A Spring Creek High School junior was selected to be part of the National FFA Band and perform during the 2017 National FFA Convention and Expo, held recently in Indianapolis.
Jessica McDonough, 16, has been in FFA, Future Farmers of America, for three years. But even before that, she has been in the school band and playing trombone for six years.
"My first year in FFA, we went to the national convention and I saw the national chorus and band perform and decided I wanted to do it," she said.
She did her homework, researching how to go about the audition process -- which included submitting a tape with a major scale of her choice, a chromatic scale and a chosen solo.
Then came the word that she was chosen to be one of 83 members from 31 states for the honor.
"It was really exciting," she said. "I had just gotten out of band camp, opened up the email and saw I was accepted."
The school's FFA advisers, Josh Singleton and Chris Stewart said it is an honor for the school as well as the district.
"It's the first time for Spring Creek High School and from what we can gather, the first time for Wayne County Public Schools," Singleton said.
"If there was anybody it was a long time ago," Stewart said.
McDonough was chosen as the fourth chair of the 11 trombones in the band, and traveled to Indiana three days before the convention to attend rehearsals.
"We prepared eight concert music pieces and we had 20 pep band music pieces," she said. "We had two days to practice and then we performed.
"It was a little challenging because it was a different level of band than I have ever played before but it was easy to catch onto. It was a lot of fun."
The National FFA Band performed several times during the convention at various venues -- including the Artsgarden near the Regency Hotel, before and after each general session and marching down FFA Way in downtown Indianapolis.
McDonough, the daughter of Jason McDonough, is reporter for her school's FFA, which boasts between 85 and 90 members, Stewart said.
"I like the aspect of brotherhood," she said of the organization. "It's very welcoming and it's easy to find a place in FFA."
Stewart expressed pride in his student for her latest accomplishment.
"Jessica's worked hard. She's a real leader," he said. "Everything she does she tries to do the maximum.
"We had every confidence in her and we have done whatever we could to support whatever she wants to do."