The Ohio State University marching band will be packing their bags for London next fall to perform abroad for the first time in TBDBITL history.
The band is scheduled to perform Oct. 25 at Wembley Stadium before the kickoff of the Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, according to an OSU press release. The Bills vs. Jaguars is one of three games scheduled at Wembley during this season’s NFL International Series tour.
Christopher Hoch, interim Marching and Athletic band director, said in an OSU press release that he was eager for the opportunity to represent OSU in London.
“We’re fortunate to have an international reputation thanks to shows that have gone viral on video or received widespread media attention,” he said in the release. “It will be a real thrill to have a chance to perform for the people of London.”
Hoch orchestrated the popular “Tribute to the Classic Video Games” halftime show, which was performed during the 2012 homecoming game versus Nebraska, while serving as associate director of the marching and athletic bands. OSU announced in May he would serve as the interim Marching and Athletic band director for the upcoming season.
“Our shows have been seen online around the world, but to actually perform in person on such a global stage will be the opportunity of a lifetime,” he said.
Hoch said the NFL requested a London-themed pregame show but still allowed room for band creativity, adding “we are planning a very special and exciting performance.”
“We couldn’t be the world-class band that we’ve become without the tremendous dedication of our student musicians,” Hoch said. “They work incredibly hard preparing and performing each season, and I’m really pleased that they are being rewarded with this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Zack Joseph, who plays baritone in the marching band’s H-row, said the band is excited about the upcoming trip and have been eager to spread the news since the announcement.
“Ever since the press release came out, we’ve all been sharing away on Facebook and talking about it,” he said. “There’s just so much anticipation for this next season. We’re all very excited to get it going.”
Joseph, a second-year in accounting, said this will be his first time traveling abroad and looks forward to sharing the experience with his bandmates.
“It’ll be a great time and experience with a bunch of my close friends, in a whole other culture across the ocean, to represent the United States of America, represent the state of Ohio and represent the university,” he said.
Joseph said the invitation speaks highly of the marching band’s popularity, and he is hopeful the marching band’s London-themed show will grab fans’ interests.
“People closely follow us and what we do, and it’s unbelievable to see what a unique impact we have on the music world today” he said. “I’d like to hope that the fans in London appreciate what we do as much as the fans do, here, in the United States.”
Alistair Kirkwood, managing director of the NFL UK, said in the release that the league was already excited to see the OSU marching band perform at Wembley.
“This will be very different to anything we have done at the International Series games before and we know that the band is planning something spectacular to celebrate and commemorate being in the UK.”
The release stated the NFL will be paying for the band’s London travel expenses.
The Wembley show will bump the marching band from the usual seven season performances to eight this season. Joseph said he believes the marching band will start practicing for the London performance in early to mid-October.