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Marching band director finalist set to visit campus this week

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The OSU Marching Band plays at a football game against Buffalo. Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editor

The OSU Marching Band plays at a football game against Buffalo.
Credit: Ritika Shah / Lantern TV news director

A finalist for the Ohio State Marching Band director position will visit campus today and Thursday.

Corey Spurlin, associate director of bands, marching band director and associate professor of music at Auburn University, is set to meet with members of the OSU spring athletic band, as well as the marching band, according to an email sent to band members from Scott Jones, associate director of university bands. That email was obtained by The Lantern on Wednesday.

The email said Spurlin will lead the athletic band’s rehearsal Wednesday, followed by a question and answer period with athletic band members.

Band members’ feedback will then be collected electronically.

Spurlin will also meet with members of the 2014 OSU Marching Band during his visit.

The email said Spurlin’s visit is the “first of two campus visits for finalists.”

OSU originally said it expected the search process for a new director to wrap up by mid-February. Time constraints slowed the selection process last semester, OSU spokesman Chris Davey said in February.

The band’s previous director, Jonathan Waters, was fired after an OSU investigation found the band contained a sexualized culture.



  1. So the best they can up with as a candidate for Director of the best marching band in America is an associate director of a mediocre SEC band? This is simply pathetic. Exactly the opposite of moving from excellence to eminence.

  2. What is a R.A.T, Dr. Spurlin? I’ve learned that THIS Ohio State administration believes that referring to someone as a rookie is degrading. Why are male R.A.Ts paired with female R.A.T leaders and female R.A.T.s paired with male R.A.T. leaders? Are there sexual undertones there? We won’t stand for that here at THE Ohio State University.

    First year degradation and a sexualize culture can get you fired here at Ohio State. Based on the standards here at Ohio State, would you have been fired from your old job? Hmmmmm. . . .things to think about.

  3. I wish this were an April Fools joke. We know a candidate applied for the job who is FAR better qualified.

  4. BuckeyeParent,

    SEC bands are not mediocre. They’re far from it. Their musicianship is spectacular and their drills are very clean. Their drills and music just typically are not as entertaining to a football crowd as the OSUMB shows are. Auburn’s marching band is a very respectable ensemble that has great sound and precision. I’m excited that he’s coming to campus.

  5. Zach, no particular disrespect to Auburn’s band, but if you had the top physics department in the country, one that attracted enormous attention (not to mention huge amounts of money) to your university, you would expect that candidates for its head would be world-class physicists, not associate professors who have never led a major unit. The fact that OSU cannot attract better candidates than this indicates that the directors of major band programs are unwilling to put their hats in the ring, either because they are wary of how OSU treats TBDBITL’s directors, or because of the risk of the courts nullifying their appointment. For OSU to insist on rushing ahead is simply more of the Drake “moving forward” bull-headed “we are always right” crassness.

  6. BuckeyeParent, I know everyone at the school thinks that OSU’s band is some gift to Earth, but outside OSU, no one really thinks that. Making stick figures move isn’t that cool, especially when it’s sloppy and the playing isn’t executed well either. OSU would be lucky to have Dr. Spurlin, but I sure hope he doesn’t leave the AUMB for OSU. We’d be glad to keep him and continue to laugh at OSU thinking they’re high and mighty for stick figure art.

  7. Dear “Auburn Student”, apparently your director doesn’t share your opinion and the opinion of “everyone else” (whoever that is), otherwise he wouldn’t be on campus interviewing for the job. #hatersgonnahate

  8. Correction for BuckeyeParent, Dr. Spurlin is currently the head marching band director at Auburn and the associate director of bands as a whole. He is not the associate director of the marching band there. Meaning he is currently leading a major marching band program

  9. Stay Classy OSU

    This whole SEC – B1G band thing is stupid. Every band is different and has its ups and downs. OSU can’t march straight lines, Auburn doesn’t have a strong brass section. Look at Stanford’s band, Texas A&M band, The Oregon band- it’s like comparing apples to carrots to a raw steak. Shouldn’t have had a massive scandal if you wanted to keep your program prestige.

    The R.A.T. program is a 100% optional program for freshmen in the AUMB to get oriented from high school band to college band as well as help the transition into college in general. Has been established for years, long before Spurlin was director.

