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TUESDAY, JANUARY 16, 2007
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Austin High School picolo player Corie Terry , left, with Heather Ralston before Gov. Bob Riley's inauguration Monday.
Daily photo by M.J. Ellington
Austin High School picolo player Corie Terry , left, with Heather Ralston before Gov. Bob Riley's inauguration Monday.

THE RILEY INAUGURATION
Valley bands perform
at Capitol ceremony

By M.J. Ellington
mjellington@decaturdaily.com (334) 262-1104

MONTGOMERY — Preparation for Gov. Bob Riley's inauguration began before daylight Monday in Morgan County, as bands from Austin and Priceville high schools prepared for a 5:45 departure.

The bands and the Austin JROTC Black Bear Battalion performed in the parade that followed the inauguration ceremony.

Priceville 11th-grader T. Johnson talks with Amber Reed, ninth-grade majorette at the inauguration band staging area in Montgomery.
Daily photo by M.J. Ellington
Priceville 11th-grader T. Johnson talks with Amber Reed, ninth-grade majorette at the inauguration band staging area in Montgomery.
By the time the governor stepped out of the Capitol onto the red-carpeted pathway to his inauguration, many students, parents and even grandparents from the schools already had been awake for at least eight hours. Stifling yawns and smiling at the chance to perform, Priceville majorette Aleah Alexander was excited. Monday was her band's first inauguration parade, and she looked forward to showing the governor how well her school's band performs. She was up soon after her mother, Taleah Alexander rolled out of bed at 4:15 to get things ready for the trip.

Band is a family affair for the Alexanders. Taleah Alexander's parents, Thalia and Derek Turner, are cooks for the band at football games, grilling their "world famous burgers" for hungry teenagers. Monday, they were in Montgomery to cheer for the band.

In the Austin camp, as drummers practiced, band booster President Sherry Galasco supervised about 180 teens who made the trip. Members of the local legislative delegation nominated the two schools, which were among 44 high school and college groups included in the 94-entry inauguration parade.

As Riley took the oath of office and gave his inaugural speech, two of the Morgan County women in the audience paid special attention to his comments about the military.

Paula Worthy and Pat Bearden, both of Priceville, were waiting for Priceville High School's band to march past.

"I liked what he said about our troops," said Bearden, whose grandson, Ed Mullin, is in the service. Worthy, Mullin's mother, shook her head in agreement as the two women waited to see Worthy's other son, Jonathon, perform with the Priceville band.

For Riley, the occasion was a family affair, too. His children, Rob Riley, Minda Riley Campbell and Krisalyn Riley Crye, stood together and administered their father's oath of office.

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