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In Step and In Tune

Marc Levin '09

Tucked away until the timing was right, a musical dream has come true for Marc Levin '09.

Levin, who earned a Cal U degree in elementary education with a minor in psychology, is a proud member of Baltimore's Marching Ravens.

The band, with more than 150 musicians and crew members, is "the largest musical organization associated with the NFL," the Baltimore Ravens' website says.

The Marching Ravens have performed at Philadelphia's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, and President George W. Bush's inaugural parade.

"I have always had an interest in doing it," Levin says. "I've played the trumpet since fourth grade -- more than 20 years. It finally worked out with my job and availability."

Musicians must audition to join the Marching Ravens. It's a paid position that requires commitment. Tryouts are held in March. From then till the end of football season the band rehearses for three hours every Wednesday in Owings Mills, Md.

Levin lives near Philadelphia and is a staff coordinator for HomeHelpers Home Care. (He works for alumna Patti Ansell Soisson '92, who earned her master's degree in social work.)

It's a two-hour drive, each way, to do what he loves.

For Levin, a marching band has always been worth the effort. In 2009 he worked with music professor Max Gonano, who's now retired, to have the Cal U Marching Band perform during halftime of a Pittsburgh Steelers game.

"The best part of the Cal U band experience was going to Allentown, Pa., for a collegiate marching band festival," Levin says. "There were 10,000 people there."

Levin played in the marching band, jazz band and concert band while he was at Cal U, and his passion for music continues.

"One of my dreams was to do this," he says of the Marching Ravens job. "I wanted people to see that if you put your mind to something, you can do it."

By Wendy Mackall, assistant communications director at Cal U

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