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September 2, 2011
75 Years of Script Ohio
This season marks the 75th anniversary of Script Ohio.
The OSU Band alumni are going all out to celebrate. At the Akron game, for the first time ever, there will be more people doing Script Ohio at one time than ever before.
Prior to 2011, the alumni marched two full scripts to the East and West and the Ohio State Marching Band marched two mini scripts to the North and South for a total of 612 marchers. On September 3, the alumni will march three full scripts to the East, North, and West and the Ohio State Marching Band will march one full script to the South, making it a total of 772 marching Script Ohio.
The bands will also pay tribute to Jesse Owens historic 1936 gold medal run during the halftime show.
October 1, 2009 - Jazz Classics
Pregame included the salute to the visiting Illini when the band formed a giant block I surrounded by I-L-L on the south and N-I on the north, this formation faced the East side of Ohio Stadium, as in most stadiums - where the visitors sit.
Halftime this week was Jazz Classics and the music challenged the dexterity of the valve players. Birdland led off the show - the Joe Zawinul hit which pays tribute to saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker and the famous club in Manhattan. Weather Report originated the song and many great acts have covered it, from Manhattan Transfer's vocal version to Maynard Ferguson's stratosphere trumpet version. Speaking of Maynard, he would have bowed proudly to the band and soloist John Harner as they reached for the high notes in Herbie Hancock's sizzling Chameleon. This featured Josh Halter who twirled and captivated the crowd. Malaguena ended the show and got the crowd wound up for the second half as the band marched in wedges and new innovative formations.
You're all invited to witness the formations on Saturday, October 3 in Ohio Stadium at the Buckeye Invitational. There will be over 30 High School bands performing beginning at 10 AM. The finale to the day will be the OSU Band performing many of
their famous formations (Ramp Entrance, Script Ohio) and the Jazz Classics show. Tickets available at the gate, come on out!
Looking ahead, the band will be in concert on Sunday, November 8, 2009 at Veteran's Memorial Auditorium in Columbus, get your tickets before they sell out!
September 14, -- Shots, Bombardments, ramparts red glare
Explosive, bombastic, flashes in the dark night sky. The big game brought out a big show from the Ohio State Band. Both times, at pregame and halftime. ESPN covered the band with an interview with I dotter Frank Cosenza from Chesterland, Ohio (near Mentor) and showed footage of the pregame and Script Ohio. The ESPN cameraman covering the I dot got close, almost too close. He was warned not to go on the field. He was warned to give Frank room to dot the I. Frank yelled "Look out" before the dot, but the cameraman was too close. The bell of the sousaphone collided with the camera and parts of the camera were seen bouncing off through the grass. Frank succeeded with his i-dot, most of the crowd in the stadium didn't know anything was going on, and the cameraman ran off the field, getting away from the band. The pregame included the Ramp Entrance to a very loud 106,000+ fans who were in their seats early and ready for the show. OSU saluted USC by playing their fight song (as is the tradition here), Hang On Sloopy erupted out of a circular O-H-I-O formation and then the single Script Ohio was unveiled. Next came Chimes and Carmen Ohio, followed by Jon Waters' masterful floating Block O formation in which the band played Fanfare for a New Era - a tribute to Jim Tressel - and the team comes out as the Block O formation splits in half. The band then converts to a block for the National Anthem. The USC Pep Band of 60 pieces sat in the north end visiting band seats but did not take the field.
Halftime featured fireworks, booms, blasts, and aghasts from the crowd to the William Tell Overture, Can-Can and 1812 Overture. Drum Major Josh Halter brought the baton to the sizzling point with his feature -- Can-Can -- and invoked cartwheels too. The show was performed to the East side stands, as the Ohio State Band does from time to time. Many around my seat location enjoyed the choral section of the 1812 when the nearly 200 band members sang out loud and clear. Fireworks inside Ohio Stadium, shot off from the 1 yard line at both the north and south ends of the field added to the musical blitz and when the 1812 cannon section shook the 'Shoe. Rockets, flashes, red glare and brass. Kudos to the i dotter for driving through his dot, and for the band in getting the crowd ready for the action on the gridiron! Look for the band up in Cleveland next weekend for the game against Toledo!
September 9, 2009
41st Band Reunion Recap
The Navy game and the alumni band reunion made for a great weekend for the OSU band. Tryouts were completed last Wednesday and the new 2009 band had two days to learn the new pregame and halftime maneuvers. Coach Tressel asked for some adjustments at pregame so both teams could come out at the same time and be on the field for the National Anthem. Both teams did come out single file and shook hands before the mass of student and alumni band members played the Star Spangled Banner. The alumni were off the field, in blocks near the open end.
Over 900 musicians provided a 'Shoe filling sound. Let's just say it was LOUD down on the field. Halftime opened with the Ohio State band playing a fanfare to Anchors Aweigh and then a military drill to Stars & Stripes Forever. The band honored all branches of the Armed Forces and those who have given their lives for our freedoms when they performed The Navy Hymn, complete with vocal interlude. A fan who was seated near the Midshipmen in the South Stands told me that they were quite moved by the tribute.
The halftime theme was American Heroes and the alumni entered (reportedly over 660 marching) with I Wanna Go Back to Ohio State and then featured the Drum Majors to the tune Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. Next was a tribute to Navy, the famous Floating Anchor formation. Before Script Ohio first was performed in Ohio Stadium in 1936, Elvin Donaldson created floating formations on the football field with the Ohio State Band. His Floating Anchor tribute to Navy debutted in 1930 at the OSU/Navy game in Baltimore, and caused national recognition. It was repeated again in 1931 in Columbus when Navy came to play OSU again, and now it appeared again with the alumni band. All of this led up to the Quadruple Script Ohio. I dotters on the West side were John and Annie Glenn, on the East was alumni Dale Dickson from New Lexington, in the North endzone Nick Stefanik from North Royalton, and in the South endzone Cory Near from Hamilton.
Earlier in the day, Senator Glenn remarked to the Skull Session crowd that he and Annie were very proud to be co-tittlers. He explained that a friend had emailed him congratulating him and Annie on the occasion of their I dot for Script Ohio. This friend explained that the dot of the i is called a tittle. Senator Glenn also noted to the crowd that he was wearing his Navy wings of gold to honor the Navy and his Marine Corps heritage.
September 2, 2009
OSU VS NAVY – Band brings back famous formation not seen for 78 years!
Believe it or not the OSU band was famous outside of Ohio before Script Ohio appeared in Ohio Stadium in 1936.
In the 1920s Elvin Donaldson, Student Director of the band, originated many college marching band firsts. For example, he introduced floating letters (O-H-I-O) down the field to the cheers of the crowd. Back then, the OSU band was part of the Military department and would play as students marched on the Oval.
An agreement with the Department of Athletics allowed for funding at sporting events, like OSU Football. (For the record, the OSU Marching Band is ten years older than Buckeye Football). Since the band officer was from what is now the Army ROTC, he wanted Donaldson to have the band march with a floating goat, as a tribute to the Navy mascot. Donaldson couldn’t come up with a chart of a floating goat, so he went with his original idea to have the band form an anchor and float it down the field as a tribute to the Naval Academy. This debut to thunderous applause at the Ohio State – Navy game held in Baltimore in 1930. It was so successful the national news media wired the story nationwide. It was repeated in 1931 when Navy came to play in Columbus.
This week is very special for the alumni band and Ohio State. Dotting the I on the west side Script Ohio is former NASA Astronaut, Former Senator, and Ohio legend John H. Glenn, Jr. Annie Glenn will accompany her husband to the top of the I as well. Both will be inducted as Honorary TBDBITL Alumni Club members at Skull Session.
Tryouts were held this week and the brand new 2009 band will take the field for the first time on September 5, 2009. This marks Director Jon Woods’ 36th season with the band, 26th as Director. Jon was last seen conducting the band with the Columbus Symphony at the end of July for the annual Picnic with the Pops. He is also Director of the National High School Honor Band in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
November 23, 2008
At the Grammys!
The OSU band paid tribute to the Grammys with selections including On Broadway, As Time Goes By, My Favorite Things, and Over The Rainbow. Grammy Awards are presented annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for outstanding achievements in the recording industry. The awards ceremony features performances by prominent artists. The Grammys are considered the highest music honor, the recording industry's equivalent to the Academy Awards (Oscars) for motion pictures.
On Broadway proves that strongly written songs can keep coming back. Unbeknownst to a majority of the record-buying public, On Broadway was a song that went through many configurations. Songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil originally wrote it with a girl group in mind. The producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller liked it for the Drifters, and after some tweaking, it became an early-'60s Brill Building classic. Years later, George Benson, the jazz-pop guitarist, tackled it for his 1978 live album, Weekend in LA. For his version, Benson turned the song into a track that boasted his late-'70s band's unique sound. In many respects the lyrics fit Benson, especially the line "I can play this here guitar." The song seemed to feed off of the crowd's energy and probably wouldn't have worked as well as a studio endeavor. Benson won the 1978 Best Male R&B Vocal Performance Grammy, one of his 10 Grammy awards.
As Time Goes By was part of a 1931 Broadway musical but is best remembered from the movie Casablanca. It has been sung by many Grammy winners including Frank Sinatra and Willie Nelson. My Favorite Things is a song from the 1959 Broadway musical, The Sound of Music and was the final collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Rodgers is one of only two persons to have won an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy, a Tony Award, and a Pulitzer Prize (Marvin Hamlisch is the other). When the film version of the 1959 Broadway musical The Sound ofMusic opened in March 1965, it became the highest grossing movie in history up to that time, and went on to win the Academy Award for best picture. Over the Rainbow won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1939 and when Judy Garland released her album Judy at Carnegie Hall she won the 1962 Grammy Award for Best Female Vocal Performance. Most recently, Grammy winners Ray Charles and Johnny Mathis performed a duet of Over the Rainbow.
October 25, 2008
The OSU band broke out the pyrotechnics for the Penn State night time halftime show. Opening with a fanfare and the William Tell Overture, the band sparkled under the lights. Can Can featured Drum Major Josh Halter, and 1812 Overture with fireworks in the stadium led up to Script Ohio, with the I dotted by Nick Stefanik of North Royalton. The crowd was awestruck as the fireworks shot from stanchions in both endzones and reached up above the stadium during the 1812 Overture.
October 11, 2008
All of you internet functional beings remember the era of the cathode ray tube, right? Get this - the first regular schedule of television programming began in 1928 in Schenectady, New York by the General Electric Company's television station W2XB (now WRGB). The station was especially notable as the first TV station in the world. Television has grown up with music just as radio shows used the sounds and textures of music for effects, staging and much more. Commercial jingles and theme songs are a familiar part of the viewing experience (think Super Bowl). Sherwood Schwartz's entertainment career came "by accident." He relocated from New York to southern California to pursue a master of science degree in biology. In need of employment, he began writing jokes for Bob Hope's radio program. Hope liked his jokes and asked Schwartz to join his writing staff. He was faced with a major decision — writing comedy or starving to death while he cured diseases. He made a quick career change. Schwartz went on to create and produce hit shows such as “Gilligan's Island,” and “The Brady Bunch.” He wrote the theme song for three of his shows: “Gilligan's Island,” “It's About Time,” and “The Brady Bunch.” “Bonanza” composers Livingston and Evans also wrote the immensely popular Christmas song Silver Bells in 1951 for the film “The Lemon Drop Kid”.
Danny Elfman toured in Oingo Boingo before quitting the rock scene due to hearing loss caused by the performances. He has written for movies (Batman, Spiderman, many more) and TV and has won a Grammy (Batman) and an Emmy (Desperate Housewives). Walter Murphy was an arranger for Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band, had a #1 hit song in 1976 with “A Fifth of Beethoven,” and he has scored TV theme songs including “Family Guy” for which he has won an Emmy award . For over 40 years, Jerry Goldsmith ranked among the film and television industry's most highly-regarded and prolific composers; at the peak of his activity he was estimated to have scored an average of about six films annually. Halftime music was I Love Lucy, Theme from Bonanza, Gilligan’s Island Theme, Family Guy Theme, The Simpson’s Theme, Happy Days Theme, Cheers, Friends, Mission Impossible, and Star Trek. The band formed many pictograms, including a 45 rpm for Happy Days, the Minnow beaching on the island, Stewie from Family Guy, Homer Simpson, and the crowd went wild with the beer mugs toasting during the Cheers segment.
September 27, 2008
Sing! Sing! Swing! The music of Benny Goodman!
Benny Goodman was known as "The King of Swing.” He was an accomplished clarinetist and the son of Russian immigrants who began taking clarinet lessons at age ten. He made his professional debut at 12 and dropped out of school at 14. At 16, he settled in New York and worked as a freelance musician at recording sessions, radio dates, and in the pit bands of Broadway musicals. He had recording successes and an offer to perform at Billy Rose's Music Hall which inspired him to organize a permanent orchestra. His recording of "Moon Glow" hit number one in July, and he scored two more Top Ten hits. After the Music Hall, he was signed for the Saturday night Let's Dance program on NBC radio. During the six months he spent on the show, he scored another 11 Top Ten hits. After leaving Let's Dance, Goodman undertook a national tour in the summer of 1935. It was not particularly successful until he reached the West Coast, where his segment of Let's Dance had been heard three hours earlier than on the East Coast. His performance at the Palomar Ballroom near Los Angeles on August 21, 1935, was a spectacular success, remembered as the date on which the Swing Era began. He scored 15 Top Ten hits in 1936, became the host of the radio series The Camel Caravan, and in October 1936, the orchestra made its film debut in The Big Broadcast of 1937. Goodman's next number one hit featured Ella Fitzgerald on vocals and was the band's first hit with new trumpeter Harry James. The peak of Goodman's renown came on January 16, 1938, when he performed a concert at Carnegie Hall, but he went on to score 14 Top Ten hits during the year, including the thrilling "Sing, Sing, Sing," which later was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 1950, he discovered & released a recording that had been made of his 1938 Carnegie Hall concert. It spent a year in the charts, becoming the best-selling jazz album ever up to that time, and was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Goodman's lengthy career and his success has resulted in an enormous recording catalog. These recordings continue to demonstrate Goodman's remarkable talents as an instrumentalist and as a bandleader. The OSU band paid tribute to Benny Goodman with the tunes Let’s Dance, That’s-A-Plenty, and Sing! Sing! Sing!
