Micaela Fox started “spinning” with the high school color guard as an eighth grader.
Now a senior at Clayton High, her five years of practice have shaped skills that are garnering national attention.
This week, military officers named Fox as one of 125 high school seniors who will serve on the U.S. Army’s All-American Marching Band.
High school directors nominate students for the All-American Band, which performs at halftime of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl football game on Jan. 3 in San Antonio. The nationally-televised bowl recognizes top high school football players each year, and the band has played at the game since 2008.
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Fox will serve as a rifle on the band’s color guard, a position saved for the top eight students who audition.
The National Association of Music Education picked Fox and several other Johnston County seniors from more than 2,500 students who auditioned.
After a formal ceremony naming her to the band on Monday, Fox said the application process was thorough. She had to submit videos of herself performing a solo flag and rifle routine, in addition to a separate “self-introduction” video on why she should be selected.
Clayton High band members have been selected to the All-American band for three straight years, said band director John Pearson.
“I never envisioned that five years ago, as an eighth grader, that she would be in this position,” Pearson said. “It only took hard work and her believing every day that she could get better for that to happen.”
As a member of the All-American band, Fox will receive instruction from collegiate, high school and drum and bugle corps instructors from across the nation. She’ll also get to learn from a member of the U.S. Army Field Band.
During a speech at this week’s ceremony, Fox was quick to thank her fellow band members, who cheered as she posed with an All-American band jacket and hat.
“I love performing and learning new things,” Fox said after the ceremony. “More than that, I love the family aspect of the band, especially here at Clayton.”
Fox said she wants to continue with color guard in college, but has not made a decision about which school to attend.
Two Smithfield-Selma High students, Devian Bagley and Faith Howell, were also picked for the All-American band’s color guard. A senior from Corinth Holders High is expected to be announced as a member of the band later this month.