Two high school seniors from Long Island are among 125 students nationwide named to the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, which will perform Jan. 6 in San Antonio, Texas.
Jarod Sullivan of Wantagh High School and Michael Cuellar of Brentwood High School have been awarded all-expenses-paid trips to participate in the prestigious ensemble.
The band will perform during halftime of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in the Alamodome. The game features 100 standout high school players in an East vs. West matchup. It will be broadcast on NBC.
Sullivan plays multitenor drum and is the first student from Wantagh High ever chosen for the band. Cuellar plays marching baritone and is the third student chosen in his school’s history.
To be considered, they submitted materials that included videos as they marched and as they played a solo.
“Going into it, I felt like I had a shot,” said Sullivan, 17. “Seeing the outcome, it really motivates me to move forward into college and into the future.”
“I was really speechless,” Cuellar, 17, said of his selection. “To me, music is really a great way of expressing myself.”
The halftime performance will include renditions of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration,” the students said.
Members of the marching band also will take part in master classes with musicians from the U.S. Army Field Band.