By: Jennifer Southerland
On January 7, 2017, Senior Newsome Band Member, Megan Wright, marched in the U.S. Army All American Bowl half-time show. The Fall 2016 Newsome Wolfpack Band Drum Major was one of only 125 high school students across the nation chosen to participate in this honorary band. Students are not only selected for their musical talent, but also for their demonstrated mental and physical toughness, their ability to work well with a team and adapt to challenging situations. They are ultimately selected because they live the Army values everyday. Representatives from the U.S. Army descended upon campus October 27, 2016, to present Megan with official invitation to participate along with the honorary U.S. Army All American Bowl jacket. Sgt 1 st Class Lawson stated, “These inducted members have earned the right to wear the Army Colors”.
Megan’s parents, Lloyd and Heather Wright, were in attendance as well as Newsome Band director Michael J. Miller and several members of the Newsome Wolfpack Band. Megan thanked her parents calling them the “ultimate band parents” and stating that she “focused on the Lord through it all”. Megan also thanked her grandparents, The O’Reillys, who have ties to the music world. Her grandfather John O’Reilly, is well known composer and band director. She continued to thank her Oboe teacher, Meg Cassell, band director Michael Miller, Ryan Marsh, the percussion tech and all her fellow Newsome band students saying, “I would be nothing without you.”
Megan did ultimately perform on January 7, 2017 on national television. The selectees had one week to pull together a full half-time show to be broadcast all over the world. Anyone who has participated in marching band can appreciate the hard work, focus and dedication one must have in order to do such a task. “The experience overall was amazing. I got the opportunity to perform and make friends with people that love and care about all the same things I do….I loved every minute of it!” says Megan when asked of her final thoughts on the experience.
Megan played the Marimba during this show but plays many other instruments such as piano and oboe. Megan is in good company as she followed in the marching steps of former Newsome Marching Band members and Newsome High Alumni Jane Dawson, Kyle Sullivan, Emily Macias and Kevin Clancy. Many of these fellow All American Band selectees reached out to welcome her to the club and wish her well. What’s next for Megan Wright? Megan hopes to one day influence young lives by becoming a music teacher and band director. To reach this goal Megan is looking at the University of North Texas or Florida State University. We wish Megan the best of luck in her endeavors and know she will be a wonderful alumna representative of Newsome High School as she makes her way in the world.