Chelsea Bartlett Named Army All-American

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OSWEGO, NY – Oswego High School senior Chelsea Bartlett was in the spotlight at Joe Wilber Field recently as she became the fourth local students to be recognized as an “all-American” musician.

A year ago Heather Buske, Amanda Donovan and Adam Dristle were introduced as “Army All-American Class of 2008” members.

Chelsea Bartlett
Chelsea Bartlett

This year, Bartlett is one of only 97 students nationwide to be selected to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, in early January.

Bartlett said, “I am really excited to be able to go and work with other band members who have had the experience of four or five years in marching band like I have.”

The Oswego High School piccolo player noted that in order to be considered she had to apply and submit four video auditions.

She said, “When I heard that I was accepted, my first reaction was ‘Oh Wow.’ I really didn’t know what to think of, but I was, and still am, pretty excited about going.”

Acting Superintendent of Schools Bill Crist said, “I had the opportunity to be there the night that Chelsea received the Army Honor Band Award. It hit me emotionally because I used to march on that same field as the students and also directed the marching band for a period of time. I taught music in this school district so this really hits home emotionally because of the ties that I had growing up with music and the important role it played in my life.”

Continuing he said, “It was great to see Chelsea take the initiative to apply for this tremendous opportunity and honor. She will have a great experience. This shows well, for not only herself, but her school and the school district as well.”

Bartlett, like many Oswego City School District students began playing at a young age.

She said, “I played flute in fourth grade and piccolo in seventh.”

Over the years, Thomas Quirk, Mike Dunsmoor, Bill Palange and Stephen Defren have all been among her instructors.

She started under Quirk in fourth grade and has continued to develop her musical skills throughout her academic career.

However, the flute wasn’t her desired instrument.

She said, “I wanted to play clarinet, but I couldn’t. It wasn’t that a teacher wouldn’t let me. I just couldn’t play clarinet. It just wouldn’t work. I can play a clarinet now, but I couldn’t back then.”

Palange noted, “I’m completely thrilled that Chelsea was selected for the All American Band – for a number of reasons. First, she’s a fabulous musician who will add a great deal to the ensemble. She continues to work awfully hard in music and I’m really happy to see that her effort and achievements have been recognized. I know the audition material and the preparation of the audition was rigorous too, and I know Mr. Defren helped Chelsea with the taping of her material.”

Continuing he said, “Second, Chelsea is a terrific young lady. She absolutely deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the finest young musicians in the country, because she is one of them. She will fit in beautifully in this group and contribute a great deal musically. Chelsea will offer a great deal of leadership off the field too. It’s the same kind of thing she has done here for years. My personal congratulations also go to Chelsea’s mom and dad for instilling so many tremendous traits in such a young lady. We can all be extraordinarily proud that Chelsea Bartlett will be representing us in the All American band, maintaining the standard that Adam Dristle, Amanda Donovan and Heather Buske set last year when they were selected.”

A year ago, three Oswego High School students went to Texas, but this year there is only one.

Chelsea said, “I talked with Heather Buske who went last year and learned about what her experiences were and how what to expect. Heather told me there would be a lot of work, that there are a lot of practices on a very tight schedule, but not very much down time. It should be exciting.”

Her introduction to the trip saw her receive a U.S. Army cap and she will also receive a special U.S. Army jacket.

This year the U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be televised on NBC from the Alamo Dome in San Antonio on Saturday, Jan. 3.