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Ohio State marching band announces interim director for the upcoming season

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Christopher Hoch in a staff photograph. Credit: Courtesy of OSU

The Ohio State University marching band will not welcome a new permanent director for the upcoming season.

Instead, Christopher Hoch will serve as the interim Marching and Athletic band director, according to an email from Scott Jones, associate director of university bands, sent to marching and athletic band members. The Lantern obtained this email on Thursday.

Hoch currently serves as an assistant director of bands and an associate director of Marching and Athletic bands, according to his staff biography on the School of Music website.

“Dr. Hoch brings remarkable gifts and insights to this appointment, and we are all looking forward to a rewarding year for the Marching and Athletic Bands at Ohio State,” the email said.

Additionally, Russel Mickelson, director of university bands, and Jones will still serve in their respective roles and will “continue to support the Marching and Athletic Bands, as well as the ensembles in the University Band Program,” the email said.

For the 2014-15 season, Mikkelson and Jones served as interim band directors. The two were appointed to provide operational leadership and oversight of the marching band.

Hoch has 15 years of experience teaching music in high school and college band and musical ensemble programs, according to an OSU press release.

“I appreciate the university’s support and trust,” Hoch said in the release. “The Ohio State University Marching and Athletic Bands are truly special, and I want to be part of continuing to build on our success and supporting our students. Our students deserve every opportunity to succeed and thrive.”

The announcement of Hoch’s interim director position comes after two finalists for the marching band director position, Corey Spurlin, associate director of bands, marching band director and associate professor of music at Auburn University, and Barry Houser, director of the University of Illinois Marching Illini and Athletic Bands, dropped out of the running in April.

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

In his first lawsuit, Waters sued for a minimum of $1 million in compensatory damages, in addition to seeking punitive damages, attorney fees and reinstatement.

Waters announced on Friday that he filed a second lawsuit against the university, claiming that he was defamed and his reputation damaged after he was fired last summer.

The university plans to resume its search for a permanent director at the end of the coming season, the statement said.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on May 14 with information from a statement released by Ohio State.

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