Six years and 12 seasons of color guard have paid off for Corinth Holders High School senior Samantha Boyette.
Boyette, 17, has been invited to join the marching band that will perform at the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
The Clayton-area resident also performed Thanksgiving Day in the Great American Marching Band, which took part in the Macy’s Day Parade.
“I said, ‘I’m going to do it for fun and see how it goes,’ ” Boyette said. “I found out this summer about Macy’s and a month later found out about (All-American). To do both in two months was really crazy.”
In the past, Boyette traveled as far as Dayton, Ohio, to perform in various band competitions.
“I believe that she is the first in Johnston County to be selected for both,” said Olivia Spell, the school’s band director.
Spell said she was not at all surprised that Boyette qualified for the All-American Bowl. “She’s super talented,” Spell said. “There’s nothing that she can’t do.”
The All-American Bowl, which will take place Jan. 3 in San Antonio, hand-picks 125 band members and 90 football players each year.
The marching band will perform at halftime of the nationally-broadcast game. Students are nominated by band directors.
As part of the selection process, Boyette had to submit a video of a color guard routine, which she said she spent a long time perfecting before submission. Judges looked at leadership ability in addition to marching or musical talent.
Earlier this month, the selection tour also tapped two Smithfield-Selma High students, Devian Bagley and Faith Howell, and Clayton High School senior Micaela Fox for the All-American band’s color guard. Nationwide, more than 2,500 students auditioned.
Boyette, whose parents, boyfriend, sister and grandparents attended the announcement, said she and Clayton High’s Fox have been friends since they started spinning in middle school.
Although they went to different high schools, Fox and Boyette have remained close and were thrilled to learn that they were both selected for the January game.
“We were freaking out,” Boyette said.
All-American band members will receive instruction from collegiate, high school and drum and bugle corps instructors from across the nation, including a member of the U.S. Army Field Band.
Boyette is looking forward to the game. “I like performing and giving a good show,” she said.