Drum Corps International has been a longtime supporter of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band (USAAAMB). The group is in San Antonio this week preparing for a halftime performance at the nationally televised game. Here’s what you should know about this elite group of performers.
High school’s best and brightest
With a search process spearheaded by the National Association for Music Education, the 125 high school seniors chosen annually for the USAAAMB are students known for their exceptional musicianship, marching achievement, character and leadership.
Marching 10 years and counting
2017 marks the 10th year that the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band will perform as part of the All-American Bowl at the Alamodome.
National selection tour
Once selected to be a part of the ensemble, all band members are honored prior to Bowl Week with a special presentation at their respective high schools.
Passing the shako
All-American drum majors are recognized each August during the DCI World Championship Finals when the previous drum major ceremonially passes the shako along to next year’s conductor.
All-American Marching Band students receive an all-expenses-paid trip to San Antonio where they have just five days to learn, rehearse and perform a complete halftime show for the All-American Bowl game.
The group is directed in 2017 by Dr. Kenneth Bodiford, current director of bands at Jacksonville State University and a former director of the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps. Students are taught by a team of leading music educators from across the country, and throughout the week, they'll also have the opportunity to work side-by-side with the professional musicians of the U.S. Army Field Band.
Follow their daily progress
Cameras are with students all week as they prepare for their All-American Bowl performance. Check out daily recaps of the band on YouTube, and stay up to date on the official USAAAMB Twitter and Facebook pages.
Watch halftime online
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl will take place Saturday, January 7, and will be broadcast live on NBC beginning at noon, 12 p.m. CT. The group’s complete halftime performance will be posted online at BandDirector.com at approximately 4 p.m. CT.
Applications for next year’s edition of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band are already being accepted. Current high school juniors who will be seniors during the 2017-2018 school year may apply. Application materials are due by May 1, 2017.