    Clearly if Dr. Spurlin gets the job, he won’t be welcome based on these comments. Looks like OSU is looking for Mozart to be their next director anyway. THE Auburn University Marching Band will gladly keep him if that’s the case.

  10. Corey Spurlin is one of the most genuine people out there. He takes the time to learn all 380 members names during band camp, and emphasizes life lessons much bigger than just putting on a show every week. Auburn’s band is comprised mostly of brass instruments, and is known for being pretty loud. Dr. Spurlin loves Auburn University and stands for everything that the Auburn Creed says. He wouldn’t of graduated from the University of Alabama and LSU and taken the job at Auburn if he didn’t. Not only is he in charge of the marching band, but he also conducts the concert band in the fall and spring, and is in charge of the basketball pep band. Which over the past couple years, the pep band has been fans favorite part about the games, not the basketball team. OSU would be lucky to have Dr. Spurlin as their director, he would make the necessary changes to get the OSUMB back to being “tbdbitl”.

  11. Auburn Student – Give us all a call when AUMB garners 20 million hits on YouTube for its halftime shows, or gets $30M of Apple’s money for an iPad commercial, or performs with the precision, complexity, and musicality of TBDBITL I guess that means that the “no one” in “no one really thinks that” just refers yo your insular little world, rather like “the SEC is so superior to the B1G at football”. How did that one work out for you this year? However, we too would all be very happy for Auburn to keep Dr. Spurlin, as we already have identified a Director for the OSUMB who is perfect for the job.

  12. Rookie Auburn Tiger

    Without the R.A.T. Program I would not have even stayed in college. The R.A.T. Program is the best part of band camp!!! We go bowling, we have three-legged races, tours, meals, bbq cookout with the Mascot, and so much more!!! It is complete fun and advising!!! An Auburn Band will get in trouble just for cussing on the field or calling someone stupid, we are a family and we don’t haze!!!

    Also Dr. Spurlin may be Associate Director of Bands, but he is the overall director of all athletic bands. This man is the type of man I want to be when I become a director! He also wrote the chapter on drill in the Marching Band Techniques Manual. OSU is so blessed to have a man like this even considering a job there!

  13. Buckeye Parent- Your YouTube shows look like garbage, and the iPad thing is in the works here, it is too unpredictable with our weather.

    Please quit trashing Corey Spurlin you do not know him. You are really making your school look like trash.

  14. Dr. Spurlin is an absolutely fantastic band director. He is tough, but is one of the best at what he does. The memories and experiences I had in the AUMB under the direction of Dr. Spurlin have been some of my favorite from my time at Auburn. If he does choose to leave Auburn for OSU, then they are very lucky. Like an earlier commenter mentioned, the lessons he instills in his band members go far beyond the band field.

  15. “Auburn student” you simply don’t know wtf you are talking about. In marching band circles OSU is known as one of the best, and often the best, college marching band in the country. That’s a fact whether you are ignorant to it or not. You guys can defend your guy all you like, but he is not Jon Waters – no one else is – and there are plenty of people around here who are going to be bitter about that. It is very hard not to envision the band not taking a step back almost regardless of who is hired, and a guy who has never led a marching band and has no experience with the OSUMB is almost certainly going to drag us back.

  16. AU says – Please, now you are just degenerating into childish name calling on the videos, based on nothing. That does not reflect well on either you or your university. We are all looking forward to the AUMB following TBDBITL’s lead in adopting the iPad, and being recognized for doing so. Nice to have OSU’s innovations acknowledged – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    No one is disparaging Dr. Spurlin. It is simply that OSU had the best Director in Jon Waters, whom it trashed for reasons that had nothing to do with the Band, and everything to do with the administration’s duplicity and incompetence. Like you, we would dearly love Dr. Spurlin to remain at AU, and Jon Waters be restored to his rightful position.

