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Callender, Ford returning as drum majors for 2024

April 27, 2024

Callender, Ford returning as drum majors for 2024

Clayton and Josh in front of Ohio Stadium

After a windy, competitive tryout in the shadows of Ohio Stadium at the Lincoln Tower Park practice field, The Ohio State University Marching Band has selected its drum majors for the 2024 season.

Clayton Callender, a junior from Dover, Ohio, will be back for his second year as the band’s head drum major in the fall. Callender is an accounting major who served as TBDBITL’s head drum major for the 2023 season.

"I am very grateful. Now that I know this will be my final year, I am going to cherish every ramp, halftime show, and trip we take this year," Callender said. "I would never have been here without the support of my whole family. They're my support system, and they keep me motivated."

Also returning in 2024 will be assistant drum major Joshua Ford. A rising third-year majoring in aviation from nearby Gahanna, Ford held the same role in 2023.

"I am really thankful that I get to do this all again. Last year was a really big milestone that I accomplished, and getting the opportunity to do it again this year is very exciting. I'm looking forward to being in band with all of my friends again and am ready for a great  season," said Ford.

Each candidate performed the traditional pregame ramp entrance (including the high strut from the north side of the field, the backbend, and the goal-post toss), an individual twirling routine set to “Don’t Be Cruel and Viva Las Vegas” from the 2023 “Elvis” halftime show, and a series of five high aerial tosses.

Students from the marching band and athletic band played live music for the candidates to use in their twirling routines, and fans were welcome to watch.

Candidates’ routines were judged by band staff and former drum majors. Those twirling scores were combined with scores from the candidates’ interviews that were conducted a day earlier.

"I am really proud of these guys. All four candidates improved dramatically from last season and competed very hard. It shows that a bright future is ahead for our program. I am very happy for Clayton and Josh to earn their respective spots this year. They are great individuals, and I'm excited to have them back for this season," said Christopher Hoch, Director of The Ohio State University Marching Band.

Callender and Ford are the first two students to have secured their spots for the 2024 Marching Band. All others will try out in mid-August.