In the USAAAMB, “All-American family” typically refers to the alumni, staff, and all associated individuals connected through this one crazy week of marching band glory. However, Emily and Cameron Halls take the term literally.
Emily played clarinet in the 2014 band, and now her younger brother Cameron has been selected as a 2015 All-American percussionist. The siblings are from Waterford Kettering High School in Waterford, Michigan, where they played in concert, marching, and jazz band together for three years.
Emily, who is now studying music education at Michigan State University, claims, “Having my brother in band was actually a lot of fun. He’s hilarious, and it was fun to have a class with him every day. He started out playing the flute, so he sat right in front of me for two years until he switched to percussion his junior year and started wreaking havoc at the back of the band room.”
Cameron’s thoughts harmonize with Emily’s, and he says, “Having a sister involved in music definitely influenced my love of music.” He also comments that “her being an All-American was a huge part of me wanting to audition for the All-American Band.”
Two All-Americans in one family is certainly a distinct accomplishment, and Cameron recognizes this honor, saying that “it is very special for both myself and my sister.” He also explains, “It is very surreal seeing all the stuff that happened to her now happen to me. I’m very excited to follow in her footsteps and put on a good show during Bowl Week.”
Emily is very proud of her brother and is confident that he will enjoy San Antonio as much as she did. “Bowl Week was so much fun for me,” she explains, “I got to meet, befriend, and perform with some incredible musicians, as well as work with wonderful instruction and leadership.” She says her favorite aspect was the rehearsal time because, although the actual performance was amazing, it was very short in relation to the entire week. “I loved the rush of performing, and I loved the energy flowing through my body working hard at rehearsals, and learning so much.”
With the exception of last year’s cold weather, Emily hopes Cameron gets all the same amazing experiences she had.
Cameron loves to perform, and as he anticipates the quickly approaching Bowl Week, he is most looking forward to putting on a show for such a huge crowd. In just a few months, his All-American family of two will be expanding enormously to include not only the new band members of 2015 but also a national network of alumni–who often feel a similar sense of pride and excitement for newly selected All-Americans as an older sibling experiences.