Cinnaminson’s Mackenzie Walls, a marching band member at the University of Maryland where he is a freshman, will perform on his biggest stage yet today.
He is part of his university’s marching band that got asked to perform in the 2013 inauguration parade in Washington DC.
The chance to perform goes back to his band director.
Last year, L. Richmond Sparks and the band raised money for new uniforms. However, the seniors wouldn’t get to enjoy them for too long. Walls said Sparks’ goal was to get the group to perform in the parade.
“He’s been pushing for this since the beginning of the season,” Walls said. “He said this is the best band he’s heard in all the years he’s been doing the marching band.”
On the last day students were moving out for winter break, Walls and other marching band members got an email
“We were very excited,” Walls said of reading the email, inviting the band to play the inauguration parade.
It’s doubly cool for Walls, he said. Robert, his father, went to Jimmy Carter’s inauguration in 1977 when he was a student at the United States Merchant Marine Academy
“He talks about how that’s a really good memory of his,” Walls said. “And I think it’s really cool that I’m going to be marching in an inaugural parade too.”
Sunday was a practice day. In fact, the only practice day.
The group found out they were performing "Washington’s March" by John Phillip Sousa, a song Walls performed in high school where he was the drum major of his senior year’s marching band.
Practice lasted about eight hours Sunday in preparation for today.
Walls plays the trumpet but doesn’t study music in college. He’s a chemical engineering major. He’s quite busy, he admitted, but “it makes you manage your time better,” he said of his busy schedule.
The marching band plays at every home football game, plus one away game.
“You just get such a great feeling when you play,” Walls said. “It’s a new kind of thing you can do with your instrument. When you get there, and put everything down and do your best show, you get a great feeling of satisfaction.”
The University of Maryland “Mighty Sound of Maryland” Marching Band will perform in the second division of the parade.