COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WUSA) --- "All I want to say is that 'We are the best band in the land!'"
Terry Thompson, senior drum major, letseverybody know what his band mates, all 255 of them, are feeling.
"This was theparade. This was what everyone was talking about," said Marrisa Troiano, a senioreducation majorwho plays in the drum line.
The Mighty Sound of Maryland marching bandwill performin the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade, Jan. 21, 2013. ThePresidential Inaugural Committee selected the band among over 2,800 group applicantsto the Joint Task Force, National Capital Region.
Dr. Richmond Sparks, band director,said the honor isa first for the current band members and himself. He hasbeenat the University of Maryland for 29 years.
"I got the phone call and it was just an amazing gentleman on the other end of the phone. He was the chair of the parade committee, and he said 'How are you doing this afternoon?' And I said, 'Well why don't you tell me how I'm doing this afternoon.'"
The good news traveled fastamongthe band community.
"One of our friends, Kevin, was in the office when Dr. Sparks got the call. And so he dropped into my apartment and said 'Hey, guess what I just found out?'" said Patrick Benton as fellow drum major Brendan Kelly responds with laughter.
"I was actually shopping with my friend on the dance team and she'd gotten an email and next thing you know, all of our Facebook was like blowing up," said Stephanie Groff who plays the trumpet and will graduate this May.
The band'shard work has paid offin the past. This is not thefirst time the band have been recognized.In 2010 the band won a CBS sponsored contest as the best college band to play the 'Hawaii-Five-O' theme song.
"Nothing seemed out of the realm of possibility for us! So, literally whenever Dr. Sparks said, 'We're going to do something,' we rally the troops and get it done," said Nikhil Sinha, senior tuba player.
The contestprovided theband with $25,000as the winner.The money enabled the band topurchase brand new uniforms.
The uniforms will debutat the Inaugural Parade.
"They'repride...they are the University of Maryland pride," said Troiano.
The University Of Maryland's marching band has performed in four other Presidential Inaugurations in the past.
The last one being in Ronald Reagan's second term in 1985when the parade was canceled due to the extremely cold weather.
Other inaugural paradeswithUMD marching band:
President Woodrow Wilson, 1917
President Dwight Eisenhower, 1953
President John F. Kennedy, 1960.
Produced/Written by: Elizabeth Jia
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