COLUMBUS (WCMH) – In less than two weeks, Ohio State University kicks off the 2021 football season.
As the team finalizes starting positions, the Ohio State University Marching Band finished up its competitive tryout process this week.
Two trumpet players heard their names called for the first time as official members of The Best Damn Band In The Land.
From Skull Session at St. John Arena to legendary halftime shows, the pride of the Buckeyes plays an integral role in game-day traditions.
But making the roster of musicians is no easy task.
“After two years of getting cut, I kind of in the back of my head, I had to remind myself that I could get cut no matter how much I give, but once I heard my name, I could not hear who made the band after me,” said junior trumpet player Jadyn Shipman.
After two years of playing trumpet in the Athletic Band at all sporting events except football, Shipman kept the dream alive to one day march onto the field at The Horseshoe as an official member of the Ohio State University Marching Band.
“The person next to me squeezed my hand and I’m like ‘Oh my gosh!'” Shipman said.
“It’s still a really intense situation for everyone around us,” said senior trumpet player Dillon Portz, who added the tryout process can be grueling, but Making The Band Night is filled with emotions.
“But then, after they were done announcing the names, you know it was just, like, lots of hugs,” Portz said.
Excitement quickly turned into hard work, Just as football players undergo two-a-day practices, the marching band holds three-a-day rehearsals.
“A lot of marching, a lot of playing, and two to three hours per session,” Shipman said.
Portz learned his trumpet row will take part in a new marching band tradition this year.
“The three knocks that the drum major does to announce the band has arrived, we actually form a ring around him and protect him, but it’s pretty cool,” he said.
Both first-time band members said they feel excited to join the storied ranks of The Best Damn Band In The Land.
“See other people that come after us and watch other people’s dreams come true as well,” Shipman said.
With classes starting this week for students, the marching band returns to a more normal practice schedule.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, the band will not be traveling to Minnesota on Sept. 3 but will be performing at all home games starting against Oregon on Sept. 11.