Graduate student by day, musician by night


By Alex Kirkland, Contributor

Aaron Jordan is a University of Nebraska Omaha graduate student by day and a musician by night.

Jordan leads the Omaha-based Anniversaire on vocals and keyboard, with band members Megan Siebe on cello, Travis Ahrenholtz on bass and Ben Eberly on percussion.

“Everybody does it just because we like it,” Jordan said.

Anniversaire released its first album, “Nightengale,” in 2008. The money the band made went into a pool and was applied toward their next album.

The band formed in 2008 when they came together from other bands and projects. While trying to create a name for the band, Jordan said, they performed at first without one.

Inspired by a sticker on Eberly’s case that read “anniversary,” Jordan thought of the French version, which he knew from taking French classes. “Anniversaire” was what they were looking for, Jordan said.

“It felt familiar, a little off and was unique to the band.”

Jordan said when everyone was coming together, the band “really gelled well.” Anniversaire embraces its sound, which, Jordan said, fits into the art pop genre and has been referred to as cinematic and orchestral.

From performances at venues like The Rock, which has since closed, and Sokol Underground, where Anniversaire has played with rock bands, the band now frequents its favorite venues, Jordan said. They like The Waiting Room Lounge and Slowdown primarily because of the sound sets and relationships with the people who run the outfits.

In addition to performing in nearby cities such as Lincoln and Kearney, Jordan said the band has played in locations such as Lawrence, Kan., and at Vauderville Mews in Des Moines, Iowa. This summer, the band hopes to go on tour, playing such cities as Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis.

Jordan said getting exposure is sometimes difficult, especially with a decreased popularity of newspaper coverage and music videos. The band relies on word of mouth and hopes to focus more on online presence.

To help with band coverage, Anniversaire plans to record with Daytrotter, a website that makes songs from independent artists available online to consumers. After recording a two-hour session while on tour, the recording will be available for online streaming and download. Jordan said the site already has 20 million downloads and helps both small and big bands become more well known.

Siebe earned her undergraduate in music education in 2011 from UNO and is now a substitute music instructor. Jordan said he intends to begin student teaching music classes in fall of 2013. Jordan’s wife, Audrey, earned her degrees in psychology and education from UNO and is now a kindergarten teacher. Jordan said she has not yet been able to go on tour with the band, but would like to.

Though Jordan will soon be graduating and begin teaching, he plans to continue to be in the band.

“Job one for us is to make music we like and then hope it falls into the right hands,” Jordan said.