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Alpharetta High School senior accepted into Army All-American Band



L_R_SSG_Andrew_Aldridge
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From left are SSG Andrew Aldridge, 2nd Lt. Hunter White, Alpharetta senior Ben Horne and SSG Amin Wilson. (click for larger version)
November 20, 2012
ALPHARETTA, Ga. — The U.S. Army All-American Marching Band Tour stopped at Alpharetta High School Oct. 30 to formally select AHS senior Ben Horne as a member of the 2013 band.

Thousands apply annually, but only 125 of the most talented high school senior marching band members and color guard members are selected for this honor from across the country. The U.S. Army All-American Marching Band Tour travels to each student's high school to officially inform them of their selection and present them with their band jacket and hat.

These students will go on to perform at the U.S Army All-American Bowl halftime show, which will be televised live from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Jan. 5, 2013. In 2012, the All-American Bowl, the nation's premier high school football game, was the most watched televised sporting event that weekend, excluding the NFL playoffs.

"The U.S. Army has a distinguished musical history," said John Myers, director of marketing for Army Marketing and Research Group. "The skills and strengths necessary to be a successful band member are mirrored in Army Strong Soldiers. Only the strongest wear the Army colors, which is why we are proud to honor all of our 2013 U.S. Army All-American Band members and congratulate each of them on their selection."

In front of students and faculty, baritone player Horne was honored for his accomplishment. AHS Principal Shannon Kersey called the selection, "one of the biggest announcements in the history of Alpharetta High School."

Recognizing that it takes a lot of family support to achieve such elite status, Horne's parents, Jeffrey and Lynn, were presented with the "Dream Protector Award" by Mike Duba of American Family Insurance, the lead national sponsor of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Horne thanked his parents, teachers and band director, Michael Walsh, for their encouragement as he worked his way toward national recognition. He reserved special mention for his older brother Jerome, also a musician, who advised him to audition for the All-American Band.

Information about the U.S. Army All-American Bowl can be found at www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com or www.goarmy.com/events/aab.

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