BULLHEAD CITY — Andrew Gutierrez graduated from Mohave High School earlier this month.
In September, he is planning to head off to college, most likely to the University of Washington, in pursuit of a physical therapy degree and possibly a career in sports medicine.
In between, he will be seeing most of the country as a member of The Academy Drum & Bugle Corps.
The corps made a quick stop in Bullhead City last week en route to its first summer competition, in Fresno, Calif. The Fresno competition was the first of 27 performances in a 49-day span that culminates with the Drum Corps International World Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., on Aug. 10.
Gutierrez is a member of the Academy’s Color Guard, a precision drill team.
“Andrew was a percussionist from sixth grade to his senior year at Mohave,” said his mother, Rhonda Gutierrez. “He also participated with Mohave’s Winter Guard program up until his senior year, when he switched to be a Color Guard member for the whole year.”
She said that Andrew leaned about the Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, from the Arizona Academy of Performing Arts in Tempe, during his association with the Winter Guard program. Last summer, he attended the Academy’s leadership camp, then last winter, he auditioned for a spot, participating in the trainee program throughout the winter and spring.
He was selected for the performance Academy team about the time he was graduating from Mohave High School.
While Andrew’s career path appears to be in physical therapy, Rhonda said her son also would like to continue his association with corps.
“His passion of the performing arts will also be an area of pursuit,” she said. “He aspires to write and choreograph shots for high school color guard programs.”
While that passion existed before he connected with Academy, Rhonda said the year-plus in the elite program has intensified it.
“He is thankful to the Academy for giving him this opportunity to pursue his passion,” she said.