  17. I’ve never commented on news articles before, but some of the comments made about the quality of the band prompted me to do so now. I was a former band member of TBDBITL. One, I would never go out of my way to directly call another band bad. There are many different styles and many here prefer how we march. Yes, the formations weren’t perfect, but a lot of work went into making those formations as perfect as we could. Each member works very hard within the 1-2 weeks they have to learn the drill, memorize music for music checks, and finish their classwork. I have seen many bands online and in person and I have found fault in all of them. However, I had experience marching and know what to look for, where many people in the stands aren’t as picky because they’re not their to evaluate and score band. No band is perfect or 100% comparable to every other band in the nation. Most of our shows in the years I’ve been in band were picture shows which involves a lot of adjusted-step marching which can be difficult to do since the step between spots is never the same and most of the time, is down using a backward step. So, to repeat, the formations and lines were not always perfect, but each member holds themselves accountable to fix things everyday and improve. If there’s something people find wrong with our shows, then please specify so that we can address these during our summer sessions and tryouts. As for Dr. Spurlin, I don’t know anything about him other than what is listed on the Auburn website, so I can’t make any judgements until I meet him face-to-face. My only concern is that the traditions and style of the band on the field do not deviate drastically from their current form(i.e. our tryout process, challenges, marching style, instrumentation). I also hope that Dr. Hoch stays on in some fashion as he has led the band for many years and through tough times. All I ask out of this situation is that the band always strives to be a leader in tradition, innovation, and excellence. I’m sorry for the length of this post.

  18. Maybe if you wanted a “better” director-though you’ll find none better than Corey Spurlin, you shouldn’t have a program synonymous with rape culture.

  19. How many of you actually believe Auburn alumni are monitoring the Lantern?

    When was the last time you checked in on Auburn’s school newspaper?

    Dr. Spurlin’s qualifications are adequate for him to interview. You may be impressed with him, or you may not be. You may be impressed with Auburn’s Band, or you may not be. Auburn’s band is VERY different from OSUMB in style, instrumentation, organization and history.

    Everything else is just opinion.

  20. Former Auburn Band Student

    Joining marching band was the best choice I could have made coming into college, and Dr. Corey Spurlin is to thank for that. At Auburn, he built a wonderful program that made me feel like I was a part of a family. He taught me discipline, skill and allowed me the opportunity to be in an organization I was proud of. Plus, the R.A.T. program helped me feel included and was not in any way derogatory. Don’t be so quick to judge something you’ve never been a part of.

    I hate to see anyone on this page insulting another band. That’s just not what you do. You respect the work that other bands put in. On that note, I KNOW Auburn University Marching Band puts in an incredible amount of work each week to be as good as they can be. That is because of Spurlin’s incredible leadership.

    Any school would be lucky to have him. Don’t be so quick to diss him, Ohio State. You’ll be very impressed. Just wait and see.

  21. Current OSUMB member

    AU students, I’m sorry that our alumni and “fans” are acting like jerks. I hate making comments like this, but our alumni have been so vile over the last year that I just can’t let them represent shout from their soap boxes and represent us all. And while I don’t represent everyone in the OSUMB, I feel that others probably share my opinion in this matter. By the way, this is meant for the AU students as much as it is the OSU people.

    Dr. Spurlin is extremely well qualified, his students seem to love him, and his bands have been consistently good. Frankly I would LOVE to have him as a director, partially because I’m excited to bring a new and different outlook into our very old program and because I’m sick to death of hearing about this director search, but mainly because it seems like his attitude and style would fit very well with the OSUMB.

    What people here seem to forget, especially the older alums, is that change isn’t a bad thing. Just because it was one way when you were in band doesn’t mean it is the only way it should be. When Jon waters happened, everyone lost their marbles a bit trying to defend our honor and reputations, and the word “change” became synonymous with “ruin”, “hurt”, or “destroy”. That is what is causing a lot of the animosity in the comments.

    People see a new director being hired, and they assume that he/she will add color guard, woodwinds, and a giant rolling bass drum or three, none of which will ever happen. Any change will be necessary and good.

    I personally agree with you. Our shows are dirty, we are sloppy musically, and we have the potentially to be a ton better, but you, as a fellow band kid, should understand that the average Joe going to a football game doesn’t care. They see a stick dude. They see a space ship. They don’t look for spacing, guiding and keeping straight lines, or equal step size. It drives me bonkers watching these popular shows and seeing stupid, sloppy mistakes, but again I’m a perfectionist and the average Joe won’t care.

    I couldn’t care less about YouTube hits, commercials, or notoriety. Sure, I appreciate that it’s cool so many people like our shows, but that’s not why I do this 3 hours per day, 5 days per week. I love playing music and the marching band activity as a whole, and playing in front of 100k people live isn’t bad either. 😉

    Overall, I just want you and any other AU students/band members to know that I personally would be ecstatic if OSU hired Dr. Spurlin, and that not every OSU band member/ alum is as huge of a downer as these old fogies arguing with you in the comments.

