The Marching 110 is geared up and ready for its 52nd year, which some say will go down in history. With a new field commander, a big trip planned and dynamic shows to spare, there’s lots of excitement on the way.
Last year, the band announced its May 2020 trip to Japan. The band will spend 10 days performing, exploring and learning about the culture.
Ricky Reinzan, a junior studying integrated media, said he is beyond excited for the trip, but is more excited to share the band’s music with the people in Japan.
“The idea of going somewhere as far away as Japan, which is completely on the opposite side of the world, is a lot of pressure, but I’ve always had fun going anywhere with the band,” Reinzan, who plays the snare drum, said.
Though the band members have known about the trip for over a year now, it’s hard to contain their excitement as the date of the trip gets closer.
The 110 partnered with the Ohio University Office of Global Opportunities and a few universities in Japan to pull the trip off. The purpose is not only to perform and show people in Japan what OU’s band has to offer, but also to bridge some international connections for the future.
The band has previously taken two international trips to Dublin, Ireland, and Rome in 2015, and Paris in 2016. When discussing its many options for the trip in 2020, the band knew it wanted to get out of the European bubble and try something completely new and out of its comfort zone.
Nathan Christian, a senior studying healthcare administration and services, said he is looking forward to leaving the country for the first time to go to Japan.
“It’s scary and exciting at the same time because you’re going to a country where nobody really speaks English or anything, so I’m very excited to be there and show a country who’s probably never seen the 110 before what we’re about and represent Ohio University as well,” Christian, who plays the snare drum, said.
Though the band makes many trips to different parts of America, the international trips are a lot fewer and far between, so students are looking forward to the opportunity to have personal growth with knowledge of other cultures and of travel in general.
With the Japan announcement last year, it was also announced that assistant director Josh Boyer would be leaving OU for a year to get his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri. Boyer expressed how grateful he was to have the opportunity to get his doctorate, which had been a goal of his for a long time, and also be able to return to OU and the band when he’s finished, according to a previous Post report.
Boyer’s absence called for an interim assistant director, and Emily Talley answered that call. Reinzan noted that with a year full of big changes and a lot of events, Talley has been great for the band.
“She’s tried to introduce a lot of new concepts to us as far as team building and rehearsing different, and I think that’s been really good for us,” Reinzan said.
Perhaps the biggest change for the band is the implementation of a new field commander, Sophia Medvid, who is the first female field commander in the more than 50 years the band has been around.
Medvid is a senior studying astrophysics, and although the directors have said it’s never been a gender issue, because women have been highly considered for the position in the past, this is the first time the right woman has been up to the task of such intense leadership and a great challenge.
Students are hugely in favor of Medvid’s leadership, and are supporting her through all of it.
More than anything, students believe with all of the changes and steps outside of their comfort zones this year, the band will be at its best yet.
Josh Nihiser, a junior studying integrated media, said he’s admired and followed the band since he was in the fifth grade, and believes without a doubt this year is going down in history.
“I’m super excited because this is the biggest year in the history of the band,” Nihiser, who plays the snare drum, said. “We had the big 50th anniversary two years ago which was obviously a big deal, but this year not only have we broken huge barriers having a female field commander, but we’re also announcing the biggest trip the band has ever gone on.”
Nihiser also noted fans of the band are in for a huge year with its spectacular shows, and that everyone should attend the home football game on Saturday, Sept. 21, to listen to music that will surprise everyone.
Because of the new changes and the history the band is making this year, students are prouder than ever to be a part of the most exciting band in the land.
“It’s definitely a dream come true,” Christian said. “I first saw the 110 my junior year of high school, and right there and then, as soon as I saw them, I knew what I wanted to do. Once I saw the band I changed my mind about what school I wanted to go to and what band I wanted to be in. It was breathtaking to see them perform.”
A previous version of this report incorrectly stated the date for the home game. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.