Since Oct. 17, The Marching 110 has experienced some serious Internet fame and viral video sharing of their halftime performance during the Ohio vs. Western Michigan game. Even though the Bobcats were shut out 49-14, the 110 brought their a-game with new pop-hits Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd, Victorious by Panic! At the Disco, Alive by Sia, and the 2015 Band Day chart, Uma Thurman by Fall Out Boy.
Victorious already had almost 100,000 views on YouTube within the first two weeks of it’s Internet life, partly thanks to the shout-out on Twitter by the lead singer of Panic!, Brendon Urie.
As soon as Urie sent out this tweet, online publications, such as billboard.com, started picking up the story. Soon after, even larger news outlets, like The Huffington Post and USA Today, posted about the 110’s rendition of Uma Thurman, which they performed with 2,000 high school students, commenting on the band’s impressive sound and ability to keep it all together.
But to top it all off, the Marching 110 was featured on The Today Show on Oct. 26, during a segment with Uma Thurman herself. Click here to watch!
Pop artist Sia also praised the 110 for their performance of her hit single, Alive, on Twitter, claiming that the band’s version was “better than the original.”
Victorious released on Sept. 29, and Panic! just started playing it on their latest tour. Less than 3 weeks later, the 110 put it on the field. Sia’s single was only out for a week longer than Panic!’s, with a release date on Sept. 22.
Josh Boyer, assistant director of the Marching 110, thinks that the quick turnaround from the song’s release date to the band’s performance is a big reason these songs in particular went viral.
“I think part of what made it impressive initially was the fact that the songs had just come out,” says Boyer. “I think that kind of turnaround is uncommon in the college marching band world. A lot of bands have their shows planned a year in advance.”
With the big homecoming show the weekend before, the Marching 110 only had 5 days to make the Victorious show happen.
It’s pretty common for a college marching band to learn a show in only a week’s worth of rehearsals, but the amount of hard-work, diligence and effort that the 110 puts into the field every day really makes a difference in the final product, which is what everyone in the stadium, and potentially thousands of people online, end up watching.
For mellophone player and dance commander, EmmyRae Watson, the best part about the 110’s media climb is knowing that all of the time and effort she and fellow dance commanders, Matt Fujita and Ryan Andrews, put into the dance was completely worth it.
“Writing the Victorious dance in a living room with Matt and Ryan at 3:00 a.m. turned into national recognition… it's a very humbling feeling for the 110, especially because of our passion to execute our performances with excellence,” says Watson. “Our hard work is paying off in more ways than we imagined it would, and I'm so thankful for that.”
Maybe it was because the week leading up to Oct. 17’s viral performance was stressful, or maybe it was because the 110 had an extra week to learn the homecoming show. But for some reason, several members of Ohio University’s marching band didn’t think that this would be the show that went viral this season. Boyer says you never know what social media will decide to spread, so it’s best to always perform with excellence.
“You never know when it’s going to happen; you never know who’s going to listen to it and think it’s cool and decide to share it with their fans,” says Boyer. “Obviously you always want to put on a good show, but you don’t go into it thinking, alright, this is going to be our next viral hit… that’s never the intent—the intent is to entertain the crowd on Saturday afternoons, and if we can entertain 100,000 people across the world too, so be it.”
Written by Amanda Weisbrod
**The author of this blog is also a member of the Marching 110.