Maple Lions Band thanks CPD officers


CAMBRIDGE – It was hard to tell who was more pleased and excited – musicians, police officers or parents – but there were plenty of smiles at the Cambridge Police Department on Saturday when the Maple Elementary School Marching Lions Band performed for officers.

The fourth- and fifth-grade musicians played a couple tunes and the drumline showed why they have quickly gained a reputation for talent – and a driving beat that’s sure to grab attention wherever they appear.

But it wasn’t just for entertainment. The students were there to express their gratitude.

Before the music started, the band snapped to attention and called out in unison, “Thank you for your service!” to the assembled officers.

The visit served as a warm-up for more excitement, as the children piled back onto their buses to get in line for the Cambridge-Dorchester Christmas Parade. They made local history there, as the first elementary school band ever to host the event.

In fact, the group is the only primary school marching band in the state, something that has attracted a great deal of attention, including an appearance this fall on ABC’s national television program, “Good Morning America.”

Now, the group is preparing for an appearance in MTS Stadium during halftime of the Ravens’ Dec. 23 football game. Heady stuff, indeed.

It’s been, “just one thing after another” after the “Good Morning America” appearance, Band Director Ray Washington said Saturday, as the officers mingled with students and parents, taking photos and congratulating the young people.

Asked how the 9- and 10-year-old children, otherwise as rambunctious as any others, are able to be so disciplined and focused, Mr. Washington said, “All the dirty work gets done in practice. Even though we’re at practice, we’re still standing still.”

He smiled and said, “But when they get on the bus, they’re back to being kids.”

A couple of hours later, as the band began to move down the parade route, CPD Detective Chris Flynn was on duty at the intersection of Muir and Cedar streets. He recalled a previous performance, saying, “I saw them at the Elks Parade and they were awesome. They’re incredible.”

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at

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