White Knoll student earns coveted spot with U.S. Army All-American Marching Band
Many try, but only a few succeed in landing a spot in one of the nation’s most prestigious marching bands and color guard.
However, for the second year in a row, a Lexington County School District One student will represent White Knoll High School – this year as a color-guard member.
Jennings Walker, a senior and member of the White Knoll High marching band, has earned a spot on the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, which performs at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January 2017.
Walker has been a part of the band and color guard all four years at White Knoll. She follows former White Knoll High student Alex DeLoach, who was selected to the band as a trumpet player in 2015.
After seeing DeLoach receive the honor last year, Walker said playing with the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band became a goal of hers.
“It’s a huge honor to be the second White Knoll student in two years to earn this recognition,” she said.
The U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, first formed in 2007 and performing each year since 2008, chooses just 125 students nationwide each year.
Current year numbers were not available, but approximately 2,000 students auditioned for the 125 spots available in the 2016 edition of the band. Those selected receive an all-expense paid trip to San Antonio for rehearsals and performance at halftime of the bowl, which features the nation’s top high-school football players.
The selection committee, made up of members of the National Association for Music Education in cooperation with All American Games and Drum Corps International, looks at a student’s performance ability, grade-point average, community service, and leadership.
Students are nominated by their band director in the fall of their junior year, submit application materials in the spring of their junior year and are notified of acceptance by the association in late July, according to the band’s website. Members receive a selection tour stop at their school during the fall of their senior year before their January bowl-week trip.
While in San Antonio, Walker will learn from collegiate instructors from across the country, as well as members of the U.S. Army Field Band, considered one of the top bands in the world.