OSWEGO, NY – And the beat goes on.
The Marching Buccaneers’ Ana Alcasid is the latest in Oswego High School’s long list of All-Americans.
Next month, the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour will officially recruit the Marching Buccaneer to the Army All-American Marching Band.
“I’d like to start off by thanking the U.S. Army for granting me the opportunity to be a part of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. I’d also like to extend a thank you to the school district for recognizing me in this endeavor and the amount of support that is given to the music program,” Alcasid said.
She also thanked her parents and sister for pushing her to challenge herself and reminding her that she’s capable and good enough.
Another special thank you goes out to her best friend, Sarah Mandanas, for filming her marching in a square several times and encouraging her at her lowest.
“It’s has been a privilege and will be a privilege to be able to work with a students like Ana here in Oswego. Our music program is full of hard-working individuals who strive for excellence,” said Scott Ciesla, OHS Band Director. “The music program and the students in it are truly models of excellence for the Oswego City School District.”
“When I discovered that I had been accepted, I was completely shocked. It was definitely a pleasant surprise to a rough day,” Alcasid told Oswego County Today. “My initial thought when I clicked the submit button back in May was, ‘I bet I messed something up.’ My second thought was, ‘how neat would it be if I made it?’ And, here I am! The audition process was rather difficult, especially because I’m oh so very tech savvy. Each of the the videos took several takes and the final ones I submitted weren’t even as perfect as I wanted them to be.”
The marching video was definitely “a bizarre experience,” because it was literally her first time marching piccolo, she added.
Luckily, the transition from flute wasn’t too tricky.
“I marched in an empty tennis court with a little league lacrosse team practicing in the field just next to me. Initially I was a bit embarrassed, because parents and children were watching me; likely curious as to what the heck I was doing,” she said. “But, then I realized that it was stupid to be embarrassed. All I had to do was ‘perform.’ So, I gave them a show. Some even smiled.”
“To have 14 students in nine years earn the honor of being in the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band is amazing and a testament to an outstanding group of teachers that have been assembled over the years here in Oswego,” Ciesla said. “It truly has been a team effort and I want to thank all of the teachers past and present, as well as the staff members of the marching band for making a positive impact on the lives of our students.”
From the audition process, Alcasid said she learned that even if you’re little, you can do a lot. You can do anything you set your mind to as long as you commit your heart and soul into your work.
“I’m honored and excited to represent the hard work of Oswego’s marching band and proud to continue this tradition,” Alcasid said. “Earning a spot in the band is the highest honor, for I respect all the hard work and dedication the U.S. Army puts forth. I hope to exemplify that as a part of the U.S. Army All-American Band. I’d also like to recognize my friend, Tyler Youngman. He kept on cheering me on as we auditioned alongside each other, and worked just as hard, if not harder, as I did. Thank you so much to every music director for their guidance, particularly Mr. Ciesla for always believing in me and Mrs. Jorgensen for everything she’s taught me, be it music or life. Thank you to the drill staff for all they’ve taught me technique-wise in the last three years. And lastly, thank you to all you band members and those who convinced me to join. You’ve made my experience in marching band so enjoyable, and made me feel like I belonged.
Her advice to next year’s applicants?
“Feel no doubt, for the dedication displayed by each and every one of you represents the pride, honor, and excellence of the Oswego Marching Buccaneers,” she said.
“Congratulations to Ana Alcasid! You have earned this honor with your hard work and dedication. You are a shining example of the Oswego music program and community and we couldn’t be more excited for your accomplishment!” Ciesla said.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio will be televised live from the Alamodome in January 2016. The band will perform at halftime.
Since 2007, Alcasid is 14th Marching Buccaneers to be selected for this honor. Oswego has had at least one member selected throughout the entire history of the event.
“The U.S. Army has a distinguished musical history,” Mark S. Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for marketing, said in a press release. “Successful band members require great skill, teamwork and dedication — qualities similar to those of Army soldiers. We are proud to honor all of our talented 2016 U.S. Army All-American Band members and commend each of them on their selection to this recognized group.”
The five U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour teams travel across the country from late-September to mid-December to announce all 90 players and 125 marching musicians to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and log a combined 30,000 miles.
ARMY BAND BUCS (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
Cassandra Hondro – 2014
Emily King – 2014
Kylie Pelkey – 2015.
Ana Alcasid – 2016.