Modesto High sophomore picked for Orange Bowl band

naustin@modbee.comDecember 15, 2013 

— Stay tuned for halftime in the Orange Bowl battle between the Clemson Tigers and Ohio State Buckeyes on Jan. 3. Modesto High School will be on the field.

Sophomore Frank Deng will pack up his alto sax and uniform and head to Florida this winter break, part of the All Star Invitational Marching Band that will strut across Sun Life Stadium near Miami before 75,000 fans.

“He is the first student in history throughout the district to make it into this group, and he is an amazing young man,” said Troy Rexelle, Modesto High’s instrumental music director. Rexelle nominated Deng, who auditioned with video submissions along with more than 1,600 applicants.

“He wrote a letter of recommendation, a couple of them actually, before I ever knew about it,” Deng said. Making the videos felt a little strange, he added. “There I was, marching by myself.”

Though being even nominated was a surprise, Deng said he’s glad to go. “I think this is a good opportunity to make a good image of the school,” he said. “It shows students from Modesto are as talented as anywhere.”

A student in the International Baccalaureate program, Deng has been playing sax and piano for more than seven years. He said he prefers classical compositions, especially by contemporary composers such as Paul Creston.

Deng will be in Florida from Dec. 30 to Jan. 4, rehearsing for much of each day, according to a listing of events on the All Star Invitational Marching Band website.

Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at or (209) 578-2339. Follow her on Twitter @NanAustin.

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