University of Nebraska Kearney Marching Band reflects on performance in Ireland

The Pride of the Plains Marching Band performed in Dublin’s annual New Year’s Eve Festival
The UNK Marching Band preforms in Dublin on New Year's Eve, 2022
The UNK Marching Band preforms in Dublin on New Year's Eve, 2022(University of Nebraska Kearney)
Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 12:00 PM CST
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KEARNEY, Neb. (WOWT) - A Nebraska marching band reflects on a memorable performance overseas.

According to the University of Nebraska Kearney, the university’s marching band called the Pride of the Plains recently visited Ireland to perform in the annual New Year’s Eve Festival in Dublin.

“The atmosphere was unlike anything we’ve ever experienced,” said Emma Schroeder, a sophomore music education major. “It was just awesome.”

The Pride of the Plains was the only marching band at the event, which is attended by thousands and features bands, DJs, street performers, food vendors, light shows, and more.

“It was kind of funny how much attention we got,” said TruLee White, a sophomore majoring in music education and vocal performance. “Even when we were walking to our performance spots in our uniforms, everyone would have their phones out recording us. You would have thought they were the tourists instead of us. Everyone was so interested in our group.”

The 50-member marching band performed for 40 minutes in Dublin. Nearly 20 staff members with UNK came with the students. UNK says they lead an international trip every few years.

This wasn’t the first time the Pride of the Plains was in Ireland. The marching band performed in the country in March 2019 for St. Patrick’s Day.

UNK says the trip is more than just a performance, it’s a chance for students to travel and see different parts of the world.

“Many of our students don’t get outside this area of the country, and some don’t get outside the state very often. I think I can count on one hand the number of students who had left the country for travel,” said Brian Alber, an associate professor and assistant director of bands at UNK. “By offering an international experience that’s highly structured – they’re in a safe group to explore and build those memories – hopefully more people catch that travel bug and realize they can do things like this.”

The UNK Chancellor’s Office and College of Arts and Sciences say they provided financial assistance for the trip, giving more students an opportunity to experience international travel.