Andrew Kittle of North Platte High School was one of 259 high school students from across Nebraska who participated in the 25th annual Masonic All-Star Marching Band that performed June 1 at the Shrine Bowl in Kearney.
Kittle is the son of Rob and Danielle Kittle of North Platte.
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 concert at Harmon Park Friday evening, May 31. The next morning, the band led the Shrine Bowl Parade down Kearney’s Central and First Ave. They performed the pre-game National Anthem and during half-time of the 61st snnual Shrine Bowl football game at Ron & Carol Cope Stadium on Foster Field at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.
Band members were hosted by the Masons of Nebraska, and directed by Brad Weber, retired band director from Wayne High and current instructor of percussion at Wayne State College; Dan Sodomka, Band Director at Aurora High; and Dr. Dave Bohnert, Director of Bands at Wayne State College.
Kittle received a scholarship from Bruce and Karen Bugbee to cover the costs 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, 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.
“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.”
“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.”