When Josh Metz marches and plays his trumpet on the field of San Antonio’s Alamodome in January, he will, undoubtedly, be thinking of his late mother, Marie Metz. She is, after all, one of the reasons for his musical success.
The West Orange High School senior was selected from thousands of entries to perform in the marching band at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, to be played Jan. 7, 2017. He will be among 124 other top-notch high school musicians representing their schools in the annual bowl. The football game pits the best 90 players in the East vs. West matchup.
Metz was nominated by his WOHS band director, Kenneth Boyd, last year and notified of his acceptance this summer. On Tuesday, Oct. 18, representatives from the U.S. Army paid a visit to Boyd’s band class to present Metz with his honorary bowl jacket.
He accepted his jacket in front of his band directors, Boyd and Robert Krahn; many of his band mates and friends; and his father and grandmother.
In his two-minute speech, Metz thanked his family, especially his mother.
“I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for her,” he said. “I miss and love you. I know you’re here.”
Boyd then addressed his band students.
“When you really want something … you follow your dream and make it happen.”
Performers receive an all-expenses-paid trip to participate in bowl week. There, they will receive instruction from top collegiate, high school and drum and bugle corps instructors from across the country, as well as educational sessions with members of the U.S. Army Field Band.
“Band members are chosen not just because they excel musically, but because they are mentally and physically agile, they know the importance of teamwork and they are able to adapt to challenging situations, similar to U.S. Army soldiers,” states the All-American Bowl website.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is presented by American Family Insurance. To watch the halftime show, go to banddirector.com.
Metz’s mother served in the U.S. Air Force for eight years. When she died in January, he dedicated his musical endeavors to her, including his work to be selected for the All-American Bowl. Music is his passion, and he plans to major in music entertainment in college.
He has been playing the trumpet since he was a sixth-grader at Lakeview Middle School. He is currently first chair in West Orange’s Wind Symphony and has been honing his musical skills with a private tutor.
Metz successfully auditioned for the All National Honor Ensembles, which takes place Nov. 10-13 in Grapevine, Texas. It is made up of a concert band, mixed choir, symphony orchestra and jazz ensemble.
Later that month, Metz will head to New York City to perform in the Macy’s Great American Band, which leads the Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 24. This is his second time performing with the band.
The talented trumpet player has played taps several times this year. The first time was at his mother’s funeral in January. He has since played it at the Orange County Courthouse during the Memorial Day service and at his church, Real Life, for a fallen Navy veteran.
Contact Amy Quesinberry Rhode at [email protected].