September 20, 2008
Get On Your Feet!
The music of Gloria Estafan debuted in Ohio Stadium as the OSU band brought South Beach Miami to Columbus.
Gloria Fajardo came from Havana Cuba and she was raised in Miami, FL in the late 1950s. After her father, a bodyguard in the employ of Cuban President Batista, was forced to flee from Cuba following the 1959 coup led by Fidel Castro. As a child Gloria liked to write poetry, and though she took classical guitar lessons, she found them tedious. She had no inkling that she would become a popular music star, but music played a very important role for her as a teenager. Gloria's father was recruited into a CIA-funded band of Cuban refugees who were involved in the unsuccessful 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. After President Kennedy negotiated the release of the captured soldiers, Fajardo rejoined his family. He joined the US Army and served in Vietnam. After her father's return from Vietnam, he was diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis, possibly as a result of having been exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange. Gloria's mother, who had been a teacher in Cuba, worked to support the family during the day and attended school at night. Young Gloria was left to take care of her father and younger sister. She had little social life, and because she felt the weight of such responsibilities she turned to music as a release. In the fall of 1975 Gloria auditioned for the Miami Latin Boys, a local wedding band headed by keyboardist Emilio Estefan. The group was rechristened Miami Sound Machine and four years later, Gloria and Emilio were married. As the Miami Sound Machine began composing their own material, they earned a devoted local following, and in 1979 the group issued their first Spanish-language LP. With 1985's Primitive Love, they recorded their first English-language effort, scoring three Top Ten pop hits in the US alone with the infectious "Conga," "Bad Boy," and "Words Get in the Way." Their song "Hot Summer Nights" was in the movie Top Gun. "Conga" became the first single to crack Billboard's Pop, Dance and Latin charts simultaneously. For 1988's triple-platinum Let It Loose, the group reeled off four Top Ten hits: "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," "Can't Stay Away from You," the chart-topping "Anything for You," and "1-2-3." In late 1989, Gloria released her best-selling album, Cuts Both Ways. It included the hit singles "Don't Wanna Lose You" (#1 hit), "Oye mi Canto (Hear my Voice)", "Here We Are", "Cuts Both Ways" (#1 hit) and "Get on Your Feet." Despite the group's popularity with English-speaking listeners, the Estefans have not forgotten their roots- there are always Spanish-language projects in the works. The rollicking salsa finale "Oye Mi Canto" ("Hear My Song") rivaled "Conga” . Her song "Reach," was named the official theme of the 1996 Summer Olympics. She performed on the 1998 VH-1 concert special, Divas Live along with Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, and Shania Twain. The concert raised money to fund music education in schools. She released a Latin hit with the Brazilian group So Pra Contrariar called "Santo Santo," sang with Luciano Pavarotti in “Pavarotti and Friends for Guatemala and Kosovo,” released the benefit album “A Rosie Christmas,” and sang with Stevie Wonder at Super Bowl XXXIII. Estefan is the only artist to perform twice at the Super Bowl. Gloria sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” before game 3 of the 2003 World Series between the Marlins and the Yankees and at Super Bowl XLI. Estefan holds an honorary doctoral degree in music from the University of Miami, and Barry University in Miami bestowed upon her an honorary law degree. Gloria founded the Gloria Estefan Foundation to help those with spinal cord injuries. In 1999, she made her feature film debut alongside Meryl Streep in Music of the Heart, recording the film's title song as a duet with *NSYNC and scoring both a massive pop hit and an Oscar nomination in the process. In recent years, she has found another outlet for her creative talents. She wrote two picture books for children: The Magically Mysterious Adventures of Noelle the Bulldog and Noelle's Treasure Tale. Gloria is a Cuban American singer/songwriter. She has sold over 70 million albums worldwide, with 15.5 million in the US. She has won five Grammy Awards. She was selected by the Latin Grammy Award Recording Assn. as the "2008 Person of the Year," the first female singer to receive this award. In May 1993, she received the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest award that can be given to a naturalized US citizen. She has won the Hispanic Heritage Award, MTV Video Music Award, two cable ACE Awards, 1993 National Music Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year, the American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement, been honored twice by the Songwriters Hall of Fame and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1992 she served as a member of the US Delegation to the 47th General Assembly to the United Nations.
September 6, 2008
The music and theme for the show was the movie Top Gun – Danger Zone, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, Great Balls of Fire and Top Gun Anthem. The maneuvers were challenging as the drill unfolded and the band alternated between fighter formations and scintillating forms that drew the audience in. Drum Major Josh Halter from Hebron twirled to the delight of the crowd, from AA deck to C deck, D deck and beyond….
August 30, 2008
Return of the alumni!
779 OSUMB alumni registered for the 40 th TBDBITL Reunion. The oldest attendee was Glenn Warren of Columbus at age 95 and the oldest march was Clark Hammitt from Youngstown at age 93 on snare drum. Kudos to all the marching men and women as they triumphed in Ohio Stadium ‘One More Time’. Many come from far and wide just to be with us. We commend them. The Script Ohio Award, (the highest award given) was presented to Willis Burt . Willis is Co-Chairman of the TBDBITL Alumni Active Band, a long time member of the TBDBITL Board of Governors, plays flugelhorn in the Active and HyperActive Bands and has served on several committees including the TBDBITL Travel Committee. The Elvin Donaldson Award (most inspirational alumni bandmember) was given to Walt Neff. Walt is a Past President, Past Treasurer, and has served the the club for decades. He plays trombone in the Active and HyperActive Bands. The alumni band awarded Honorary Life Membership Tom Cook, Dr. Paul Doerksen, Ken McCoy, and John J. “Jack” Schiff, Jr. The halftime show paid tribute to tradition with the OSUMB opening with the Manley Whitcomb (OSUMB Director during WWII) composition of Buckeye Fanfare, followed by the Battle Cry and the State Rock Song of the State of Ohio: Hang On Sloopy! The alumni paid tribute to the OSU Beijing Olympians with music from the Olympics and a Drum Major feature to Hey Look Me Over! All of this was just setting the table for what the crowd was waiting for, the Incomparable Script Ohio X Four! Yes, the Quadruple Script Ohio – with 392 alumni and 224 OSUMB members simultaneously unwinding into the greatest tradition in college band history - four Script Ohio’s and four i-dotters displayed on the field at Ohio Stadium. I-dotters were: Jordan Rader, A. J. Babcock, John Huffman, Jr. and Thomas De Nicholas .
Hats off to Tradition
The week before the Youngstown State game was a busy time for the members of the Ohio State Band. Tryouts took place early in the week and the new band learned the YSU show in two days.
The pregame formations had a new block O that was designed by Assistant Director Jon Waters. The band forms a Block O diagonally across the field, with the team lined up behind them while they play Tressel's theme song "Fanfare for a New Era." Then the Block O spits down the middle and the team runs through it while the band plays Across the Field.
Over 650 alumni bandmembers marched down the field at the OSU/YSU game and for halftime the new Ohio State band joined in for the crowd favorite Quadruple Script Ohio.
More detail....about last week's band performances. You read about the new Block O formation above, and there is more to the story. When the team was practicing coming out for the new band entrance, Coach Tressel asked if the band could schedule some time in the stadium later in the week when the team was there again. The band agreed and gave a performance for Coach Tressel that Woody Hayes had always yearned for. You see, Woody commented in his later years that one of his regrets while coaching was that he never saw "that great band enter the stadium with the Ramp Entrance." Woody was always in the locker room as are most coaches before the game. Tressel asked the band to perform the Ramp Entrance and last week he got to witness it in the stadium.
Some of the music for halftime spanned many decades of the band. The Ohio Stateband opened halftime with Manley Whitcomb's Buckeye Fanfare. Manley was a directorof the band in the 1940s, after Eugene Weigel (creator of Script Ohio) stepped down.They rocked the 'Shoe with Hang On Sloopy and the alumni anthem I Wanna Go Back.The alumni band featured the Drum Majors to the tune Brass Roots which was made popular by the Doc Severinsen Band and played by the Ohio State band for the first Fiesta Bowl appearance in the early 1980s.
The alumni band saluted the 17 BuckeyeOlympians who took part in the Beijing games. They formed the Olympic rings and USA above them. They switched formations to '40th' and animated the numbers while playing "Hey Look Me Over" which was a vintage Richard Heine arrangement from the 1970s. The finale to the show was 608 musicians marching in formation behind four drum majors in the Quadruple Script Ohio formation. Another 250+ alumni bandmembers played along on the sideline. They were extras in the show due to space limitationsof the Script Ohios. The alumni band holds a lottery each year for the 384 Scriptspots, 192 on each side. The i-dotters for the alumni are chosen by Sousaphone players who have attended at least one of the past 40 reunion games, and then the oldest one who has not dotted the i yet for the alumni band. This year's alumni I dotters were John Huffman, Jr. (1978-1981) from Waverly on the East side and Thomas De Nicholas (1969-1970) from Warren on the West side.
The alumni Drum Majors are chosen in a similar fashion - those who have attended at least one reunion in the past 40 years and by a rotation of who has not led a Script Ohio recently. Mia Shea-Torres (Assistant Drum Major 1989-1990) from Lewis Center led the alumni on the East side. Cyril Costoff (Drum Major 1944) from Toledo led the alumni on the West side. New Ohio State Drum Major Josh Halter from Newark led the band in the North and Assistant Drum Major Sam Heinold from Cincinnati led the band in the South. I dotters for the Ohio State band were Jordan Rader from Girardin the North and A. J. Babcock from Piqua in the South.
Calendar notes: Ohio Stadium Buckeye Invitational Marching Band Contest October 4th from 9-5PM - 30 HS bands and the Ohio State Band. Ohio State Band Concert at Mershon Auditorium on Sunday, November 16, at 3:00 PM
Call 614-292-3535 for tickets
July 30, 2008
TBDBITL to join symphony musicians for concert this weekend - 8/2/08
The students of the Ohio State University Marching Band are volunteering for a concert this weekend in support of the Musicians of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Usually this time of year thousands would gather to whet their appetite for the upcoming football season and some great classical music as the Picnic With the Pops concluded with a joint concert between the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the OSU band. The 2008 PWTP series was cancelled and the orchestra remains in negotiations regarding its future.
This weekend there will be a similar musical event for fans to attend, get in the Buckeye spirit, and support the musicians.
See http://www.mcsconcerts.org/vets3.htm for tickets and more info or get tickets at the door.
What and When: Symphony Strong Foundation presents: August 2 at 7:30 pm- Light Classics Concert - Franklin County Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Columbus
Where: Franklin County Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 300 W. Broad St. Columbus, Ohio 614-221-4341
Who: The Musicians of the Columbus Symphony
Junichi Hirokami, Conductor
Special Guests: The Ohio State University Marching Band; Jon Woods, Director
Extra Fun: The Veterans Memorial parking lot will be open for tailgating starting at 4:30 PM. Concessions will be open at Veterans Memorial before and after the concert, and also during intermission. There will also be a reception following this concert. Music for this concert is still being determined, but The Musicians of the Columbus Symphony will play the 1st half of the program, TBDBITL will play the 2nd half of the concert, combining with MCS at the end for a few selections.
How Much: $20 (cash only, no credit card) at the door. If you wish to pay by credit card, please purchase tickets online at http://www.mcsconcerts.org/vets3.htm
$20 online + $2 per ticket service charge
Parking is $4 at Vets Memorial parking lot
The Stars: The program will include: The Musicians of the Columbus Symphony Junichi Hirokami, Conductor With special guest: The Ohio State University Marching Band Jon Woods, Director
1st set- The Musicians of the Columbus Symphony
Mozart - Overture to the Magic Flute
Brahms - Academic Festival Overture
Wagner - Prelude to Act III from Lohengrin
Tchaikovsky - Finale from Symphony No. 5
2nd set- The OSU Marching Band
3rd set- Musicians of the Columbus Symphony with The OSU Marching Band - Selections to be chosen from:
Grand March from Aida
America the Beautiful
4th mvt. from Pines of Rome
*All pieces listed are subject to change.
August 31, 2007
I Wanna Go Back !
This weekend's turnout for the alumni band reunion is the largest ever, and the debut of Dr. Paul Droste as the alumni band director. Paul was a student in the OSU band from 1954 to 1957 in the baritone horn section. He went on to be a graduate student assistant director, then on the staff as assistant director under Dr. Charles Spohn in the 1960s. He became OSU Marching Band Director in 1970 and held that post through the 1983 season. He is a world renowned Euphonium player, an international brass band adjudicator, and founder and former director of the internationally famous Brass Band of Columbus. Paul began directing the marching band alumni in January of this year.
Tryouts for the 2007 marching band begin Sunday, September 2. The band you will see at the game against Youngstown State is made up of volunteers from the 2006 band. They have been rehearsing Thursday and Friday and are joining the alumni band for combined pregame and halftime shows which will include the Quadruple Script Ohio. More than 800 alumni bandmembers are returning to Ohio Stadium and you can see them at the Skull Session at St. John Arena. It is free and it begins two hours before game time when Coach Jim Tressel and the Buckeye football team greet the crowd on their way to the horseshoe.
The marching band's new CD "I Wanna Go Back" has just been released and this marks the band's 26th commercial release over the past 50 years, making the OSU band one of the longest running recording artists. The Emmy-award winning Pride of the Buckeyes DVD is also selling well.
December 14, 2006
The OSU band show for The Game was one of the most well received in
many years. The energy in the Horseshoe after the Buckeye touchdown
just before halftime and the darkened sky surrounding Ohio Stadium
perpetuated the energy. The Michigan Marching Band presented a
tribute to Led Zeppelin and their formations included curves and arcs
as the flags and musicians filled the field with rock music. The
final number was Stairway to Heaven, the most played song on American FM radio.
The OSU band began their show in formation in the middle of the field
spelling out HOLLYWOOD just like the famous sign. The fanfare from
the movie The Natural introduced the show, Hollywood Blockbusters.
