Two Ravenwood High School musicians will be heading to Texas this winter to perform with the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band.
Nic Alexander and Mitchell Kiriazes recently learned they had been selected to the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. In December, they will travel to San Antonio to perform during halftime of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
“It’s still so insane to me that we did this and we’re going there,” said Kiriazes, who was selected to the band for his trumpeting skills. “It’s cool because I get to be on the field with other people who dedicate just as much time and effort into what they’re doing, and it’s even cooler that I get to do it with Nic.”
To qualify for the All-American Marching Band, a student must be a senior, a member of his or her high school marching band and in good academic standing. Principals, directors and school guidance counselors complete evaluation forms and letters of recommendations for the students. The students then submit a video demonstrating their skills as a musician, performer and marcher.
Typically, each section will have hundreds of applicants for only a select few positions. There are only 125 high school musicians from across the country chosen for this honor.
“It’s a really big deal to have recognition at this level,” said Alexander, who will play marimba for the All-American Band. “We obviously love the art of music and performing, and we put a lot of effort into it because we care about it that deeply. It’s incredible to get that recognition in front of our peers.”
Both students say the honor would not have been possible without the support of the rest of the Raptor Marching Band.
“The staff and community here are the best,” said Alexander. “There are so many supportive and intelligent people. It’s also reflective on them. Obviously we received this, but we didn’t do it alone. It was with the help of these incredible staff members.”
Both All-Americans plan to continue their music careers after high school ends. Alexander plans to continue his education at Belmont and Kiriazes is debating between UT Knoxville and Tennessee Tech.
Neither student is 100 percent sure what they want to major in during college, but both share the same end goal of eventually playing for The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps after they finish their educations.
The Cavaliers are one of the 13 founding member corps of the Drum Corps international and are seven-time DCI world Champions.