LINCOLN – Six Waverly High School students were among 273 high school students from across Nebraska who participated in the 23rd Annual Masonic All-Star Marching Band, which performed June 3 during Shrine Bowl festivities in Kearney.
Participating were Trent Brown, son of Kelly Brown; MacKenzie Conklin, daughter of Amber Maloley and Bryan Conklin; Meagan Dauel, daughter of Darin and Lori Dauel; Flopateer Habib, son of Habib and Nahed Habib; Liz Larsen, daughter of Kim and Lynn Larsen; Maggie Reed, daughter of Jeff and Danelle Reed.
The band members devoted four days of intense practice starting May 30, to learn the music, marching steps and field formations. The band gave their first public performance with a public concert at Harmon Park on June 2. The band led the Shrine Bowl Parade down Kearney’s Central and First Avenue on the morning of June 3, and it also performed the pre-game National Anthem and during half-time of the 59th Annual Shrine Bowl football game at Ron and Carol Cope Stadium, on Foster Field, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
The band members were hosted by the Masons of Nebraska and 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. Brown received a scholarship from Jerrie Wilcox; Conklin received a scholarship from Lancaster Lodge; Dauel received a scholarship from Hickman Lodge; Habib received a scholarship from Cotner Lodge; Larsen received a scholarship from Lancaster Lodge; Reed received a scholarship from Columbia Chapter OES. 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 Friday and 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 Rick Myers, 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.