Morgan State University alum and music teacher Ray Washington draws upon his musical roots to establish the first elementary school marching band in Maryland. (Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun video)
The Marching Lions, the marching band and drumline at Maple Elementary School in Cambridge, will take their talents to the Ravens game Saturday.
Led by Morgan State University alumnus Ray Washington Jr., the band of about 45 fourth- and fifth-graders will perform alongside the Ravens Marching Band during the Ravens’ game in Baltimore against the Indianapolis Colts.
Ravens spokesman Patrick Gleason wrote in an email to The Baltimore Sun that the Ravens invited the group after several people within the football organization read about the band in The Sun and saw its performance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in October. (The students have also performed on local TV stations, at high schools and a parade in Cambridge, and at Morgan State University’s homecoming in the fall.)
"We think the Marching Lions are terrific, and we feel our fans will really enjoy seeing them perform at this Saturday’s game,” Gleason wrote.
The Marching Lions of Cambridge's Maple Elementary have been making waves of late, appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and at Morgan State’s homecoming. They have a Morgan grad to thank for their success.
The Ravens will be sending buses to Cambridge to pick up the students and transport them to Baltimore for the performance. Gleason said the Marching Lions will play “Jingle Bells” by Camden Yards between 2:50 p.m. and 3:10 p.m. At around 3:15 p.m., the students will march behind the Ravens Marching Band on RavensWalk, and will perform with the band at halftime.
The game starts at 4:30 p.m.
Washington, who performed for four years in the drumline of the university’s Magnificent Marching Machine, has taught the band much of the techniques he learned, including how to stand attention, march, and play drum cadences such as “Jack,” “P-Funk,” and “Head Up.”