Athens seniors honored with admission in All-American Marching Band

Jay Dineen and Aaron Kerr will be performing during the halftime show at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January

Kaanchee Gandhi, Editor-in-Chief

The Athens Drive Marching Band has another honor to add to their extensive list. Jay Dineen and Aaron Kerr, seniors, were selected to be a part of the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band out of a national pool of applicants. The two are a part of 125 marching band and color guard members who will be performing at the halftime show during the US Army All-American Bowl.
An award ceremony was held in the Athen’s cafeteria Nov. 7 where the boys were formally honored by four U.S. Army Sergeants. After receiving their official U.S. Army gear, the two made speeches in which they expressed their appreciativeness for all who supported them. The boys will receive an all-expense paid trip to San Antonio, TX during which they will play during the halftime show Jan. 4. Dineen will be on electric bass while Kerr will be playing snare drum.
In his speech, Dineen expressed how joining marching band in high school helped him open up as a person. Kerr said that ever since he saw his former marching band members receive the same award, it has been an aspiration of his to make it up there as well.
“Aaron was the most quiet person in the whole band at the beginning of our freshman year. As the years have progressed, he’s grown out of his shell…he’s become a leader, someone I respect and look up to,” said Melissa Novitsky.
The All-American Award recipients are described to exhibit strong army characteristics such as loyalty, duty and honor. The boys have both been described by friends and mentors to display these characteristics while remaining modest all the while.
“(Dineen and Kerr) are humble, but deep down they have excellence,” said Dr. Jerry “Doc” Markoch, band director.
Dineen and Kerr spent many hours after school working on filming their audition piece before having to send it in in May.
Doc concluded the ceremony with a speech inspiring the freshmen, sophomores and juniors in the room to strive for this award when the time comes. “Mediocre people just try to get by; my life is not satisfied with just being mediocre,” said Doc. “Awards like this remind us all of what we want to deeply get out of life.”