Twelve years without a football team might deter some band members, but not those in Baltimore’s Marching Ravens. Between 1984, when the Colts, the city’s pro football team, left, and 1996, when Cleveland’s NFL team moved to Baltimore and changed its name to the Ravens, the band played on. The group’s president, John Ziemann, saw to that. “I wanted to show the nation and the NFL that Baltimore could support a team,” he says.
Not only does Baltimore support the team and its band, but so do some 400 members, including musicians, flag line, honor guard, equipment crew, staff, and medical crew from eight states, including North Carolina and West Virginia. Some drive more than two hours to perform during home games and to attend Wednesday night rehearsals. They range in age from 14 to over 60. All are volunteers. The Marching Ravens hold auditions every Wednesday night; visit www.ravensband.org, or call (410) 557-8335.