A Pella High School music student was selected to a national band.

Annaleigh Babcock, a trumpet player in the Jazz I ensemble and Marching Dutch, was named to the Honor Band of America. Babcock tells KRLS News she’s honored to represent Pella among students from all over the nation.

“I actually jumped up and down,” Babcock says about receiving the news. “A letter came in the mail to me, and I wasn’t home when I got that, so I had my step-dad open it and read it to me on FaceTime, and I was screaming with joy.”

Earlier this week, drummer Isaac Piersma was selected as the first alternate to the Jazz Band of America. Babcock says having band players from the community receive national honors reflects the dedication to musical excellence in the Pella School District.

“The Pella Community High School programs are so intense, and push you to be the best you can be, so I think that has really helped me try as hard as I can and know what it takes to make this ensemble,” she says. “I think it says Pella really likes to push their kids to be the best they can be. And especially since there are very few kids from Iowa that make these national honor bands, jazz bands, and orchestras, that it’s kind of insane of just how good Pella is.”

Babcock looks forward to the experience of playing with other top performers from around the nation.

“I always love getting to play with musicians who push me to be better than I already am, and it’s always fun to play with musicians who are better than me and bring me up to that level,” she says.

The Honor Band of America is part of the Music for All national Festival from March 13-16, 2019. Hear full interviews from both Piersma and Babcock in early January.