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Hershey band plays State FairTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Alex Woodside

The Hershey Panther’s band performed Monday at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island.

The Panther band has been invited to perform at the fair for eight years, since the fair moved from Lincoln to Grand Island’s Fonner Park.

The Sutherland band marched Tuesday at the fair, and Brady will march on Saturday.

During the week, Monday-Saturday, a total of 55 bands from across the state march a designated route, stopping twice along the way to perform and entertain the crowd.

This was the Panther band’s first performance of the school year.

 They played Elton John hits, “Crocodile Rock” and “Bennie and the Jets", along with “Na Na Na” and the Hershey School song.

For the last three years, the band has won a Class C superior ranking at state band competition.

This year they are led by a new music director, Alex Woodside, who took over after Lori Evans retired.

A 2013 Kearney High School graduate, Woodside attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and graduated in 2017. He was a four-year member of the Husker marching band percussion team.

He said he has high expectations for the band.

“I know there are a lot of kids here who are used to a standard of excellence, which is good,” Woodside said. “I’m looking to continue the success that Mrs. Evans started.”

“There may be some traditions and things that I might change just because I have a different way of doing things and there may be some push backs from that, but overall I expect the students to perform well and set themselves to highs standards,” Woodside said.

 Woodside said so far the band has been great and has set standards of accountability.

There are 38 band members.

“This year, we have 10 freshmen and eighth graders along with four new students that joined us at the start of the school year,” he said.

This is his first teaching job and he is enjoying it.

 “I am amazed how the community supports school activities,” he said.

Woodside and wife Emily were married in July and live in Sutherland. She was a drum major at UNL. She now teaches Kindergarten through fifth grade music at Ogallala.



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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 8/31/2017
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