OSU Marching Band Departs For London


The Ohio State University Marching Band departed for London Thursday night.  They will play Sunday before the NFL's Bills vs. Jaguars game at Wembley Stadium.

Thursday's practice meant one final check for perfect pitch and on-time steps before The Best Damn Band in the Land headed overseas

"I think we're ready to go," Interim Band Director, Chris Hoch, said. "Our kids are performing great, they've been practicing hard and they're going to do us proud."

Hoch says the band has been rehearsing this show for two weeks.

Band members say they're not concerned about playing at an unfamiliar territory.

"I think we're energized by the huge crowd and going to crowds that don't see us all the time," John Banghoff said. "There's always a ton of energy and I think we're real excited about it all-in-all."

That's why everything has to be perfect.

"In person, to bring what we do over there is really, really amazing," Nathan MacMaster said. "And, it's such a great opportunity."

MacMaster, who is the head drum major, knows a little something about perfection. It took him seven years to perfect the baton.

"It takes a lot of bumps and bruises," he said. "I've hit my hands all the time, knocked myself on the head...I've knocked a tooth out."

No doubt, though, he's got it down now. 

London might have sights like Big Ben, the London Eye and Buckingham Palace, but they've never seen anything quite like The Ohio State University marching band.

"Just being able to represent the university and represent The Ohio State University marching band for the first time, overseas, is just a thrill," Hoch said. "[It's a] thrill of a lifetime."

A chartered plane took off Thursday evening from Port Columbus Airport with 225 band members and a handful of faculty and staff. The NFL will cover all of the band's travel costs. Kickoff is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Sunday.