The Arts Are Alive in a Small Nebraska Town

I live in the small community of ElmwoodMurdock Nebraska. Really they are two separate towns, six miles apart, but we are a community that share together. We share a common culture, a choice for living outside of a metropolitan area (Omaha or Lincoln) and we share our children. No, not in the literal sense, but we share their accomplishments, and support of our youth. We don’t have a movie theatre, a shopping mall, or other “popular” activities, our social life and entertainment revolves around our school. This brings us together.

Our entire school district kindergarten through high school consists of approximately 425 students (depending on who moved this year) and the high school has on average 120 students total in grades 9-12. With that being said many would think we would have limited activities and little exposure to music and the arts. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Marching and Concert Band is 73 students strong. Almost a 70% participation rate and recently they marched in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington DC. This is directly related to our band director, Mr. Michael Hansens’ dedication and talent who took a band of 25 students and grew it to a size rivaling the big city schools. They compete in several marching band competitions including Harvest of Harmony Parade, one of the oldest and biggest in the country, and because of their winning reputation received the invitation to Washington D.C. Take a look at them below. Yes we are proud.

In addition to the Marching and Concert Band is the high school choir, and in our school choir was cool before Glee was even on the air. In 2003 Mrs. Betty Colbert, the choir director started with 12 students and with her guidance it has grown to over 60 voices. Many were students with hidden talent that just needed to be coached and given confidence. They have gone on to win many contests winning superiors from all judges.

Their highest achievement was singing at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2009. Although I can’t publish their crowning performance, here is a sample of why the whole community attends our concerts.

So now you can see why we are proud of our students, they perform sing at various events during the year and more of their performances can be found on my YouTube Channel

Community Links of Interest

Elmwood City-Data (pop 668)

Murdock City- Data (pop 264)

Elmwood-Murdock School District

Marching Through Adversity