The 36th annual Kansas Shrine Bowl kicks off tomorrow, July 25th, at Cessna Stadium, Wichita State University. And for the 26th year, entertaining the crowd at halftime will be the Kansas Masonic All-State Marching Band.
Band member Heather Ashmore was interviewed in a MorningSun.net article last week:
Band members are selected and sponsored by the Masonic Lodge in their community. Masonic groups and caring individuals donate camp fees that provide each member with a band shirt, housing, meals, insurance, professional music and marching instruction, supervision and social activities.
“I really want to thank the Masons for providing the funds that make this opportunity possible,” Ashmore said.
Band camp always starts on the Tuesday before the Saturday game and involves lots of practice in both playing and marching.
“All the music is marching music, not concert music, and we have to be able to play and march at the same time,” Ashmore said. “They give us 30 drill sheets, and we have to learn them in five days. It’s very, very busy and you don’t have any down time. We’re always constantly doing something.”
But she said that she likes doing it. “It helps in giving back to the community and to the kids in the Shrine Hospitals.”
Last year, 214 high school musicians from across Kansas participated in this program. The band plays at the banquet on Friday night before the game, leads the parade to the stadium the next day, and provides the half-time show. The band camp is sponsored by the Kansas Masonic Foundation.