The crowd was on their feet after the first song and the show built up
like one finale number after another. The drill commenced to depict
Elliot and ET from Spielberg's movie ET- The Extra Terrestrial. The
band formed the bicycle over the trees and animated it across the sky
(field) as the wheels turned and the bike moved as if floating above
the horizon. With movie magic-like editing, the band segued into "Rose" from Titanic and formed the outline of the majestic ship as
blue "wave" tarpaulins where brought out along the west sideline
between the 20s. The mighty ship broke, struggled, and sank as the
entire band closed ranks under the waves. The images were realistic
to the film and the video screen on the scoreboard allowed the whole
stadium to see the view from the press box level. Next, Jack
Sparrow's ship from Pirates of the Caribbean sailed out with skull and
crossbones on her main sail. The music accompanied the dastardly
galleon as it tossed on the open waves! Some Hollywood Blockbusters
come in trilogies and the next segment depicted The Lord of the Rings
for the standing, cheering crowd. The music was the March of the Ents
and images from the three movies were formed as Drum Major Stewart
Kitchen dazzled the crowd. The finale suite from Star Wars built up
with images of Darth Vader's mask and a smiling Yoda, the rebels
versus the empire and the Star Wars logo. Music and charting were
spectacular, befitting The Game and the matchup between the two great
This week on WOSU was the debut of The Pride of the Buckeyes, a High
Definition broadcast documentary about the OSU band. You can still
see it on 12/14 at 8 PM and 12/17 at 6:30 PM on WOSU TV 34. The crew
took over a year to film aspects of the band and there are interviews,
explanations of the traditions and some outstanding pictures along
with editing that will keep you wanting more. For example, the
portion about the Drum Major tryouts held in May of 2006 show all of
the candidates who tried out to be the Drum Major performing to the
tune Autumn Leaves. The WOSU film seamlessly shows a montage of their
performance through the song.
The band is taking a break now that finals are over and they will be
coming back for Winter Quarter and a trip to the BCS National
Here is the tentative schedule for January:
Wednesday, Jan 3, 7 to 10 PM - rehearsal at the Woody Hayes Athletic
Center in Columbus
Thursday, Jan 4 7 to 10 PM - rehearsal at the Woody Hayes Athletic
Center in Columbus
Friday, Jan 5 7 to 9 PM - rehearsal at the Woody Hayes Athletic
Center in Columbus (Open to the public)
Saturday, Jan 6
4 AM - departure to Arizona;
7 PM "Glendale
Glitters and Glows" BCS Block Party
59th and Glendale Avenues in Glendale - This
annual event features a pep rally
with the Ohio State and Florida bands.
Sunday, Jan 7
10 AM - Noon - Public rehearsal at Tempe High
School, 1730 S. Mill Avenue in Tempe
The band welcomes the public and OSU Alumni to
its final rehearsal
before the game. Former band members are
welcome to bring
instruments and play along at the end of the session.
2:30 PM - arrival at Buckeye Bash (performance at
approximately 4 p.m.)
Chase Field, 401 East Jefferson, Phoenix
Monday, Jan 8
2:15 PM - Performances at Pre-game Party and Corporate Events
University of Phoenix Stadium Lot in Glendale
5:35 PM - Pre-game Performance including Script Ohio
- BCS National Championship
Halftime Performance (Hollywood Blockbusters)
October 27, 2006
Jack Nicklaus to Dot the "I" at halftime of the Minnesota game
The Indiana Hoosier Marching Hundred traveled to Columbus last week. Indiana University's music program is top notch and the Marching Hundred were on top of it as they performed their music and drill routines. They featured the music of the Temptations at halftime.
The OSU band show paid tribute to The Greatest Generation and included the OSU Men's Glee Club. The last time the glee club joined the band on the field was about 30 years ago, hopefully it won't be that long next time. The band opened the show with music from the movie Pearl Harbor as quotes from Roosevelt were announced. The band marched in geometric shapes as "This is the Army Mr. Jones" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" set the tone that the war was fought and won by ordinary men and women, who came from the era of the Great Depression and were brave and unselfish to serve their country for the betterment of the world.
Drum Major Stewart Kitchen strutted to the north end of the field and performed to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" for the fans in the closed end. It was a treat to see him since the Drum Major usually is at midfield. A longtime ticket holder in B-Deck remarked, "I can't see the scoreboard but I don't care, it is too much of a distraction away from the real show -- the band and that fantastic drum major!" She has been coming to games from southern Ohio for decades.
The OSU Men's Glee Club sang "Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor" with microphones as the stadium grew quiet. Then everyone (band, glee club, fans) combined for the singing of "God Bless America." The football team sang too, as they were on the edge of the field ready for the second half entrance. Another fine show, and a fitting tribute.
This week is a rare occasion - Jack Nicklaus will be dotting the "i" in Script Ohio at halftime of the OSU/Minnesota game. Jack is only the fifth non-bandmember to dot the "i" in a single Script Ohio with the OSU band. Others were Bob Hope, Woody Hayes, OSU President Novice Fawcett and OSU ticket director Robert Ries. Jack was chosen by the Sousaphone players.
October 10, 2006
See the Ohio State Band In Concert November 5
Ohio State's halftime show at the OSU/BGSU game was a tribute to the penultimate jazz drummer Buddy Rich. A self-taught blazing percussionist, Rich became well known around the world during the 1950s-1990s. Local jazz virtuoso drummer Jim Rupp (who was an OSU marching band drummer in the 1970s) was featured with the band on the 50 yard line. Rupp has toured with Woody Herman, Diane Schuur, Tony Bennett and many other legends of music. The songs Dancing Men and Mercy, Mercy, Mercy opened the show. Next the West Side Story Suite was one of Rich's big hits and Jim Rupp delivered the sizzling stick handling that made way for the rest of the OSU percussionist's to join him at mid field while the band executed intricate marching drills in double time.
If you missed this triumphant jazz tribute, you can catch an encore at the Ohio State band's Columbus concert coming up Sunday, November 5, at 3:00 PM at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, downtown on Broad Street across from COSI. (Advance tickets $15. Day-of tickets $20. Groups of 15 or more $10 Call 614-292-3535.)
The remainder of halftime was a presentation of OSU Varsity athletes from 36 sports. Entitled Scarlet and Gray Games, the varsity athletes attend designated sporting events of the other teams to show their support across the spectrum of OSU sports offerings.
The Bowling Green band directed by Dr. Carol Hayward performed at Skull Session in St. John Arena, pre-game in Ohio Stadium, and after the game on the field. The spirited group looked sharp all afternoon and had a robust sound in the Horseshoe. Their tunes in the stands featured contemporary rock, marching band favorites and cheers that entertained the crowd. They continue their excellent traditions and add tremendously to the collegiate football atmosphere. Both bands filled the stadium with sound much better than the announcements from the gigantic scoreboard speakers high up in the clouds. (Maybe the scoreboard is used to communicate with Woody?!)
Some of you have asked when the OSU Band will be performing outside of Columbus. There are some events coming up soon.
Friday, October 13th at 7:15 PM in Oak Harbor, Ohio - The Ohio State Band will be performing at the Oak Harbor vs. Port Clinton HS football game on their way up to East Lansing for the OSU/MSU game the next day. The OSU Alumni Club of Ottawa County is organizing the event which coincides with the 28th Apple Festival. Much like the fervor caused last month in Texas, Buckeye fans pack the stadiums where the OSU band performs. But packed might be an understatement this week as 12,000 people are expected at the game, and the stadium only holds 6,000. Alternate traffic routes and carpooling are encouraged. The local authorities are going to block off the downtown portion of Water Street at 2 PM Friday. The street will reopen only for buses carrying the OSU band to pass through and close again for Apple Festival setup.
Thursday, October 19th at 8 PM in Circleville, Ohio - The Ohio State Band will be performing in the Parade of Bands at the 100th Circleville Pumpkin Show. See www.pumpkinshow.com. The parade is intrinsic to the pumpkin show, it weaves in and around the downtown immersing everyone in the sights and sounds of the evening. Seeing the Ohio State band on parade is spectacular, then add a crisp Autumn evening under the lights and you have the gleaming silver instruments, sparkling breast plates on the cross belts, and flashes of the drum major's baton as the band marches by.
September 27, 2006
The Penn State game was a bit soggy from the outset but that didn’t hinder the pregame Script Ohio performance or a rockin’ Rolling Stones halftime show that included a portable stage and electric guitars. The OSU Students were back and the band invited them to sing along, much like the concert in Ohio Stadium when the Stones were here.
Songs included Start Me Up, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Get Off of My Cloud, It’s Only Rock-‘n-Roll, Honkeytonk Woman, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction. If you looked close through your rain soaked binoculars you might have caught a glimpse of Jagger gyrating with the jam band that accompanied the OSU band on the field. The OSU band also performed in Cleveland on Sunday for the Browns game.
- The OSU band will be performing in the Parade of Bands at the Circleville Pumpkin Show on Thursday evening, October 19th at 8pm. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Circleville Pumpkin Show . There will be a short concert immediately following the parade. Go to pumpkinshow.com for more information.
- OSU band will be In ConcertSunday, November 5, at 3:00 PM at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, downtown on Broad Street across from COSI. Advance tickets $15. Day-of tickets $20. Groups of 15 or more $10 Call 614-292-3535
- If you are an educator, you might want to take your class on field trip to the OSU Band Youth Concert on Friday, November 3rd at 10:15 AM at Veterans Memorial Auditorium. For students ages 4-18. Call band secretary Tom Cook at 614-292-5272 for tickets soon.
Some other band news:
- 2006 is the 70 th Anniversary of Script Ohio.
- 2006 is the 100 th Anniversary of Carmen Ohio
- October 28 th at the Minnesota game will include a halftime performance of Script Ohio with Honorary I Dotter Jack Nicklaus.
September 20, 2006
The halftime show for the OSU/UC game was titled “The Definitive Stevie Wonder” and the music included Sir Duke, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours, Supersitition, Higher Ground, Uptight (Everything’s Alright), and Higher Ground. These songs were examples of the musical genius that is Stevie Wonder. His songs are known for being hard to sing, they are melismatic, meaning that a syllable of a word is sung over different notes. Earlier this year American Idol contestants were put through the paces of Wonder’s music. The OSU band brought Stevies sound to Ohio Stadium and Drum Major Stew Kitchen was featured at mid field - the sophomore twirling sensation did acrobatics while wowing the crowd and kept his baton going at Wonder music speed.
September 13, 2006
The entire OSU band made the trip to Austin for the Texas game, thanks to a donor from Upper Arlington. It was a short trip, the band met at Ohio Stadium at 4 AM Friday before departing to the Lone Star state. Friday was filled with a rehearsal and appearances for OSU faithful gathered for the game. One might draw a comparison with between the OSU and Texas bands. They are both show bands with traditions built up over the years. Script Ohio began in 1936 and is created as if a giant pen were writing the word Ohio in cursive on the football field – one continuous stream of band members flowing out of the triple rotating block O formation.
Script Texas began in 1957 and is formed letter by letter from five individual blocks and depicts more of a block letter structure with a curl at the top of the T and under the ‘s’.
September 2, 2006
New Band, New uniforms
Tryouts were held earlier this week and the new 2006 OSU band is busy learning the music and drill for Saturday's show which pays tribute to Richard Heine, the longtime arranger of the OSU school songs, among other tunes. Dick is 90 and will be returning to Columbus from Bradenton, Florida. He was a student in the band in the 1930s and full time arranger from 1948 to 1978. He has dotted the I in Script Ohio (1974) and the band put out an album with his music entitled Hats Off to Heine in the 1970s, and it will be released on CD this week. The band has been playing Dick's arrangements to the OSU school songs since he wrote them as far back as the 1950s until the present day.
The OSU / Northern Illinois game is the 38th alumni band reunion weekend. The alumni band had a brief music rehearsal on Monday night, and will have a music rehearsal Friday night. They practice on the field Saturday morning with the OSU Marching band before assembling for Skull Session at 1:30 in St. John Arena.
The more than 700 marching alumni, combined with the OSU band and Northern Illinois Huskie band will fill up the St. John Arena floor. Remember, Skull Session is free and it begins two hours before game time. The event gets started with the exuberant entrance of the OSU band after the drums build up the cadences and get the crowd on their feet. New Drum Major Stewart Kitchen from Kenton, Ohio leads the fast tempo marching as the band erupts onto the floor of the arena. After taking their seats, Director Woods calls for "Fanfare for a New Era" - the piece of music composed for Jim Tressel and the Buckeye team. The football team enters the arena to cheers and the team stretches across the length of the floor. A Senior football player will give a brief speech and then Coach Tressel says a few words. Then the team executes a "left flank" manuever and proceeds out of the arena while the band plays Across The Field.
The OSU band will be coming down the field Saturday in their brand new uniforms. There is a new stripe on the sleeves - half scarlet, half gray and a slit in the coat for the snare drummers. (They previously had to cut a hole under the pocket to get their sling through). The fundamental look of the uniform remains the same, with the ROTC-inspired military coat, pants, hat and cross belts. The material caused a delay in the manufacturing process (the company also supplies our armed forces) so the band received the uniforms in August just in time for the 2006 season.
Drum Major C. Stewart Kitchen is a graduate of Kenton High School in Kenton, Ohio. He was Drum Major of the KHS "Wildcat" Band and is majoring in Animal Science at OSU. He was a member of D-row as a freshman last season. D-row is a training row in the OSUMB for the Drum Major candidates. Students come to OSU and spend one season in D-row before trying out for Drum Major. Assistant Drum Major Dan Nash is from Whitehall and is a senior majoring in theatre.
Kitchen was named 2006 Drum Major in May and his first public performance with the OSU band came at the Picnic With The Pops concert in July. The Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the OSU band share the stage for a musical presentation that is both Buckeye spirited and complicated musical mastery. CSO conductor Albert George Schram conducted the combined groups in crowd favorites including the 1812 Overture, while Dr. Jon Woods directed the CSO/OSU band to give the crowd on the lawn of Chemical Abstracts a stirring presentation of Finlandia by Jean Sibelius. The concert featured orchestral numbers, tunes for kids, OSU school songs and crowd favorites like Stars and Stripes.
