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Homestead senior suits up for prized Army band honor

Sarah Janssen
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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette

Army Maj. John Sheaffer places a jacket on trumpet player Chris Podlaski on Thursday. The Homestead senior will play at halftime in the Army All-American Bowl in January.

FORT WAYNE – The U.S. Army honored Homestead High School student Chris Podlaski on Thursday, welcoming him to the All-American Marching Band.

Homestead band director Steve Barber said the announcement was one of the biggest in Homestead marching band history.

“Today truly is a proud day,” he said.

Podlaski, a senior at Homestead, has already started practicing the music he will perform at the San Antonio Alamodome in January during halftime of the All-American Bowl, an event featuring the nation’s top 90 high school football players and top 125 high school marching musicians.

“I’m really excited to get down there and perform with the best musicians in the country,” Podlaski said.

Barber read Podlaski’s long list of musical accomplishments, including Indiana State School Music Association district gold rating for six years and state gold rating for four years and participating in the IPFW Honor Band as first chair trumpeter.

Podlaski said he started playing the trumpet because it was the easiest instrument for him to master. He’s been playing for eight years, taking private lessons and participating in school and community bands.

Applicants are required to submit audition tapes for marching and playing. Podlaski said an email was sent to his parents last January notifying them of his selection. He said his parents told him the good news as soon as he arrived home from school.

Podlaski said he plans to pursue music more as a hobby or extracurricular in college, not as a major.

Bishop Luers linebacker Jaylon Smith was invited last week to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the first since Bishop Dwenger’s John Goodman played in the 2008 game.

sarah.janssen@jg.net

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