As a Baltimore native and alumna of West Virginia University, I am disappointed by the University of Maryland's decision to deny permission for the West Virginia University Marching Band (aka "The Pride of West Virginia") to perform at Saturday's game ("West Virginia's band won't play Saturday, and West Virginia fans are not happy," Sept. 18).

Not only am I a WVU alumna, but I am a band alumna. Twice during my time in The Pride, we traveled to College Park to share the field with the UM band. The fans, the band and local residents made us feel welcome and showed us Maryland hospitality. State-line sports rivalries bring out the best in the teams, and the bands are no different. We respected each other's performances, whether it was in College Park or in Morgantown, W.Va.

Ask a member of any band, and they will tell you how much they look forward to these road trips and the opportunity to perform and cheer for their team and for the fans who make the trip. For the fans, it's a little piece of home away from home.

It is such a shame that with both bands traveling to Baltimore, only one gets to perform. This is very disappointing to the West Virginia University fans, especially ones like me who will be traveling hundreds of miles to watch the game and meet with friends, and who thought we would be seeing The Pride of West Virginia perform.

Michelle Micozzi Von Haden, Menomonee Falls, Wis.