community events


Now that the NCAA Tournament is over, and the dust has settled, let's take time to reflect on this new Nebraska basketball phenomenon and what it means for Lincoln.  As a relative newbie to Nebraska, it didn't take long for me to get caught up in the excitement that is Husker football. Having no prior allegiance to any football team, college or otherwise, it was easy to drink that red Kool-aid and shout "Go Big Red!" The same rang true as 'Nebrasketball' swept over the city this season, and I was hooked.  

Pinnacle Bank Arena  

Pinnacle Bank Arena 

Before I get started, though, I want to get one thing out of the way. Pinnacle Bank Arena ... have we decided what to call it yet? Personally, I prefer The Vault to PBA, so that's what I'm using in hopes that it will gain traction.

Before Coach Miles, I only attended one UNL Men's Basketball game. It was well-attended, but for someone who knows nothing but the basics about basketball, it wasn't very fun. I couldn't tell you who we played or whether we won. It is no secret that Coach Miles was brought in to build this program, but I don't know anyone who expected the kind of season we experienced this year to happen so soon. My first basketball experience at The Vault was when we beat Illinois. To say that the atmosphere was exponentially more intoxicating would be an understatement.

I love Nebraska football as much as the next guy, but there is something in the air at The Vault during a basketball game that cannot be rivaled. Does a roof make that big of a difference? Or is it the inherent excitement that comes with being the under-dog who keeps coming out on top? I'm putting my money on the latter because Devaney didn't have the same magic. Whatever the source, there is an intimacy and enthusiasm at The Vault that I have not experienced at other college sporting events. That excitement is not merely contained by The Vault, though. It spills over into the quickly developing West Haymarket area without abandon.

Canopy Street

Canopy Street

It is a little known fact that early in the season, if you were to approach the entrance to The Vault after half-time, you could get in for the remainder of the game without a ticket. For the last home game, we met some friends for dinner across the street from The Vault, waited until after half-time and made our attempt with no luck. Disappointed, but not defeated, we made our way over to Canopy Street. We spent the remainder of the game outside with hundreds of other fans who watched, screamed, cheered and chanted as though we were court-side. It was an amazing experience I am eager to repeat

So, what happens now?  As we settle into the post-season for basketball, heading into the Spring Game and impending football season, Nebrasketball seems so quickly forgotten. Is it already a thing of the past? I think not. I think Coach Miles and his team of underclassmen are just getting started. In his unfortunately titled piece on, senior writer Tom Dienhart writes, "With this coach, with this fan base and with those sparkling facilities, Nebrasketball appears to be on solid footing for the future. It’s going to be fun to see how far Miles can take this program." This newly converted basketball fan couldn't agree more.

Photo credit: Sarah Frederick

Stabat Mater

Less than a week away from the performance, I am finding the true heart and soul of Stabat Mater. Consequently, I am also getting a glimpse of the heart and soul of Antonín Dvořák.. And Mary, mother of Jesus

Singing with the Abendmusik Chorus - and with Doane Choir as a senior in college - has always been challenging and rewarding. It’s hard work and I highly recommend it. There’s just something about singing with 30+ other people that teaches me to be aware of my surroundings, makes me want to succeed and follow instruction, yet flourish in my own way. A crowd of people learning the same work of art so well that we can reproduce it, and reproduce it well, is a feat that always amazes me.

I have had the great privilege of singing with the Abendmusik Chorus at First Plymouth Church since last fall. Our director, Tom Trenney, has led us through a trying and growing journey to learn Stabat Mater. His insight, experience and teaching ability have transformed us. We walked into rehearsal in February as individuals, each with our own problems, our own egos and, admittedly, varying degrees of familiarity with the piece. When we walk up to the front of First Plymouth on Sunday, we will be one body brought together by one woman, whose heart broke for her dying son, the Lord, who paved our way to paradise.

The first phrase of Stabat Mater translates, “The grieving Mother stood beside the cross, weeping, while on it hung her son.” Even to those of us who don’t speak fluent Latin, the feelings of Mary are made clear in that moment by Dvořák’s emotive composing and our director’s thoughtful instruction. The first movement sweeps you up and carries you through the movements, the emotions, the prayers of Mary. But it ends with glorious hope. “When my body perishes, grant that my soul be given the glory of paradise. Amen.”

The Abendmusik Chorus will join with Doane Choir, the Wesleyan University Chorus and the Abendmusik Orchestra for this performance of Stabat Mater. I’ll be the one wearing a choir robe.


Stabat Mater (“Mother Mary at the Cross”) by Antonín Dvořák

4pm | Sunday April 6

First-Plymouth Congregational Church

20th & D Street

Tickets: $20 Adults | $18 Seniors | $10 Students


Love on the Run

Each year, Porridge Papers serves the city of Lincoln by hosting Love on the Run, a free event founded on the idea of giving love back to the local community. Last month marked the event's seventh straight year.

In the video above, Lincoln photographer David McGee captures some of the action from this year's event, including interviews with Porridge Papers owner, Christopher James, and other Love on the Run volunteers. 

As you'll see in the video, Love on the Run is a great event for the Lincoln community! If you haven't participated in years past, I suggest you take a few moments now to mark your calendar for 2015. It's only eleven months away, you know.

Until then, check out Porridge Papers and Love on the Run online:

Porridge Papers website

Porridge Papers Facebook page

Love on the Run website

Love on the Run Facebook page