My goals for Sunday were pretty simple, recover from marching all day on Saturday, get through marching all day Sunday and get to bed early for the 4 AM wake-up call on parade day. We began Sunday with a full uniform rehearsal marching around the Inner Harbor. It was another beautiful day in Baltimore which brought a lot of people to the Inner Harbor. It is worth mentioning that our uniforms were purple and black, the same color as the Baltimore Ravens football team that was playing in a championship game Sunday night. It is no surprise then, that as we marched up and down the harbor, we got lots of "Go Ravens!" yells. At least until our drumline or banner passed and people could see who we really were. But the cheers didn't stop, people were just excited to have stumbled upon a marching band, a little out of place, playing music that they recognized and enjoyed. The children loved it! A few of them even fell in line behind the band and followed us down the harbor, until being retrieved by a parent. We marched the morning away, in full uniform, under the surprisingly hot, January sun. Just before lunch we posed for our group photo, no easy task for a group of over 214 people. We were treated to a dog parade while we were getting set, lots of pups in their finest Ravens gear must have been headed to an event somewhere. There was a great deal of set-up, but the resulting photo is one that I will treasure forever. After lunch we gathered again on the track to continue our practice, this time without the uniforms. I didn't miss the black, plastic hat. I think I shrunk a full hat size from this experience. We marched and played and marched and played the whole afternoon away. Then we were told this was the last time we were going to run through the whole program, this was it. The last time we would play through before we hit the parade route. We did it and did it well, we were ready. Just two short days after coming together, we were ready to march down Pennsylvania Avenue and perform for the President of the United States. Incredible. We went back to the hotel and I prepared for an easy evening of relaxing and heading to bed early, but that never happened. The Raven's beat the Patriots and Baltimore erupted in honking horns, sirens and loud speakers. I erupted in last minute nerves, I had some sections of my music that I couldn't always make out which note was which (it's tiny print and I am not getting any younger) I had to fix this problem or I wouldn't sleep at all. So at 11 PM, I was downstairs at the front desk of the hotel getting copies made of the music I had laminated and was unable to write on. I got back upstairs and scribbled all over my music until I was satisfied that I had marked every questionable note. Then, and only then did I try to go to sleep, it was 11:30. I woke up at midnight. I woke up at 2:15. I woke up at 2:45. I woke up at 3:38 and that was pretty much it, I was up, it was time to get ready and go.
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