South Charlotte

Local tuba player now an All-American

The Army All-American game hand-picks 90 of the nation's best football players and 125 of the outstanding band members from across the country.

One local teen, Nation Ford senior Jacob Lutz, has been chosen to perform at halftime of the prestigious game Jan. 7, 2012, in San Antonio.

"I feel like it is a completion of a dream I have had for two years," Lutz said. "I had some friends who had been accepted a couple years ago, and it is something I have always wanted to do. It is a huge honor for me."

Lutz, who has been playing the tuba for seven years, will join an elite group of high school seniors for the Army All-American game, which will feature local football stars D.J. Humphries from Mallard Creek and Phillip O. Berry's Nick Dawson and Gerome Hopper.

While the football players receive nominations, band members are selected from auditions nationwide. Lutz sent a videotape audition that was selected from among thousands of applicants. Band members are broken into categories.

Lutz, who was presented his marching band jacket at the Nation Ford last week, is not new to individual and team success through marching band.

The Nation Ford team is the two-time 3A S.C. state champion and will compete for a third straight title this year. Lutz is a six-year Outstanding Band recipient and is a five time all-state selection. He was named all-region last year.

"I really love being in the band, being part of something big and being around the people on our team," Lutz said. "We always go into the tournament trying to beat ourselves. We know if anyone beats us then they have a really talented group.

"Personally, I am always trying to get better and be a big help to the whole band. Music is my calling, and I want to be a performer and educator but always be around music."

He has yet to narrow his college choices but is considering LSU, UNC Greensboro and South Carolina. Wherever he goes, Lutz knows he wants music to be a big part of it.

For now he wants to finish school, focus on helping Nation Ford win another state title and have a great showing in San Antonio.

"I am very thankful to be chosen," Lutz said. "I went out with hopes that I would make it, and it is certainly something that I have worked hard for, but I am very proud that I was chosen."