Fans who attended the Ohio State spring football game last weekend were probably not surprised to see a band in attendance, after all, what OSU football game would be complete without a band to play Fight The Team and Hang On Sloopy? However as the game went on, there were many fans who were probably surprised and confused by some of the things that the saw from the band. Was the band wearing red polo shirt and black baseball hats, what happened did TBDBITL get new uniforms? And where was the traditional ramp entrance and what about Script Ohio? Wait, are those woodwinds in the band? The explanation for these questions is tied to the fact that the band at the spring football game wasn’t the Ohio State Marching Band which Buckeye fans are used to seeing in Ohio Stadium in the fall. Rather, it was the Ohio State Athletic Band, the other band on campus that performs at OSU sporting events over the course of the year.
Unlike the marching band which is all brass and percussion and limited to 225 members who must tryout, the athletic band also includes woodwinds and is a non-audition group; in recent years the band that performs at men’s basketball games has required an audition. The lack of audition does not mean that quality is not important to the athletic band; members are very talented and are expected to perform at high levels. The band rehearses twice a week for two hours at a time each semester as well as performing at games most every weekend, leading to a very busy schedule.