Walled LakeNovember 2, 2012
WLC drummer picked for All-American Band
By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer
A Walled Lake Central High School senior recently received his marching orders to join an elite football marching band this January.
Members of the U.S. Army congratulated Michael Rockwell last month when he learned that he would become bass drum 5 in the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band.
The band, composed of students from around the country, will play during the Jan. 5 U.S. Army All-American Bowl halftime show in San Antonio.
Rockwell, 18, of Wixom, called the nomination an amazing accomplishment that makes him proud. “It’s an extreme honor to be chosen to march along with the best in the country,” he said.
Rockwell has been in Central’s marching band since his freshman year, and the experience has helped shape and define him as a person, he said. While he once had “no clue” how to play bass drum in a marching band, he is currently the section leader of the battery.
“I’ve gained so much leadership skills,” he said. “I’ve really developed a passion for this activity.”
All-American Marching Band organizers surveyed videos all around the country and picked 125 students to join the band for the big day. In order to qualify for the national band, Rockwell made three audition videos: two of him playing and one that focused on his personality.
Rockwell said he plans to head down to San Antonio Dec. 31 so he can spend a week learning the music and preparing for the halftime show. The regimen will be more fast-paced than the three to four months it takes to practice for a big presentation at Walled Lake Central, he said.
“It’s going to be rigorous practicing, but it’s really going to be something that I’m looking forward to,” he said.
Central band director Dave Rogers called Rockwell “super dedicated” and “one of the hardest workers” that he has ever had. He added that the San Antonio opportunity gives Rockwell a chance to make friends from around the country and apply his skills in a new forum.
“It’s very inspiring for them because they’re performing with the best-of-the-best in the country, and they are already also getting a chance to work with some of the most elite instructors in the country,” Rogers explained. “They come back fired up, and they definitely learn a ton.”
Learn more about Walled Lake Central High School at www.wlcsd.org or by calling (248) 956-4700. Find out more about the Jan. 5 U.S. Army All-American Bowl at www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com.