Jan. 13 , 2011

29th Band recruit selected for U.S. Army All-American Band

By Staff Sgt. Andrew H. Owen
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

RICHMOND, Va. — Dressed in Army black and gold, with a sousaphone wrapped around him, Matthew Knopp marched with precision during the halftime show of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl with the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band Jan. 8, 2011 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Playing for nearly six minutes between halves, the elite marching band entertained the crowd for the fourth year in a row during the football game that highlights the best high school football players and marching band members in the nation.

 

Matthew Knopp, a senior at E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg and new recruit in the Virginia National Guard, was one of 125 students selected for the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band from over 1,000 applicants from across the country late last year. (Contributed photo)

Click HERE to download a high resolution photo.


Knopp, a senior at E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, Va., was one of 125 students selected for the elite band and color guard from over 1,000 applicants from across the country late last year. Selected musicians are chosen by the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band Selection Committee consisting of the National Association for Music Education, Drum Corps International, head director and show coordinator Nola Jones, and All American Games, a New Jersey-based sport marketing and event management company.

During a ceremony at his high school in October, Knopp was visited by members of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band Selection Tour, consisting of several U.S. Army Soldiers who presented the 17-year old with his black and gold marching band jacket and the uniform hat worn during the halftime performance.

“The U.S. Army has a long musical history and being an Army musician is one option the All-American Bowl showcases to young Americans,” said Col. Derik Crotts, Director of Strategic Communications, Marketing and Outreach, U.S. Army Accessions Command. “The mental, emotional and physical qualities necessary to be a successful band member are the same qualities mirrored in Army Strong Soldiers. We are proud to honor all of our U.S. Army All-American Band members and congratulate them on their selection.”

Crotts’ sentiments rang true especially for Knopp, who three days before his selection announcement enlisted in the Virginia Army National Guard’s 29th Infantry Division Band, according to his father, Brian Knopp. The junior Knopp will attend Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training after graduating high school later this year.

“I’m a little nervous about doing the basic training piece of it,” said Knopp. “But once I get to the band specific training part, it should be all downhill from there.”

 

Matthew Knopp, a senior at E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg and new recruit in the Virginia National Guard, was one of 125 students selected for the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band from over 1,000 applicants from across the country late last year. (Contributed photo)

Click HERE to download a high resolution photo.


“Matt’s selection to the U.S. Army All-American Band is recognition of his ability and dedication to the field of music,” said 1st Sgt. Fred Lewis, 29th ID Band first sergeant. “Beginning his military career as a participant and representative of the Virginia National Guard and the 29th Division Band in the U.S. Army All-American Band is an inspirational and unforgettable event. His enthusiasm and dedication is a motivating factor for the Soldier/musicians of the 29th Division Band.”

Performing in Texas provided unique challenges to the members of the band who usually practice all summer long to perform with their high school marching bands. Knopp and the rest of the band came together from across the nation and only had 22 hours of rehearsal time where they practiced the routine with members of the U.S. Army Field Band.

“I got mentored by and played with some of the best Army musicians in the world,” Knopp said. “The knowledge I gained, will help me to continue to perform throughout my military service.”

The new recruit will also perform later this month at the U.S. Army Tuba Euphonium Conference at Fort Myer in Arlington, Va.

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