The trombonist is one of only 125 musicians and color guard members nationwide chosen for the band from among more than 1,400 high school musicians who auditioned. The invitation was extended by University of Tennessee at Chattanooga ROTC instructor Maj. Phillip Hill, Cleveland Recruiting Center Commander Sgt. 1st Class Mark Zajonczkoski and area recruiter Staff Sgt. Andrew Sivley.
Bradley Central Band Director Kris Ware nominated three musicians from the senior class to audition for the marching band, but Jamey was the only one of the three to follow through with the opportunity.
“Jamey is one of our exceptional students. He has really excelled in the last couple of years. His musicianship is top notch and he’s one of the finest high school students I’ve known,” Ware said. “He’s got a really great drive and motivation to do his best all of the time.”
Critchfield is the son of Jim and Christy Critchfield who expressed pride in their son and thankfulness for the opportunity to play with the elite band.
Jamey began playing the trombone in the sixth grade. He has attended music clinics, plays in a local jazz band and has played in the Greater Cleveland Community Concert Band.
“I never imagined it would come to this,” he said.
Jamey said he is excited and is practicing his music selections.
“The U.S. Army has a distinguished musical history,” Hill said. “The skills and strengths necessary to be a successful band member are mirrored in Army soldiers. Only the strongest wear the Army colors, which is why we are proud to honor all of our 2013 U.S. Army All-American Band members and congratulate each of them on their selection.”