Cornhusker Marching Band presses on amid pandemic

· 14 min read

Cornhusker Marching Band presses on amid pandemic

Craig Chandler | University Communication
Regan Hennings practices marching as both she and her trombone are properly covered to protect from COVID-19.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s 297-member Cornhusker Marching Band is persevering through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through quick adjustments made by faculty leaders in the spring and summer, the band is rehearsing daily and preparing for a performance series this fall, as well as a stand-still version of its pregame show to be recorded and made available online. The band has also recorded performances for the “Second Screen” virtual game day experience offered by Nebraska Athletics and HuskerVision. Learn more.

This year, auditions took place via video submissions, and the annual camp was replaced with a virtual program that ran through the summer. During that time, student leaders connected with and guided bandmates via Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms.

Faculty leaders have instituted health-related protocols — doubling spacing between band members on the field, requiring the use of cloth covers on all wind instruments and facial coverings where possible, rehearsing with no more than two-thirds of the band in Cook Pavilion at one time, and making sure hand sanitizer is available.

Along with following all federal, state and local health protocols, the band is adjusting procedures based on findings in targeted studies being conducted at the University of Colorado, University of Maryland and Colorado State University.

“The studies are looking specifically at how the virus is spread in the performing arts,” said Tony Falcone, associate director of bands in the Glenn Korff School of Music and director of the Cornhusker Marching Band. “As findings are released from those studies, we adapt our protocols.

“We’re doing everything we can to protect our students, faculty and staff from this virus.”

A third of the Cornhusker Marching Band plays during an early-morning practice in Cook Pavilion. As part of its COVID-19 health protocols, the band limits the number of students participating in practice to a maximum of two-thirds of total members. They have also doubled the distance between each musician and are either wearing masks or have the bells of wind instruments covered with cloth.
Craig Chandler | University Communication
A third of the Cornhusker Marching Band plays during an early-morning practice in Cook Pavilion. As part of its COVID-19 health protocols, the band limits the number of students participating in practice to a maximum of two-thirds of total members. They have also doubled the distance between each musician and are either wearing masks or have the bells of wind instruments covered with cloth.

This year’s band includes representatives from nearly every region of the country; though, 75% of the students are from Nebraska. Twenty-two percent of the students are music or music education majors. The rest are studying in more than 60 other degree programs across campus. Each band member passed an audition to gain admittance to the group.

The drum majors for the 2020 marching band are seniors Jacob Coughlin of Omaha, Sarah Ernst of Columbus, Sydney McGahan of North Platte and Molly Olander of Burnsville, Minnesota. The twirlers are sophomore Carrigan Hurst of Little Chute, Wisconsin, and senior Kimberly Law of La Quinta, California.

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 assistants Josh Cutting, Matt Smoot and Scott Walker. Bastian Wood 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 141-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. Learn more.

Following is a list of 2020 Cornhusker Marching Band members by hometown, with instrument or role in band, year in school and academic major(s).



  • Emily Donnell, piccolo, junior, secondary English (7-12).
  • Elizabeth Hunter, piccolo, sophomore, English.
  • Nathan Muilenburg, trombone, junior, biochemistry.


  • Hannah Kassmeier, trumpet, freshman, pre-health.
  • Natalie Klaus, percussion, freshman, psychology.
  • Whitley Kleveland, trombone, junior, music education.
  • Sydney MacNett, piccolo, sophomore, elementary education.
  • Steven Powers, percussion, junior, architectural studies.
  • Chasitey Whitmore, trumpet, sophomore, psychology.
  • Gerin Zimmerman, trumpet, sophomore, psychology.


  • Matthew Bigge, trumpet, junior, music education.
  • Charlie Croteau, trumpet, sophomore, psychology.
  • Carter Dawson, percussion, senior, advertising and public relations.
  • Anna Gullett, percussion, freshman, actuarial science.
  • Katie Gullett, piccolo, senior, biological sciences.
  • Dakota Huxhold, trumpet, freshman, actuarial science.
  • Ben Skoff, percussion, junior, social science.


  • Carly Poskochil, tenor saxophone, senior, biological sciences.


  • Isaac Baysinger, trombone, sophomore, computer science.


  • Karlie Sines, alto saxophone, senior, music education.

Cedar Bluffs:

  • Hailey Anderson, alto saxophone, freshman, physics.
  • Katie Pace, trumpet, junior, environmental restoration science.


  • Lara Celesky, trumpet, sophomore, music education.
  • Matt Jackson, trumpet, junior, music education.
  • Katie Lilly, piccolo, sophomore, elementary education and special education (K-6).


