Baltimore’s marching Ravens

Parker Fox, Sports Editor

Marching bands and musical groups in general are generally restricted to college football.  Only three NFL teams have an official musical group- the Bills, the Redskins, and the Ravens.  But the Ravens are the only one of these with an official marching band. 

            The Marching Ravens have endured much tribulation since being founded in 1947.  Twice their team departed for another city but the band played on, even partially credited for bringing the current Ravens to Baltimore and for their new stadium.  The band remained impart from 1950-1953 when the original Colts disbanded and were back playing in 1953 when they had a team again.  When the Colts left for Indianapolis for good, the band was without a team from 1984-1996.  They continued to perform at parades and other sporting events throughout this period and were known as “Baltimore’s Pro Football Musical Ambassadors”.  When Art Modell moved his Browns franchise from Cleveland to Baltimore, the band was quickly recognized officially and they had a new name, Baltimore’s Marching Ravens, in 1998.  Ironically, one of the bands first gigs during their second stint without a franchise was in Cleveland for Art Modell’s Browns in 1984.  Through thick and thin, the band has remained a volunteer-only group. 

            When Baltimore was running for an NFL franchise in the 1990’s, band president John Ziemann was accredited for convincing the Maryland General Assembly to fund a new football stadium.  The band played on the steps of the Maryland State House when they were in session and a large crowd gathered around.  The Legislature eventually approved the funding for the stadium.

            In most NFL stadiums, halftime consists of a bathroom break and a crowded trip to the concession stand.  But in Baltimore, the 300 plus members of Baltimore’s Marching Ravens play on, just as they did in 1947.