Mountain View High School seniors Colton Johnson, who plays alto saxophone, and Allen Harvison, who plays trumpet, were selected as members of the U.S. All-American Marching Band. The two were one of 125 high school seniors selected that played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl halftime performance at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 8. Johnson and Harvison were nominated for the 2018 roster by Scott Burgener, former director of bands at Mountain View High School.
MyNewsMesa spoke with Johnson and Harvison, as well as Adam Risch, director of bands at Mountain View High School, about the experience and how it has impacted Mountain View High School.
MyNewsMesa: How did you feel when you found out you were selected?
Johnson: I felt truly amazing, when they announced me as an “All- American” at the selection tour, I had the constant feeling of excitement running throughout my entire body.
Harvison: When I found out I was selected, it was maybe one of the most exciting points in my life. It was a culmination of surprise and joy for my family and me. In fact, another member of our band made it last year and I knew how great of a time they had. I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for me
MyNewsMesa: How do you think this recognition helped you feel more confident in your skills and passion for music?
Johnson: I think this really made me realize just how much my hard work has paid off. Ever since my fifth-grade year, when I first put that instrument to my face, I have always dreamed of being in a top organization like that, and it finally came true.
Harvison: This recognition helped me realize how many great musicians there are in the United States of America and how one organization could bring all this special talent together to create the best band in America. It fascinated me and cultivated my realization of how much I cared for music and how I will always want it to be a part of my life.
MyNewsMesa: How did you feel getting the chance to represent your school and be a part of the halftime performance?
Johnson: Knowing that this is something all my peers will look up to for musical excellence, I simply felt proud the entire time. I will always remember that feeling, and know I will try my best to keep the positive energy going throughout my own school’s music program.
Harvison: Getting to represent my school was a huge honor and privilege. When I also realized that I was also getting to march my final marching band show in the Alamodome, the emotions hit me like a rock. Not only did I enjoy getting to play in the show, but I adored everything about the show, including the music, choreography, and the drill.
MyNewsMesa: What did you learn from the experience and how do you think it will impact your future — in music, and/or developing leadership and teamwork skills?
Johnson: I learned many skills of leadership from the many instructors that were at the event to teach us. This has already impacted my future because it made me realize that no matter who you are, if you set your mind towards a goal, it can DEFINITELY be achieved. It also made me want to continue music throughout my life, even if it is not my primary “major.”
Harvison: I learned that there are talented young musicians throughout the United States and that the U.S. Army could bring all the bright minds of a nation together to create an astoundingly magnificent show. I came home with the understanding that I wanted to continue music in my life for the foreseeable future because I am in love with the way it gives me joy.
MyNewsMesa: How significant is it that not one but two students from Mountain View were selected as members of the marching band?
Risch: It is pretty remarkable because it says a lot about how hard these guys work. I’m not surprised that these two were picked just because they work so hard time and time again. I definitely feel like it speaks very highly of the school, but it is so important to note that they would not have reached this pinnacle had it not been for their hard work.
MyNewsMesa: How do you feel this recognition contributes to the students’ talent and passion for music?
Risch: It gives them more experiences in a nationally recognized organization, not just a state group. It shows they are dedicated to their craft beyond the school day.
MyNewsMesa: Why do you think Colton and Allen were great choices to represent their instrument and Mountain View High School?
Risch: Colton and Allen are kids that are always doing what is right. Whether it be as a leader in the marching band or in their classroom as students. They work hard, and they know that what they contribute to the organization can only make it stronger. They are selfless as musicians and they always have what is best for those around them in mind. You cannot teach that, it is just part of who they are. I couldn’t ask for better musicians in our program.
MyNewsMesa: How do you hope this recognition adds to the students’ confidence in their skills and futures in music?
Risch: These kids are already sure of themselves. But it isn’t necessarily an ego thing. They understand that there are benefits to hard work. The All-American Marching Band is one way they have been recognized for this.
These kids are incredible. Every year we have one or two kids that are simply remarkable and here we have two students again that will be absolutely missed once they graduate. Other outstanding kids will come through Mountain View but there will only be one Colton Johnson and one Allen Harvison.
– Mesa resident Alyssa Tufts is a freelance writer for MyNewsMesa.com.