Members of the Ohio State University marching band checked their bags early, Wednesday night to ensure they were set for takeoff Thursday evening for the first global performance of TBDBITL history.
The band is set to perform at Wembley Stadium in London before the Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville Jaguars football game on Sunday, after an NFL request for a London-based show. This is one of three games scheduled at Wembley during the 2015 International Series tour.
Christopher Hoch, interim marching and athletic band director, said the band has been preparing since as early as March and started requesting music from their arranger, James Swearingen, in June.
“We got the music within the last three or four weeks and we started putting the drill together with the music. We previewed the show Saturday night at the Penn State game and now we’re ready to take it overseas,” Hoch said.
Although the band will be traveling abroad, they are planning to keep the OSUMB style.
“Some of the picture formations and things you’ve seen from the band in recent years is what we’re going to do over there. They wanted something that was us, they wanted us to perform like we do, so we are going to do the very best we can,” Hoch said.
TBDBITL has developed an international reputation because of shows that have gone viral, including the popular “Tribute to the Classic Video Games” halftime show, which was choreographed by Hoch when he served as associate director of the marching and athletic bands.
“We’re just expecting to have a great performance and, hopefully, we can entertain the audience just like we always do,” he said. Hoch was announced as this season’s interim marching and athletic band director in May and says “it’s a great experience.”
“I really enjoy working with these students, it’s a great time,” he said. ”There are challenges to it as with any profession, but it’s well worth it to get to work with these students.”
Nathan MacMaster, the band’s drum major, said he is excited to perform in Wembley Stadium.
“The crowd, a lot of them, have never seen anything like a marching band in the U.S., so to bring part of our tradition and our performance style over there is what I’m looking forward to most,” the graduate student in the Glenn College of Public Affairs said.
MacMaster added that the band has prepared a British-themed show in terms of the music, pictures and formations, but it is a very similar performance to what would be seen at a stadium in the U.S.
This trip will mark a lot of firsts for the band, including the first script Ohio formed abroad.
“We’re excited to have this opportunity and are looking forward to Sunday afternoon,” Hoch said.