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Everyone wins on Band Day
Jessica Kenyon
Antelope Staff
Photo by Kevin Whetstone
The UNK band marches on Central Avenue Saturday morning during the UNK Band Day parade. More than 1,500 students from area high schools competed this year for awards that were given out during the UNK band exhibition at Foster Field following the parade.
The UNK Pride of the Plains Marching Band performs as they walk on 27th street towards campus on Saturday morning, September 26.

The weather started out a bit chilly, but that didn’t stop the marching band fans from celebrating UNK Band Day this past Saturday, Sept. 26.

The UNK Pride of the Plains Marching Band led the parade, which began at Railroad Street and Central Avenue. The parade traveled north on Central Avenue, turned west on 27th Street and continued to march to UNK.

Nineteen area middle and high school bands lined up on The Bricks and competed for trophies, including the sweepstakes award for top ensemble. The bands were judged in the following categories: pre-parade uniform/instrument/personal appearance inspection, marching execution, music performance, drum majors, drumline, and colorguard/auxiliary unit in the annual Band Day competition.

Sophomore James Kenyon of Grand Island, an ag business major said, “The route we take marching through Kearney is awesome; everybody knows you’re there. I’ve performed at a lot of Band Days, and the feeling is unbelievable.” Kenyon was part of the Northwest High School drumline for four years and has been a part of UNK’s drumline for the past two years.

Lined along the streets, thousands of marching band fans were blown away by shrill trumpet sounds, thunderous drums and multiple color guard flags all moving in sync. “The color guard’s movements are amazing, especially how they accent the band’s crisp lines,” said Whitney Ashburn of North Platte, a junior majoring in family studies.

UNK Band Day is a great opportunity for not only the band members to show off their hard work, but for the audience to see all the effort that it takes. “Hearing the drumline cadences make me want to join the band; it’s crazy how much music can affect you. When I was standing there listening to the sounds, it just made me want to dance,” Ashburn said.

The weather warmed up, and after the parade the UNK band performed a pre-game show and halftime show during the UNK vs. Chadron State football game.

“Saturday turned out to be a good day. The weather ended up being perfect for Band Day and the football game. Both events turned out to be a great success,” Ashburn said.

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