Amidst all the musical highlights was an new arrangement for brass band and orchestra by Gene D'Angelo of the Pines of Rome. On Le Regiment, the music for Script Ohio, Stewart Kitchen marched through the crowd and was barely visible from the stage as he worked his way farther and farther out in the mass of tens of thousands of specators until the end of the song where he strutted and marked the spot where the "I" would be dotted. This uniformed Drum Major in the midst of the crowd caused a brilliant impression with many fans as the spotlights traced his white hat through the throng. His acrobatics with the baton in July are surely a prediction of what is coming up this season.
October 18, 2005
COMING UP SOON: OSU Marching Band Concert
Sunday, October 30, at 3:00 PM
Veterans Memorial Auditorium - downtown Columbus on Broad Street on the river.
Advance tickets - $15.
Tickets at the door - $20. Groups of 15 or more $10. Call 614-292-3535
The Homecoming weekend was very exciting for the band. The football
game was a battle and the returning alumni were treated to great weather, a
fun parade and lots of music.
The homecoming court included an OSU band member, Ellen Regennitter.
At halftime, in her band uniform, Ellen was crowned the 2005 Homecoming Queen!
She is from Fairlawn, Ohio, majoring in Civil Engineering and is a snare drummer in the band.
The OSU band marched in Friday night's homecoming parade after their
final rehearsal for the week. The 'grays' rehearsal includes the band wearing
their hat, plume and gray warm up uniform and they play their game-use instruments.
Few schools have all matching instruments. Ohio State has a practice instrument
and a game-use instrument. This saves on wear and tear of the game-use instruments.
Saturday's halftime show was entitled Disney Magic. Arranger John
Tatgenhorst brought Disney favorite melodies from the past 50 years to the all
brass and percussion band. Special arrangements were made to include the local
Dublin Taiko Drum Ensemble. This award winning youth group is under the direction
of Ms. Susann Hubbell. Drummers Rutvik Bojja, Michael Dilenschneider, Mick Early, Taylor Evans, Caitlin Harty, Daniel Hays, Caitlin Hwang, Devon Jones, Colin Kaye, Rachel Loper, Erik Pierce, Ericka Rogers, Angela Roll, Jessica Skillman, Leslie Stoshak, Hailey Sult, Lindsay Tsai, Hannah Webster, and Nina Zalenski played during
the Lion King finale.
Halftime opened with the introductions of the 1955 and 1975 OSU Football
teams, and then the band took the field. The first formation was a cluster of
three stars and the tune was Walt Disney's spectral "When You Wish Upon A Star."
A medley of "Mickey Mouse Club," "Heigh Ho," and "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" were performed
to the packed East stadium crowd as formations from the famous mouse to the
castle appeared. (Students in the crowd remarked during the third quarter "how
great the band show was, they couldn't believe how intricate the formations were
and how quickly they changed. And the music is so strong") Drum Major Alex Neffenger twirled to "Beauty and the Beast" and the castle formation changed to
a rose, fitting for the music, and a hope for Buckeye fans. Next the band executed
a drill while the Taiko drummers joined in for "I Just Can't Wait to be King" and "The Circle of Life." Halftime went on to honor OSU Faculty and distinguished staff.
After the game Coach Tressel and the team sang Carmen Ohio to the band.
Then the band went back on the field for a homecoming presentation of Script Ohio to
the East stadium. Dotting the “i” was Alexander Murton from Chillicothe.
The American Sound of Copland, Bernstein and Gershwin provided the fabric
of the finely quilted halftime show that started with "Fanfare for the Common Man."
Bernstein's "Candide," Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm" and Copland's "Appalachian Spring"
brought the crowd to their feet. OSU Athletes were honored and "Carmen Ohio"
finished up the half.
The band released "Pride of the Buckeyes - Volume II" on CD to stores
everywhere. Another CD coming soon is "Glorious Sounds of Christmas." This holiday
recording took three years to complete and will be sought after for many Buckeye
fans. The expert recording engineering and the fine musical arrangements enhance
the fine OSU band sound. Listen for the special OSU treats contained within.
Coming up on October 2 the band will be in Cincinnati for the Bengals
game in Paul Brown Stadium.
The tanned Aztecs of San Diego were our guests last weekend and the
manly Aztec mascot seemed to enjoy the Ohio fall weather. This week's band
show was a flashback to 70's rock. Boston, Grand Funk Railroad, BTO,
the Doobies, and Yes music put the driving rhythms into the powerpacked show.
The band enjoyed this music and packed a double header schedule into their
day as they went to a local high school band festival Saturday night and
gave an encore presentation, complete with Script Ohio. Pregame featured the
introduction of the Cheerleaders and a 40th anniversary tribute to "Hang On
Sloopy", the official rock song of the State of Ohio.
Next month, don't miss the annual OSU Marching Band Concert
Sunday, October 30, at 3:00 PM
Veterans Memorial Auditorium - downtown Columbus on Broad Street
Advance tickets - $15.
Tickets at the door - $20.
Groups of 15 or more $10. Call 614-292-3535
Last weekend's matchup with Texas was the debut of the 2005 OSU band,
and for the 60 or so new members they came out in a glistening stadium with
a national TV audience and a contingent of the Showband from the Southwest in
the stands. Texas had originally planned to bring a 50 piece pep band but
when the game got closer they were able to raise funds to bring 180 out of the
400 members of the Longhorn Marching Band. OSU is trying now to fund raise
to take the entire band to Austin next year, and they intend to perform
Script Ohio for the first time in Austin.
If you would like to contribute, call the Steinbrenner Band Center at 614-292-2598, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail a check (made out to The Ohio State University) to OSUMB – Texas Trip, St. John Arena - Room 236,
410 Woody Hayes Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43210
The halftime show was "A Night At the Opera" and featured Stan Workman. Stan
is a doctoral student in Music from Portsmouth, Ohio. Portsmouth is becoming
a cultural arts bastion in the Southern Ohio area as Shawnee State welcomes
acts from various genres to the Riffe Performing Arts Center. There are three
tenors (Stan is one of them) who are bringing down the house there on a regular
basis. (See www.vrcfa.org) Wagner, Bizet, Puccini and Stan's vocals on Nessun Dorma kept the crowd wound up for the second half. Zach Roberts dotted the "i"
in the pregame Script Ohio.
The students in the band should be recognized for their sacrifice of time and
money and resources as the college football schedule has expanded. Hundreds of
band members and staff return to campus three weeks to a month before classes
start to participate in the band program. For many others this is not possible,
and for those who can, it is stressful as they have to give up summer jobs,
find housing and support themselves for September.
Friday, September 9, 2005
The OSU / Miami game was the annual alumni band reunion weekend.
The alumni band had a brief music rehearsal on the preceding Monday night,
and a music rehearsal Friday night before retiring to various gatherings
at nearby watering holes. They practiced on the field Saturday morning
with the OSU and Miami bands before assembling for Skull Session.
The more than
500 marching alumni, combined with the OSU band and Miami band filled up
the St. John Arena floor and the crowd filled the seats. Remember,
Skull Session is free and it begins two hours before game time.
The event gets started with the triumphant entrance of the OSUMB after the drums
build up the cadences and get the crowd on their feet. New Drum Major Alex
Neffenger leads the fast tempo marching as the band erupts onto the floor of
the arena. After taking their seats, Director WOods calls for "Fanfare for
a New Era" - the piece of music composed for Jim Tressel and the Buckeye team.
The football buckeyes enter the arena to cheers and the team stretches across
the length of the floor. Senior Bobby Carpenter gives a brief speech and
then Coach Tressel says a few words. Then the team executes a "left flank"
manuever and proceeds out of the arena while the band plays Across The Field.
The Miami band plays a few tunes and then the combined OSU bands play through
their pregame music. Next it's time for awards and recognition. The TBDBITL
Alumni Club bestowed Honorary Lifetime Membership to Coach Earle Bruce and
Reginald McGovern. Reginald began recording the OSU band in 1958 and through
his California company Fidelity Sound Records took the band through the eras
of Long Playing record, 8-track tape, cassette tape, and compact disk. Former
Director Paul Droste commented that due to Reginald's efforts and continuing
work the OSU Band is has sold more recordings than any marching band in the
country. Pat Campbell from the trumpet section was awarded the Script Ohio
award, the highest honor the TBDBITL Alumni band gives out. He has been
past president, chairman of many committees and most recently headed up the
groups trips to Hawaii and Oregon/Washington/Alaska. Jan Ebert received
the Elvin Donaldson Most Inspirational Alumni Bandsperson award. Jan was
a librarian in the OSU band in the 1950s (20 years before women were admitted
to the ranks of the band) and has served as alumni band secretary to the
Board of Governors for 20 years and is currently the alumni band's historian.
The halftime show opened with the OSU band playing Buckeye Opener, a composition
by Steve Pfaffman of familiar OSU melodies. The drill was a good
the 2004 band who graciously returned for an encore performance. (They arrived
on Thursday night and rehearsed Friday.) The Miami band then took the field
with the OSU band for a combined salute to Hurricane
Katrina's victims and those men and women working to restore the battered
Gulf region. The tune was Lee Greenwood's God Bless the USA. Miami performed
their full halftime show after the game in order for the OSU alumni to perform
their 37th reunion show.
The alumni band tradition is strong at Ohio State.
Some grumble about the early game time since that means the report time for
the alumni is 6 AM but the weather was perfect and the new OSU band practice
field saves on the pounding the body used to endure on the old asphalt practice
field so conditions are improving. Halftime continued with the alumni coming
out and the two student bands exiting the field. The alumni drum majors were
featured as the band played OSU Marching Band Blues. Next the massive band
spelled out THANKS ANDY while playing St. Louis Blues March. The alumni band
paid tribute to Andy Geiger and appreciated his great support of the band.
The next tune was the Notre Dame fight song combined with Buckeye Battle Cry
as the formation switched to WELCOME GENE to greet the new Athletic Director
Gene Smith. The show was titled Best of the Buckeyes and the best band
formation in college band history finished up the show. The student band was
kneeling in the end zones while the alumni put on their portion of the khow,
then they combined at the end for four simultaneous Script Ohios.
This week has been busy at the Band Center. Sunday through Wednesday were
the annual band tryouts. The new 2005 band has been selected and they are
working hard to get the pregame and halftime music memorized by
Saturday. Not to mention learning the formations in just three days.
There hasn't been a break for the band and staff since August 31st but
they will be ready for the showdown with the Longhorns. Nothing like
a matchup between two TOP FIVE teams to get excitement in the air.
Add to that a Ramp Entrance and Script Ohio under the lights and it
takes it up another notch.
August 26, 2005
September is fast approaching and football season is finally here!
It's game week, and time to dust off the horns, break out the uniforms
and tighten down those drum heads.
The 2005 season for the OSU Band won't begin officially until the week
of the Texas game - that is when Tryouts are held for the 225 positions
in the band. This week's band will be a volunteer version of the 2004
band. The Miami Redhawk band will be performing as well, and this is
also alumni band weekend so there will be nearly 1000 musicians in
Ohio Stadium. The MAC Miami Marching Band will perform for a short
halftime salute to America in a combined number with Ohio State.
The OSU Band will feature new Drum Major Alex Neffenger leading them out
front, and during the Quadruple Script Ohio at halftime look for new
OSU Assistant Drum Major Dan Nash to make his debut.
Also new on
the band staff this year is Gary Hodges, the OSU Percussion Instructor.
Gary spent three and a half years in the U.S. Air Force Academy
music department in Colorado Springs prior to attending OSU where he
was a proud member of "T" row (Trumpets). After graduating from the
OSU School of Music in 1974, he taught in the Reynoldsburg and the
Dublin school systems. In 1995 he was appointed Director of Bands
at the newly opened Dublin Scioto High School where he taught marching
band, wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, music history and theory, and music
appreciation until his retirement in 2001. Gary was a percussion
adjudicator for Drum Corps International (DCI) for ten years, and has
written a number of percussion charts for high schools as well as the
OSU Band. He is currently a member of the Brass Band of Columbus
(percussion), and a former member of the Worthington Civic Band
(trumpet). Gary continues to stay actively involved in music
education at the middle and high school levels.
November 11, 2004
Ohio State Band Concert this Sunday at 3pm:
The Penn State Blue Band visited for the game on October 30th. Penn State's band has been around for over 100 years, and they finally have a room to rehearse in. This fall their new band building opened with a 9,000 sq foot rehearsal hall and locker rooms. The Blue Band had been functioning out of two semi trailers parked next to their outdoor practice field - they were outside in rain, snow and nittany mountain weather.
The Ohio State Band show highlighted the careers of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis - The Rat Pack. Guest soloist for the day was the nationally renown director of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, trumpeter Byron Stripling. He let loose on The Birth of the Blues. The finale drill featured a company front of band members in a Step-Kick (love 'dem spats!) that old blue eyes would have smiled about.
Sometimes fans will contact the Ohio State band to find out when Script Ohio will be performed during the game or even if it will be performed at a certain game. On October 30th, Script Ohio was performed at pre-game as planned. Script Ohio was also performed after the game, the first time this has happened (two single Script Ohios on one day) ever. The reason the second Script Ohio was performed after the game was due to the cancellation of it's performance after the Indiana game. The groundskeepers were concerned about the field and did not allow the band to perform after the homecoming game. So, since the i-dotter had been waiting all year, his parents, family, and friends were on hand for the Penn State game and got to see his big day.
This week the band is indoors on the stage. Sunday, November 14 at 3 PM is the annual Columbus Concert. Call 292-3535 to get tickets, or buy them at the door. ($15 in advance, $20 at the door). It is a great way to kick off Michigan Week. The event is held at the Veteran's Memorial Auditorium on Broad Street, just west of downtown.
Next week the Michigan Marching Band will be coming to Columbus. Let's all be good sports and welcome them to the greatest rivalry game in college sports, in the greatest stadium in all of sports.
October 29, 2004
The homecoming parade on Friday night featured two Ohio State bands. The Ohio State marching band stepped off after their 4 - 6 PM practice and brought the Buckeye music to the crowd on campus, along High Street and at the pep rally. The other Ohio State band in the parade was a somewhat newer organization on campus, the Fall Quarter Athletic Band. This is a group of over 150 students who perform at Volleyball, Basketball, Hockey and some of the other 36 varsity sports at Ohio State. Rehearsals are Wednesdays from 6:30 - 8 PM at the Steinbrenner Band Center at the stadium. This is the same group that meets in Winter and Spring Quarters and performed on the ice last winter at the Schottenstein Center in what was advertised as the first Script Ohio on ice. To set the record straight, the Athletic Band marched into the Ohio formation but did not execute the drill in the animated script writing style of the marching band, due to space limitations. The Fall Quarter band also includes flutes, clarinets, saxophones and does not require auditions. The Fall Athletic Band entertained the Buckeye crowd at Skull Session during homecoming weekend too.