    We’re actually meeting with him tonight, so I’m looking forward to getting to know him a bit better. If anything ground breaking happens, I may come back and comment again.

  22. So if Dr Spurlin is hired, is prepared for the ramifications if Jon Waters is ordered rehired by the courts? And he should think long and hard about the reception he would receive by OSU administration, BOT, and current and former band members.

  23. Former Auburn Band Student

    Thank you for your comment, Current OSUMB member. I’ve enjoyed watching your shows on Youtube. Glad your band, like ours, has fun with what we do! Wishing you the best of luck!

  24. OSU band members, alums, and fans, first off let me say that I’m honestly sorry to see your director go. He directed you guys to do things that brought a very positive light to the marching band world and as such should be appreciated. Furthermore, I’m sorry to see that long standing and much loved traditions that you all hold will probabaly by sacrificed in the name of political correctness.

    As for Dr. Spurlin, OSU’s interest in him actually makes sense. He is familiar with what it’s like to take over the directorship of a band as an “outsider” (he graduated from Bama, AU’s biggest rival) and he has experiencing ridding a program of traditions deemed “inappropriate, sophomoric, etc.” As a director he is very emphatic about professionalism and the public perception of a classy program.

    However, if you are expecting him to uphold long seeded traditions that band alums and fans hold dear I suggest making that known to his superiors. He is very keen on doing things “his” way not “insert band’s name here’s” way. He is used to facing opposition from current students when taking the hell of a program as his first band camp here was plagued by many upperclassmen defections. To say that he is a “loved” director is a divisive statement. In my assessment, anyone who marched for him post 2010 seems to worship the ground on which he walks. Those of us who marched for him prior to that time see him as a slightly tyrannical man who worked his but off for the Auburn band to look and sound great, not for the better of Auburn, but for the promotion of himself.

  25. Current OSUMB Member

    CindyLouWho, the only people who would take issue with his hiring would be the alumni. Every current member of the OSUMB will welcome him, or whoever is hired, with open arms. Fighting him at every turn will do nothing but make our lives harder, and why would we show such animosity toward a guy who is simply applying for a job? He didn’t have anything to do with anything that led to the position opening up.

    With the year we just had, we’re all ready to get back to normal, and that means hiring someone to fill the head director position and getting to work on improving our performances and having fun, which I think most of you have forgotten is the reason we do this.

    Please, please stop making our lives difficult by spewing so much hate toward everyone who isn’t Jon Waters, and let us get on with our lives.

  26. To any Auburn marching band member, alumnus, or fan, please disregard anything this so called “BuckeyeParent” has to say. Their opinion is invalid and misinformed and does not reflect the views of reasonable thinking human beings. Being an alumnus of The Ohio State University Marching Band, I am still disappointed in the way things were handled. However, knowing several members of the AUMB and watching/hearing that organization, I am confident that the leader of that band is a highly qualified candidate for the new directorship.

  27. damn it…I have shamed myself for spelling TBDBITL wrong.

  28. crud. I have brought shame upon my family for spelling TBDBITL wrong.

  29. Current AUMB member x2

    I agree with what AUMBAlum says, and I have marched with him as my director for the last three years. He is great at what he does, however he does seem overbearing in ways. I appreciate what people are saying against BuckeyeParent is saying because it pains me to see people who have no affiliation with the ACTUAL band trashing a man they’ve never met and probably never heard of until today. He made the AUMB great, and has done a fantastic job. I have great admiration for TBDBITL, I watch all of y’alls YouTube videos and have great admiration for what y’all do. But Dr. Spurlin will make y’all even better. He’s very personable even if he comes off as intimidating. This would be a great move for his family and his career, and we all wish him the best if he does end up leaving for the job.

  30. If y’all could have seen the state of the AUMB prior to Spurlin’s arrival compared to the state of the AUMB now, you would understand why Spurlin is the PERFECT person for that job. I’m sure with a larger staff and greater resources at tOSU, Dr. Spurlin could make TBDBITL something really special.

