Attending the college football BCS championship game is the dream of many sports fans.One Matthews high school senior now has an even bigger thrill to look forward to: she will be performing in activities surrounding the college title game between Alabama and Notre Dame on Jan. 7 at the Orange Bowl in Miami.Sarah Johnson, a Butler High School senior, will be a member of the All-Star Invitational Marching Band performing a pre-game and halftime show for the BCS championship. Johnson auditioned to perform with the select group of musicians.“I thought, let’s just give it a shot,” said Johnson. “When I was chosen, I thought that’s really cool. I get to do marching band, the thing I love, in front of 80,000 people.”The halftime show will have a Latin theme, and the band will perform with the Miami Sound Machine, Gloria Estefan’s band.Dr. Ken Dye, director of bands for the University of Notre Dame, will direct the performances.Johnson plays the mellophone, a brass instrument larger than a trumpet, in the Butler Marching Band, under the direction of Josh Stevenson. The mellophone is just one of three instruments Johnson plays; she is also an accomplished French horn and piano player.Music occupies a lot of Johnson’s time in high school.“Marching band is such as huge part of what I do in high school, and it’s really shaped the way I look at the world,” said Johnson, who estimated she spends about 175 hours on each marching band season. “I learned life lessons such as leadership, time management, teamwork, dedication – things that helped me develop as a musician and as a person.”“It also developed my love of football,” she said.Johnson intends to study music in college. She has been accepted at Indiana University and Ohio State University, and she is waiting to hear back from Michigan, among others.“I want to take classes in business, along with my music classes,” said Johnson. “Eventually, I’d like to manage a symphony or a community arts program.”Johnson said she plans to take part in marching band in college and expects to learn more during her time in Miami, where she will spend six days working with collegiate band directors and rehearsing.“We have a busy schedule, including learning how to march with a new band and practicing the music for our seven-minute pre-game show and our eight-minute halftime show,” said Johnson, who will be in Miami from Jan.3-8.
Friday, Dec. 28, 2012
Butler band member headed to BCS game
Senior mellophone player will play at college football title matchup
Sarah Johnson shows off the Butler High School Bulldog uniform she will wear in the Jan. 7 BCS football championship game at the Orange Bowl in Miami. COURTESY OF JULIE JOHNSON
Sarah Johnson plays her mellophone during a performance of the Butler Bulldog marching band. COURTESY OF JULIE JOHNSON
Carol Gifford is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Carol? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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