Marching Buccaneer Pair Picked For Army All-American Marching Band

OSWEGO, NY – The U.S. Army will march into the Port City on October 3, to officially honor two Oswego High School standouts, Cassandra Hondro and Emily King, as part of the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band.

Hondro, who plays the piccolo, and King, who plays the trumpet, join a growing long list of Marching Buccaneers who have been selected for this prestigious honor.

(Year denotes performance date)
Adam Dristle- 2008
Amanda Donovan-2008
Heather Buske – 2008
Chelsea Bartlett – 2009
Kristen Bartholomew-2010
Jacqueline Hondro-2011
Thomas James-2011
Gina Bartholomew-2012
Jeffrey Murray-2012
Joseph Bertonneau-2013

“With this selection, Hondro and King join the ranks of an elite group of only 125 musicians and color guard members from across the country who will showcase their talent during a halftime performance at the nationally broadcast U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio on January 4, 2014,” said Heidi Bobier on behalf of the U.S. Army. “Band members are selected not just because they excel in music and performance, but because they embody the same values of our country’s Army Strong Soldiers like Loyalty and Integrity.”

Hondro and King  will formally receive an invitation to join the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Marching Band with the presentation of honorary jackets in front of family, friends, fellow musicians and classmates.

The presentation ceremony will take place about 8:15 p.m. on October 3, following band rehersal on the Oswego High School football field.

As part of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, each band member and player selected to perform in the game is honored at a selection tour event in his or her hometown.

The tour crosses the country through late fall and by its end will have selected 125 band and color guard members and 90 football players who will participate in the game on January 4, 2014, in San Antonio, Texas.

Annually, the All-American Bowl is the Army’s largest public outreach effort, allowing the Army to share its story with tens of millions of people.

“The U.S. Army has a distinguished musical history,” said Mark Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing. “It takes great skill, teamwork and dedication to be a successful band member, just as it does to be an Army soldier. Only the strongest wear the Army colors, which is why we are proud to honor all of our 2014 U.S. Army All-American Band members and congratulate each of them on their selection.”

“We had several students audition again for the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band and were fortunate to continue the tradition of excellence here at Oswego. This year we have the only two instrumental students taken from all of New York State!” Scott Ciesla, Oswego High School Band Director, told Oswego County Today. “There were four students chosen from New York State and we have two of them!”

The other two are colorguard.

“We are very excited for Emily and Cassandra. They are both very talented individuals and will thrive in the AAMB. They are both driven and hard-working student-musicians. We are proud of both of them for their accomplishments,” Ciesla added. “Congratulations Cassie and Emily!”

Cassie’s sister, Jackie, was in the AAMB as well. It is the second sibling pair they have had here in Oswego. They also had Kristen and Gina Bartholomew make it into the band as well.

“Cassie is also the princial flute player in our Wind Ensemble and Drum Major for the Marching Buccaneers. Emily is the principal trumpet player in our Wind Ensemble and Jazz Bands. She also the principal trumpet in the Syracuse Youth Symphony. She was accepted into the Conference All-State Symphonic Band, which consists of the best musicians in all of New York State,” Ciesla noted.

The Buccaneers have had a member in the Army band since its inception.

“It is almost an expectation and the kids take it very seriously,” Ciesla said. “It’s a difficult process for sure, but the reward is worth the effort. We will start talking to next year’s seniors about it at the end of this season.”