COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The first halftime show from the Ohio State University Marching Band in 2023 celebrated a special anniversary for The Best Damn Band In The Land (TBDBITL). You can watch the full performance in the player above.
Ohio Stadium spectators witnessed “Time & Change: 1973”, which celebrates the 50-year anniversary of the first women that joined the marching band. The playlist features songs from some of the top female artists of all-time including Taylor Swift, Pat Benatar, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston, and Katy Perry.
Additionally, it was alumni band day and for the first time, the world-famous Script Ohio had four women dotting the “I”.
“It’s been the thrill of a lifetime,” 1981 drum major Shelley Graff said. “Every time I’m out here on the field with the band or performing with the alumni band, it’s just… it’s hard to describe.”
Graff was the band’s first female drum major. Two years prior, there was another woman who broke the gender barrier: Jan Duga.
Watch more about the women who performed with the band in the video player below.
“I’m just so fortunate to get to do it again as the 50th, with the varsity band this time,” said Duga, who was the first woman to dot the I in the script Ohio in 1979.
Senior sousaphone player Isabel Slaven is the latest woman to dot the I and was excited to share the field Saturday with three women she admires.
“They truly are pioneers,” Slaven said. “They’ve really paved the way for me to be in this spot that I am today, and I’m really proud to be able to dot the I and pave the way for future women to do so as well.”