Sheldon student marches his way into bowl game - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sheldon student marches his way into bowl game

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SHELDON, Iowa (KTIV) -

Whether it's background music or half-time entertainment, marching bands have long played an important role in high school and college football games.

Tuesday, the spotlight was on a Sheldon High School sousaphone player.

Marching into school history was Noah Hickman.  He's became the first student from Sheldon, the only student from Iowa, and one of only 125 high school musicians across the country chosen to perform with the U.S. Army All-American Band.

"This is just amazing," Hickman told his peers after accepting the honor.

Whether it's band, choir, or theater, Noah is at home on the stage or the field.

"He's very excited to go to practices and to perform," said his mother, Kecia.

Last spring, with the help of his band director, Noah put together an audition tape, displaying his musicianship and marching skills.

"Cause of the snow storm we did it in our gym instead of on the field," pointed out his band director, Cliff St. Clair.

In August, Noah got the good news before band camp.  He was shining up his sousaphone when the email arrived.

"I almost literally jumped up and down.  ‘Hey, Mr. St. Clair, Mr. St. Clair, I made it, I made it!'" remembered Hickman.

"He does everything with a lot of enthusiasm, he really enjoys it," noted St. Clair.

His fellow bandmates weren't surprised to see him hit such a high note.

"He's always just so focused whenever we're out on the field," said senior band member Keri Kamphoff.

"He's driven with everything he does,  he's tries hard for everything," added fellow senior Ellie Clark.

Noah's sousaphone wasn't his only ticket into the band.  He was also chosen for his character.

"Loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity.  It takes a special person to be a soldier, and it takes a special band member to be selected as a U.S. Army All American.," explained SSG Zachary Grady, of the U.S. Army.

However, it's his passion for music that makes his band director most proud.

"Obviously, when I was young I was lit on fire in that way, and that's what we hope for all the students, that there's something that grabs them and hooks them on music," said St. Clair.

The plume in St. Clair's "marching cap" is that Noah wants to be a band director just like him, one day. 

Noah will be flown to San Antonio, Texas for an all expenses paid trip.      

You can catch Noah, and the rest of the All-American band, marching at halftime in the U-S Army's All-American Bowl in San Antonio, January 4th.

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