SAHS band member to perform at Orange Bowl
MIAMI - A Shamokin Area High School senior will be among the members of an all-star marching band performing during tonight's Orange Bowl football game to be broadcast on ESPN.
Adam Richardson, 18, will be dressed in Shamokin Area's purple-and-white marching band uniform, performing on tenor saxophone and marching during halftime of the matchup between Ohio State University and Clemson University.
Asked if the crowd at Sun Life Stadium will be the largest he will have performed in front of, he said, "Eighty thousand people people and international television, yep."
A son of Darlene and Mark Richardson, of Paxinos, Adam has long been passionate about music.
"I'm always tripping over his music stands in the
dark and various sundry horn cases," Darlene said.
He had lessons on both guitar and piano before learning to play the clarinet in the fourth grade. He continued on that instrument throughout elementary and middle school, and it wasn't until his sophomore year that he switched to tenor saxophone.
He was named to both the district and regional bands each of the past two years, playing bass clarinet, and missed making the state band by a single point, his mother said. He has also marched each of the past four years on Thanksgiving Day in Philadelphia with the Tournament of Bands All Star Marching Band, she said.
Kevin Styer, high school band director, nominated him for the elite All Star Invitational Marching Band, set to perform twice at tonight's Orange Bowl. Adam submitted a pair of audition videos and filled out an application. In November, he learned by email that he had been accepted.
"I didn't know what to expect, actually. I definitely tried to practice a little bit and keep myself ahead of the curve," he said.
He arrived in Florida Monday, just in time, some would say. While snow falls in his hometown and temperatures plunge into the single digits, he is enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. He's also excited to be performing with his fellow all-stars, two of whom are from the Danville Area and North Schuylkill school districts.
"It's real nice to be down here with the experienced marching band kids. It's definitely a way different system than we have back home in Shamokin. It's real nice to be involved with a high-paced, high-functioning marching band," he said.
Adam said he will continue to pursue music when he enrolls at Mansfield University, but he'll be majoring in clinical psychology.
His twin sister, Lea, plays cello with the high school orchestra and also competes in cross-country and track. Both plan to join the U.S. Army Reserves, their mother said.
Adam, an Eagle Scout, was the drum major at Shamokin Area this year. That uniform is black with a purple cape, and different from the rest of the band's. Given the option to wear the drum major's or the band's uniform, he chose the band's, Darlene said.
"He said, 'I'm from Shamokin and I want everybody to know where I'm from," she said.
The Orange Bowl pre-game show airs at 8 p.m. followed by the game at 8:30 p.m.