And Colts' Band plays on leading Ravens' parade Deal is sweet music for patient ensemble

July 05, 1996|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

After marching in three Fourth of July parades yesterday, the Baltimore Colts' Band still felt like celebrating. That's because it's reached an agreement to play for Baltimore's new NFL team, the Ravens.

"Today is like our independence day," band president John Ziemann said. "It's a happy day for us, our fans and the team."

The understanding was reached during a 3 1/2 -hour meeting Wednesday, ending negotiations that began after owner Art Modell announced the move of the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore nearly eight months ago.

The group will keep the Baltimore Colts' Band title as well as be known as the official musical unit of the Ravens for the next two seasons.

At the last Ravens home game in 1997, the band will emerge during halftime in the new uniforms of the Baltimore Ravens Band, ending the run of the Baltimore Colts' Band at exactly 50 years.

The Colts' Band was formed for the All-America Football Conference team in 1947, and has remained together through two periods when there was no pro football team in town.

"We both feel we can't erase tradition or history," Ziemann said of himself and David Modell, Ravens executive vice president. "We also both agree that we will create new tradition and history here with the Ravens."

Band members will wear a logo on their shoulders featuring a raven flying through a circle while holding a lyre, a harp-like instrument. The logo, which signifies "the band's past flying into its future," also will have the name Baltimore Colts' Band and the NFL shield above the raven's head.

The band, which will sit in the stands at one of the end zones, has received financial assistance from the Ravens.

The Colts' Band was team-run until the Colts moved to Indianapolis in 1984. Over the years, the band stayed together as a nonprofit, volunteer group.

One of the biggest supporters of the band during this time was the Browns, who invited it to play 10 times at Cleveland Stadium.

The band has more than 200 members -- well more than it had when the Colts played here -- and Ziemann said it is looking to expand. To try out for the band, call (410) 557-8335.

Pub Date: 7/05/96

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