Last year, Winnebago High School tuba player, Alex Finley was invited to play in the Big Apple. Now, Finley is getting ready for an even more improbable journey.
A YouTube video is Alex Finley’s first experience of any kind with marching band. Finley’s second experience will be at the BCS National Championship Game on Monday, in front of 80,000 people. In February, the Winnebago senior was selected to play first chair tuba at Carnegie Hall and this summer, Finley received another intriguing offer to play for the All-Star Invitational Marching Band.
“I got a letter saying you were nominated due to your outstanding performance at Carnegie Hall," Finley said.
The problem was, they needed a video of him marching.
“At first it was like maybe not because I’ve never marched before,” said Finley. However, it wasn’t long before he changed his tune.
“I figured the worst that could happen would be them saying sorry you didn’t make it.” Finley heeded the advice of a friend who does marching band in college. “She was like this is basically how you do this is how you stand.”
Finley then took to the back yard and started marching.
“Just thinking about it like I wonder what people are thinking as they see me just walking around here with a sousaphone.”
Because of this back yard marching in Northern Illinois, Finley became the only Stateliner to earn the trip to Southern Florida. “There are a few others from Illinois, but no one from here,” Finley said.
Finley will be marching before the game and at halftime. He and his band mates will perform two original scores, one a Latin theme and the other a Conga.
Since Winnebago High School doesn’t have a marching band, Finley will be using a slightly smaller instrument called a sousaphone that wraps around his body when he marches, instead of a tuba. Finley is borrowing the sousaphone from a friend and since he doesn’t have a marching uniform, he will be wearing a uniform he borrowed from the Byron marching band.