Twenty-seven years and counting.
That’s the number of years that the All-State Masonic Band has come together to entertain fans and add color and excitement to the Kansas Shrine Bowl, itself celebrating its 37th year during the 2010 edition to be played at Pittsburg State University on July 31st.
“Football and bands just go together”, says Kansas Shrine Bowl Executive Director Dave Mize. “It’s hard to imagine being at a college or high school game without the band setting the stage before the game, entertaining the crowd at halftime, and providing a backdrop during the game itself. It’s an integral part of the entire football package, and we are thankful to all of the terrific band directors and bandsmen who have made the Masonic All-State Marching Band such a big part of our game for 27 years.”
The All-State Masonic band was developed in the mid-80s because no other bands were available to add color and excitement to the Kansas Shrine Bowl. Regulations of both the NCAA and the Kansas State High School Activities Association, and the expense of getting high school bands together in the summer, prohibited bands from being organized when their schools were not in session.
The 2010 band will be one of the largest, with over 200 band members from high school and junior high programs from all over Kansas converging on Pittsburg State, They report on Tuesday, July 27, to begin several days of intense practice prior to Shrine Bowl weekend. The band will provide music at the annual Shrine Bowl Banquet on Friday evening, July 30, a traditional event for players, their families, and Shriners that will be held at Pittsburg High School. The Band will also get the annual Shrine Bowl Parade off to a rousing start, leading the 10 am parade through downtown Pittsburg on game day, and will perform during pregame festivities prior to kickoff that night. And, of course, there will be the traditional half-time show, which will feature both the band’s musical and marching skills.
How do you take 200 musicians who come from some 90 programs across the state and bring them together to present a polished program in three days? Obviously, it takes a lot of