  31. New TBDBITL Alum

    Auburn Student – I hope you are aware that TBDBITL was never a “program synonymous with rape culture.” If you still think so, look more into the issue first.
    It is upsetting to see Jon go, but I echo the sentiments of some other band members and alumni. Should Dr. Spurlin be hired, or anyone else for that matter, the current members will welcome him as a new part of the family. I want to see normalcy restored to the program; I’d that means embracing a new leader, then so be it. Spurlin seems highly qualified, and I think he would respect our traditions while bringing in some of his own.

  32. Hey Children, if you could stop bickering back and forth then you’d realize that if this douche is hired then clearly Scott Jones and Mickelson are the main people behind Jon’s firing. This guy looks like a carbon copy of Jones and Mickelson. They clearly hated that Jon didn’t have a PhD.

  33. Friends, your comments aren’t helping. I have seen the Auburn band and they are outstanding. They have as many great and age old traditions as we at OSU. I marched X10 from ’66 – ’70. I feel badly as all Ohioans do about the firing of Jonathon. The next person in will have enormous obstacles every step of the way. OSUMB has always been a class act like Auburn. Let’s please keep it that way. This gentleman may be our next guy to train the Buckeye Way. Let us all just work together and keep it that way. Happy Easter! Go Buckeyes! Dick Berry

  34. Another AUMB Alum

    I hope most OSU fans aren’t as angry about this as some of the above posters. It also doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. If you truly have “the best damn band in the land,” your new director will be coming from a program inferior to yours no matter which one it is. Florida has won three football national titles in the last two decades, yet they hired the coach from the relatively unremarkable Colorado State. We hired ours from Arkansas State, and you’re probably aware “-ichigan’s” last coach came from San Diego State. None of these coaches were doing particularly remarkable things at their former schools, yet those three much more prestigious programs hired them anyway. Why? Because the schools saw what they were able to do with what they had at their disposal and wanted to know what they could do with more.

    I think the AUMB is excellent, but we certainly don’t have the music prestige that accompanies several other bands in the country. Dr. Spurlin is also one of the most effective leaders I’ve ever seen, and after seeing what he’s done at Auburn, there’s no mystery why Ohio State is interested in him.

  35. If they don’t hire Hoch it won’t matter. The first time a halftime show isn’t up to fans’ expectations the outcry will be tremendous. If this Spurlin is as good as the AU fans say then great. Mess with traditions: outcry. Fans won’t care about the culture. Can’t replicate an MJ moonwalk: outcry. Fans still won’t care about the culture because what the culture was, was young adults acting like young adults. Sometimes inappropriate, sure but, 20 year olds being… 20. This is like trying to fill Woody’s shoes; they’d be smart to hire an insider (my opinion of this admin is poor) but hey let them mess this up and that outcry won’t just be about the band director (that’s IMHO)

  36. As a TBDBITL alum, I am saddened by some of the disrespectful comments that have been made by alumni and fans on here and I’m even more saddened that current TBDBITL members feel that the alumni have been so vile over the past year. There are many alumni who are very upset and bitter about what has happened and will never accept any changes made to the band. However there are a lot of alumni who just want what is best for the band and the current members though we are often drowned out by the more vocal, angry voices.

    Personally I do not know Dr. Spurlin and I don’t have a great deal of knowledge about the Auburn band but seeing some of his students come on here to speak highly of him is a good sign. The fact that he leads a major college marching band and was willing to apply for the OSUMB job should be taken as a compliment as it shows that he places the OSUMB in high regard. I cannot say whether he would be a good fit for the OSU job, the search committee and the current students who have met with him would be the ones who can speak on that. I do want to apologize to the Auburn students who have seen the comments disparaging their band, please do not think that they represent all of us connected with the OSUMB and please understand that this scandal also does not represent what the OSUMB is truly about.

  37. I think both sets of fans, current and past band members are loyal to their director. That makes perfect sense. To AU, who asks us to quit trashing your director, I think Buckeye fans were just trying to be loyal to their own. However, calling the OSUMB shows “garbage” earns you as little respect as the people disrespecting your director. I am sure Dr. Spurlin is very good, and honestly I would be more concerned if you did not speak up on behalf of his abilities. Thus past year has been trying for all of us, as it basically amounted to a witch hunt by the board of trustees and others. When you see someone who is a gifted musician and kind human being get scapegoated by his employer and Alma mater, it makes all of us angry, and sometimes that anger comes out as being against one person when in reality it’s just a reaction to something unfair. And, just to set the record straight, OSUMB is not a rape culture and I was never hazed once in my 3 years as a member. The article that spread those rumors has been disproved, so, as someone told me once, don’t believe everything you read in the papers.

