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3 senior sign with Marching Thunder: Dawson-Bryant, Symmes Valley students will receive tuition waivers from Marshall

Three Lawrence County seniors will join Marshall University’s Marching Thunder this fall.

Dawson-Bryant’s Shelby Zerkle and Symmes Valley’s Gracie Stephens and Mackenzie Wise signed Tuesday to join the Marshall marching band.

Dr. Adam Dalton, director of bands at Marshall, attended ceremonies at both high schools to welcome the new recruits.

Zerkle, daughter of Tom and Sandy Dunn Zerkle (Tom is Dawson-Bryant’s band director), will join the band’s guard.

Stephens, daughter of Tim and Tracy Hurn, plays flute, while Wise, daughter of Shanda Rice, plays the saxophone.

Also attending the ceremonies were Jesse Stevens, assistant director of bands at MU, and two of the band’s drum majors, Bobby May and Cameron Berry.

Each of the girls received a tuition waiver for participating in the athletic band, which performs at football and basketball games, local exhibitions and parades.

“They have successfully auditioned and will receive a tuition waiver for their participation in our athletic bands,” he said.

The band has recently gained international fame, according to Dalton. It marched in the New Year’s Day parade in Rome, Italy, and as a result has been invited to the 2020 New Year’s Day parade in London, England.

“These students represent the future of Marshall University and the future of the Marching Thunder,” Dalton said. “We are all so excited to welcome these sons and daughters of Marshall as part of the Marching Thunder family.”

After noting the signing events held for high school athletes, Dalton said, “the Marching Thunder works just as hard week in and week out to support the team and bring an exciting atmosphere to each and every game.”

By Tim Gearhart, For The Tribune