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Local High School Students Participate in 25th Masonic All-Star Marching Band


Courtesy Photo

Pictured from left are: (front row) Grace Greenwood and Alexah Fort; back row: Chase Isenbart, Burke Splichal and Ginny Herboldscheimer.

LINCOLN– Two Creek Valley High School students, two Sidney High School students and one Potter-Dix High School student 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: Grace Greenwood, daughter of Nancy Cochran-Jones and David Jones; Chase Isenbart, son of Troy & Brandy Isenbart; Alexah Fort, daughter of Brian & Donna Fort; Ginny Herboldsheimer, daughter of Bryan and Laurie Herboldsheimer; Burke Splichal, son of Virginia Splichal and Tyson Kerr.

The band members devoted four days of intense practice starting May 28, to learn the music, marching steps and field formations. The band gave their first public performance with a public concert at Harmon Park on Friday evening (May 31). The band led the Shrine Bowl Parade down Kearney's Central and First Avenue on Saturday morning (June 1), and it also performed the pre-game National Anthem and during half-time of the 61st Annual Shrine Bowl football game at Ron & Carol Cope Stadium, on Foster Field, at the University of Nebraska - 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. Greenwood received a scholarship from Chappell Businesses-not yet paid; Isenbart received a scholarship from Bartley Lodge No. 228; Fort received a scholarship from Frank Welch Lodge No. 75; Herboldsheimer received a scholarship from Frank Welch Lodge No. 75; Splichal received a scholarship from Frank Welch Lodge No. 75. 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 enjoyed evening activities consisting of a night of free time and music on the football field, bowling at the Big Apple Fun Center 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 Bob Moninger, 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."

"Masonic lodges across Nebraska support local youth and community projects, humanitarian efforts including a child identification program, academic scholarships, and efforts to support our military," Moninger said. "At the statewide level, the Grand Lodge helps to maintain two homes: The Nebraska Masonic Home at Plattsmouth for Masons and their female relatives, and the Masonic-Eastern Star Home for Children in Fremont. The combined philanthropic efforts of Masonic-related organizations amount to more than $2 million a day."

Freemasonry is the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world and is based on the lessons of living a life of brotherhood and high moral standards as portrayed symbolically in the work of stone masons who built the cathedrals, abbeys and castles of Europe.


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