It may seem strange that there is a TBDBITL preview being done for the bye week but even though the football team has the weekend off, that doesn’t mean that the band does. In fact, as much as band members would probably love to have the weekend off to rest and recuperate, they will be busy this weekend as this is the weekend of the annual band concert. While the Ohio State University Marching Band is most famous for it’s performances at Skull Sessions and at OSU football games, those are not the only performances that the band does. As I have mentioned in previous articles, the band also performs at the Buckeye Invitational high school band festival and one NFL game each year. The other major performance by the OSUMB each year is the annual band concert at Veteran’s Memorial in downtown Columbus.
Each season TBDBITL performs the music from all their shows in a concert setting. While a concert does not allow people to see the drill that was designed to accompany the music, the fact that the band isn’t marching means that they can focus 100% on the music. The OSUMB has always put a great deal of emphasis on musicality in their halftime shows and they do a great job of performing the music, the simple act of marching while playing does impact the musicality of their performance. In a concert setting, the band can focus solely on the music and performing it as it was meant to be performed, with proper emotion, letting the various melodies and harmonies come out as appropriate. Having performed in these concerts, it is always enjoyable to see the full character of the music brought out, bringing with it a different experience than just hearing the band perform on the field. That doesn’t mean that TBDBITL concerts are formal experiences, like one would expect from going to a symphony orchestra concert. Instead the OSUMB works to bring elements of fun to the performance, with various creative elements and of course culminating in getting the audience to join in as the band performs various school songs.
The band doesn’t just utilize Veteran’s Memorial for its concert, each year the band also uses the venue for its annual recording session. TBDBITL releases a CD of its various halftime music, and school songs, every two years and most of the music recordings for the CD are done at a recording session held at Vet’s during the concert weekend. While the recording session is private, the concert is not. If you want a chance to hear all of the music performed at halftime shows this season, including the music for the now internationally famous video game show, performed live, head down to Veteran’s Memorial this Sunday. The concert starts at 3:00pm and it is a great way to get your weekly band and Ohio State fix.
While the football team was handling Illinois, TBDBITL presented a show honoring members of the US military, past and present. The show featured music that written for, or about, wars over the years, from the American Revolution up to World War II. As most everyone knows, music evolves over time, not only in style of composition but also in the sound of the group performing it. The musical arrangements for this show do a great job of capturing that, with the band starting out with a very trumpet dominated, brassy sound that evokes the sound of the American Revolution and evolving to a much fuller, more complex sound of modern music. This shows a dedication to musicality that some bands would not spend time on and is one of the things that helps set TBDBITL apart from other groups. A video of last week’s halftime show is included at the end of this article.
Last week I was asked how I came up with the information for these previews, and while I would love to say that this is due to my amazing psychic powers, or from living in the future that is Australia, the real answer is that I owe a great deal of thanks to OSUMB graduate assistant director John Brennan and director Jonathan Waters for their cooperation and assistance with these articles.
I was also asked why TBDBITL doesn’t go to all away games. While OSU fans, and the team, would love for the band to go to all away games, athletic department budgets have become too tight over the years and transporting 225 band members, plus staff and instruments, is rather expensive and the athletic department is not willing to spend the money to send the band to more than one away game each year, plus the bowl game. This is pretty much standard practice across the Big Ten, and while we all wish that the conference was more like the SEC where the band or a portion of it goes to each away game, the OSUMB is luckier than some Big Ten bands who don’t even get to go to one away game each year.