By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Thunderous applause and a standing ovation greeted Tupelo High School senior Kaitlyn Kornoley as she accepted her place in the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band.
Kornoley, an 18-year-old clarinet player in the THS marching band, is one of 125 high school senior marching musicians and color guard members chosen from high schools across the country for the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, which will play at halftime at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 5. The game features high school senior football players from across the country.
Her fellow bandmates congratulated her in a ceremony at THS on Monday morning.
It was during band camp this summer that Kornoley learned she’d been accepted to the army’s band.
“I just started jumping up and down and screaming. But they wanted to keep it secret, so when people asked, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ I had to be like, ‘Nothing,’” she said.
Her band directors, Tim Matlock and Jeremy Greenwood, entered five THS band members into the selection process. Kornoley was the student chosen by the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band selection committee.
“Anywhere she goes, I know she’ll be a very positive representative and embodiment of our values in Tupelo,” Greenwood said. “She’s definitely a leader and she stands out above the others.”
Luke Malone with the U.S. Army’s All-American Bowl program said 1,300 nominations are sent in from 47 states. The selection committee looks for students who are excellent musicians as well as model citizens, he said.
Kornoley already has received the music she and the other band members will perform during the half-time show, so she has to memorize that before she leaves to prepare for the week ahead of the bowl.
The Army isn’t in Kornoley’s future – she plans to attend Mississippi State University, where she’ll major in English literature and be a member of the band – but she’s looking forward to playing her part in the Army’s All-American Band.
“It’ll be really fun to meet other kids from other band programs and see how they compare to our program,” she said. “I’m looking forward to making long-distance friends.”
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl will air onallamericangames.tv and on NBC at noon on Jan. 5.