The Ohio State Marching Band starts its season of traveling along with the football team this weekend.
The band is set to travel to California Thursday to support the Buckeyes as they face the University of California, Berkley, Saturday at 7 p.m., the first of its travels to every away game except Northwestern this football season, band business operations manager Rick Shaffer said.
It plans to perform “Script Ohio” as well as their show, Movie-Toons, which features selections from the movies “Shrek,” “The Little Mermaid,” “The Lion King,” “Toy Story” and “The Incredibles,” during halftime, band director Jon Waters said in an email.
The total cost of the trip is $420,000, Shaffer said.
The Office of University Advancement and the Alumni Association is funding $50,000, Shaffer said, while $370,000 will come from the Athletic Department, OSU athletics spokesman Daniel Wallenberg said in an email.
Waters said the Marching Band will be an essential element of Saturday’s game.
“College bands, especially TBDBITL (“The Best Damn Band in the Land”), bring the color and pageantry to a college football game,” Waters said. “The driving percussion, the sound of the brass in the air, the chants, the cheer — it’s all the essence of college football. We will be there for every play and every down until the Buckeyes win.”
When the Marching Band arrives in California, its more than 200 members are slated to visit Santa Monica as well as perform at a “But for Ohio State” fundraiser event in Los Angeles, Waters said.
The “But for Ohio State” event is set be held in Bel Air and could potentially raise funds for OSU and the band, Shaffer said.
Friday will bring more sight-seeing and alumni events before the team departs Saturday night following the football game, Shaffer said.
“Friday, we leave early in the morning to bus to San Francisco,” Shaffer said. “Then we have a joint rehearsal with the Cal band that afternoon. Then there is an Alumni Association tailgate that we’re sending a 32-member band to play at.”
Fifth-year in Chinese and OSU Marching Band trumpet player, Andrew Mackley, said he is still excited to go to California even though this isn’t his first trip there with the band.
“I’m most excited about the football game itself. Cal has a great stadium. Playing there will be a heck of a memory,” Mackley said.
Like Mackley, drum major and fourth-year in piano performance David Pettit said he is looking forward to performing this weekend.
“I’m really excited about going to this venue and performing with them (the Cal band) and getting to see a new crowd — it’s going to be great,” Pettit said.
He added the band’s support will be good for the team as well.
“It will be great for the team because they know they’re not in there alone,” Pettit said. “We are there to support them. We’re going to play for them and try to keep them excited.”
Part of this playing and excitement includes a double “Script Ohio” to be performed pregame, Pettit said.
A normal “Script Ohio” spells the word “Ohio” once facing the home side of the stadium using 192 band members, Pettit said. A double “Script Ohio” spells “Ohio” twice — one facing the home side and the other facing the away side of the stadium — using 112 people each.