  • Cole Asche, percussion, freshman, music.
  • Luke Bogus, percussion, senior, management.
  • Sarah Ernst, drum major, senior, music education.
  • Kylee Vrba, percussion, freshman, undeclared undergraduate.
  • Cassidy Wemhoff, color guard, sophomore, elementary education and special education (K-6).


  • Kendrick Roach, percussion, freshman, broadcasting.


  • Jacob Dill, percussion, sophomore, computer science.


  • Nathan Andrews, trumpet, senior, microbiology.
  • Zachary Cheek, baritone, junior, music.
  • Joshua Holstein, trumpet, sophomore, interior design.
  • Nathan Kurz, baritone, junior, actuarial science.
  • Ally Richardson, trombone, senior, biological systems engineering.
  • Emily Tanner, piccolo, sophomore, music education.
  • Zac Vyhlidal, trombone, senior, mechanical engineering.
  • Nathan Andrews, trumpet, senior, microbiology.


  • Chloe Bowman, baritone, freshman, music education.

Fort Calhoun:

  • Bailey Donovan, color guard, freshman, pre-health.
  • Amanda Hansen, horn, junior, pre-health.


  • Megan Roucka, piccolo, senior, biological sciences.
  • Grant Westerman, clarinet, freshman, music.


  • Adam Flowers, trumpet, freshman, music education.

Grand Island:

  • Zachary Claassen, trumpet, freshman, computer science.
  • Michaela Folkers, clarinet, freshman, music education.
  • Samuel Harvey, percussion, junior, mechanical engineering.
  • Leavitt Reno, trumpet, sophomore, business administration.
  • Kylee Sodomka, trumpet, sophomore, sports media and communication.


  • Brynn Boes, percussion, sophomore, biological sciences.
  • Arden Fechtmeister, piccolo, senior, music.
  • Andre Garivay, alto saxophone, senior, computer science.
  • Madison Gulizia, percussion, junior, biological sciences.
  • Carissa Hunter, color guard, sophomore, pre-veterinary medicine.
  • Troy Scheer, alto saxophone, junior, nutrition and health sciences.
  • Alaric Schlitz, percussion, sophomore, mechanical engineering.


  • Josh Brooks, trumpet, junior, music.
  • Hailey Haase, trumpet, freshman, veterinary science.


  • Ryan Koch, trumpet, senior, political science.


  • Mark Perez, trumpet, senior, music education.


  • Jenna McCoy, trumpet, senior, applied climate science.


  • Sam Harre, trumpet, senior, mechanical engineering.
  • Bethany Krull, color guard, junior, computer engineering.
  • Skyler Krull, percussion, freshman, forensic science.
  • Ashton Malcom, piccolo, senior, elementary education.
  • Jaiden Schilke, trombone, freshman, undeclared undergraduate.


  • Morgan Delaplane, baritone, freshman, music education.

La Vista:

  • Lizzy Lamberty, color guard, freshman, pre-health.


