news releases

2005.01.14 > For Immediate Release
contact: Tim Kaldahl - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.3502 - email: tkaldahl@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO Marching Mavericks to Track Presidential Inaugural Visit Through Web Log

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Marching Mavericks are heading off to Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Jan. 19, to be part of the Presidential Inaugural Parade.  Even before the group lands in the District of Columbia, the Marching Mavericks will have already taken off into an entirely new arena – the world of "blogs."

"Blogs" or, more formally, Internet Web logs are a relatively new kind of media format.  An author, or authors records, his or her impressions in a kind of Internet diary.  For the Marching Mavericks, trombone player Nick Sondag will be recording his thoughts and impressions as the band gets ready for one of the most high profile national events of the year.  Sondag is a junior majoring in computer engineering.

"This is going to let me combine the two interests I love the most," Sondag said.  He's been a member of the Marching Mavericks for all of his three years at UNO.

Thursday, Jan. 20, qpproximately 500,000 viewers on are expected to line the 1.7-mile parade route, which will begin at the intersection of Constitution and Pennsylvania avenues and continue to the White House.  Sondag will provide a running commentary on the band's experience as it prepares and practices in Omaha, tours the Washington, D.C., area and takes part in the Inaugural Parade.  Sondag, other band members and Tim Fitzgerald from UNO University Affairs will also link pictures into the blog site.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for the band that has everyone excited.  We're glad to share this unique experience, thanks to Nick's work, on the Internet," said Erica Neidlinger, the director of the UNO Marching Mavericks.  Neidlinger is also the assistant director of University Bands and an assistant professor of music.

The Web log site is located at http://www.unomaha.edu/news/blogs/2005/band/index.htm. The band also has a Web page at http://music.unomaha.edu/marchingmavs.html.  UNO's homepage is http://www.unomaha.edu.

The band applied to participate in November after James Saker, director of University Bands at UNO, and Neidlinger received information from the Inaugural Parade Committee.

Saker will be handling a unique new media opportunity during the parade.  ABC News Now will be highlighting the Marching Mavericks during the parade, thanks to a video camera phone that Saker and his grandson will take along to record behind-the-scene events.  ABC News Now is available on digital cable systems and online at http://abcnews.go.com/Video/VideoLive.

The Marching Mavericks, one of several ensembles in the UNO Department of Music, perform at all UNO home football games, in addition to at least one away game each year. They also perform at regional marching band festivals and local university functions and in Omaha's annual River City Roundup Parade.

No audition is required for membership, and scholarships are available for all participants, regardless of academic major. Approximately 40 percent of the band's current roster is music majors.

For more information about the inaugural parade, contact Neidlinger at (402) 554-3602 or eneidlinger@mail.unomaha.edu.

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