Band leader Washington is heading to C-SD

Submitted photo
Ray Washington, in back in the center, is seen in 2017 during a trip to Morgan State University, where the Marching Lions performed during the school’s homecoming celebrations.

CAMBRIDGE — Maple Elementary School Band Director and Music Teacher Ray Washington took his Marching Lions on many a journey in recent years, raising the profile of the program and showing a national audience how much children can accomplish. The Cambridge native and product of Dorchester County Public Schools (DCPS) is continuing his own professional journey, moving on to his alma mater Cambridge-South Dorchester High School.

In an announcement on social media last week, Mr. Washington shared his plans and gratitude for the support he has experienced while at Maple.
The statement said:

“I can’t believe the time has come for me to leave my amazing Maple Elementary Marching Lions. Although I knew this day would eventually come, I highly underestimated the hurt I would feel.
“To be real, I remember getting the job and thinking, ‘Do I really want to be a teacher? I’ll just do it for one year and move back to Baltimore.’ I couldn’t have been more wrong.
“I’ve never seen so many kids with so much potential. We went from 15 kids and a tiny band room to performing for NFL and NBA stadiums within a year. As a kid growing up on Phillips Street, I never dreamed that I’d be a part of such great history for my town.

“And it’s all thanks to the parents, students, teachers, and DCPS for believing in me and the vision I had for the band program. I want to first thank the kids. They mean everything to me and always believed in my vision, even when there was no evidence to prove it would happen. They fearlessly executed each performance, no matter how many faces were staring at them.
“I secondly want to thank my principals, whom I put through so much headache: Jodi Colman, Patricia Prosser, Jerome Stover, and Rachel Wise. They worked tirelessly to not only run the school but to make sure I had everything I needed to execute some of the biggest performance experiences.

“Shoutout to the teachers at Maple, who helped groom the kids into responsible young adults. I thank the community so much. So many people supported our fundraising efforts at Bake Sales, Bingos, Tricky Trays, etc. I think we tried every fundraiser possible.
“I lastly want to thank my Band Boosters and Band Parents. Every year they came through with so much enthusiasm, dedication, and commitment to making things happen for their children.

“I’ve seen parents go to the extreme to ensure their child had an instrument and attended practices and performances. My next chapter will be with the amazing students at Cambridge-South Dorchester High School. I look forward to helping them experience the best high school band experience possible. Thank you, everyone!”