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By Lindsay Tague

Members of the Nebraska Wind Symphony Reminisce Group Founder

April 4th, 2023

In September of 1977, Darwyn, better known as “Tony” Snyder, brought down his baton, and 70 adult amateur musicians began playing Henry Fillmore’s “Americans We.” The Nebraska Wind Symphony, Omaha’s Community Concert Band was born. 

Steve Michael is a percussionist and Charter Member in the Nebraska Wind Symphony. He says Snyder approached him about joining the NWS when it first began. Michael says it was a little different to be playing as an adult musician in front of Snyder, because Snyder was his elementary school band director. Michael says he has always marveled at Snyder’s ability to get things done. 

Sadly, Tony Snyder passed away in January of this year. Michael says it is an honor to be part of a group that was one of the things Snyder was proudest of in his life. His pride and effort put towards the group was very obvious. 

Member since 1987 and a previous Assistant Director of the NWS , Dan Kingkade, felt as if he was back in his element again, after he stopped teaching music in 1984. Kingkade says that element is what he believes to be Tony’s offering to all the members. Even after stepping back from being the NWS Director, Tony’s work and dedication to the group was still being honored.

Helen Jordan has played the french horn with the NWS starting in the 1980’s. She, along with all members of the Nebraska Wind Symphony believe it is important and necessary to continue this group, and honor Tony Snyder’s legacy. 

To find out more about Snyder and how he started the symphony, you can visit