Senior named to US Army All-American Marching Band


By Mike Stanford, editor-in-chief
Every time there was a snowfall, senior Sydni Rotunno could be found in her backyard with a shovel and her practice flag. Even blizzards and polar vortexes could not stop Rotunno from practicing her color guard routines.
“When I joined color guard, I was really determined to be good at it,” Rotunno said. “In the [Prospect Marching Knights], we always talk about the pursuit of excellence. I was never striving to be the best person ever, but I was striving to be as excellent as I could be.”
For Rotunno, this hard work came to fruition when she was named to the US All-American Marching Band, making her one of the 125 best marching band members in the country. She will be traveling to San Antonio to participate in the halftime show of the US Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 7. The game and halftime show will air on NBC.
Rotunno was chosen through a lengthy selection process. First, she was nominated by band director Chris Barnum last January. From there, she had to fill out an application that included her academic record, other extracurriculars and an audition video. In July, she was notified of her selection, a moment that Rotunno describes as shocking and amazing.
“There are so many talented people in this group,” Rotunno said. “I was like, ‘How did I get here?’ I was really not expecting to make it.”
Barnum, however, was not as surprised.
“In a group like ours, very many kids are very dedicated and work really hard,” Barnum said. “Even in a group like that, she stands out as someone who is really into it all.”
Now that she has been selected, Rotunno must learn the routine. She will have the opportunity to work with the other members for a week in January, which will culminate in the show.
Although she is nervous to perform a show on only four days of preparation, Rotunno is eager for the event and grateful for the opportunity. She is also grateful for the people who have helped her get to this point.
“To see all the work pay off and all of the people who have supported me along the way, like all of my instructors, all of my friends who have been really great about me wanting to pursue becoming really great at color guard has been wonderful,” Rotunno said. “I just can’t thank enough all the staff and instructors who have been really nice to me over the past four years and have really helped me grow.”