Retiring Band Director Jon Woods to dot the “i” at Halftime
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — In his 38 years with The Ohio State University Marching Band, one memory stood out above the rest for Director Jon Woods.
“I would say that was really special,” Woods said pointing to a picture of Ohio State’s 2002 BCS National title hanging in his office.
Woods has held the office of Director for Ohio State’s Marching Band since 1984, but he may have a new favorite memory after today’s game. The 72-year old will celebrate his last home game in Ohio Stadium by dotting the “i” in Script Ohio during the halftime show at today’s game against Penn State.
“For a quarter of a century, Jon Woods has always struck precisely the right note as director of The Ohio State University Marching Band,” said Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee.
“Jon's legacy, like Script Ohio itself, is simply incomparable. We are grateful for his unflagging leadership and countless contributions.”
Woods, who is the longest tenured full-time director in the band’s history, was not informed until this morning that would get the honor of dotting the “I” during today’s Senior Day in Columbus.
In a private ceremony this morning, the students in the band presented Woods with a written invitation to join the prestigious group that have been invited to dot the “I” with the OSUMB.
This game will be unique, as senior sousaphone player Jonathan Lampley will dot the “i” at its traditionally scheduled time during the pregame show. At halftime, the band will present an encore performance of Script Ohio, capping off the 75th anniversary and honoring Woods, who will officially retire at the end of the 2011-12 academic year.
“Whether teaching students, leading a memorable halftime show, or assembling alumni from across the globe, Jon has earned a reputation of eminence,” Gee said.
“Indeed, our Marching Band remains The Best Damn Band In The Land largely because Jon has steadily built on tradition, striving for innovation and perfection.”
Under Woods direction, the OSUMB has become the leader in advancement and technology for university marching bands around the country. Their Joan Zieg Steinbrenner Band Center inside Ohio Stadium is a state-of-the-art facility, and the first of its kind around the country.
Although he has conducted Script Ohio hundreds of times from the sidelines, and has witnessed many “i”-dots throughout his past 28 years as director, Woods has never had the opportunity to dot the “i” himself.
Today the band salutes Woods as he steps to the top of the “i” in Script Ohio so that all of Buckeye Nation can thank him one last time for his profound contributions to The Ohio State University.
Woods will join an elite group of individuals and couples that have been honored by being invited to dot the “i” with the OSUMB. Honorary “i”-dotters include: Bob Hope, Woody Hayes, golfer and alumnus Jack Nicklaus, Senator John Glenn, President Gee (during his first tenure as president), former Ohio State president Novice Fawcett, Board of Trustees chair Les Wexner, retired band directors Paul Droste and Jack Evans, retired ticket director Robert Ries, boxing champion Buster Douglas, and all 13 seniors of the 2002-2003 National Championship Football team (at the National Championship celebration).
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