Mary Catherine Stegall with U.S. Army representatives at the PCHS assembly.
Steagall selected for Army All-American Marching Band
Mary Catherine Stegall of Patrick County High School has been selected for the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band.
Stegall will join an elite group of marching band members who will perform during halftime at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
"The U.S. Army has a distinguished musical history," said Mark S. Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing. "Successful band members require great skill, teamwork and dedication--qualities similar to those of Army soldiers. We are proud to honor all of our talented 2015 U.S. Army All-American Band members and commend each of them on their selection to this recognized group."
The U.S. Army All-American Marching Band recognizes the top 125 high school senior marching musicians and color guard members from across the country, showcasing their talents during the largest celebration of high school football in America, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. EST on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015.
Representatives of the U.S. Army recognized Stegall in a special assembly at PCHS Monday.
Frances Stover, band director, thanked Stegall's parents, family members, the faculty, staff and administration of PCHS, the National Association for Music Education and the U.S. Army for helping to make this honor possible for the young musician.
Stover said Stegall has a strong work ethic in academics, leading her to share the top spot in the senior class with another student. She also has a strong work ethic in music, Stover said, pointing out that since sixth grade, "Mary Catherine has participated in every ensemble possible, from All-District Band to All-Area Band" and has been a part of the Virginia All-State Band since the ninth grade.
Last year, Stegall was ranked #8 in the state for French horn players, and she has also been a member of the Greensboro Youth Symphony and the Roanoke Youth Symphony.
"Because of her accomplishments in music, last year she was awarded the highest honor in music that a student can win, the John Phillip Sousa Award," Stover said.
Stegall thanked her family, her instructors, Sen. Bill Stanley (who attended the assembly), and the Army for selecting her as an All-American.
Stegall said she grew up in a family of musicians, especially her parents, her father a professional musician with the Navy and her mother a successful band director. "So I grew up to the sound of music, literally," she said.
"Music is a talent which I can call my own and make of it what I envision and I am blessed to have it in my heart," Stegall said. "My music is displaying myself in the world that I see perfection. I live to dance on the notes of life. Music is my safeguard; it is my escape route from the reality staring me right in the eyes. It will never vanish. It will always be life. I can't touch music, yet it touches me..."
"It would mean everything to me if I could serve the world of music nearly half as much as the individuals in the military serve our country each day...Army strong!" Stegall said.
Ted Alt to perform with Macy's Great American Marching Band
Ted Alt, a member of the Patrick County High School Marching Band, has been selected to perform in Macy's Great American Marching Band on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27.
The band will be under the direction of Auburn University's Dr. Richard Good and Barry Houser, assistant director, from the University of Illinois.
The band will consist of 185 musicians and 40 flag corps members and dancers.
Alt will be practicing with the band the entire week before the parade, which will start in Central Park.
Macy's Great American Marching Band will perform in Herald Square for celebrity hosts, a grandstand audience, and more than 50 million television viewers watching the telecast live on NBC.
The opportunity to participate in the band is open to students from more than 14,000 high schools across the United States, and students are selected from every state.
Alt said he had to submit a video on YouTube of himself playing the sax.
"When I found out I was accepted into the band, I also found out I made first chair tenor sax," Alt said.