BAND ADDS COLOR, ATMOSPHERE TO
KANSAS SHRINE BOWL
It is a 22-year tradition whose place is firmly woven into the fabric the Kansas Shrine Bowl. Without it, the Shrine Bowl weekend just wouldn't be the same.
Over two hundred of Kansas' finest high school musicians will make up this year's All State Masonic Marching Band, which will begin practicing this week for their performances at next weekend's Shrine Bowl Activities in Hays. Throughout the years, the band has added musical entertainment to the Shrine Bowl Banquet, led the annual Shrine Bowl parade on game day, and presented outstanding pregame and halftime entertainment at the game itself.
The idea for the band came about because no other bands were available to add color and excitement to the Shrine Bowl. Regulations of both the NCAA and the Kansas State High School Activities Association did not allow bands to be organized when school was not in session. After the 1983 game, Director of Bands at Wichita State University Brad Bone suggested that a statewide band might be a way to have music available at the game. The next year, the All State Masonic Band was born with 93 member performing at the 1984 game.
The band has grown to over 200 in recent years. Last year the largest band in history of the All State Masonic Band, 230 members, performed at the Shrine Bowl in Pittsburg.
This year, the band will be comprised of 214 students from across the state. The students will gather at Ft. Hays State University on Tuesday, July 24, to begin dawn-to-dusk practices in preparation for the weekend's
events. But time for organized social activities is also built into the schedule, to allow band members to bond as a unit, and form new friendships.
The talents of the students, hours of practice, and a wide variety of instrumentation enables the band to produce a rich, professional sound by week's end. This year, the band will include 28 alto sax, 2 baritone sax, 9 tenor sax, 7 baritones, 1 marching bell, 33 clarinets, 5 french horns, 6 melaphones, 25 percussion instruments, 31 flutes, 15 sousaphones, 22 trombones, and 30 trumpets.
Students are sponsored by Masonic organizations throughout Kansas. The band is administered and supervised by the Kansas Masonic Foundation in Topeka. Gary Brattin, Director of Symphonic Winds and Athletic Bands at Ft. Hays State University, will direct this year's band.
Proceeds from the event support the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, a network of 22 hospitals that provide expert, no-cost orthopedic and burn care to children under 18. Children are admitted totally free to Shriners Hospitals for Children without regard for race, religion, nationality, creed, or relationship to a Shriner.
The 2007 Kansas Shrine Bowl will be the most family-friendly ever, with several events taking place during the day. Planned events include a 5K Run for Charity, a day-long Arts and Crafts Fair, a Kid's Fair, the annual Kansas Shrine Bowl Parade, a high school football combine, and a Charity Poker Run that will include cash and prizes. Advance reserved chairback tickets for the all-star game are $20.00 in advance, $21.00 on game night. Adult general admission tickets are $9.00 in advance, $10.00 on game night. Student tickets (K-12) are $5.00 in advance, $6.00 on game night. Banquet tickets are $20.00, and must be purchased in
advance. Additional information and tickets can be purchased through the Shrine Bowl office by calling 1-800-530-5524.