The 10 AM Skull Session began with Coach Tressel and the football team walking through the Arena before making their way to the stadium. The band was proud of Emily Quick, a trombone player from Reynoldsburg, who was selected as a member of the homecoming court. Emily has also served as a student member of the Board of Trustees and is currently a Squad Leader in the band. Halftime celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan TV Show. The Ohio Stadium crowd got into the show and the formations and music were symmetrically split to the East and West sides, a very nice way to bring the show to the entire crowd. Those on the East were even treated to a visit from the Fab Four - with guitars, drum set and the look of the group on the 1964 TV show. Alumni, students, and fans sang along to the hits as the words flashed on the screen. The clouds held off until the fourth quarter, but at halftime the field was submerged to the depths of the beatlemania and we got to live in the yellow submarine. An anthem-like finale featured Let It Be and Hey Jude. Although it was a Noon kickoff, and Ohio Stadium is smoke-free, you could almost see the lighters flicker during the nah nah nah nah-nah-nah-nah Hey Jude ending.
October 16, 2004
Dancing and Dotting....
St. John Arena was filled to the rafters last Saturday, October 9, 2004 for the Ohio State Band's Skull Session. The Barberton High School band was present and they entertained the crowd before Skull Session began. Their purple berets added to their mystique as the "Magic Band."
At 1:30 PM TBDBITL played "Fanfare for a New Era" and as the fanfare ended, Coach Tressel and the football team walked across the floor of the arena. Thunderous applause greeted them and the band played "Across The Field" as they all made a line from one end of the floor to the other. The Coach and the team greeted the crowd before proceeding to Ohio Stadium. They walk from St. John Arena, across Woody Hayes Drive, and enter through the rotunda of Ohio Stadium.
The band dedicated The Navy Hymn to Orlas King (The Neutron Man) who passed away unexpectedly on Thursday at the age of 62. The beautiful arrangement has the band singing the words
Eternal Father, Strong to save, Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep; O hear us when we cry to thee, for those in peril on the sea.
The pregame show and halftime music excited the crowd of over 12,000 fans and Skull Session concluded with plenty of time for fans to take a potty break, get a game program, stop by three or four tailgate parties and make it into Ohio Stadium before the Ramp Entrance began in Ohio Stadium.
The glistening drums filed out of the Ramp in the North end of Ohio Stadium with 20:00 on the game clock, signalling that the pre-game ceremonies had begun. Cadences beckoned the 16 files of 12 band members into formation and then the "Buckeye Battle Cry" was presented before a near capacity crowd, many of them on their feet as soon as the first drummer set foot on the grass. The 193rd person to come out of the shadows of the Ramp was Drum Major Eric Sommer and he strutted through the band to greet the crowd with his back-bend, smashing his Scarlet plume into the turf. After the introduction, two choruses brought the band down to the South end of the field and Drum Major Sommer signaled the band to salute to the University of Wisconsin with "On Wisconsin" and a block W formation came next. Immediately after the last beat of UW's fight song, Ohio's state song "Beautiful Ohio" lofted up to the new students in C deck who were about to witness some serious 'I' dotting.
The formation for the Center Of Science and Industry (COSI) logo materialized and OSUMB paid tribute to the first woman to walk in space - COSI Director Dr. Kathy Sullivan who dotted the 'I' in COSI. The OSUMB paid tribute to Dr. Sullivan by dedicating the most memorable tradition in college band history to her and Matt Long from Grove City dotted the 'I' in the incomparable Script Ohio. After Script Ohio the band formed a block and marched into the team tunnel and welcomed the Buckeye football squad onto the gridiron while playing "Fanfare for a New Era" and "Across The Field".
The classy football team stood to honor America as the band played our National Anthem and the ROTC joint service color guard raised Old Glory once more in Ohio Stadium.
The Buckeye field goal unit excited the crowd before halftime with Mike Nugent's 55 yarder and it was time for halftime, entitled "Buckeye Groove" - a joint halftime show. The first half was the music of the Funk genre and started out with the band lined up on the East side and Sousaphones and percussion entering from the West side. A very excited East side crowd was treated to three songs performed to the East side. George Clinton's "Give Up the Funk" opened with some traditional OSUMB marching in lines and crossing diagonals. Kool and the Gang's "Jungle Boogie" showed off some intricate circle drills (three circles intertwining like a non-stop doubled over itself figure eight) and again, some sharp OSUMB style marching that is visually spectacular. And you gasp when you think that if someone makes a wrong turn there will be some collisions and some sore body parts to say the least. The finale to the first segment of halftime was "What is Hip?" and the crowd applauded and gave a standing ovation so the band knew the answer. Powerful brass and a crisp Fall day gave hope to the crowd as OSU trailed by one point at halftime.
Next the band played "Beautiful Ohio" to segue to the Faculty Recognition portion of the show. A giant mortarboard, complete with tassel dangling down and with "O4" on it, was the formation for the awards announced to the outstanding and distinguished educators. The band faced the West side and performed Chimes and Carmen Ohio after the introductions of the award winners.
Reports of the second half action are found elsewhere. Between the third and fourth quarters the band paid tribute to Orlas King, The Neutron Man who passed away unexpectedly the previous Thursday. The crowd was invited to get up and dance in Orlas' honor and once again The Pointer Sisters hit resounded throughout the stadium. Over 100,000 people got up and danced. The videoboard depicted a smiling Neutron Man. We will miss him. Our prayers go out to the King family.
October 8, 2004
The Neutron Man - Orlas King
Orlas King, Jr. "The Neutron Man" passed away Thursday,
October 7, 2004 in Orlando, Florida at the age of 62. He was on
a golfing trip with friends and died unexpectedly.
He was a great fan of Ohio State. Not just football, but Ohio State.
Many fans saw him in the Stadium on game day when he would dance
and pump up the crowd. He loved to dance, it began when he was a
youngster. When he started dancing in Ohio Stadium in the 1970s
he became known as the B Deck Dancer and he relished his box seats
in section 9B, in the corner of the endzone. He was surrounded by
students and the OSU Band was below him. His seat-mates were ready
to move the wooden chairs aside to provide room for a dance floor
and man that guy could dance! His moves were infectious. He made
the whole student section excited by his antics, and he could command
their attention to return their focus to the field when the next
He used to have an RV that he had custom painted with OSU scenes
and he would drive it down to campus for home games, usually arriving
Friday nights. He would have dinner at the Blue Danube restaurant
and greet fans as they arrived to set up their RVs in the lot between
St. John Arena and Lane Avenue. This location was a thriving tailgater's
paradise for some 30 years as all the buses, campers and vans would
pack in the lot and set up their flagpoles and tailgate gear. Orlas
loved to have tailgate parties at his RV, but he was not always
around on game day. He would ask his wife or his friends to keep
the party going as he would often be waiting outside the locker
room after the game to talk to the players, or in true Orlas fashion,
he would make his way up and down the aisles of the parking lot
talking to fellow Buckeye fans. When Bobby Hoying was quarterback
Orlas would meet up with the friends and Hoying family members from
St. Henry and make sure they knew he was proud of Bobby and his
brother's efforts in the game that day.
He later sold his RV to alumni cheerleaders and they still use it
to tailgate in the RV lot near Bill Davis Stadium.
In 1985 the Ohio State Band played Neutron Dance as part of a halftime
show that featured tunes from movies that year. The Pointer Sisters
tune was prominent in Beverly Hills Cop, starring Eddie Murphy.
My wife and I were at the game and we recall seeing Orlas erupt
when the band played it in the stands during that season. The students
caught on to his wild reaction to the song and began chanting "Neutron,
Neutron." This was back when Ohio Stadium had a track and the
band sat on the track in the North west corner of the stadium. Often
the band director would invite Orlas down to the track in the fourth
quarter and he would dance in front of the band, near the sidelines
during a timeout. Of course, the tune was Neutron Dance. He wore
a jersey that the band gave to him with the number "00"
and "Neutron Man" across the back. He had a scarlet and
grey 8/4 cap, scarlet tennis shoes and a string of buckeyes around
his neck. During key plays he would rub his buckeyes and kiss them
for luck. His block O tattoo on his calf was another indication
of his love of Ohio State.
He enjoyed spreading the Buckeye spirit. He would travel to alumni
gatherings and dance for crowds all over Ohio or at the Buckeye
sporting events across the USA. Basketball, Hockey, baseball, and
other sports were on his calendar of appearances. He had a fond
relationship with Brutus Buckeye and the Cheerleaders as they would
frequently meet up at charity or corporate events with a Buckeye
He cared deeply for the Buckeye students. He would cater a steak
and chicken luncheon each September for the band. He was a longtime
member of the Agonis Club of Columbus which provides scholarships
to high school and college student athletes. He had a "Neutron
Man" plush doll manufactured in his likeness and all of the
proceeds went to a marching band scholarship fund. He knew many
many students, alumni and fans of Ohio State and he offered a hearty
hug to greet them.
He was a football standout at Kettering's Fairmont High School
and he was recruited by Iowa and Purdue. He attended the University
of Dayton and was successful in the restaurant business. He owned
a Ponderosa restaurant in Columbus and the End Zone restaurant in
Newark. We will all miss him and offer our deepest sympathy to the
October 02, 2004
The students are back on campus in Columbus for Autumn
Quarter. The Welcome Week events included the Columbus Symphony
Orchestra performing on the South Oval for thousands of members
of the OSU community. The Ohio State band will be on parade
during homecoming weekend and will play at the Pep Rally on Friday
night October 22, at 7:30 on the South Oval.
This is not unlike the Ohio State functions that used to occur on
the Oval every week. The Ohio State band provided cadences
and music to the ROTC corps at Ohio State when they would parade
on the Oval every Wednesday afternoon at 4:00p.m. (before
Oprah had a lock on that time-slot).
The drum major has been a familiar figure on campus since 1878 when
land grant schools, such as Illinois, Purdue and Ohio State required
a musical unit for military cadet parade days. The drum major's
responsibility was to set the tempo of the percussion cadences as
the troops passed in review for inspection on the Oval.
Although the most distinguishing feature of the modern Ohio State
band's drum major is his/her outfit, in the years before 1920 he/she
wore the authorized Army or ROTC uniform. Chevrons on his sleeve
designated his rank and distinguished the drum major and he carried
a large 'mace' or baton as he marched ahead of the band.
This year's drum major is Eric Sommer. Eric is majoring in
Aviation and came to Columbus from Avon Lake, a suburb of Cleveland.
Eric will be leading the band in the homecoming parade and will
be putting on an exhibition of his twirling routine at the Pep Rally
during Homecoming weekend.
This weekend look for Eric to lead the band
in Cleveland on Sunday. They will be performing at the Browns/Redskins
game at 1 PM.
September 15, 2004
Rememberance of 9/11/01
The Marshall Thunder Band came to Ohio Stadium to join the Ohio
State Band in a somber halftime.
The Marshall band took the field for a brief pre game show and they
fired up their fans who were numerous.
Ohio State's band came out to excited fans and executed the entrance
from the north tunnel with snap and gleeming instruments. This was
the first pregame for the new 2004 band and a moment to remember
for a lifetime. Since it was a big game, and since it started at
3:30, most of the crowd was in their seats for the band's entrance.
After playing "Sons of Marshall" as a tribute to the visiting
team, a double script Ohio was exhibited to the eager fans. Without
delay, the band formed a tunnel for Tressel's warriors and welcomed
the Buckeyes to the field.
After the National Anthem came the official Ohio State University
rememberance of 9/11. A moment of silence was followed by the playing
of Taps. The ROTC lowered the Ohio Stadium flag to half mast and
many in the crowd wiped tears away.
The halftime show was designed to be patriotic and brought out much
of our American facets of Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The opening drill was set to John Williams Liberty Fanfare and the
second number was the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Both bands combined
at the end of halftime to play America the Beautiful.
After the game the Marshall Band put on a field show and Ohio State
featured Assistant Drum Major Alex Neffenger.
The band will continue rehearsing until school starts, and they
will be at the Grove City band festival next weekend on September
This weekend at NC State the alumni will play for the game.
Looking ahead, the Ohio State band will be at the Cleveland Browns
game on Sunday October 3, and the annual Columbus Concert at Vet's
Memorial is Sunday, 11/14.
September 13, 2004
This OSU welcomed the Marshall Thundering Herd Marching
Band this past weekend . Both bands combined on the field at half
time for a special show in rememberance of September
If you missed the arsenal of brass and percussion the week before
it was quite the mix of old and new. 93 year old Lloyd Herd was
the oldest alumni bandsman in attendance and 90 year old Corwin
Hablitzel was the oldest marcher on the field of over 500 alumni
bandsmen plus the 225 in the Ohio State Marching Band.
The halftime show was entitled "Spirit of Competition"
and the Ohio State Marching Band opened with Olympic music and then
featured brand new drum major Eric Sommer with everyone's favorite
latin tune Malaguena.
The alumni put on a quiz show which combined a tribute to the OSU
Alumni Association's 125th anniversary, OSU Olympic Athletes, every
American's right to vote, and of course, the people of France. For
those of you who missed the question, "How many Ohio State
Athletes have medalled for the United States in the Olympics?"
The answer is 64, including Blaine Wilson and Katie Smith from Athens
Older members of the alumni band were quick to point out to Archie
Griffin, the new CEO of the OSU Alumni Association, that the Band
is 126 years old this year. The UC Band put on their usual halftime
show after the game to a gracious crowd.
The new aspects of the band program certainly stood out. a 50 foot
tower at the practice field. The alumni appreciated the new sound
system as they were rehearsing at 7 AM Saturday morning. Nothing
like putting it all together
in one day.
This week the new 2004 Ohio State marching band was chosen. Hundreds
of candidates went through marching and music tryouts at the Steinbrenner
Band Center. Everyone goes through tryouts every year at Ohio State,
so it is not uncommon for an upperclassman to get cut if he or she
is not in shape.
