First All-American marching band attendees

Parker Kauffman and Gabrielle King practice their instruments in band. They were both chosen to be part of the All-American Marching Band.

Paige Coakley

Parker Kauffman and Gabrielle King practice their instruments in band. They were both chosen to be part of the All-American Marching Band.

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In 2012, Parker Kauffman and Gabrielle King, both juniors at the time, were nominated by band director Brandon Kiesgen to apply to be a member of the 2014 All-American Band. Now seniors, Kauffman and King were invited to partake in the annual event.

They will both be flown to San Antonio, Texas to march in the All American Bowl halftime show on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2014. The All American Bowl is a football game sponsored largely by the Army and American Family Insurance, which displays the best high school football players from across the nation. Likewise, the halftime show is performed by the nation’s top high school marchers.

Arizona is sending six marching band students to the bowl, which is the largest out of any state in the U.S., tying only with Texas. Out of those six, two are Pumas. They are the only two students in all of Chandler, Gilbert, Higley, and Queen Creek to ever be selected for such an honor.

“We are really proud that they got selected for this,” Assistant Band Director, Jesse Chavez, stated. “It’s a high honor.”

Kauffman, who is looking forward to meeting new people, stated, “I’m excited…because people from all around the country [also got selected], so that’s going to be really cool.”

Not only is this reflecting on Kauffman and King, but it also reflects the band program and Arizona itself.

“It just shows that on this campus we have some fantastic musicians, and we’ve known that, but now we’re getting recognized for it. It lets everybody else know that as well,” Assistant Principal Kevin Ames said.

As for the effect on the rest of the marching band, Chavez states, “it sets a precedent for what it means to be a complete member of the band.”

Chavez hopes that the entire band can learn from their example and, “be as selflessly dedicated to the band as Parker and Gabby are…and find it in themselves to be that way.”

King encourages others to always try their best and stated, “Don’t say you can’t do it…There’s nothing you can lose and there’s everything you can gain.”

As for Kauffman and King, everyone can agree with Ames when he says, “Good luck to them and I hope they have a great time.”