  38. Apparently during the meeting, a student asked how’d he would deal with the fallout between the band and the administration, and he replied that he hadn’t heard of any beef between the two. If the administration is lying to him this early, I hope he runs for his own sake

  39. A few short comments from a marcher in the AUMBs tuba section

    1) Dr Spurlin is a great band director, any program in the nation would be lucky to have him, as far as his directing and leadership skills are concerned. 2) He’s good to shut down tradions, he’s done so at Auburn, which is probably why OSU is interested in him. 3) The R.A.T program is NOT optional and definitely has hazing undertones. 4) You all can have him, bring back the HERD!

  40. New TBDBITL Alum

    On Chris Hoch, I am quite saddened to see him passed-up on this opportunity…again. Unfortunately, we all knew they would not choose from within the OSUMB family from the beginning. Chris still deserved more of a chance.
    That said, after meeting Dr. Spurlin tonight, I really like him. When he said he wasn’t aware of any kind of break in relationship between the band and administration, that’s to be expected. This was his first time meeting the students, so now that he does know that there is a broken relationship he will hopefully come up with a solution. But there’s only so much he can do. He responded well to our questions, and believes in understanding all sides of a situation before making a call. If hired, TBDBITL will be lucky to have him. And if hired, I hope the Auburn band will find a director at least as great as he seemed to us tonight.

  41. I don’t know who the Herd member is, but they are almost certainly speaking to the fact that he HAD to shut down something due to a close lawsuit. Y’all in Ohio, Spurlin will discipline the shit out of you, and he’ll do some things you may not agree with, but in the end, you will be a better person and musician because of it. I have only two things against him, and that is that he looks down on those that do DCI, and students aren’t very involved in leadership choices. All that being said, if you want someone to turn your program around, this man will do it. With all due respect, I’d do anything to keep him here. He is one of the main reasons I came to Auburn, and we will certainly miss him if he goes.

  42. Ignore the WarDamnHerd user. Their whole section’s just butthurt because one member was an idiot and ruined traditions. That wasn’t even under Spurlin’s control. Plus, they think they’re a lot cooler than they are.

    Also, the R.A.T. program doesn’t have any sort of hazing undertones. People coming into the program are rookies. That’s a fact. The R.A.T. program teaches you the marching styles, helps you meet people and feel like a part of the band. It’s great!

    Sorry. I know the point isn’t to argue with anyone, but that comment annoyed me and I didn’t think it was a good representation of Spurlin’s character.

  43. Great tradition @ Auburn.


    At Auburn football games the fans love the band!

  44. As an alumnus of the AUMB who spent four years under the direction of Dr. Spurlin, I would be happy to shed a little light on this situation and give some information on Dr. Spurlin. I apologize in advance for the length of this post.

    I first met Dr. Spurlin when I participated in the high school honor bands at AU, and from the moment I met him, I knew I needed to be in the AUMB. He is one of the most genuine and honest people I’ve met, and he truly cares for each and every one of his students. He makes that crystal clear by learning all 380 names of the members before the end of band camp. He also highly encourages his students to stay in contact after they graduate and update him on marriages/births/etc. It was always easy to see how he truly cared for the band as a whole and as individuals. Yes, he’s tough and he’s meticulous in his rehearsals, but that just demonstrates the level of expectation he has for the group. This is an extremely important trait for him to have if he was hired as OSUMB director, considering the OSUMB is so prestigious and world-renowned. Dr. Spurlin instilled in me so many more lessons than just how to perform well. His goals were much larger than that for his students. Yes, I was a music education student so he taught me a lot about how to successfully run a marching band; but, he also taught me so many bigger life lessons that I could apply in any area of my life at any point in my life. He expects nothing less than for his students to exhibit the highest level of professionalism and ambassadorship as representatives of Auburn University, the state of Alabama, and even on the national and international level. Yes, there was one incidence in my senior year where Dr. Spurlin was forced to take away many of the traditions of the AUMB, but that was not a choice of his. I know that’s worrisome for OSUMB as a band who takes pride in their traditions. However, as long as OSU students remain respectful, professional, and mature in the traditions they take part in, there should be no problem. Dr. Spurlin doesn’t seek to destroy traditions.

