COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State’s game against Michigan is still three weeks away but the Ohio State Marching Band just wrapped up its final week of rehearsal.
In Columbus, and really the whole state of Ohio, nothing is more important than the Buckeyes — especially The Pride of the Buckeyes.
And a year that’s taken so much away includes the presence of The Best Damn Band in the Land on gameday.
“It feels kind of removed cause we’re use to being right there on the field right by all the action,” said Jamie Bossenbroke, a 3rd-year student who plays Eb cornet.
The only action the band gets to see is what the rest of OSU fans see and that’s football on a screen.
“Definitely kind of sad not being a part of gameday, or doing any of our normal gameday stuff,” said Adam Wells, a 4th-year student who plays trumpet.
They’re missing out on traditions like skull session, coming down the ramp and playing Carmen Ohio while 100,000 strong sway side by side, together as Buckeyes.
Those scenes are not seen this season, but the show must go on and it has in the form of four shows played inside an empty Horseshoe.
“Well the acoustics are nice. I got to dot the ‘I’ four times last year and that was incredible,” said Brett Weimken, a 5th-year student who plays the sousaphone. “A huge part of that was the crowd but having no crowd, it was just kind of weird looking up at the cardboard cutouts.”
The band finished its last rehearsal on Friday and will perform its last show Monday, which will drop on YouTube and Facebook on the day of Ohio State’s home game against Michigan.
“We as people are remarkably adaptive. I think that’s the single biggest lesson to take out of this,” said OSU Band Director Dr. Christopher Hoch.
Adapting by only practicing as a whole once a week, revamping their ramp entrance with only percussion coming down the ramp while brass waits on the sideline, and dispatching small groups around campus on Saturdays, to make it feel, and sound, like gameday.
“I’m just so thankful we can make music as a group together,” said Bossenbroke.
“We’ll take what we can get because we love being a part of the band,” said Wells.
“Words can’t express the gratitude that I have for being able to still do this,” Dr. Hoch said. “To be a part of this and continue the traditions here at Ohio State, it’s wonderful to be able to do.”
And when his band members lift their instruments, they lift the spirits of Buckeye Nation.