Next week the alumni band will pick up their drum sticks and some
horns and head to Raleigh for the North Carolina State contest.
August 28, 2004
The Return of Those Who Went Before...
Ah, Buckeye Football season is nearly here.
Prospective marchers have finished their summer workouts and they
have just over a week to go before the band tryouts begin September
Before the newbies take the field the "veterans of too many
bus trips" will gather for the 36th reunion of TBDBITL.
They have over 600 signed up to fill the stadium with that old brass
The OSU Marching Band roster for the Cincinnati game will be made
up of volunteers from the 2003 band who get to wear the uniform
one last time before tryouts, or before taking the scarlet shirt
and gray pants of the alumni band. Watch for the four Script Ohio's
at halftime - two from the alumni, and two from the OSU Marching
Band, all to appear simultaneously to thunderous applause.
The University of Cincinnati Bearcat Band will be coming to Columbus
and will perform before the game at St. John Arena and on the field
after the game.
The Year 2004 marks the final season for long time OSUMB Percussion
Instructor Dr. James Moore.
Moore has been a fixture of percussion excellence in Central Ohio
for decades. In a statement issued from the OSUMB:
"Dr. James "Doc" Moore is in his twenty fourth year
on the staff of The Ohio State University Marching Band. He was
a member of the OSU School of Music faculty from 1964-1992 where
he served as head of the Percussion Studio and director of the OSU
"He was principal percussionist with the Columbus Symphony
Orchestra for 17 years.
"He founded, and for 18 years served as editor of percussive
Notes magazine, the official publication of the International Percussive
"Dr. Moore's Bachelors and Masters Degrees, in Music Education,
are from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in Music Theory
is from The Ohio State University.
"Jym is also editor and owner of Per-Mus Publications, Inc.,
percussionist with The Brass Band of Columbus, and active as a freelance
percussionist, clinician and educator. Jym's wife, Marilyn, is a
retired educator and his daughter, Cheryl, is a band alum.
Doc has announced that this season will be his last on the OSUMB
staff. This time he really is retiring - all the way. The entire
marching band family - staff, students and alumni - will miss his
dedication, talent, and writing skills.
The band, and especially the percussion section, will never be the
same. We all wish Jym and Marilyn the very best."
November 20, 2003
The OSU Marching Band show for the Purdue game was called "Liberty"
and the formations played to that - stars, a flag, some nifty stepping.
If you closed your eyes and pulled out your rosary beads, you might
have thought you were in South Bend as a line of bagpipes came out
of the north tunnel to the strains of Amazing Grace. The voice pickup
on Battle Hymn of the Republic was right on as the band sang out strong.
One long company front occurred towards the end of the show and a
pause accentuated the high knee lift marching. The halftime concluded
with a faculty salute and many fine teachers were applauded. Some
students in 9C displayed a giant NICK FOGT sign. Very cool to see
a prof recognized and obviously loved by so many students.
Michigan week began at the end of the Purdue game. OSU Pep Bands
went to Mansfield for the Richland County OSU Alumni Bash and to Plank's
in German Village for the annual Monday night stop. Columbus Dispatch
readers can see a picture of this on Tuesday's News section, page
2B. Walt Plank started inviting the band to his cafe on Parsons 25
years ago, and his sons Tommy and John keep that going.
The alumni band will be all over the place Friday.
6:30 7:30 QFM96 Beat Michigan Breakfast Club - Buckeye Hall
of Fame Cafe
7:45 8:05 OSU Sports Medicine - OSU
8:15 8:25 WCMH Channel 4
8:45 9:05 S&G Manufacturing - Hilliard
9:35 10:00 Sterling Commerce - Dublin, CareWorks - Dublin
10:10 10:30 OCLC - Dublin
11:00 11:20 Khempco Building Supply
11:45 12:35 Bostic Party downtown
12:45 1:05 Archer Meeks Weiler downtown
1:30 2:00 Worthington Christian Middle School
2:15 2:30 Huntington Mortgage - Worthington
2:50 3:10 National Auto Care
3:30 3:50 Huntington Operations Center - Easton
4:15 4:30 Wexner Heritage House
5:00 5:30 WBNS 10TV
6:15 7:00 Continental Title - Reynoldsburg
7:15 8:00 Jefferson Country Club - New Albany
8:15 9:00 Little Turtle Country Club - New Albany
9:30 9:50 NAOIP Easton Hilton
10:00 10:30 WTVN Beat Michigan Oldies Dance - Easton
11:00 12:00 Grove City Noon Lions - Grove City
The marching Bucks will be in concert Friday night in Toledo at
the Stranahan Theater at 7:30. Alert the border patrol to let in the
friendly Buckeyes from Michigan, as many of you have emailed Hetuck
that you will be coming down to the Stranahan for this great concert.
Double Script Ohios will materialize in the Big House at Pre-game
on Saturday. Be in your seats early, 'cause it gets congested up there.
Script Ohio on Ice!
Last week's OSUMB show was a Latin Jazz feature that consisted mostly
of Dizzy Gillespie music. The Spartan band was here and they had a
baton twirler who knew what she was doing. They are all-brass plus
saxophones and they know how to fill up a Big Ten Stadium. The Buckeye
crowd received it well, except for the Club seats who scatter to their
lounge at half time. It's very noticeable when the majority of A Deck
between the 35 yard lines empties out. It's too bad they can't stay
until the bands are done, or maybe if OSU could provide wait service
like they do at the Schottenstein Center then those folks wouldn't
evacuate. The tens of thousands of fans on A, B, and C deck on the
East side don't leave.
This week's show features a salute to Liberty, with bagpipe accompaniment.
The OSU Band previewed this at their concert a few weeks ago and it
was moving. Fitting too, as we just observed Veteran's Day.
Before the band takes the field on Saturday, they will be taking
to the ice on Friday night. The first ever Script Ohio on ice will
be performed between periods at the OSU/Michigan Men's Ice Hockey
matchup. The band will be wearing small spikes on the bottom of their
feet, and plan to execute their trademark drill in it's entirety.
Here's some feedback:
Question: What time is Skull Session this Saturday for the
Answer: The Skull Session is scheduled to start at 1:30. That
is when Jim Tressel and the Buckeyes will be walking through St. John
Question: Is Purdue bringing their band?
Answer: No, Purdue is not bringing their band. The Purdue
Alumni gathering is rumored to have Len Dawson in attendance. Len
is known in Purdue circles as their "Golden Boy" and this
caused the Purdue Band to add the "Golden Girl" to their
complement of 400+ musicians. They also have the Silver Twins, the
Girl in Black and that big bass drum. A great band, with many traditions.
It's too bad they aren't making the trip.
Question: Why is it called Skull Session?
Answer: It is the final game day music rehearsal for the
band, and they go through their marching routines in their head while
playing. This goes back to the 1930s, but has been more popular since
the 1950s when St. John Arena was secured as a place to hold this
rehearsal. It is free, and generally draws over 10,000 fans. In fact,
there are people who only come to Skull Session, they don't go to
the game. It has turned into a Pep Rally atmosphere with the band's
small ensembles being showcased.
Question: I was wondering what is the history and the tradition
of the band and the Neutron Man. I attended the Northwestern game
skull session and wittnessed the recognition he received for helping
Answer: Neutron Man is a loyal Buckeye Fan, for over 30 years.
He has been dancing in the stands since the early 1970s, and up until
1985 he was known as the "B-deck Dancer." Then the Neutron
Dance became popular and the band would turn to B Deck to play and
he would get up and dance. When the stadium was renovated and the
band moved from the northwest corner to the south stands, he moved
to b-deck in the corner by the Southeast tower. He gets up and dances
when they play Neutron Dance. He's been a loyal supporter of the band
for many many years. He has a Neutron Man beanie baby and the proceeds
go to a scholarship for a band student. This year he was thanked at
Skull Session for buying the band lunch while they were here a month
before the rest of the students. He not only supports the band but
the team as well.
Parades, Concerts, football games - the season continues for the
Buckeye fans will be treated to an extra performance by the band
this week. The Friday night Homecoming Parade at 6 PM will feature
TBDBITL as it goes from Ohio Stadium, up Woody Hayes Drive to High
Street, down to 12th and ends at the South Oval for a pep rally with
the football team and cheerleaders.
A crisp Autumn night, the world's biggest brass band leading the
crowd through campus with Drum Major Kathryn Mitchell out front, it
can't get more collegiate than that. It's amazing to watch the Drum
Major twirl, but in the twilight? Bring the kids and enjoy the show.
Skull Session Saturday will begin at about 1:30 when Jim Tressel
and the Buckeyes walk through St. John Arena on their way to the locker
Here's more Q & A:
Question: I'm curious about the bands feedback about Tressel's
new involvement with his team and TBDBITL. The singing of "Carmen
Ohio" at the end of the games is an awesome experience for the
fan. What is the senior band members reaction about this new tradition
and their re-location in South Stands.
Answer: Although I haven't spoken directly with senior bandsmen,
they seem pretty excited about a Coach who says "We've always
had the best damn band in the land, now we've got the best damn team
in the land!" on national network TV upon winning it all. Tressel
contacted the band when he first arrived in town to request that the
band staff teach the team how to sing Carmen Ohio. Tressel understands
tradition. He has the team ready to run on the field when the band
is ready for them at pre-game. Tressel knows about the Skull Session
and brings the team there every home game. On Friday night before
the first game, Tressel brought the team to alumni band practice and
greeted the alumni tbdbitlers.
The move to the South Stands wasn't Tressel's idea, although it
does work well for the postgame exit up to the locker room after Carmen
Ohio. The band staff planned to move the band to the South as early
as the 1980s. The bandmembers like the fact that they can actually
see the game now, as opposed to their seats on the track behind the
team bench for decades. The track seats had their advantages, but
the South Stands have many more. The band is able to project their
sound to more of the stadium, they can work the crowd in conjunction
with the scoreboard animation directly behind them, and they are adjacent
to the OSU locker room for pumping up the team as they depart for
Question: I love the "Go Bucks" song that the band
plays throughout games. I have 5 OSUMB CDs, and none have the song
on it. I noticed that the "Road to the National Championship"
CD has a "Let's Go Bucks" cheer. Is this the same song?
If not, why doesn't the band put it on a CD?
Answer: "Go Bucks" was written for the band in
1982 by John Tatgenhorst. It is on the "Pride of the Buckeyes"
cassette and album. From time to time OSUMB will re-release a previous
commercial recording on CD format. That hasn't happened yet, but stay
tuned. The album features a concert version of the Go Bucks cheer
that is a crowd favorite. The band has performed this concert version
several times in the 1980s and 1990s. The "Let's Go Bucks"
Cheer on the new CD is a percussion feature with crowd appeal as well.
Several other cheers have been written through the years, but none
have had the longevity of the Go Bucks Cheer.
Question: Are band members able to perform at private functions
in the Columbus area. E.g., have a mini TBDBITL at an event or reception?
If so, who should one speak with?
Answer: The OSU marching band has several pep bands that
perform throughout Central Ohio. Contact the band directly at 292-2598
to schedule an appearance. The alumni band has a pep band unit as
well and they can be reached at www.tbdbitl.com.
Question: How and where do I purchase tickets for the Toledo
performance 11/22/03 in advance. Thank you.
Answer: OSUMB Concert tickets are going fast, some are sold out.
Columbus Concert - Sunday, November 2, 2003 - 3 PM at the Veterans
Auditorium on Broad St. Pre-sale tickets are $15 & $13. At the
door - $20 The group rate is $8 for 15 or more - students get $1 off
Dayton Concert - Monday, 11/3/03 at 7:30 PM - the Schuster Center
Toledo Concert - Friday, November 21, 2003 at 7:30 PM - Stranahan
Theater, Toledo Tickets are $22 via 419-381-8851 or for a service
charge at Ticketmaster at 419-474-1333 or 866-381-7469 or online at
Question: Any way I can tell the Band how much we love the
National Championship CD? ..... other than buying a bunch and giving
them to friends?! :>)
Answer: That is the best way, or you can call them at 614-292-2598
or email to email@example.com
Question: Have they already selected all the music for the
year? Can a band member ever come up to the directors and say, Man,
I think this song would work really well with the band? The band broke
down and put in a rock song (Hang On Sloopy) that became such a crowd
favorite. Might they ever break down and get a hip hop song in the
repertoire? Given that Hip Hop is using a lot of marching band cadences
right now, this seems like an excellent time to try it ...
Answer: The band has many arrangers from around the country.
The students have input on the music that is played. With eight home
games, there is an opportunity for quite a variety. The drum cadences
have evolved over the years, incorporating new rhythms that catch
on and become favorites of the band and the Buckeye faithful. The
students interaction with the band staff keeps the music current,
and the arrangers can make the brass band sound like virtually any
sound whether it's electronic, woodwind, percussive or experimental.
Last week's band show included a single Script Ohio and classic rock.
Journey, Queen and Styx - a valiant rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody
- and some precision drill work kept the people in their seats.
The students had delays getting in to their seats due to a new electronic
ticket scanning system. They'll have a few more chances to catch the
Ramp Entrance this season.
For those of you out of town who don't get to see the band, the pregame
now includes a new fanfare and a team tunnel. Tressel has the team
at the edge of the field, waiting for the cue from the band. After
the cheerleaders lead the team through the band tunnel to the cheers
of thousands, a respectful pause occurs for the flag raising and the
Star Spangled Banner.
The band is settling in to class work now and preparing for the homecoming
parade on October 17th.
The band will be in concert in a few weeks
Columbus - 3 PM Sunday, November 1, at Veteran's Memorial Auditorium
Pre-sale tickets $15 & $13. $20 at the door
Groups of 15 or more $8; $1 off for students
Dayton - 7:30 PM Monday, November 2, at the Schuster Center -
Toledo - 7:30 PM Friday, November 21, 2003 Stranahan Theater
Tickets are $22. Call 419-381-8851
Here are some answers to your questions:
Question: We out of staters rarely get to see the band perform
and, of course, the TV networks only give the band brief appearance
time during the games. I have most of the OSU Marching Band tapes
and CDs. But I am wondering, is there a DVD available of your performances?