    I’ve also seen some comments about the “sexual undertones” of the R.A.T. (Rookie Auburn Tiger) program in the AUMB. Let me assure you that those are not present in any way. This program is simply a mentorship program in which each freshman AUMB member is paired with a veteran member of the opposite sex who serves as their parent figure. Freshmen are also placed within a group of other freshmen under the leadership of two or three veteran members per group as part of the R.A.T. program. This is to help new members meet other new and returning members. Throughout camp, the R.A.T. program serves to orient new students to their new home by giving them someone to ask questions to, or even confide in. Different events are hosted throughout the week such as a bowling night, an ice cream night, and many games with your R.A.T. group. Some of my lifelong best friends have come from my experience in the R.A.T. program. This is another way that Dr. Spurlin shows his desire to make everyone in the band feel welcomed, included, and valued. I cannot name a single person who has ever been negatively influenced by the R.A.T. program, and being labeled R.A.T. is in no way a derogatory term.

    Just to address other comments on articles that have been posted: all negative comments have either come from someone who was not even involved with the AUMB, or someone who experienced the AUMB during the transition of directors when Dr. Spurlin was hired. No one is every going to like a new director coming in at first. People don’t like change, regardless of how little or how much change actually happens. Just the fact that there is someone different in charge completely throws everyone off. As made evident by the many posts by current and former band members, we don’t want Dr. Spurlin to leave. We love him, and have been so inspired by his direction. I’ve never thought for a moment that Dr. Spurlin didn’t love his job at Auburn, even as an alumnus of the University of Alabama. Want proof? Just see how he reacts to one of the greatest plays in college football as director of the AUMB (https://youtu.be/dgQjW4B_5c8 ). If he wasn’t worth your time, do you think everyone would be so upset about his possible leaving? No, we don’t want to see him leave, BUT I think I speak for the rest of the AUMB and alumni by saying that I am so proud of him for being considered for this prestigious job. The fact that he’s being considered says a lot about him as a director and as a person. I had the greatest four years of my life at Auburn University and I give most of the credit to my time in the AUMB. I know the OSUMB is going through a challenge right now, but I’ve seen Dr. Spurlin face adversity with the AUMB when a member has passed away, or a member’s parent has passed away, along with many other challenges he’s been faced with. He has handled it all with professionalism and sincerity. We will miss Dr. Spurlin so much if he is hired and chooses to leave, but we are so thankful for the 8 years he has had at Auburn to help build a highly successful band program. The band that is under the leadership of Dr. Spurlin at any given point will be one of the luckiest bands in the world.

    I hope this gives a little bit more information on Dr. Spurlin. I apologize again for the length, but I felt like it was all necessary to be said. Good luck in your search, OSUMB!

  45. Warning for applicants

    Dr. Spurlin and any other applicants,

    Please review the Glaros “report” and compare with the reviews of the Alumni organization and the Betty Montgomery investigation. Have all of your i’s dotted (no pun intended) and t’s crossed before taking this position or you too could be thrown under the bus by this administration. The current band, alumni, and Mr Waters certainly were.

    TBDBITL Alumni

  46. Having been a member of “JI row” in the 70’s, a Ph.D. GA in the 80’s, and a 35+ year veteran of teaching (28 years at the University level), I am compelled to offer my advice to all in this unfortunate situation of the past year. . Being a “Buckeye” from birth I do bleed scarlet and grey ( and an awful lot of “Purple”!!) and I have grown to understand and appreciate the business of College Bands. Politics and emotions are the main component of this business. I certainly do not agree with the decisions of folks at OSU, and I am very sorry for the pain, anguish, disruption this has caused the students to endure. Smarter people making better decisions with the complete absence of polotics would have brought an agreeable end to this unfortunate situation. I do feel Jon Waters got the raw end of this deal. I know how this system works and I know the folks involved. I feel for Jon Waters, Jon Woods, and Paul Droste – they are all very good people whom I admire and respect greatly.
    The best solution may be to get the best person in the job, secure support from all venues at the University, and provide tremendous support from Alumni and present OSUMB members. I do not know who the other finalist is but I do know Dr. Spurlin and I know great bands. The Auburn band is one of the best college marching bands I have had the pleasure of seeing. They play extremely well, march with great precision and style, and carry themselves in a very professional manner. This is no accident and it doesn’t just happen. Dr. Spurlin is the reason. As stated earlier, I do n to know the other candidates name, but if the second candidate is as strong as Dr. Spurlin then there are some seriously difficult choices to make.
    I do have concern for whomever takes the position and that is will the present School of Music leadership give the Marching Band Director the support and space he/she needs to do the job effectively. Or, will the politics rear it’s ugly head once again to get ion the way. This position in these circumstances has “red flags” all over it for many in the profession. As an Alum, current Director of Bands and Director of the Marching band at a major university in a major conference, I have great hopes for the OSUMB, but I also have great fears and doubts.
    Choose wisely, support the marching band and the marching band director, and get out of the way.


