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Hershey band plays the fairTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Parading through the state fair grounds.
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Band Director Lori Evans
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Showing their skill
Photo by Joe Chitwood
Tara Hiller and Holly Berkey on the Sky Tram

For the fourth straight year, the Hershey Panthers marching band performed at the state fair in Grand Island Monday, directed by Lori Evans.

The Panthers began playing at the state fair the year the fair moved to Grand Island. Organizers sent out invitations to high school bands throughout the state.

Hershey responded and has been invited back every year, Evans said.

On Saturday Aug. 23, Brady performed and Sutherland marched Tuesday, Aug. 26.

"Coming to the state fair is a fun day," Evans said. "We do band camp in the summer where they basically gave up three whole days of their summer vacation, so this is kind of a reward for giving up all that time."

A total of 13 bands marched through a designated route Monday with two stops along the way. Hershey played three songs at each stop. Each day, the fair features 10-12 bands.

Already, it was Hershey's third performance of the school year.

"We used a pep rally Thursday and the Hershey day's parade Saturday to help us prepare for today," Evans said.

Senior drum majorette Britnee Fear has been in the marching band since eighth grade. This is her second year as a majorette. Last year she was an assistant, she said.

After their performance, everybody enjoyed the rides, exhibits and food vendors. They performed at 11:30 a.m. and were free to explore the fairgrounds until 3 p.m.

Fear looks forward to the annual trip.

"I just like coming here and watching the people's reactions when we play," she said. "Visiting the fair is fun. It's kind of like our band time where we get to spend the whole day with each other and hang out. I think we have an awesome band."

"I like the carnival the best," freshman River Hudson said. "Marching in the parade is fun, until your back gets sore. I play a drum so it gets heavy."  

Fear has enjoyed being in the band through high school but has not made any college music decisions. "I might continue my music in college if I go to UNK or Concordia, but I am not sure yet," she said.

The Hershey band received excellent or superior ratings in every competition last year, but lost a lot of experience to graduation, Evans said.

"This is a young band, mostly freshmen and sophomores,” she said.

Last year, the band traveled to San Antonio and made its second appearance in the half time show at the Alamo Bowl. Evans has no plans to seek bowl invitations this year. "This is going to be a rebuilding year, as we lost a lot of good seniors," she said.

There are 30 musicians in the band. They will compete in exhibitions in Kearney and Minden and conclude the season with a trip to the state meet in Kearney on Oct. 25.

"We have a long ways to go, but are working hard to improve," Evans said.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 8/26/2014
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