The most exciting band in the land is gearing up for big changes and opportunities.
The Ohio University Marching 110 has received a lot of big news lately, including a planned trip to Japan in 2020 and the temporary departure of assistant director Josh Boyer.
The Marching 110 partnered with the OU Office of Global Opportunities and a few universities in Japan to make the trip and further bridge the band’s international connections. The band has previously taken two international trips to Dublin and Rome in 2015, and Paris in 2016. There were a lot of options for the 2020 trip, but the directors wanted to explore outside of the Europe bubble.
The trip will commence after the new year in January 2020, and the group will stay there for 10 days before returning as Spring Semester gets started.
Although the specifics of the itinerary are yet to be determined, Emily Dehem, a freshman clarinet player in the Marching 110, is thrilled for the opportunity to go to Japan with the band.
“I would never get to go to Japan on my own,” Dehem said. “So to hear that’s where we’re going is cool because it’s really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I think everyone else felt that way, too.”
There was a lot of speculation from the Marching 110 members about where the location of their international travel would be, but Dehem said everyone was pleasantly surprised with the result being Japan.
Josh Green, a sophomore snare drummer in the Marching 110, is also excited to further his international travel.
“I’m super excited to go to Japan and take advantage of this amazing opportunity,” Green said. “At the meeting when we found out it was Japan, everyone went crazy and flipped out, and it was such an awesome moment to be a part of.”
Boyer, assistant director for the Marching 110, believed Japan to be an excellent choice in terms of opportunity and connection.
“We decided that Japan was the most accessible,” Boyer said. “There’s a lot more to do in a closer location without having to transport a lot to quite as many different places.”
Boyer also believes going abroad is one of the best experiences offered to the 110 students, to get them to expand their horizons and create new connections.
“Music is a very important part of the culture in Japan,” Boyer said. “It’s so exciting to be able to go and share what we have in Athens around the world.”
Though the Japan trip drummed up a lot of excitement from the band, the announcement was also met with the unfortunate news of Boyer temporarily leaving OU to get his doctorate.
“It’s been a goal of mine to get my Ph.D., and the opportunity finally came up,” Boyer said. “After talking with colleagues at different schools, I went through the process of determining which way I wanted to go. I am fortunate in that the university is allowing me to continue my education and then return to my position.”
Boyer will receive his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. He felt comfortable going there because he knows some faculty members, and he is excited to get a fresh perspective from its athletic band and other university opportunities.
Dehem and Green are both excited for Boyer’s opportunity but also saddened by the idea of not seeing him regularly.
“I was shocked when I heard that Boyer was leaving,” Green said. “But I’m sure he’s going to do great things. I know he’ll still be around and be there for us.”
The Marching 110 has provided a plethora of opportunities and learning experiences for the students, but Dehem thinks the biggest part of the 110 is the family aspect inspired by Boyer and the other members of the band.
“I’m from Michigan, so I didn’t really know anyone when I came here, but the 110 has been such a big family, and it really shows how much everyone cares about each other,” Dehem said.
Green agrees with the emphasis on family and was happy the 110 helped him transition to college life.
“Before I joined the band, I was nervous about coming to college and transitioning, but the 110 made it really easy for me to make that transition, because I immediately had a group of people who cared about me, appreciated me and were always going to be there for me,” Green said.
Though Boyer is excited to pursue his personal career goals, he looks forward to continuing his work with his Marching 110 family.
“Ohio is a big part of who I am,” Boyer said. “I did my undergrad here, I marched in the band and met my wife in the band. I got my masters here, and now I teach here. I love Ohio, but I needed to experience something else. It’s definitely tough because I love OU and the band, but I’m fortunate that the program will allow me to go and then return.”