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Susquehannock senior heads to U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Alyssa Jackson
  • Julien Sherman was one of 125 marching band members selected to play at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
  • He will be playing his snare drum during the halftime show on Jan. 7, 2017.
  • Sherman is the fifth student from Susquehannock High School to be selected for the honor.

Julien Sherman has been passionate about drumming since he was a baby, when his father would sit him at his drum set and let him explore the noises it could make.

When Julien was in fourth grade, he began formally taking percussion lessons in school. In ninth grade, when he joined the Susquehannock High School Marching Band, Julien turned his efforts to the snare drum. He's been perfecting his talent for the last four years.

Susquehannock Senior High School Marching Band drummer Julien Sherman, of New Freedom, is shown during an interview at the school in Glen Rock, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Sherman was one of 125 musicians selected to perform with the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band during the halftime show at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 7, 2017. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The 17-year-old said he knew his hard work had paid off when he was selected to play as a member in the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, which performs each year at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, a premier high school football game, according to a news release.

To even be considered for the elite ensemble, Julien had to be recommended by a band director. After the recommendation, he perfected three videos to send in: one of him playing the snare drum, one of him marching and playing his snare drum and a self-introduction.

"I told them I'd be good for this because I have good leadership qualities, and I've been playing the drums for many years," Julien said. "I talked about how I'm very involved with the community, and I do other things with music other than drumming, like I'm involved in high school theater." Julien said he and his father also participate in drum circles in the local area as a form of music therapy.

Julien decided to apply to be in the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band when he saw another student from Susquehannock High School selected in his freshman year. According to him, five students from Susquehannock High School have been selected for the All-American Marching Band over the years.

Upon hearing the news of his selection, Julien said, he was shocked.

"It’s a very competitive ensemble to get into," he said. "I always had that feeling like 'Yeah, chances are I won’t get in,' but all the hard work did pay off."

On Oct. 7, Julien was honored at his high school for being selected. He received an honorary jacket from the U.S. Army All-American Bowl for the achievement.

According to a news release, only 125 high school marching band members are selected to be in the All-American Marching Band. They are chosen because they excel musically but also because they are "mentally and physically agile, they know the importance of teamwork, and they are able to adapt to challenging situations, similar to U.S. Army soldiers," the release stated.

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be televised at noon Jan. 7, 2017, on NBC. Julien said he is very excited for the opportunity.

"This was something that could only be a dream, something that I wasn’t sure I could accomplish, so I’m very proud of the work I put in for it," he said. "I’m very, very excited to be playing with some of the nation's best high school marchers."