UMD Marching Band Honored With Invitation to Participate in Inaugural Parade

Photo courtesy of UMD School of Music


“It’s ok -- I’m with the band” might open doors at rock concerts, but no such intro is needed for the Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band, who have been honored with an invitation to participate in the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade on Monday, January 21, 2013.

Selected from over 2,800 applicants, the UMD Marching Band is best known for its performances at Maryland Terrapins sporting events. But this month, their performance involves marching the fifteen blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue between the U.S. Capitol and the White House, where they will be reviewed by the president and vice-president and their families, along with the viewing public.

Inaugural Parades are nothing new to this Band, however. This month’s festivities mark the fourth time in its 104 year history the Mighty Sound of Maryland has serenaded Inaugural audiences with their music. Prior performances included parades for Dwight Eisenhower in 1953, John F. Kennedy in 1960, and most recently, they were part of the 1985 Ronald Regan Inauguration, which was held inside the Capital Center due to sub-zero temperatures. The Band even performed for Queen Elizabeth II during her 1957 visit to Byrd Stadium to see an American football game here on campus.

The Band’s 250 members will be sporting brand new uniforms at the Inaugural festivities, thanks to winning the recent CBS television “Hawaii Five-O Marching Band Mania” competition, in which bands from across the US competed to give the best marching and playing performance of the Hawaii Five-O theme song. Their first place prize of $25,000 enabled them to purchase the new uniforms, making them not only talented, but stylish as well.

“This is a tremendous honor for the Mighty Sound of Maryland,” said Dr. L. Richmond Sparks, the Band’s director. “They’ve worked hard for this opportunity, and I know they’ll make the University of Maryland extremely proud.”