2021 Marching Band Selected Following Five-Day Tryouts
Let the music begin.
The Ohio State University Marching Band named its full roster of 228 music-playing members on Monday night after a tryout process that began on Thursday. Combined with two drum majors, four members of the drum major training squad and 12 members of student staff, the band will have 244 students in full uniform on Ohio State football gamedays this fall.
“I’m really proud of all of our students, who worked exceedingly hard over the last several days — and many of them over the entire summer,” said Dr. Christopher Hoch, director of Marching and Athletic Bands at Ohio State. “They’re really pushing to make this band the best that it can be.”
Unlike the 2020 season, which saw the number of students in the band slightly altered due to the pandemic, the 144th edition of the band in 2021 will feature a return to the normal allotment of band members and instruments. Each row in the band will feature 14 members, with the exception of J Row, which — as normal —has 18 (six each on tenor drums, bass drums and cymbals).
Members of the 2021 band come from 12 different states: Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington. Forty-three different students are newcomers to the band this year.
For the first time in decades, the band also includes sixth-year students in 2021. Students have only been allowed five years of eligibility since the 1970s, but anyone who made the band in 2020 did not have that season count toward their five-year total. Sixth-year members in 2021 will be Geneviève Gray, Cody Harris, Josh Oconer, Jeremy Parr, Parker Stephens and Dawson Taylor.
Tryouts started Thursday with the band’s 33 music-playing squad leaders officially earning their new positions. On Friday and Saturday, the band held Candidate Days for every student who would be a first-year member of the band in 2021. On Sunday, the full group of registered participants joined for the scored segment of tryouts.
Despite rain delays on Monday pausing the third round of marching auditions for an hour, the completed band was announced to students at 10:30 p.m. in Ohio Stadium.
More than 400 students registered for marching band tryouts this year.
All participants performed their music auditions while wearing special musician masks on Sunday morning with independent, fully masked music professionals. After their music scores were in, students then took part in four separate marching tryouts over the course of the next two days. Marching tryouts are scored by the band’s squad leaders. Once all marching scores are in, the directing staff begins making up the band’s final roster by weighing each candidate’s music score and marching scores.
In 2020, the band was created using only virtual music auditions and no marching auditions.
The first members of the 2021 band were new drum majors Austin Bowman and Dalton Cararo, who officially won their spots in May.
The band does not waste time in beginning its preparation for the 2021 season. Rehearsals begin on Tuesday with three-a-days for the remainder of the week. The band’s normal rehearsal schedule (Monday-Friday, 4:10-6:15 p.m.) commences on August 23.
The band will be attending Ohio State home football games in 2021 and resuming its popular Skull Session performance before kickoff on gamedays. Skull Sessions begin at St. John Arena two hours and 20 minutes before kickoff of each game.
Seven brand-new halftime shows are in the works, with the first debuting on September 11 as the Buckeyes take on Oregon. The band also plans to travel to the football game against Michigan on November 27.
The band’s 2021 Reunion Weekend featuring the Alumni Marching Band will be held on September 25 when Ohio State football plays Akron. This year’s performance marks the alumni’s 52nd reunion and first since 2019.
“This was probably the most competitive tryout we’ve had in my time here,” Hoch said. “We’re really excited to get back to what we normally do and cheer on the team on gameday.”
TBDBITL 144 Members
Newcomers in italics
Squad Leader: Jamie Bossenbroek
Assistant Squad Leader: Jacob Haehn
Squad Leader: Sam Howard
Assistant Squad Leader: Jacob Ryan
Squad Leader: Shaylin Adams
Assistant Squad Leader: Mallory Cooper
Head Drum Major: Austin Bowman
Assistant Drum Major: Dalton Cararo
Squad Leader: Elizabeth Geil
Assistant Squad Leader: Dan Havens
Squad Leader: Nathan Adkins
Assistant Squad Leader: Tori Mollenkopf
Squad Leader: Colin Williams
Assistant Squad Leader: Hanna Hutchins
Squad Leader: Josh Drouillard
Assistant Squad Leader: Ryan Harris
Squad Leader: Michael Mayer
Assistant Squad Leaders: Nate Gambill, Dan Rumpz
Squad Leader: Connor Oppy
Assistant Squad Leader: Avery Voress
Zach de Mesa
Squad Leader: Luke Isler
Assistant Squad Leader: Bradley Krak
Squad Leader: Dawson Taylor
Assistant Squad Leader: Sawyer Heilshorn
Squad Leader: Ben Stefanko
Assistant Squad Leader: Taylor Thompson
Squad Leader: Nathan Stevens
Assistant Squad Leader: Scott Snyder
Squad Leader: Joe Bertrand
Assistant Squad Leader: Brooke Butler
Squad Leader: Jeremy Parr
Assistant Squad Leader: Christy Welder
Squad Leader: Josh Coffey
Assistant Squad Leader: Vanessa Rivera
Squad Leader: Jacob Glorioso
Assistant Squad Leader: Quintin O’Boyle