Two southern Indiana high school band members will be performing at one of the most prestigious high school football games of the year. The U.S. Army All-American Bowl features the top football athletes in the country. At halftime, 125 of the top high school marching band members will take the field. Including two from southwestern Indiana, Bradley Gehlhausen of Jasper High School and Jessica Dillingham of Castle High School.
"I just thought I was a little girl from Indiana and now it's this big thing so it's really cool," said Dillingham.
Gehlhausen says the application process was intense, testing musical talent with marching skill. "They send you sheet music that you have to memorize, and you play it from memory while marching in a box, and they videotape you marching in a box while playing that."
The U.S. Army doesn't only select students based on skill, but also character. Those who know Jessica say she embodies some of the Army's ideals, such as leadership. "Just by the demeanor and they way she handles herself around kids. They all look up to her," said Castle High School Band Director Mark Eifler.
"I just want to be the best role model they can possibly have so they can excel in everything," said Dillingham. Now she will get a chance to lead peers on the field, in front of some her own role models. "Performing a show for the army veterans is just like so awesome. Like I get to do what I love and make them happy and give them a show they will never forget."
The U.S. Army All-American game is in San Antonio on January 4th.