LINCOLN – Five Ashland-Greenwood High School students were among 265 high school students from across Nebraska who participated in the 17th Annual Masonic All-Star Marching Band, which performed Saturday (June 4) during Shrine Bowl festivities in Lincoln.
Participating were: Ivee Bills, daughter of Harold and Karee Nielsen; Colby Ashton Kresak, son of Gene and Teresa Kresak; Victoria Love, daughter of Gary and Beth Love; Ellie Luebbe, daughter of Bob and Christy Luebbe; and Sash Seamans, daughter of Teresa Laughlin.
The band members devoted four days of intense practice starting May 31, to learn the music, marching steps and field formations. The band gave their first public performance at SouthPointe Pavilions Shopping Center June 3. The band led the Shrine Bowl Parade down Lincoln’s Havelock Avenue on the morning of June 4 and it also performed the pre-game National Anthem and during half-time of the 53rd Annual Shrine Bowl football game in Memorial Stadium on Tom Osborne Field, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The band members were hosted by the Masons of Nebraska, and were directed by Brad Weber, Dan Sodomka and Dr. Dave Bohnert, band directors from Wayne High School, Aurora High School and Wayne State College, respectively. Bills and Seamans each received a scholarship from Pomegranate Masonic Lodge No. 110, Ashland; Kresak received a scholarship from Florence Chapter No. 61, Royal Arch Masons; Love received a scholarship from Ceresco Chapter No. 198, Order of the Eastern Star; and Luebbe received a scholarship from Jerrie Wilcox of Ralston. The scholarships covered the cost of the camp.
“We demanded a lot of the students during the past week,” Weber said. “They responded professionally and worked very hard. That was evident by the high-quality shows they performed Saturday. There’s no doubt these young musicians are among the best in the state.”
Coupled with hard work, the members also participated in a pool party, bowling, and a dance. Many are looking forward to the opportunity to use the instruction provided by the band directors when they return to their respective high school bands.
“The band members worked hard during the week preparing for the Shrine Bowl performances,” said Bruce Baker, Grand Master of Nebraska Masons. “They also had a lot of fun meeting new people and enjoyed the activities, but they also 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 this past week. We sincerely appreciate their contribution to raise awareness and funds to enable the Shriners to help even more children.”