Generations brought together in Harvest of Harmony alumni band
For 75 years music has filled the streets of Grand Island with a parade unlike any other, and the first band you'll see Saturday is bringing generations together.
“I was in Harvest of Harmony in 1949 and 1950,” said Walt Jacobs, a member of the Harvest of Harvest alumni band.
Just as Jacobs did 67 years ago with the Aurora High School band, he continues to march at Harvest of Harmony as a member of the alumni band.
“It's a lot of fun."
Three generations of the Jacobs family will march in this year's parade, the youngest being Walt’s grandson Luke.
"[He's a] sophomore at NW High, and my youngest son John is director of bands in Minden, and son Tim is a dentist in Grand Island and plays the saxophone," Jacobs shared.
Tim plays in the alumni band, and the family connections don't end there.
“Actually, I'm another family member of Walt -- I'm his cousin,” said Connie Nielsen.
Nielsen has played trumpet since the sixth grade.
"Music has always been a part of family's lives because they didn't have television and that's how they entertained themselves, is with music," Nielsen said.
As Harvest of Harmony celebrates its 75th year these alumni say it's always been a grand event.
“It was our first competition, and you wanted to set your priorities there and set the tone for the year,” said Nielsen.
But there has been one noticeable change -- the parade literally changed directions since Walt first marched.
“We'd go east on Fourth Street, across the tracks and back on Third Street and ended up at the Liederkranz and had lunch,” said Jacobs.
Isaac Jefferson joined the alumni band in 2012 after high school in Central City.
“It's a good time. Only chance I have to play my instrument anymore, so good time, good people,” said Jefferson, a saxophone player.
They won't be the biggest or flashiest band but these musicians say it's a chance to forget their worries and just play music.