Diocesan News

Pius X students, alumni to perform at Lincoln Family Fest

Story by S.L. Hansen

LINCOLN (SNR) - As organizers planned live music for the first Lincoln Family Fest, they focused on Lincoln-area groups capable of world-class entertainment.

“We have terrific bands from Pius X High School - Scarlet Streets and The Wildwoods - opening for Lincoln native Bryan Olesen and his band VOTA,” said Matthew Kleinschmit.

The Wildwoods is an acoustic folk band featuring Pius X senior Noah Gose, senior Chloe Pinkman, and her brother Noah Pinkman (’14).

The band started through Academy of Rock, an afterschool program that enables teens and tweens to learn to play instruments and write original music.

“Chloe and her brother were in a rock band in Academy of Rock, and they asked me to join,” Gose remembered.

Soon, the trio broke off and started their own acoustic folk group that blends old time country and bluegrass with today’s pop music.

“We just feel like it’s a lot more intimate,” Gose said of the band’s decision to change genre. “You can play it anywhere and everybody loves it.”

Indeed, the Wildwoods have played at restaurants, coffee shops, vineyards, private parties, parish events, and the Nebraska State Fair, along with music venues like Vega and the legendary Zoo Bar.

The Wildwoods has become so successful, all three players consider the band their job. They don’t gig as much during the school year – Noah Pinkman is studying computer engineering at the University of Nebraska at Omaha – but summers are a very busy time.

Recently, the trio returned from the Wakarusa Music Festival in Arkansas. They earned a spot on the main stage after winning state and national competitions.

Gose said musical performance opportunities at Pius X helped improve the band’s stage presence.

“Chloe and I were both in show choir,” he said, where students develop pitch-perfect vocals, high-energy dancing and a knack for engaging with the audience.

Scarlet Streets is a pop/rock band made up for four Pius X alumni, Dean Dalton (’15), Jeff Gabell (’15), Matthew Sievert (’13), and Andrew Vaggalis (’15).

Vaggalis said that the group came together when he, Dalton and Gabell were freshmen at Pius X. All three had auditioned with solo acts for the annual benefit concert.

“Since freshmen don’t usually get to have solo acts, Mrs. [Mary] Odegaard grouped some of us together, and we just kept on going” with Sievert on drums, Vaggalis said. 

The name “Scarlet Streets” came along during a brainstorming session the following year. Opportunities to sing and perform at Pius X helped all four young men hone their skills.

“Mr. [Joseph] Moser, Mrs. Odgaard and Mr. [Todd] Krier  all did great jobs teaching us, and influencing me at least,” Vaggalis said.

Initially, the band played songs written by well-known rock and pop acts: the Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Mayer, Jimi Hendrix.

Now Scarlet Streets is writing their own music, too. The Lincoln Family Fest audience can count on hearing up to eight original tunes Aug. 8.

“It will definitely be cool,” Vaggalis said. “As long as people want to hear us play, that’s an awesome feeling.”

Learn more about all three bands at LincolnFamilyFest.com/music.

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