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Marching Band performs songs of Buckeye pride, viral hits

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The audience claps to the beat, a surge of Buckeye pride filling the Franklin County Veterans Memorial auditorium as “Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse,” composed by Robert Planquette, begins to play.

In any normal symphonic concert setting, this type of behavior would be ludicrous.

However, the audience became part of the performance like they would during an Ohio State football game as the Ohio State University Marching Band performed Sunday as part of its concert week.

During the song, which is the theme for Script Ohio, the band retained a tradition more often seen on the field. A sousaphone player marched behind a drum major from stage right, dotting his own “i” in front of his fellow musicians.

As the song ended, the band members pulled off their hats so the audience could see that the front row of hats spelled out “GO BUCKS M*CHIGAN SUX” in white tape.

Opting for a space smaller than Ohio Stadium with about 4 percent of the stadium’s seating capacity, the band played a variety of songs from different genres, spanning from OSU-themed music to pop culture hits. Included in the concert’s program were the shows that have been turned into viral hits on YouTube, such as the band’s Michael Jackson tribute performance, which received more than 8.7 million views on OSUBuckeyeTV’s channel as of Monday, and its “Hollywood Blockbusters” performance, which received more than 12.7 million views osumbvideo’s channel as of Monday.

In addition to the 43 selected songs for the program, the concert featured different instrument sections from the band, such as the Trumpet Cheers, Trombone Cheers, Baritone Cheers, Stadium Brass, TubaFour and Percussion Cheers, which included the theme from Doctor Who, the Can-Can and the chicken dance, accompanied by dancing members of the band.

“So many talents,” Jon Waters, the director of OSU Marching and Athletic bands, said as he and the audience laughed in response to the band’s chicken dance performance. “You should be proud.”

Carole Holland from Pickerington said one of her favorite parts of the performance was hearing the different sections, as well as the band’s performance of the “1812 Overture,” composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

“It was unbelievable,” Holland said of the performance. “It’s one of my favorite songs.”

Holland said she and her husband, Bernard Holland, who is an OSU alumnus, attended the performance because it’s nice to hear the band play.

“We used to go to the games,” Bernard Holland said. “But it’s nice to have the opportunity to come here and hear them play.”

The band also performed with the OSU Gospel Voices for “Man in the Mirror” by Jackson, while the “Organ Symphony (Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op.78),” composed by Camille Saint-Saëns, and “Pines of the Appian Way,” composed by Ottorino Respighi were played accompanied by the Brass Band of Columbus, a brass and percussion-only band whose members include active or retired music educators and other professionals.

Toward the end of the performance, Waters acknowledged the many members who aid in the band’s accomplishments, including staff, students and the arrangers of the music.

Waters said the band survives by the voices of the arrangers.

“Don’t tell this to Michigan,” Waters said as the audience laughed in response.

Waters said it is not himself, but the members who make the band prolific.

“You see the pride in their eyes,” Waters said. “You see how they carry themselves. You see it in their academics, and you see it on the field. They are where the rubber meets the road.”

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