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OHS Senior To Perform At Army All-American Bowl

(Editor’s Note: Recently, Kristen Bartholomew received word she had earned a national honor. The OHS band student had been selected to perform at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. A representative from the Army was to come to Oswego to officially recognize and congratulate her. However, due to the bomb threats in the district, the event was cancelled and has yet to be rescheduled. We would like to take this opportunity to recognize this talented member of the OHS Class of 2010.)

OSWEGO, NY – Oswego High School student Kristen Bartholomew (trumpet) has been selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Kristen and 96 others will perform during halftime of the nation’s premier high school football game on Jan. 9, 2010, in San Antonio, Texas.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the game.

Cadet command representative Major Eric Schaertl was slated to present Kristen with her bowl jacket during a ceremony at Faust Theater in OHS.

Kristen is a senior, “about 10th in my class.”

“To audition for the Army All-American Band, I had to send three videotapes of myself: one playing without moving, one playing and marching, and one addressing the judges about why I wanted to be an All-American,” she explained. “I also had to fill out an application with recommendations. I will be in San Antonio from Jan. 5 to 10 for rehearsals and a halftime performance at the Army All-American Football game.”

She said she was really nervous about whether or not she would be accepted.

“I would think about how much fun it would be and hear All-American Alumni talk about it. Then I’d remember that there is no guarantee,” she said. “I kept going over things in my mind from the audition, agonizing over the little things I’d inevitably missed: ‘Did I play in tune? Was I marching with good enough posture? Oh, I wish I hadn’t missed that B flat!'”

Finally, the email she’d been waiting for arrived.

“I read the email telling me I was accepted and I just stared at it. I didn’t really comprehend it at first,” she said. “Now, when I watch the previous shows online and hear people congratulate me, I get another little jolt of excitement. I cannot wait!”

Kristen plans to attend college next year, but isn’t exactly sure where – she is applying to ESF, Cornell, St. Lawrence, Keuka, Geneseo for undergrad (Ohio State, Michigan State, Cornell for graduate).

She hopes to become a veterinarian.

Right now, she is juggling a part-time job at Tara Animal Hospital with her school activities, which include being a member of National Honor Society, captain of Oswego Winter Guard, and a member of Ski Club.

“I started by simply shadowing the veterinarian at Tara over the summer to get some experience; a requirement for vet school is 80 documented hours with a licensed veterinarian, but most applicants have no less than 1,000 hours,” she said.

She became more of a volunteer. Her responsibilities now include cleaning cages, feeding animals, weighing animals, holding animals while the vet gives shots, holding veins while he takes blood, helping with surgery, cleaning and sterilizing surgery materials, and other duties.

“Eventually he decided to hire me. It’s been a fun and awesome experience and I’ve learned so many invaluable things,” she said.

“I have played trumpet since fourth grade and piano since kindergarten,” she said.

In her spare time, she helps an elementary school girl with her piano music (similar to piano lessons).

“The girl I help has a piano teacher, but her grandmother also wants her to have someone to help her practice between lessons and make sure she is on the right track,” Kristen said. “I work with her on what her teacher wants her to improve. I help her with scales, theory, songs, and more lengthy pieces that she plays for recitals or at NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) events.”

She has been a member of the Marching Band since eighth grade and is also a part of Jazz Band, and Wind Ensemble.

Kristen has participated in NYSSMA Solo Festival since she was in fifth grade and she has been selected for All-County in grades 6-11 (first chair in 11th grade).

She was also selected for Area-All-State in her junior year.

She plans to audition for both again this year.

Her brother, Nick, 20, goes to OCC. He marches in the Syracuse University Marching Band and plays in the Sour Citrus Society (pep band).

She also has a sister, Gina, 15, who is a sophomore at Oswego High School.

“She is also in Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Band with me,” Kristen noted.

Her parents, Don and Debbie Bartholomew, said they are very proud of Kristen and her accomplishments – “not just in music, but in all the things she does from her academics, National Honor Society, and to volunteering to help other kids and her work with animals.”

They describe her as very motivated and goal oriented. When she sets her mind to something, she doesn’t stop until she has reached her goal, they added.

Being a member of the US Army All-American Band is one example.

“This was a goal she set for herself and worked very hard to achieve. Also, from a very early age she set a goal of being a veterinarian. We are quite sure that is something else she will achieve,” he parents said. “We are very exited for her to have been selected as one of the best high school musicians in the country and can’t wait to see her marching with the All-American Band on Jan. 9!”