The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is the premier high school football game in the nation. The annual event not only features the top high school senior football players in the country, but also the top marching musicians.

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.

1High 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.

2Marching 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.

3National 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.

4Passing 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.

5Bowl bound

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.

6Military-grade instruction

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.

7Follow 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.

8Watch 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 at approximately 4 p.m. CT.

9Get involved

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.