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BHS student to play in All-American Band
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Carla Lackey (center), a vibraphone player in the Bassett High School marching band, has earned a spot in the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Band. She is shown with Army Staff Sgt. Chris Potter (left) and 2nd Lt. David Bisacre. Lackey is the 11th BHS student to play at the bowl since 2007. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer

Bassett High School vibraphone player Carla Lackey was honored Tuesday as one of 125 high school marching band members nationwide selected to perform during the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

BHS band members, school and school division officials, friends and others attended the noon ceremony in the BHS auditorium.

“Selected students exhibit exceptional musicianship, marching achievement, character and leadership,” said Connor Brown, Selection Tour master of ceremonies.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Nelson said: “It takes a great team to produce the outstanding musicians who are selected for the Army All-American Band. We would like to honor the entire Bassett High School marching band for the support and commitment you have shown to each other and your school.”

In announcing Lackey’s selection, Nelson said: “Carla embodies the characteristics and values of an Army Strong Soldier, and we are proud to have her on our team and wear the All-American colors. Carla, on behalf of the secretary and chief of the United States Army, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band Class of 2014.”

He also said: “I want to congratulate Carla. It’s quite a bit of hard work to get where Carla is today.”

Lackey, a 17-year-old senior who lives in Collinsville, thanked the Army for supporting high school music and also thanked family, band staff, band members, the National Association for Music Education and others.

“Carla now makes number 11,” BHS Band Director Trey Harris said, referring to the number of BHS band members who have been selected to perform during the All-American Bowl since marching band was added to the bowl in 2007. Last school year, three BHS band members were selected: Rocky Ankeny, mellophone; Nikki Parker, color guard; and Corbin Martin, trumpet.

“We need to give ourselves a round of applause,” Harris said.

He thanked school and school division officials and others for supporting the band.

He mentioned that BHS graduate Kolton Helbert was attending the ceremony. Helbert, a bass drummer, and Megan Smallwood, a BHS clarinet player, were selected to perform in the 2012 bowl, according to a Bulletin article.

In an interview, Helbert said the experience of performing in the bowl allowed him to be around other hardworking people dedicated to music and who care about being excellent in whatever they do.

Harris challenged other BHS marching band members in the audience: “Who’s going to step up and be the next All-American?”

Harris said in an interview that Lackey is one of the most talented students the band program has had. She started in the band program in seventh grade, a year later than most students, but caught up quickly and excelled, he said.

He also said she “has worked so hard,” is self-motivated and desires to be high-quality.

Lackey said she took private piano lessons from age 5 until she switched to percussion when she joined the band at Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School in seventh grade.

This is her third year as percussion front ensemble section leader and percussion captain in the BHS marching band, she said. She also is a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club, she said, adding: “Band is a really big part of my life. I don’t have time for anything else.”

Lackey, the daughter of Carl Lackey and Erlinda Lackey, has a 4.15 grade point average and plans to attend George Mason University and double-major in music education and communication, she said. She aspires to be a front ensemble technician or director in a drum corps.

“It’s a really big honor,” Lackey said of her selection to the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. “I can’t believe I got selected out of all the amazing musicians ... .”

“Each All-American is nominated by his or her band director and then submits an online application and multiple videos showcasing their performance abilities,” according to online information.

Music “is a way for me to express myself. I get to play my emotions to people,” Lackey said.

She said she believes performing in the bowl will be “a life-changing experience” for her and will look good on her résumé.

“She’s an exceptional student and a fine representative for Bassett High School and the county,” Henry County Schools Superintendent Jared Cotton said of Lackey. “She’s well deserving of this honor. For us, it’s something for other students to aspire to.”

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl, featuring 90 high school football players in an East versus West match-up, will be played at 1 p.m. Eastern Time Jan. 4 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, and will be broadcast live on NBC, said an online news release.

“You can watch the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band perform live at halftime at and you can catch the inside scoop on the Selection Tour and Bowl Week by checking out the All-American Bowl on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,” Connor Brown said.


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