Marching orders: Calvert Hall drummer tabbed to play at U.S. Army All-American Bowl game
By Nelson Coffin
Oct 19, 2016 | 2:29 PM
David Lovette has faced his share of problems in the last two years, primarily because of health issues facing his father, David Lovette Sr., and the death of his grandmother a couple of years ago.
With that in mind, it would have been easy for the Calvert Hall senior to forget about reaching a musical goal he set for himself by earning a spot in the elite marching band that will play at halftime of the nationally televised U.S. Army All-American Bowl football game in San Antonio in January.
Instead, Lovette plunged full speed ahead toward becoming a U.S. Army All-American band member, one of just 125 selectees from across the United States from thousands of applicants.
The process began late last fall when Lovette submitted the first of three videos that showcased his skills as a drummer in the Calvert Hall Marching Band.
Applications were processed by the National Association for Music Education to choose the top 99 musicians, 25 color guard performers and a drum major.
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At halftime of the 17th edition of the game pitting 100 of the nation's best high school football players playing in an East All-Stars against the West All-Stars format, the band will perform for up to 10 minutes on the field in front of an expected 40,000 fans at the Alamodome.
"It's pretty amazing what they can do in just one week," said Mike Ulatoski, a spokesman for All American Games, which produces the event, who noted that the selectees will be mentored by members of the U.S. Army Field Band.
Former football stars who participated in the game include New York Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr., Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Stanford University all-purpose threat Christian McCaffrey.
This Friday, Mitchell will be recognized during a ceremony at his school for his acceptance into the 2016 United States Army All-American Marching Band. He was nominated by his former band director for the honor and is one of 125 high school musicians selected from thousands of applicants around the country.
David Lovette Sr. said that his son was "very concerned" when the elder Lovette was first diagnosed with kidney disease that forced him to shuffle in and out of the hospital for over a year.
"David really helped me during that time," his dad said, revealing that he still receives dialysis treatment three times per week. "He thought he was going to lose me. He stepped up to the plate, but he still kept up with the band and his schoolwork."
His mother, Lynda Lovette, said that her son is a "go-getter who, once he gets something in his mind, really goes after it."
According to Ecton and Fabian, that's the kind of mindset that has inspired the talented teen to excel in all aspects of his life.
They both point to the stamina and strength needed to lug 40-pound tenor drums while executing a variety of marching routines.
"It's physically and mentally demanding," Ecton said. "It's a heavy instrument."
"And David makes it look so easy," added Fabian.
As the consummate team player, Lovette is willing and able to do anything the coaches ask.
"Even if you ask him to do something like pick up uniforms and hang them up, David is always there to help," she said.
And teamwork is one of the attributes that selectees for the prestigious honor have displayed on their respective bands.
"They have to be dedicated and motivated," said Sgt. Justin Arrant, one of the U.S. Army personnel on hand for the event. "And they have to know how to be part of the team as well as being a leader. David embodies all of the best characteristics of the U.S. Army."