Former OSU Marching Band Members Show Support for Ousted Director
A banner in the sky is just one sign of support for the ousted band director of The Ohio State University marching band.
The Best Damn Band in the Land played Saturday night in the second of two performances as part of the Picnic with the Pops concert series.
Former band members were in the crowd, and many were speaking out in support of Jon Waters.
The band director was fired Thursday after university officials said he failed to do enough to stop a sexualized culture within the band.
“There are a lot of sad, disappointed people in the band community,” former band member Jon Picking said.
Several concertgoers clutched signs that read “We Stand With Jon.”
A large banner with the same slogan was also pulled by a plane across the sky.
“I think it's pretty cool, actually, just in the time of one day they were able to raise enough money to do that,” said former band member Joe Plattenburg.
A former band member started a campaign Saturday morning to raise the $450 needed for the banner. The online campaign worked, and by show time, $1,770 had been raised. According to the organizer, the remaining money will go to Waters to assist with legal fees.
“So many people were positively affected by Jon and his leadership, it doesn't surprise me at all,” Picking said.
A Facebook page called “We Support Jon Waters” now has more than 700 likes. A former band member also started a petition on the website, change.org, urging the university’s president and board of trustees to reconsider the decision to fire Waters.
Many in the concert crowd are doubtful that the efforts will change what happened, but regardless, they said they plan to continue to stand with Jon.