  • Emily Alexander, color guard, freshman, nutrition and health sciences.
  • Anavictoria Almodovar-Warner, alto saxophone, freshman, music education.
  • Baylee Andersen, trombone, senior, animal science.
  • Lauren Berke, trumpet, senior, mechanical engineering.
  • Joseph Bruner, tenor saxophone, freshman, undeclared undergraduate.
  • Kim Cao, percussion, sophomore, pre-health.
  • Abigail Carstens, horn, sophomore, psychology.
  • Sean Casey, percussion, freshman, music education.
  • Christian Dahlman, tenor saxophone, sophomore, mechanical engineering.
  • Makenna Dezort, piccolo, freshman, elementary education.
  • Matthew Dohmen, percussion, freshman, mechanical engineering.
  • Jonathan Duke, trumpet, junior, actuarial science.
  • Austin Essman, trombone, senior, accounting.
  • Jacob Evans, tuba, senior, civil engineering.
  • Kason Fiedler, tuba, junior, music education.
  • Hunter Foged, trumpet, senior, biological sciences.
  • Hayden Fuelberth, trombone, sophomore, music education.
  • Colm Gill, trombone, senior, actuarial science.
  • Harrison Grasso, trombone, senior, biological systems engineering.
  • Jacob Green, trumpet, freshman, mechanical engineering.
  • Jessie Harlan, tenor saxophone, freshman, psychology.
  • Colton Harris, alto saxophone, freshman, music.
  • Meagan Heimbrecht, trumpet, sophomore, music education.
  • Jayden Hood, trumpet, freshman, undeclared undergraduate.
  • Zachary Hosek, baritone, sophomore, accounting.
  • Kayla James, tenor saxophone, freshman, music education.
  • Alyssa Johnson, color guard, sophomore, journalism.
  • Hannah Johnson, piccolo, sophomore, psychology.
  • Hayden Kehn, clarinet, sophomore, civil engineering.
  • Anna Knopik, horn, sophomore, psychology.
  • Tristin Korinek, baritone, senior, architectural studies.
  • Declan Lanning, trombone, sophomore, pre-health.
  • Layne Larabee, color guard, freshman, music education.
  • Danielle Lemons, horn, junior, graphic design.
  • Ian Maltas, trombone, junior, psychology.
  • Alfonso Meza, tuba, sophomore, music education.
  • Seth Miller, baritone, sophomore, biochemistry.
  • Alyse Monismith, clarinet, sophomore, graphic design.
  • Nicole Munroe, trumpet, senior, music education.
  • Caroline Nebel, percussion, junior, English.
  • Martin Nguyen, Percussion, junior, computer science.
  • Ellie Pekas, trumpet, senior, economics.
  • Nestor Pelayo, baritone, senior, music education.
  • Calvin Pilkington, trumpet, sophomore, software engineering.
  • Justin Richard, horn, senior, music education.
  • Daniel Riedel, percussion, sophomore, computer science.
  • Katelyn Schmid, horn, junior, criminology and criminal justice.
  • Katherine Schmit, trumpet, sophomore, music education.
  • Taylor Schrader, trumpet, senior, computer science.
  • Tyler Senne, trombone, junior, software engineering.
  • Collin Sipple, alto saxophone, junior, computer science.
  • Colton Talbert, tuba, senior, theatre.
  • Joelle Tangen, piccolo, senior, textiles, merchandising and fashion design.
  • TJ Taylor, trumpet, freshman, economics.
  • Gavin Teet, trumpet, sophomore, mathematics.
  • Elijah Theye, percussion, senior, nutrition and health sciences.
  • Victoria Thomas, piccolo, freshman, secondary education.
  • Eli Ullman, trombone, senior, advertising and public relations.
  • Ryan Valenta, trombone, junior, sports media and communication.
  • Jacob Vanderford, alto saxophone, freshman, theatre.
  • Jacob Weskamp, trombone, freshman, fisheries and wildlife.
  • Jayne Whitman, clarinet, junior, elementary education and early childhood education.
  • Hope Whitney, clarinet, junior, nutrition and health sciences.
  • Kirby Zinniel, trumpet, freshman, music education.


  • Reid Preston, trombone, sophomore, agricultural economics.


  • Lanouette Bohmont, clarinet, freshman, horticulture.


  • Kylee Hauxwell, trumpet, junior, electrical engineering.

Nebraska City:

  • Luke Partsch, horn, freshman, music.


  • David Fanta, trumpet, sophomore, civil engineering.
  • Austin Matthies, trumpet, junior, accounting.
  • MaKinzie Walton, alto saxophone, sophomore, psychology.
  • Allison Wisnieski, trumpet, freshman, undeclared undergraduate.

North Platte:

  • Jack Carlson, alto saxophone, freshman, music education.
  • Nathan McGahan, tuba, senior, management.
  • Sydney McGahan, drum major, senior, music education.
  • Steffani Nolda, alto saxophone, sophomore, music education.
  • Parker Tonkinson, trumpet, freshman, music.


