• Elyria Grad gets to lead at inauguration

    • The Chronicle Telegram
    • 2001

    ELYRIA - Elyria High School graduate Matthew Bally will be high stepping in front of the president Saturday after George W. Bush's inauguration. Bally, drum major for the Ohio State University marching band, will lead the band in the inauguration parade at 4 p.m. Saturday in Washington D.C.

    "I'm pretty excited about it," said Bally, a 1997 Elyria High School graduate and a senior at The Ohio State University. "I don't think I've ever performed for somebody more important before."

    "This is my last hurrah. It's quite a way to go out," he said.

    More than 300 bands applied to perform in the parade, but Ohio State was the only band from Ohio selected, Bally mother, Sherry said.

    Bally said he was home when fellow band members called him a couple of days after Christmas to tell him about the inauguration invitation.

    " They called him here at home the night before he went to the Outback Bowl," his mother said. "What a great finale to his career. He thought the Outback Bowl was it," Bally also will get to meet U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Lorain, in Washington on inauguration day, for an informal chat.

    "I've been very fortunate to experience all the things I have," Bally said. "I've been able to travel all around the country with the marching band. This is a great cap on my career." The band will be playing "Beautiful Ohio" and OSU's fight song during the parade. "I'd like to put on a bit of a performance when we're," in front of Bush, Bally said. "I'm going to give it my best shot."

    Parade performers and units will be divided into five sections and the band will be in the middle down there of the third section, he said.