Ohio State Marching Band alumni weekend brings together tradition and family

October 2, 2017
The Hurley Family

Each year, the Ohio State Marching Band alumni game draws in previous band members from all over the country, giving them the chance to relive their days as members of TBDBITL.

For some current band members, it’s a time to reflect on what it means to be part of the tradition of excellence that comes with OSUMB. For others, like third-year sousaphone player Anna Hurley, it’s a unique opportunity to share the field with the family members who marched before her.

Anna’s father, Mark Hurley, played baritone horn in the band from 1981-1985. Her sister, Erin Hurley, followed suit and played baritone from 2007-2009. Now, Anna is proud to carry on the family tradition.

“TBDBITL has been a part of my family since my dad marched in the 1980s, and I've always loved hearing the stories about the great times my family members had in TBDBITL,” said Anna, a city and regional planning major. “Being a member of TBDBITL is being a part of something bigger than yourself, and being a part of a multi-generational TBDBITL family is a great reminder of that.”

Band members and alumni rehearse for the OSU-UNLV game

The alumni game, held this year on Sept. 23 for the Ohio State vs. UNLV game, offers a unique opportunity for multiple generations of TBDBITL to come together on the field and play some of Ohio State’s classic hits, while pulling off quadruple Script Ohio to all sides of Ohio Stadium. Before the group can take to the field, alumni meet six hours before kickoff to run through the music and drill.

Although the rehearsal can be demanding, Erin says the reward of performing in the 'Shoe again makes it all worth it.

“There is something so cool about taking the field and knowing that the band has traditionally remained the same for all these years and that I am a part of that tradition,” Erin said. “The oldest in the band played the same songs, wore the same uniform and cheered on the Buckeyes. It makes it all the sweeter knowing that I am taking part in it with my Dad and sister.”

OSUMB plays during the OSU-UNLV game

For Mark, one of the best parts of the weekend is seeing and reconnecting with his old bandmates. However, what he values most is the opportunity to document the occasion and make new TBDBITL memories with his family.

“During third quarter of the reunion game, we try to gather alumni parents and grandparents with their children in the active band for a group photo,” Mark said. “Being able to take part in that photo is quite an honor and one of the highlights of the game for me.”

OSUMB has proven to bond families, like the Hurleys, through a common love for music, tradition and the Buckeyes. For many current members like Anna, they will always be grateful for the bonds that TBDBITL helped create within her family.

“I love that TBDBITL is something that I can share with my dad and sister,” Anna said. “It's something that brings my whole family together, and helps us understand each other better.”