Why We Love Lincoln

Why Do We Love Lincoln?

...because Lincoln cares. About our businesses. About our people. And about what makes our community, ours.

Lincoln values building community and does so by inviting AND including the people of Lincoln in the efforts to make Lincoln better in the future.

You may have already seen this link floating around on social media, but if you have not already taken part, please take 5 minutes and share your vision for Lincoln: http://downtownlincoln.org/survey/

For more information on Downtown Lincoln, please visit their website.

Why We Love Lincoln: Lincoln Civic Orchestra

When you go to an orchestra concert, you probably don’t expect to sing along to Disney’s Frozen, but dozens of concertgoers did just that this past Sunday.

The Lincoln Civic Orchestra performed a series of seasonally themed pieces entitled Four Seasons for its fall concert. LCO provides an opportunity for community musicians to make music together to share with the community and have a blast while doing it (icy or otherwise).

After starting off this Sunday's concert with An Outdoor Overture by American composer Aaron Copland, we took a journey through the seasons of the year beginning with spring. The concert ended with audience members singing at the encouragement of the conductor, Rob Salistean, before (and during) a medley of songs from Frozen.

For the spring season, we played Spring Song, op. 16 by Jean Sibelius, which explored the sadness of spring. Summer Dances by Brian Balmages written in 2000 provided an opportunity to experience a sizzling new composition from an American composer. Associate Director Brett Noser conducted In Autumn, op. 11 by Edvard Grieg, a stormy and romantic piece.

This was my first concert playing violin with LCO, and I will definitely be coming back for more. In addition to playing awesome music, LCO is a very fun and welcoming group. Sometimes it feels like I stumbled into a comedy club instead of orchestra rehearsal on Thursday nights!

What I love about LCO is the accessibility. The music selection is accessible, and the concerts themselves are accessible because they're free. I know that there were people who would never normally attend an orchestra concert there, and they came because their kids liked hearing Frozen and it was a free afternoon of entertainment and culture.

One of my favorite parts of LCO is the variety of people I've met. Because it is the resident orchestra at Nebraska Wesleyan University in northeast Lincoln, there are many Wesleyan students that form its ranks, but there are also students from other area schools and adults of all ages. This diversity provides a unique opportunity to meet people of Lincoln and helps unify the community.

If you are interested in joining the group, please contact info@lincolncivicorchestra.org. If you're interested in hearing us play, join us on February 22nd, 2015 for a concert themed Solos and Dancing!

All photos from the Lincoln Civic Orchestra website.

Why We Love Lincoln: Stransky Park Concerts

One of my favorite things about summer is the variety of live music that happens outdoors, especially when it’s free.  And Lincoln has a great tradition of free music--Jazz in June, Hear Lincoln, lunch hour at the Foundation Gardens, to name just a few.  One of the favorites takes place in our backyard--the Stransky Park concert series, sponsored by the folks at KZUM.  

Every Thursday at 7 p.m., through August 14, performers will take the stage under the gazebo at Stransky Park (17th and Harrison) to entertain crowds of all ages.  The bands range in style from bluegrass to jazz to rock/ska, and the music is family-friendly.

The series has been going for about 10 years now, and KZUM has brought back some crowd favorite bands and created a faithful following in the process.  Sandy Creek Bluegrass, an established local group that brings traditional tunes to life, packs a big crowd every year.  Unfortunately their show was rained out this year, but look for them to be back in the future.  This week, Lincoln-based folk band Jack Hotel will take the stage (July 24), followed by Chicago-style blues from the local Honeyboy Turner Band next week (July 31).

There’s a great feel of close-knit community at the Stransky Park series.  Since it’s a small space enclosed by a peaceful neighborhood around, it’s off the beaten path and takes some intentionality to get there.  Once there though, the laid back feel of the place encourages you to get situated and enjoy the breeze, the sound of playing kids and happy people, and the feeling of enjoying all of this with people you probably don’t know.  Yet.  

The park isn’t huge, so the number of people that stream in the gates for the shows fill up the grassy lawn pretty quick. There is lots to keep kids occupied, and when they’re not dancing in front of the band, I’ve seen them roaming around the park, playing on the playground equipment and climbing the rock waterfall at the back.  

Parking is available in the surrounding neighborhood, so take care to not block driveways and be prepared to walk a pace or two.  Don’t forget to bring a chair or blanket to sit on!  And if you accidentally come hungry, they do have bbq sandwiches and chips for sale for $5.  

The concert series is free thanks to a group of local sponsors, but the bands play for peanuts--tips, to be exact.  You’ll see the “love the band” buckets in front of the stage, so feel free to fill them up and keep the good bands coming back!

For up-to-date information and the full summer schedule, visit their Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/stranskyconcerts

Photo Credit: Christina Case, taken at the Cornerstone Dub show June 19, 2014