Prepare for a wall of sound and 100 yards packed with band members as 28 high school bands from all over the state of Ohio take the field with The Marching 110 for Band Day this Saturday. Around 2,000 high school band students will join the 243 Marching 110 members during halftime, making this year the largest Band Day in recent 110 history.
Although the band day tradition began in the 50s or 60s, it took a hiatus after the 70s until the early 2000’s. Since 2002, the 110 has hosted Band Day each year so that high school marching band members get to experience what it’s like to perform in front of 25,000+ fans on a collegiate football field with one of the top ranking marching bands in America, according to CollegeSports-fans.com.
Josh Boyer, assistant director of athletic bands and assistant director of the Marching 110, says that even though there are a lot of people to organize, it’s always a blast having so much energy in Peden Stadium on Band Day, especially for members of The Marching 110.
“I think the 110 sort of feeds off of the high school bands that are watching the show,” says Boyer, who was the 110’s field commander in 2005. “For us, it’s knowing that we’re performing in front of the future of the 110.”
Boyer says that Band Day is the first time, and occasionally the only time, that some of these high school band students will have the chance to see the 110 perform. In the past, some of these students took notice of the 110’s style, sound and energy, so they set the goal of applying to Ohio University and auditioning for it’s marching band.
Spencer Linscomb, a junior marching the baritone, graduated from Orange High School in 2012. During his first Band Day with the 110, he saw first-hand how a collegiate band operated, and noticed that he could apply the same type of discipline to his own life.
“Seeing the Marching 110, especially during the morning rehearsal, was a big eye-opener as to how much discipline a band could actually have and how much more could be accomplished in a much more limited space of time,” says Linscomb in the Get There! Episode 5 video. “I think after seeing the discipline of The Marching 110 it made me personally more disciplined in high school.”
And to Jessi Piso, a sophomore marching the alto saxophone, experiencing the amount of energy that the 110 brings to the field for the very first time her senior year at Granville High School was inspiring.
“When I saw [the 110] it was really crazy to see so much energy in a band. I wanted to put that back into my band,” says Piso in this week’s Get There! episode. “Now that I’m here on the flip side, not in the stands anymore, it’s cool to see the people that I was in high school with come back and see me, and have a great time on the field with them.”
Band Day 2015 is bound to be exciting, loud, and jaw-dropping as the stadium overflows not only with the normal, Bobcat-loving fans, but also new faces who might not have ever visited Athens before. Be sure to also look out for the 110 this Sunday as they travel upstate to perform at halftime for the Cleveland Browns game!
Written by Amanda Weisbrod
**The author of this blog is also a member of The Marching 110.