Ohio University’s esteemed marching band will be performing their setlist from the entire football season Saturday.
The Marching 110 is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The Marching 110 Varsity Show will feature all 245 members on one stage. The event serves as a platform to share the year’s repertoire with people who may not usually see the band at Peden Stadium or who want to see it in a different setting.
Josh Boyer, assistant director of marching and athletic bands, said the performance intends to gather together current students, alumni, high school students and parents.
If You Go:
What: Marching 110 Varsity Show
When: 8 p.m., Saturday
Where: Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, 47 E. Union St.
Admission: Free for OU students with ID; $11 for non-students; $9 for each member in a group of 10 or more
The Marching 110 puts on a similar concert in Columbus, but he said this one has a personal touch because they honor the students who are graduating. Each person is introduced and thanked for their time playing in the band, so many parents often come to witness it.
Evann Figueroa, a senior studying journalism and information design, said after the seniors shake both band directors’ hands, they make a long line in the audience and watch the remaining band members play “Stand Up and Cheer” for them. It’s emotional because that’s the first song they heard as a freshman during training week, she said.
High school students often attend the event if they’re interested in joining the Marching 110 when they come to OU, Boyer said.
“They see the band, they want to be part of the band,” he said. “This concert gives them the opportunity to come see everything we do.”
Josh Green, a freshman studying media arts, said he came to a few varsity shows during his years at high school because he was determined to become a member. The Varsity Show makes it easier to hear and see the band than at football games because they can stay facing one direction and just play.
“Hearing the face-melting power of the Marching 110 up close and personal is a mind-boggling experience,” he said. “It’s one that you can never forget.”
The most recent band directors at Green's former high school, Lakewood High School located near Cleveland, were members of the 110 and had brought back techniques to incorporate at the high school level. Green knew some basics before joining the drum line, but he wasn’t prepared for the “dedication and enthusiasm … and the amount of effort that they put into every rehearsal and every performance we have.”
“After coming here and arriving at training week, I was immediately blown away by the amount of excellence that the 110 strives for,” he said. “You can’t compare a high school marching band, or even a college level marching band to the 110. ”
Boyer said small groups of juniors and seniors perform the band’s halftime choreography on both sides of the stage during selected songs.
Figueroa said the band directors asked her to be a dance commander for the Marching 110 this year. She’s in charge of creating the band’s choreography and teaching it to the band members.
Sometimes, students might have to learn different steps than what they perform on the football field.
She said there were less dances for the Varsity Show this year than in previous years. Not many juniors were picked for the dance groups, leaving it mainly up to seniors.
“If you’re a junior and you get picked for a dance this year, that’s mega exciting because you were that good that we made a spot for you,” Figueroa said.
Boyer said he estimates last year’s crowd to have had between 1,500 and 1,700 audience members. He loves the different energy the audience gives off during the varsity shows.
The Varsity Show also allows more audience interactions while the dancers do their cheer dance. Band members will jump off the stage, run through the audience and give people high fives.
“It’s the closest you’ll ever be to (performing) at a rock concert,” he said. “The crowd’s very close to you. They’re very energetic. They’re there to see the band.”