Mike Helgesen

Michael Ray Helgesen was born on February 3, 1947, Tucson Arizona. His parents were Ray and Betty Helgesen. Mike and Veronica live in Omaha. Mike has three chidren Andy, Kate, Molly and Grandson Lucas.

Mike attended grade school in Tucson and Central high school in Omaha where he graduated in 1965, and went on to graduate from the University Nebraska at Omaha in 1971 with a Masters Degree in Music Education.

Mike got his first instrument in the fourth grade and began playing in the grade school band in Tucson thru the eighth grade, then he was in the Central high school band thru the 12th grade. Mike then was in the UNO band all thru his five college years.

Mike’s first professional job was with Benny Ray and The Double B Orchestra in 1961. While in high school Mike formed a band called The Counts, and in 1969 through 1976 The Mike Helgeson Big Band. Mike is an accomplished arranger of music if you want something written no matter the size of the group Mike is the man to contact. You can also find Mike on stage playing Trumpet, Flugel Horn or Saxaphone with any number of groups.

The list of Polka bands that Mike has worked for are:

and two Brass Bands:

  • The Omaha Czech Brass Band
  • The American Czech Brass Band

The Big Bands includes:

  • Jack Swanson & the Monterey Brass
  • Resurrected Swing
  • Dennis Wesely
  • Ron Nadherny
  • Leonard Eby
  • Jimmy B
  • Greg Spevak
  • Orville Von Seggern
  • Bobby Layne
  • The Classic Band
  • Dwayne Muller
  • Al Hesse
  • Lou Arnold
  • Leo Lonnie

Along with concert bands:

  • Omaha Big Band
  • Council Bluffs Big Band
  • Nebraska Jazz Orchestra

Mike has played for many years for the Omaha Community Playhouse Orchestra and played for the King of Norway.

Source: Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, September 4th, 2011