  • Breanna Armstrong, tenor saxophone, sophomore, sociology.
  • Jaynie Barber, color guard, sophomore, communication studies.
  • August Barna, trombone, freshman, undeclared undergraduate.
  • Sam Becker, percussion, freshman, biological sciences.
  • Payton Betzold, color guard, junior, architectural studies.
  • Alaina Blaker, tuba, junior, music performance.
  • Danielle Botdorf, clarinet, junior, undeclared undergraduate.
  • Tamario Brooks, Percussion, junior, music.
  • Elizabeth Chinowth, clarinet, freshman, music education.
  • Paul Circo, trumpet, senior, electrical engineering.
  • Austin Collins, trombone, senior, software engineering.
  • Jacob Coughlin, drum major, senior, management.
  • Grisela Diego-Mateo, clarinet, junior, elementary education and early childhood education.
  • Brooke Eastlack, clarinet, freshman, undeclared undergraduate.
  • Carly Fox, tenor saxophone, junior, music education.
  • Emma Fuller, color guard, junior, elementary education.
  • Caleb Geiger-Lee, trombone, sophomore, history.
  • Morgan Grabowski, percussion, senior, veterinary science.
  • Megan Grace, color guard, senior, marketing.
  • Oliver Gurney, trombone, freshman, music education.
  • Ethan Hansen, trumpet, freshman, supply chain management.
  • Erica Harmon, color guard, freshman, pre-health.
  • Nathan Hollenbeck, baritone, freshman, marketing.
  • Nate Iverson, trumpet, senior, biological systems engineering.
  • Brianna Juma, trumpet, senior, nutrition and health sciences.
  • Laura Kinney, color guard, freshman, secondary education.
  • Molly Kramer, piccolo, freshman, undeclared undergraduate.
  • Trevor Lyons, percussion, sophomore, undeclared undergraduate.
  • Katelyn Madsen, color guard, junior, business administration.
  • Caroline Mattern, clarinet, sophomore, music education.
  • Emily Matuella, trombone, sophomore, psychology.
  • Melanie Nissen, clarinet, senior, nutrition and health sciences.
  • Meredith Ollerich, trumpet, senior, music.
  • Nicholas Pavel, tuba, senior, business administration.
  • Haley Petri, color guard, junior, elementary education.
  • Hannah Petri, color guard, junior, art.
  • Aaron Pierce, trombone, freshman, music education.
  • Dalin Plog, horn, sophomore, music.
  • Carter Ross, percussion, sophomore, undeclared undergraduate.
  • Grace Ruff, trumpet, sophomore, music education.
  • Jake Schlosser, trombone, sophomore, political science.
  • Ashley Schnabel, percussion, sophomore, secondary English (7-12).
  • Carson Scott, trumpet, junior, business administration.
  • Gus Sheppard, baritone, senior, management.
  • Abby Siebe-Walles, horn, freshman, pre-veterinary medicine.
  • Alyssa Soppe, percussion, senior, music education.
  • Lukas Stelzle, tuba, junior, mechanical engineering.
  • Mark Stewart, alto saxophone, freshman, music education.
  • Bradley Theis, trumpet, sophomore, mechanical engineering.
  • Simon Thengvall, trumpet, freshman, mechanical engineering.
  • Cheyenne Warren, clarinet, senior, biochemistry.
  • Olivia Whalen, color guard, sophomore, criminology and criminal justice.
  • Ethan Yaroch, horn, sophomore, political science.


  • Kristopher Phillips, percussion, junior, music education.


  • Tristan Bentzinger, tuba, senior, child, youth and family studies.


  • Maggie Blazek, trumpet, junior, business administration.
  • Alexis Kahn, trumpet, senior, social science.
  • Ryan Kimball, percussion, senior, music.
  • John Lytle, tuba, freshman, music education.
  • Connor McFayden, horn, senior, environmental studies.
  • Kylie Muller, color guard, sophomore, undeclared undergraduate.
  • Madison Sides, color guard, junior, English.
  • Michaela Smith, color guard, senior, architectural atudies.
  • Eliseo Torres, trumpet, sophomore, music.
  • Zowi Vincent, trumpet, senior, environmental studies.


  • Klarissa Norris, piccolo, freshman, pre-health.


  • Zachary Ostrander, tenor saxophone, senior, Russian.


  • Amy Yanagida, piccolo, senior, sociology.


  • Abby Rood, trombone, junior, music education.


  • Alexah Fort, clarinet, freshman, broadcasting.


  • Kelsey Reeves, tuba, senior, biological sciences.


  • Diego Sterkel, trumpet, freshman, international business.


  • Rachel Hoffschneider, color guard, freshman, marketing.


  • Nicholas Fuller, trumpet, freshman, mechanical engineering.


  • Regan Hennings, trombone, senior, music education.


  • Rachel Gerdes, trumpet, junior, chemical engineering.
  • Francis Havlovic, tuba, freshman, mechanical engineering.



Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson:

  • McCaylee Dempcy, clarinet, freshman, mechanical engineering.



  • Isabel Welch, horn, junior, microbiology.


Huntington Beach:

  • Joshua Irby, alto saxophone, freshman, mathematics.

La Quinta:

  • Kimberly Law, twirler, senior, chemical engineering.


  • Jansen Coburn, percussion, junior, sports media and communication.

San Marcos:

  • Olivia Marcotte, tuba, freshman, environmental science.


Lone Tree:

  • Rachael Huxley, piccolo, freshman, music.


  • Jayda Larsen, piccolo, sophomore, forensic science.


