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Student chosen for elite music performance

Army looks to Tigard High for musical talent


by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Jay Reddicks, 17, is one of five snare drummers in the country selected for the marching band. Reddicks was officially welcome to the band at a ceremony hosted by the US Army at Tigard High on Tuesday. Pack your bags, Jay Reddicks. You’re headed to San Antonio.

The 17-year-old high school senior is one of 125 students from across the country selected to perform in the U.S. Army’s All-American Marching Band.

The band will perform during the halftime show at the All-American Bowl in January.

In December, Reddicks will be flown to Texas to rehearse before the big game.

Unlike the Tigard High School marching band, which performs regularly during the fall and winter, the All-American band will perform only once, during the halftime show of the All-American Bowl football game on Jan. 4. Only the best high school seniors from across the country are invited to join the band each year.

Five students in six years

Reddicks brother Jordan played drums in the All-American Marching Band in 2011. That performance inspired Reddicks to one day join the band himself, he said.In his acceptance letter, Michael Butera, executive director of the National Association for Music Education, congratulated Reddicks for his “outstanding musicianship, marching skill, academic standing, leadership potential and maturity.”

But Reddicks’ isn’t the first from Tigard High to be admitted to the band. Reddicks is the fifth Tigard student to make the elite group since its debut six years ago.

The band members come from all across the school’s performing arts program. Earlier this year, guitarist Irvin Mejia performed with the group. In 2012, color guard dancer Kalen Weigel was selected.

Reddicks’ older brother Jordan performed in the group in 2011, and Reddicks credits him with sparking his interest in the band years ago.

“He was the main reason I got into it,” he said.

In middle school, Reddicks and his family flew to Texas to watch Jordan perform. From the stands, Reddicks said he told himself that one day he would perform on the field like his brother.

“I was watching the show and saw what it was like, and I set a goal for myself for the next three years,” he said.

Despite the school’s reputation for producing some of the nation’s top marching musicians, Tigard High School band director Jim Irving said the school doesn’t put too much emphasis on getting the students to audition for the All-American band

“It’s one of the many opportunities that these kids have, but we don’t really make a big deal out of it,” he said.

But as more students from Tigard are accepted to the band, news spreads and more students audition.

“We find out about it from friends who did it before, and then we want to go, too,” Reddicks said.

Years of work

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Tigard High School senior Jay Reddicks is the fifth student from Tigard High School in as many years to be accepted to the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, an elite marching band that will perform at the All-American Bowl football game in San Antonio has been accepted into the U.S. Army All-American Bowl marching bandReddicks learned he was part of the band in August, but was told to keep the news under wraps from friends until the Army could set up a special induction ceremony, which was held Tuesday at Tigard High School.

Reddicks said he was drawn to marching band from an early age.

“I like being competitive,” he said. “It’s a sport. You march and play music. It’s like a major league sport.”

Reddicks fell in love with marching band when he was in middle school. By the time he was in high school, he was performing with both the Tigard High School marching band and the Oregon Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps — a marching band based in Portland.

“(Drumming) is so different from other instruments,” he said. “I hated using my air to make sound. I wanted to try something different, and that’s why I liked it.”

It takes years of hard to work to be able to qualify for this group, said marching band director Kati McKee.

“You don’t just walk into this. It takes thousands of hours of practice to make it to do this level,” she said.

“He is one of five drummers in the nation selected for this,” Irving agreed. “I think that speaks for itself.”




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