If not, has there ever been any thought given to producing one?
Answer: There have been videos released of the band but no
DVD yet. The stores are sold out of the videos that have been produced,
and there are only a finite number of them sold due to copyright and
licensing costs. The alumni band sells merchandise to band alumni
and Script Ohio Club members and there are vintage videos going back
to the 1920s. See www.tbdbitl.com For your CD collection, the new
"Road to the National Championship" CD that just came out
this year features live audio from Tempe. Also, see this link on how
to contact ABC about seeing bands more on TV.
Question: Has TBDBITL ever done Script Ohio at an away non-bowl
Answer: This is a tradition that has been going on for many
years. The band performs a double Script Ohio at most away games whether
it be at That School Up North, or a pro game. Most gridiron performances
outside of Ohio Stadium include Script Ohio.
Question: I wanted to know what time The Best Damn Band In
The Land takes the field to perform Script Ohio.
Answer: The Ramp Entrance starts pregame, and this drill
has been in place since 1928. The Tressel era now includes singing
Carmen Ohio at the end of the game. The band pre-game show includes
the playing of the visiting team's fight song and our National Anthem.
There is no set time that Script Ohio is performed. When the alumni
band is in town,the Quad Script Ohio is performed at halftime. In
recent years, during homecoming weekend, a single Script Ohio is performed
after the game to the East side. Script Ohio is usually not performed
at every home game. This band is innovative and does many interesting
field shows which incorporate a variety of musical styles.
Question: Could you do a "Where are they now?"
piece on Dr. Paul Droste of Fairview Park, OH? What were the years
he spent with The Best Damn Band In The Land? Please tell us what
he's been up to since he left the Band.
Answer: Dr. Paul Droste was a student member of the band
from 1954-1957, a graduate assistant director in 1961, Assistant Director
from 1966-1968 and Director from 1970-1983. Droste is a native of
Fairview Park, Ohio. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Education degree
from OSU, a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music,
and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Euphonium Performance from
the University of Arizona.
His teaching experience in instrumental music covers all levels
from beginners to university graduate students. He directed bands
and orchestras in the public schools. Droste joined the faculty of
The OSU School of Music in 1966 and retired as Professor Emeritus
in 1992. He served as director of The OSU Marching Band for 14 seasons.
One of Droste's first moves as Director was to increase the size of
the band, from 120 pieces to 192 over a span of five years (1972-1976).
The Sousaphone section was doubled, percussion section expanded to
include pitched duo-toms (later to become trio-toms, now quad-toms),
and additional rows of trumpets, flugelhorns, alto horns, and tromboniums
were added. Droste again changed the band's instrumentation in the
early 1980's by replacing tromboniums with slide trombones, which
had been absent from the band since 1938.
Droste pushed the edge of the band's traditional 'military' nature,
coming up with several new ideas. These included a spoof show on other
Big Ten bands, and a take-off on Hollywood movies with the infamous
"SEX" formation, which kept growing bigger and bigger until
it covered the entire field (quite risqué for 1971 in Ohio
Also, because of Title IX of the 1972 Federal Education Amendments
(which prohibits gender-based discrimination), women were finally
permitted to try out for the OSUMB in 1973. Following tryout week,
five women were selected to be members of the 1973 band.
Droste remained on the School of Music Faculty until the early 1990s.
He still assists with music auditions during the OSUMB's tryout week,
and is a liaison between the band and the TBDBITL Alumni Club. Droste
was awarded the Script Ohio Award by the TBDBITL Alumni Club in 1982,
it's highest award given for "Meritorious Service to the Ohio
State University Marching Band."
Droste is the founder and director of the Brass Band of Columbus,
a British-style brass band formed in 1984. The Brass Band of Columbus
has won several First Place Awards in the North American Brass Band
Association Championships. He has served two terms as president of
the NABBA. Dr. Droste is a Brass Band Clinician and is responsible
for starting several new brass bands throughout the United States.
Droste was the first American to adjudicate at the annual contest
of the New Zealand Brass Band Association. He received a research
leave-of-absence from Ohio State to study brass bands and euphonium
performance in England in the spring of 1984. He has recorded two
albums of euphonium solos. In 1989, Droste was elected to membership
in The American Bandmasters Association. He has received awards from
the Salvation Army and several local music organizations.
He continues an active career as a private brass teacher, euphonium
soloist and clinician, and brass band conductor and clinician. As
the Education Director of Colonial Music, he recruits beginning students
for school band programs.
Go Bucks! -- Hetuck
Midseason? Time to go to class...
The freshman in the band are bound to get a shock - they've had
a month of college football already without taking a class. The two-a-day
practices will end this week and the marching band will be rehearsing
from 4-6 PM, Monday through Friday, for most of the rest of the fall.
The new field has an overlook from the Tower sidewalks that make a
nice viewing/listening area for fans. Fridays are 'Gray Days' and
the band goes through their show on the field so it's a good time
to bring the kids down and you can get up close and personal.
The Bowling Green Falcon band visited OSU last weekend and put on
a latin show at halftime and combined with OSU for a variety of music
at postgame. OSU showcased the music of John Williams and the crowd
liked the launch of an X-wing fighter. After the game, both bands
filled the 'Shoe with America under the direction of Carol Hayward,
the new Falcon conductor.
Kudos to the OSU band staff for performing the show to the full
East side - versus the half empty West side. Makes sense though doesn't
it? Even if the West side were full, the Easties still outnumber the
West in number of fans. And the fans who only get to come to a few
games usually sit on the East side.
To answer some of your questions:
Question: The band used to disband and play in certain sections
of the stadium. Last week I sat in the South stands and didn't see
them perform there. Have they stopped this ritual??
Answer: You are referring to the Cheer groups. They are still
doing it, but they don't go around the stadium until third quarter.
In the mid 1940s this tradition began with four trumpet players. It
has since taken on a variety of forms. The trumpets still go around
the 'Shoe, there is a percussion group that is quite popular, four
Sousaphones meander about and they are known as the TUBAFOUR. Baritone
cheers and Trombone cheers can be heard as well. Stadium Brass was
started in the 1980s and it is a brass quintet group. Perhaps they
don't frequent South Stands since the entire band is in that section.
They seem to favor popping in and out of the portals along the East
side. They hopefully will become more adventuresome as the season
goes on and play to the upper rows of C deck on the East side (there
are 45 rows and they usually only play to the bottom 12), D Deck on
the West side (a long way up) and even in the club level of A deck.
In the past, if the game was close the Director would dispatch a 50
piece pep band to the opposite endzone to keep the crowd pumped up.
Question: I would like to see the band perform more other
than before the game, and halftime. I would like to see them be a
bigger part of the actual game to get fans fired up. Why can't we
tape the skull session and show parts of it on the instant replay
board to get fans fired up??
Answer: A good suggestion. The modern Athletic Department
Marketing arm "coordinates" the video board, band, cheerleaders,
visiting band, and game atmosphere. They are growing and incorporating
all of the aspects of gameday. The fans have been writing letters
similar to your thoughts to let the powers that be know that this
is a college game and not some Pro sporting venue. Hopefully the traditions
of the band playing during big times of the game and spontaneously
getting the crowd revved up will win out over the canned videos. Currently,
the band plays the OSU Fight song upwards of 90 times per game. The
TV timeouts offer more playing opportunities, if the video board isn't
squawking. You might want to send this suggestion to the band or the
athletic department. (Remember, this is the O-Zone).
Question: I have wanted to know the answer to this one for
a looonnng time: what does the percussion section do to know when
to break off the ramp-entrance cadence and go into the lead-in for
Buckeye Battle Cry? They know, of course, how many reps it takes to
get the entire band into the block formation, but how do they keep
track of the number of reps? Does one of the squad leaders shout out
the number as each rep is completed...or what???
Answer: The percussion section and the band work together
to get the entire band out on the field. When the last two rows in
the band are finishing their marching into position a signal is given
to the percussion section. The entire band is instructed to be alert
for this signal. The remainder of the cadence is played and the Buckeye
Battle Cry begins. There is no counting being done by the percussion,
they are waiting for the trumpets.
Question: After watching the band members milling around
near the ramp prior to entry, it always amazes me how they get lined
up for entry (you would think it would be quite easy for at least
ONE member to line up behind the wrong person...yet that never seems
to happen). How do they get organized for entry?
Answer: Let's look at the sequence of events. The band lines
up outside of St. John Arena. The Drum Major calls them to attention
and signals the drums to start the cadences. They march over to the
rotunda and mark time until the fast cadences begin. Then they charge
the ramp and go to their positions on or near the ramp. A Sousaphone
player plays "I Wanna Go Back" as the band sings. After
this, each row will get their game faces on and do their own cheer.
The percussion are in position and once they begin to go down to the
field, the call is passed back through the band "Drums are out!"
The Drum Major stands in the middle of the ramp and each band member
pats the Drum Major on the shoulder as they pass by. Once the verse
to Buckeye Battle Cry begins, the 192 member block executes the slow
step as the Drum Major struts through the band and does the back bend.
Upon reaching the chorus to Buckeye the Drum Major leads the band
down the field and throws the baton over the South goalpost.
Question: I am curious as to where I might find the lyrics
to all of the OSUMB's songs.
Answer: See http://ohiostatebuckeyes.ocsn.com/trads/osu-trads-stories.html
What about the flashing in the band?
Hetuck will try to answer some of the questions you have been sending
in via email. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Q: Do you know what Browns game the band will be playing at this
A: The OSU Band won't be going to a Browns game this year.
They played at the Bengals/Broncos game in Cincinnati on September
7 and they have been alternating with Cincy and Cleveland each year
so you can expect them next season.
Q: What does the Band say before each halftime show when
the Drum Major's arms are pumping?
A: The band shouts in unison: "Pick Up Your Feet, Turn
Your Corners Square, and Drive, Drive, Drive!" If you watch closely,
the OSU style is a high knee lift and toe point marching step. Turns
are accentuated by a horn flash and are very precise.
Q: Is there a pre-determined time during the game when the band
will play Hang On Sloopy?
A: Yes. Sloopy is always played at the third quarter break.
It is a rally song during other times of the game.
Q: What makes the drumsticks flash? This fan noticed the snare
drums in the stands sparkling in unison during the whole game.
A: The wood sticks are covered in chrome adhesive sheets.
Put on some white gloves and it has to be slippery. Combine that with
a hot day and a dark wool uniform and sweat is bound to be a factor.
Nothing's easy in this band....
Q: What away games will the band be going to in 2003?
A: The Game in Ann Arbor is the only away game in 2003.
The remaining 2003 band schedule is:
Sep 20 - Bowling Green
Sep 27 - Northwestern
Oct 17 - Homecoming Parade, OSU Campus 6 PM
Oct 18 - Iowa
Oct 31 - Youth Concert at 10 AM in Columbus at Vets
Nov 2 - Annual Columbus Concert at 3 PM at Vets
Nov 3 - Dayton Concert at 7:30 at Schuster Center
Nov 8 - Michigan State
Nov 15 - Purdue
Nov 22 - Toledo Concert at Stranahan Theater
Nov 23 - That School Up North
and a Bowl game after the holidays.
If you have more questions, keep them coming to email@example.com
Last week's classical show certainly reminded us of the strong musical
core of the band. The annual Columbus Symphony Concerts at Picnic
With the Pops at Chemical Abstracts lawn showcase the stylings and
depth of the repertoire of the OSU band.
Only about 20 percent of the students are music majors so the other
80 percent are pretty doggone skilled as a former coach would say.
Memorizing Sloopy or your favorite pop tune is fun, and memorizing
the William Tell Overture and the Pines of Rome are good tests of
the noggin' indeed. But the Sabre Dance as well, I'm sure the bobblehead
commercials were enough to ingrain that ditty then the musicians spent
time getting it under their fingers so they can concentrate on the
field drills handed down by Woods and Waters.
Watch for the Falcon Marching Band to take the field this week.
Let's all extend our friends from Bowling Green a classy welcome.
The new practice field and Band Center are being talked about around
the country, especially since Jon Woods held the first-ever National
Marching meeting here in the Spring. The other band directors from
across the nation got to see what we have, and they in turn are going
to lobby their administrations for similar facilities. The directors
have been taking tours of the OSU facility and have had other interested
donors checking it out too. Not wanting their school to be any less
equipped than OSU, schools like Florida, Michigan State and some PAC
10 institutions are making plans for Band Centers. OSUMB is used to
leading the country on the field, and now they are leading in the
classroom, rehearsal hall, and practice field. It is commendable how
the Buckeye Boosters have assisted Ohio State with the expansion of
the Woody Hayes facility. Kudos to the Band supporters out there who
have kept the OSU Marching Band at the top for years to come!
The OSU Band is getting ready for a classical show this week, and
they've been going full throttle with two practices a day (since classes
haven't started yet) on the new Practice Field south of the stadium.
Watch for more Script Ohios in the coming weeks, as the fans have
contacted the band when this formation is left out of game day. There
will undoubtedly be new twists this season - the 125th season - as
we witness only the second female Drum Major in OSU history - Kathryn
Mitchell - and welcome visiting bands from Bowling Green, Michigan
State and this week's pep band group from NCSU, directed by former
OSUMB Sousaphone player, Grad Asst and Asst Director Jack Fuller.
OSUMB's next road trip is to Defiance and then a concert in Dayton
and a trip to that school up north.
This week the OSUMB will begin it's 125th season. (football began
at OSU 115 years ago). The halftime show will feature OSU traditions
and we'll welcome the new band to the horseshoe.
The new season is here for the 2003 OSU Marching Band. Last Sunday,
tryouts began for the new band and Wednesday night the new members
were chosen by the band staff.
This year was more competitive than most years, there were 60 Sousaphone
players trying out for 24 spots, 75 Snare drummers trying out for
12 Snare Drum positions, and the number of candidates was high in
all of the other sections as well. So when you see the band this weekend,
they will be ready to go after two days of rehearsals, all day Thursday
and all day Friday. They are learning pre-game, halftime and postgame
shows for the OSU/San Diego State game, as well as putting together
a separate pregame and halftime show for the Cincinnati Bengals/ Denver
Broncos game on Sunday.
The OSUMB will board the bus for the trip to the Queen City and Paul
Brown Stadium on Sunday. Congratulations to the new members of The
Best Damn Band In The Land!
