Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Double Play: Two Triad High Students Selected for Sousa National Honors Band

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Double Play: Two Triad High Students Selected for Sousa National Honors Band

Article excerpt

Sherrie Daniel and Kurt Schuette are exceptional musicians.

In fact, they're among just 100 high school band students nationwide who've earned the honor of going to Washington D.C. next month to play in the John Philip Sousa Foundation National Honors Band.

Daniel plays the trombone, and Schuette plays the tuba. Both are 17 years old, all-state band members and first chair in their respective instruments. What makes the recognition even more unique is that both of these nationally recognized students are seniors at the same school - Triad High School in St. Jacob. Most years, only two students are chosen for the Sousa band from each state, so the competition is incredibly tough. In Illinois alone, more than 400 high schools have bands that could submit applications to the national Sousa committee. That makes the possibility of two band members from the same school being chosen for the Sousa band akin to winning the lottery. "There is nothing like this in the sports world to compare with the thrill and excitement of being able to play with the top-rated musicians in the country," said Triad band director John Malvin. "This is more than a plaque or a trophy; this is an opportunity of a lifetime," he added. The students' four-day trip to Washington will include some sightseeing in addition to the intense practice sessions leading up to the Sousa band concert on May 10 at George Washington University. The Sousa band will be led by retired U.S. Marine Band director John Bourgeois. The road to Washington started long ago for Daniel and Schuette. Both started playing band instruments in fifth grade and have entered competitions sponsored by the Illinois Music Education Association. To qualify for the John Phillip Sousa Band, applicants must have won competitions at the district level and the state level, in addition to other criteria. The honors band convenes every two years. Daniel's planned career path includes her music training. "I haven't narrowed down the college that I want to go to yet, but I do know that I want to go into music therapy," she said. "There is something about being able to reach people with Alzheimer's or children with learning disabilities through music that appeals to me. …

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