  47. so, I didn’t read all of these comments but for those of you who said we can’t play, come to a performance. There is nothing wrong with our playing. We execute difficult maneuvers in every show and still manage to have an exceptional sound. I don’t trash other bands because all bands are unique. That guy from auburn, our band is known worldwide. We’re innovative and inspiring to many people and many other bands. No outside director will be what we’re use to but that doesn’t mean we won’t accept them. There is a line and as long as the new director doesn’t cross that line, everything will work out just fine.

  48. Thanks to the UAB band member for clarifying what RAT is. . .but you’re missing the point. It’s not about what it IS, or what it’s intended to be. It’s about how it could be misconstrued by an outsider.

    Actually, I’m sure he’d be a great hire. . .BUT. . .what if he tries to change too much? What if the members reject his approach? Things could go south (no pun intended) and nobody wants that. Heck. . .if he’s as good as you say he is, then he should stay put and let this wound here at OSU heal before he moves his family here and things don’t go well. The school administration at Ohio State have poisoned the waters I’m afraid.

  49. the real issue for a perspective new director is: why take a position where senior staff such as Drake, Glaros n others have demonstrated a lack of integrity and threw a wonderful band director under the bus for fear of dept education title 9 threats n probes. Going to work for these kind of people perhaps in the end is not smart.

  50. TBDBITL80'salum

    Thank you Dr Frank Tracz for your input. Good to hear from others in the music world out there. I had hoped you would be an applicant,but I guess it didn’t matter because it appears if you are an OSU grad you aren’t good enough for OSU to consider you even if the selection committee recommended you. I do agree Auburn has a fine band program,but hoping Dr Hoch will stick around to continue writing shows that appeal to the football crowd. That is who the audience is. It all comes down to how you sound marching in the stadium.

  51. Remember that the guy before Jon Waters came from that state up north. He worked out ok. I’ll give anyone a chance, but would prefer Jon back.

  52. Wait… what?

  53. Frank Tracz said it all. As a TBDBITL member I, too, have been saddened by the current Ohio State administration… But I will not speak in a negative about any candidate for the OSUMB position. I just sincerely hope that the few loudmouth band alumni will be quiet and allow the current band and staff to proceed this season the way they want to. Our time in the band has passed, and the torch will still burn brightly…….. If you let it.

  54. I firmly believe that the best solution would be for Jon Waters to be returned to the job he did so well. He deserved better treatment from OSU’s administration. I now realize that the second best solution is for an outstanding person to be chosen (and for Jon to win a gigantic settlement from the person sitting in Bricker Hall.) My son and his OSUMB deserves a director receiving the kind of support received by my directors, Paul Droste and Jon Woods.

  55. Okay, remember but don’t forget. . .Bobby. . .that Dr. Woods was an assistant director at Ohio State BEFORE he was named the head director. He was an assistant to Dr. Droste who, as you may know, marched in the OSUMB as an undergraduate student at Ohio State. So really, I would not call Dr. Woods a case in point.

  56. Spurlin could be a great guy and Auburn could be a great band (although, then why would Spurlin want to leave Auburn for OSUMB?) The fact of the matter is that there are many highly qualified candidates who are former OSUMB members or staff. Highly qualified candidates that would already know how to work with the style and the traditions. These things may not mean much to Auburn folks that are rightly supporting their director’s ambition, but OSUMB style and tradition mean a lot to Ohioans and Buckeyes everywhere. It is incredulous that the university would feel a need to look strictly outside for the next director. I think that is the sentiment that is really being expressed here.

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