Last weekend was absolutely fantastic to see the largest alumni
band turnout ever (660 marching) and with the OSU Marching Band there
were 850 bandmembers on the field - certainly one of the largest all
brass and percussion bands in the world. The halftime tribute to our
men and women in military reminds us that "We'll Never Forget"
the heroes of the past and present. Of course, if you weren't one
of the 105,000 in Ohio Stadium, you didn't see any of the band show.
If you would like to see more marching bands at halftime on TV,
contact ABC TV at this link:
Washington Band Director Dr. Brad McDavid had to wear a purple Husky
shirt when he dotted the 'i' at halftime. Brad, being a former OSUMB
Sousaphone player and Graduate Assistant Director, wore his UW Band
Director's white polo shirt and khaki pants for the first half while
he conducted the Husky Pep Band and then he changed into his Scarlet
TBDBITL beret and gray pants with his Husky purple shirt for halftime.
Brad's band sounded full and spirited the entire game and applauded
their director as he was able to return to his musical roots and take
part in the Incomparable Script Ohio.
This Big Ten - Pac Ten comraderie is fostered by the great sportmanship
of both band programs. It's good for college sports and it's good
This week the OSU Marching Band is returning for one more trip down
the field. Yes, you will see the OSU Alumni band coming back for their
yearly jaunt down memory lane. But the student contingent of the OSUMB
will be trying to get the cobwebs out of their horns as well. Those
in the white cross belts are volunteers from the 2002 band grabbing
the glory of Ohio Stadium one more time. This has been a tradition
with the band for many years, to have the returning band on the field
for the first game. Then next week it's the grueling tryouts and the
new 2003 OSUMB will be chosen.
The alumni are turning out in record numbers. Over 650 will be on
the field, and combine that with the 225 piece student band and you
will have nearly a 900 piece brass and percussion group on the field.
They cut off the alumni marching registration at Noon on Saturday,
before they rehearse for a few hours to perfect the show that will
be under the lights for the first time.
900 musicians at a football game enough? Nah, let's not forget the
University of Washington Husky Band that is coming. Well, not their
entire 240 piece marching squad, but a pep band nonetheless. The director
of the Washington Band won't spend all of his time wearing Purple,
though. Dr. Brad McDavid began his college band career at Ohio State,
as a Sousaphone player from 1980-1984. He won the high honor of Most
Inspirational Bandsman at OSU in 1983 and 1984, the only time that
award has been won twice by the same person. This is a rare honor
indeed, as the award is voted upon by the OSUMB students.
Any Paul Harvey fans out there? Here is the rest of the story.
Brad applied to be in the Graduate program at Ohio State but there
wasn't an opening in the early 1990s when he was available. So he
became a Graduate Assistant Director at Purdue University. Purdue
Band Director Dr. David Leppla was trained at Ohio State in the 1980s
before he became the Purdue Marching Band Director in 1989, a position
that he still holds. Look for Dave on the field as well - he is marching
with the OSU Alumni for the first time. He will be playing baritone
and his brother Gary and nephew Dominic are also in the show this
week (Dominic is in the OSUMB).
After Brad worked with Dave at Purdue, he came to Ohio State and
was a Graduate Assistant Director with the OSUMB in the 1990s. Check
out the "i" dotter on the West side (pressbox) this week.
Mr. Lee Ensminger from Galena was Brad McDavid's High School Band
Director in Centerburg, Ohio. And, watch for Brad to be in the OSU
Alumni Band uniform as he marches with his Sousaphone and struts out
dot the "i" on the East side Script Ohio at halftime this
week. It is a credit to the Ohio State Band program that there are
numerous alumni at Bands around the country, and when scheduling allows
(Purdue doesn't have a game this week, Washington is coming to town)
they can return to Buckeyeland and join the hundreds of alumni of
The Best Damn Band In The Land for one more Script Ohio.
Ballet, Golf, Indy 500, Symphony - what an OSU Marching Band member
does in the off season
Time to get pumped up for football season.
With less than 75 days to go until the opener conditioning is nearing
it's peak. For those of you who may not know, every marcher in the
OSU Band is required to try out every year. So, all of those upperclass
musicians with a Fiesta Bowl under their belt need to stop the DVD
replay of the game and start the endurance training or the younger
OSUMB candidates will beat them out, pure and simple.
Yes, it is possible to be in The Best Damn Band In The Land one year
and then be a member of the Best Damn Fans in the land the next year
as your friends march by. The candidates for the 2003 OSUMB are voluntarily
working out on Tuesdays and Thursdays at OSU from now until the opener
on August 30th.
A lot has changed over the past few months with the OSUMB, but even
more has remained the same. During Winter Quarter, OSUMB performed
with the OSU Department of Dance and Ballet Met for a show in Mershon
Auditoriem. In mid March "Ballet in Scarlet and Gray" featured
world premiers and Gershwin strains among glimpes of the OSU Jazz
Ensemble (world class) and the OSU Wind Symphony which lead up to
Susan Hadley's Across the Field. Barbara Zuck in the The Columbus
Dispatch said, "Hadley's ballet stirs OSU traditions, ballet
traditions and football traditions into an all-American montage. The
movement vocabulary aims for the recognizable and smartly plays to
its audience without being patronizing. If it goes over the top in
exploiting these sources, it knows it is playing in a much bigger
arena than your average ballet, and that it has to scream louder to
In the Spring, "the farm team" (Ahem) The OSU Spring Athletic
Band, marched at the Memorial Tournament (Jack lets them on the 18th
Fairway), the Indianapolis 500 (Gentlemen, start your Sousaphones),
and other events. That's all exciting stuff, yet the real buzz over
at the Steinbrenner Band Center is the new rubber practice field situated
South of The Shoe.
The Band will have a large surface that has been built for marching.
Not like in the past where they have used parking lots and tennis
courts - both with potholes and cracks. It should lessen the number
of ankle injuries and knee operations so these kids can finally look
for pro careers without the looming threat of shin splints or the
increasing damage of a shoe lodging in the pesky pothole. New challenges
such as turf toe can not be ruled out though. Maybe Kijana Carter
should be consulted.
Also in the Spring OSUMB held Drum Major tryouts. The new Drum Major
for the 2003 OSUMB is Kathryn Mitchell from Columbus. She is only
the second woman to lead the OSUMB in its 125 year history.
Next up for you band fans out there is the chance to listen to the
Columbus Symphony Orchestra. They will be warming up the crowd for
the highly anticipated OSUMB entrance to the Picnic With the Pops
Finale. It is a bandmember's dream to march in front of 20,000 people
in the August steam heat while wearing the wool uniform. Alas, it
is even better to do that while celebrating a National Championship!
Tickets for the August 1st and 2nd event are available at
Enjoy the summer Buckeye fans!
Watch out Professor - the band is watching!
Before the electric guitar and Joplin's ragtime piano popular music
championed march music in the late 1800s.
One of the most famous instruments in the Buckeye Band is the i dotter's
weapon of choice. In doubt about that? Just ask any trumpet player
who has to go up against the big horn in a close manuever or cross-over.
It's bell flattening time! These trophies of the gridiron weigh in
at 40 pounds and provide that gorgeous foundation of low notes.
Hardly anyone noticed the genius of a youngster named J.P. as he
worked with manufacturers to design the large upward directed marching
tuba bell that is so popular in today's large parades. Covered by
cloth handed out by corporations to spell out words like "MACY'S
THANKSGIVING DAY" and such, this focus of the back of the band
is sought after by many a seventh grader now that the Buckeyes are
Future i dotters are in basements across the country tooting horns
and lifting weights (have you seen a seventh grader under one of those
40 pound octopuses?) to build the solid shoulders and backs that will
not waiver under a storm (or crossover with a trumpet player). But
what led up to the i dot instrument's prominence in today's society?
For many years there were claims and counter claims about who invented
the instrument that is used to dot the i. The conventional wisdom
has held that the instrument was invented by the C.G. Conn company.
Indeed, Conn instruments were in use by the bands by 1898. The first
brass, upright bell, bass instrument was built by the J.W. Pepper
Company of Philadelphia, in 1893.
John Phillip Sousa organized his first marching band in 1892. He
was successful with his compositions of marches from 1888 through
the early 1900s. In an interview with Sousa in The Christian Science
Monitor of May 30, 1922, he said:
"...the Sousaphone received its name through a suggestion made
by me to J.W. Pepper, the instrument manufacturer of Philadelphia,
full 30 odd years ago. At that time, the United States Marine Band
of Washington, D.C., of which I was conductor, used a BBb bass tuba
of circular form known as a "Helicon".
It was all right enough for street-parade work, but its tone was
apt to shoot ahead too prominently and explosively to suit me for
concert performances, so I spoke to Mr. Pepper relative to constructing
a bass instrument in which the bell would turn upwards and be adjustable
for concert purposes. He built one and, greatful to me for the suggestion,
called it a Sousaphone. It was immediately taken up by other instrument
makers, and is today manufactured in its greatest degree of perfection
by the C.G. Conn Company..."
The original instrument is still at J.W. Pepper's and it is in remarkably
good condition. It has much elaborate engraving over much of the body
and has a freehand engraving of a portrait of Mr. Sousa on the bell.
It plays remarkably well.
One of the early members of the Buckeye Band was Edward Orton, Jr.,
son of OSU President Edward Orton, Sr. He was also one of the first
tuba players at Ohio State. The first public performance of the band
was at a reception at President Orton's home following graduation
for the Class of 1879.
The roster of the first band was G.D. Makepeace (Leader and cornet),
H. Hyatt (cornet), J.A. McDowell (1st cornet), W.F. Whitten (2nd cornet),
C.V. Pleukharp (alto), B.A. Eisenlohr (alto), E.C. Downerd (alto),
C.R. Vanderberg (tenor sax), W.D. Ray (tenor sax), I.N. Keyser (baritone),
G.W. Knopf (trombone), E. Orton, Jr. (tuba), C.E. Higbee (piccolo),
J.N. Bradford (tenor drum), F. Miller (bass drum).
A favorite prank of the band in the 1880s was to watch pedestrians
from the windows of the old North Dorm. They watched for a dignified
professor to walk across campus and then they would set up a horn
accompaniment to the exact rhythm of his footsteps. There was no escape.
As the victim sped up or slowed down, so did the music. The more discomforted
the victim, the happier were his invisible tormentors!
2003 is a special year for the State of Ohio.
The state is 200 years old. The Buckeye Football program
has been around for 115 years. The Ohio State Marching Buckeyes have
been around for 125 years. Over the next few weeks we'll look back
on 125 years of The Best Damn Band In The Land. (Maybe after that
we'll look back at the 115 years of The Best Damn Team In The Land
- nah, that's Jack Park's job)
In 1878 a 12-piece fife and drum corps was organized.
Not many schools had bands back then
In 1879 a 16-piece band performed for the commencement.
Do you want to know what happened year by year?
We skip ahead from 1880 to 1896, we'll come back later
if we have time. Students such as Edward Orton, Jr. and Charles Makepeace
led the band during it's early days.
In 1896 Gustav Bruder, a professional musician with
military band experience, was hired to lead the band. Under Bruder,
the band grew in size and began playing and marching for all military
and athletic events at the university.
Gustav Bruder was accepted into the U.S. Army at the
age of 12 and was a member of many distinguished performing ensembles
and was offered a cornet position with John Philip Sousa in the U.S.
Marine Band. The OSU Military Department hired Bruder in 1896 and
he was immediately faced with the task of organizing a small group
of undisciplined bandsmen.
The group played its first football game at Ohio Field
in 1899 and traveled later that same season to That State Up North
to march in six inches of snow. (Reminds me of Ohio Stadium during
the Celebration of Champions in January 2003).
In 1906 Fred Cornell wrote the words to Carmen Ohio
and in 1915 William Dougherty wrote Across The Field. In 1918 Frank
Crumit wrote Buckeye Battle Cry.
Bruder built up the size of the band to 100 pieces by
The 1920 band had its first drum major, eDWIN "Tubby"
Essington. Essington, the first strutting drum major, knew he had
to use well defined movements of his body so the throngs of fans at
Ohio Field could see him. Tubby's uniform is in the display case in
the lobby of the Joan Zieg Steinbrenner Band Center at Ohio Stadium.
Bruder made significant contributions to the band, including
the establishment of tryouts, the introduction of spats and plumes
to the uniforms (1922-23), the first formation used by the band (1921),
floating formations (1924), and the first performance in Ohio Stadium
(1922). The famous "Traditional Ramp Entrance" started in
1928, when OSU beat the school up north 19-7 in Columbus, and was
Bruder's last season as director.
Winter Quarter at Ohio State bids goodbye to the OSU Marching Band.
The statement used to be "the OSUMB only exists during Autumn
Quarter." Now, with the extended football season, the OSUMB has
extended it's existence to be "the OSUMB exists for the annual
Picnic With The Pops concert with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra
(late July/early August), and starts in full time before the first
football game in August, and goes through the early January bowl season."
Needless to say, the OSUMB enjoyed a trip and game of a lifetime
in Tempe and their stay at the Fiesta Inn. There is perhaps no better
football/band relationship anywhere than that at Ohio State. Upon
winning the first OSU National Championship in football since 1968,
the first thing spoken is:
"I tell you what, we are so proud of these young men,"
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said,
"We've always had The Best Damn Band In The Land, now we have
The Best Damn Team In The Land!"
The OSUMB returned from Tempe last weekend and during Winter Quarter
the Steinbrenner Band Center at Ohio Stadium is now home to the OSU
Athletic Bands. These bands offer students the opportunity to perform
both in concert and at athletic events, including men's and women's
basketball, hockey, volleyball, and wrestling. A large quantity of
pop music is performed. Instrumentation includes brass, woodwinds,
percussion and electronic instruments and placement is determined
by audition. Selected band members participate in representing almost
every college in the university.
Due to the large number of students who want to participate in the
Athletic Band program, there are three bands - Scarlet, Gray, and
Buckeye. These groups alternate their performances at events during
Winter Quarter. This band had it's beginnings in the OSU Military
Band and had ties to the ROTC program.
* For those of you not conversant in native American language,
"Hetuck" translates to "Buckeye."