  • William Mowery, trumpet, sophomore, supply chain management.



  • Jacob Skomer, alto saxophone, sophomore, accounting.


  • Lauren Plumley, clarinet, junior, mechanical engineering.

Hawthorn Woods:

  • Alex Heraty, horn, senior, marketing.


  • Clarissa Mason, clarinet, junior, biochemistry.


  • Jordyn Guse, piccolo, freshman, forensic science.


  • Megan Whisenhunt, tuba, senior, emerging media arts.

Mount Prospect:

  • Victoria Foort, trombone, sophomore, social science.


  • Alisa Holst, clarinet, sophomore, food science and technology.


  • Juan Silva, alto saxophone, freshman, physics.


  • Will Brunner, trombone, senior, physics.


  • Cady Murphy, clarinet, sophomore, biochemistry.



  • Samuel Taylor, trumpet, junior, political science.


  • Nate Petsche, trumpet, sophomore, music.


  • Abigail Oetken, trumpet, senior, child, youth and family studies.

Council Bluffs:

  • Ian Brungardt, trumpet, sophomore, biological systems engineering.


  • Abigail Ridder, percussion, sophomore, environmental studies.

West Des Moines:

  • Erik Skoog, percussion, senior, software engineering.



  • Helena Lord, tenor saxophone, freshman, biochemistry.
  • Cameron Stussie, trombone, senior, music education.
  • Noah Stussie, tuba, sophomore, music.


  • Allison Linton, clarinet, sophomore, music education.


  • Grayson McGregor, clarinet, senior, music education.

Overland Park:

  • Laurel Carder, clarinet, freshman, undeclared undergraduate.
  • Matthew Lowry, alto saxophone, sophomore, music.
  • Madison van Ophem, horn, freshman, forensic science.


  • Ellen Schnacker, alto saxophone, junior, music education.


  • Clayton Pettera, horn, freshman, biochemistry.



  • Emma Schmidt, piccolo, freshman, animal science.

White Lake:

  • Zack Edwards, clarinet, junior, supply chain management.


Apple Valley:

  • Willem Shelleny, percussion, sophomore, biochemistry.


  • Molly Olander, drum major, senior, actuarial science.

Eden Prairie:

  • Zach Howard, trumpet, freshman, accounting.


  • Sarah Hawkinson, trumpet, freshman, biochemistry.


  • Samuel Ahlquist, alto saxophone, freshman, political science.

New Brighton:

  • Evan Niedfeldt-Thomas, trumpet, freshman, undeclared undergraduate.


  • Cade Schanzenbach, trombone, junior, actuarial science.

South St. Paul:

  • Patrick Schmidt, percussion, junior, political science.


  • Andrew Linden, trumpet, freshman, music.


Blue Springs:

  • Patrick Orel, horn, junior, computer science.

Kansas City:

  • Evan Ericksen, tenor saxophone, junior, mathematics.
  • Zach Howard, percussion, sophomore, music education.
  • Pierce Saylock, tenor saxophone, sophomore, marketing.


  • Brendan Elam, horn, freshman, music education.


  • Addie Schwartzman, tenor saxophone, senior, horticulture.



  • Glenna Fulitano, color guard, junior, elementary education.



  • Audrey Fraser, trumpet, freshman, psychology.

Sinking Spring:

  • Nolan O’Keefe, tenor saxophone, senior, mechanical engineering.



  • Jenna Knudtson, percussion, senior, electrical engineering.

Sioux Falls:

  • Ben Breske, horn, junior, environmental studies.
  • Tanner Huber, percussion, freshman, mechanical engineering.
  • Anastasia Pitts, color guard, freshman, biochemistry.


  • Joe Levey, trumpet, senior, biological sciences.


  • Melissa Graue, clarinet, junior, music education.



  • Jordan Chapin, trombone, sophomore, mechanical engineering.


  • Theo Krieger, trumpet, freshman, business administration.


  • Alessandro Boykin, trombone, freshman, music.


  • Samuel Thomas, clarinet, senior, forensic science.


  • Tavin Grey, trombone, sophomore, nutrition and health sciences.


  • Nicholas Reyes, trombone, junior, finance.


  • Carlos Fuentes, trumpet, freshman, actuarial science.

San Antonio:

  • Cody Dunkle, trombone, freshman, meteorology-climatology.


De Pere:

  • Carter Powell, trombone, sophomore, computer science.


  • Lanae Maas, alto saxophone, freshman, undeclared undergraduate.

Little Chute:

  • Carrigan Hurst, twirler, sophomore, biochemistry.

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