Students from Lincoln East, Lincoln Northeast, Lincoln North Star, Lincoln Southeast, Lincoln Christian, Norris and Waverly high schools were among 259 high school students from across Nebraska who participated in the 25th annual Masonic All-Star Marching Band, which performed June 1 during Shrine Bowl festivities in Kearney.
Participating were: Sophia Bowers, daughter of Shawn and Monica Bowers; Leo Colgan, son of Dave & Angie Colgan; Rachel Odabasi, daughter of Turan and Cynthia Odabasi; Nolan Benbow, son of Timothy Benbow; Anna Bryan, daughter of Neal and Kristine Bryan; Lily Dobbins, daughter of James and Natasha Dobbins; Paige Eilers, daughter of James and Julie Eilers; Rylie Eilers, daughter of James and Julie Eilers; Kaylyn Johnson, daughter of Eric and Heather Johnson; Katrina Kendle, daughter of Wade and Deb Kendle; Max Kvittem, son of Dane and Jamie Kvittem; Alex Nguyen, son of Thanh Nguyen; Alyssa Parson, daughter of Amanda Parson; Jourdan Rood, daughter of Aaron and Rhonda Rood; Sydney Skeels, daughter of Jeremy and Kimberly Skeels; Matthew Solodovnik, son of Alex Arroyo and Val Solodovnik; Julia Stephenson, daughter of Christine Stephenson; and Jacob Vollbrecht, son of Eric & Stacey Vollbrecht.
Each of the 18 students received a scholarship from local Masonic lodges that covered the camp's cost.
Band members devoted four days of intense practice to learn the music, marching steps and field formations. The band gave its first public performance with a concert at Harmon Park May 31. The band led the Shrine Bowl Parade down Kearney’s Central and First Avenues on June 1, and it performed the pre-game national anthem and during halftime of the 61st annual Shrine Bowl football game in the University of Nebraska-Kearney's Ron and Carol Cope Stadium.
Masons of Nebraska hosted the band members. They were directed by Brad Weber, retired band director from Wayne High School, currently instructor of percussion at Wayne State College; Dan Sodomka, band director at Aurora High School; and Dr. Dave Bohnert, director of bands at Wayne State College.
Coupled with hard work, the band members also enjoyed evening activities including a night of free time and music on the football field, bowling at the Big Apple Fun Center and a dance.
“The band members worked hard during the week preparing for the Shrine Bowl performances,” said Bob Moninger, grand master of Nebraska Masons. “They also had a lot of fun meeting new people and enjoyed the activities, but they understand the main reason for the long hours and hard work. Patients at the Shriners Hospitals for Children will benefit the most from the band’s efforts. We sincerely appreciate their contribution to raise awareness and funds to enable the Shriners to help even more children.”