Band and Chorus.
For the male delegates, the evening really began with the arrival of the brilliant young women of Cornhusker Girls’ State:
Sitting in alternating rows, the delegates sat eagerly awaiting the festivities. The wait was pleasantly shortened by an impromptu pep song and dance routine by the band. Their lively rendition of Hey Baby soon had the audience on their toes tapping and clapping to the music:
Taking the stage, the band performed a variety of classic and contemporary tunes, including many soloists, and finished with a stirring rendition of Dear Old Nebraska U:
Between the band and chorus performances, the delegates received an address from two star athletes from the Nebraska Women’s Basketball team and one from the Nebraska Volleyball team:
The chorus then took the stage and wowed the audience with its collective display of vocal talent, including a number of soloists. Their closing performance of an American tribute medley brought the audience to its feet:
The evening concluded with an address by Nebraska Governor David Heineman. Click the photo below to read the article about his evening address to the delegates.