Richey named All-American
One quick Internet search for Russellville High School senior Alex Richey turned into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Richey was named Friday to the U.S. Army All American band that will perform at the U.S. Army All American Bowl in San Antonio in January.
“I was looking at youtube back in February and saw the U.S. Army All American band and thought I would like to try out,” Richey said.
Following an audition process, Richey was informed that he had been selected.
“It’s a dream really to see that all the hard work paid off.”
Richey has been in the Russellville band since the sixth grade. This year as a senior he is a band officer and co-section leader with Duncan McDowell of the drum line.
He has played every instrument on the drum line during high school, playing a bass drum in the 9th and 10th grades, the tenor drums (quads) in the 11th grade and the snare drum as a senior.
He marched this summer with the Music City Drum Corp, a drum corp from Nashville, playing bass drum. As a member of MCDC, he spent the summer practicing in Nashville and then traveling from Tennessee to Oklahoma to Missouri and then back to Tennessee and as far away as Pennsylvania and New York before ending the summer season at Michigan City, Ind., at the Open Class finals of the Drum Corp International (dci.org) and marching at the World Class finals in Indianapolis at the Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the NFL Indianapolis Colts.
To be selected for the U. S. Army All-American Marching Band, he had to audition by videotape and be selected from over a thousand other seniors who were competing for the honor. He will be flown to San Antonio on an all expense paid trip where he will spend the week preparing for and practicing for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, a football game made up of high school seniors from around the country.
Only 125 band students from across the country are chosen to participate.
“Alex set a goal that was attainable through hard work and dedication and he made it happen,” Russellville City Schools Superintendent Rex Mayfield said during a ceremony in the school’s band room Friday.
“He set an example that I hope others follow.”
Russellville Marching Hundred band director Gary McNutt told a story of how he heard Richey practicing alone in the band room over the summer and wondered what he was doing.
“He said that he wanted to apply for the All American band. His motivation was intrinsic- it came from inside, from his hear,” McNutt said. “He went out and did it.”
Richey said Friday’s ceremony was surreal and he still couldn’t believe that he had been selected.
“It’s just a great feeling and I think it’s good for other band students to know there is something out there to reach for.”