Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

The Ohio University Marching 110 rehearses its routines at Pruitt Field through a virtual livestream on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. Photo provided by Marching 110 Assistant Director Emily Talley.

Marching 110 virtually plays on

Ohio University’s Marching 110 has gone entirely virtual due to COVID-19. 

The ‘Most Exciting Band in the Land’ has been forced to meet and communicate through platforms such as email, Zoom and YouTube as they take precautions to stay safe from the coronavirus pandemic. 

While it may be the safest option, a number of students who participate in the Marching 110 are rightfully disappointed that their semester will be virtual. In-person performances, such as those at sporting events, have been entirely canceled for the Fall Semester’s Phase One, at minimum. 

Instead, band members are organizing times to come together virtually and create YouTube video ‘performances.’

The Marching 110’s plan for Phase One, which is the first portion of OU’s reopening phase, has been to educate a select group of student leaders on marching fundamentals. These sessions, held by field commander Ryan Steere, are then broadcast live on YouTube for other students to tune in and listen. 

The 110 also plans to hold live music rehearsals with the student leaders in order to give other students an opportunity to play along and practice from home. Students will also continue to meet with their sections via Zoom. 

Integrated media major Maria Breckenridge, a senior tenor sax player, is optimistic for the semester but upset that the Marching 110’s 2020 Japan Tour trip was canceled for all members. Students involved with the Performance Tour were supposed to visit Kyoto and Tokyo during the 2020 Spring Semester.

“When COVID began, all I could think about was coming back to (a normal Fall Semester),” Breckenridge said. “I was very optimistic to have a really great senior season in the 110.”

Breckenridge has been able to keep up with the Virtual 110, but she explained that she truly misses having everyone together because the 110 isn’t the same when virtual. 

“Our hope for Phase 2 is that the Marching 110 can be back on campus better than ever,” Breckenridge said. “We want to be able to hold marching and music auditions to determine the Pregame and Halftime blocks so that we can begin rehearsing right away.”

The Spring Semester audition process has also seen some huge changes. The 110 usually holds spring clinics for prospective members to meet current members and get help with audition material, but these spring clinics were canceled. 

Josh Green, a senior studying integrated media with a minor in music, and who is the section leader of the drumline playing snare, offered prospective members an alternative to these clinics. He encouraged those auditioning to send him their video auditions so that he could provide them constructive feedback to better help them prepare for their auditions. 

“I think the most negative thing about us being virtual is the fact that we can’t fully connect with our new members,” Green said. “One of the biggest things that I loved as a freshman was immediately having this whole group of people that care about me and support me. If I ever had a question or was struggling with something, I knew I could go to someone in the band. It’s more difficult to convey this feeling to our new members when we’ve only met through the internet.”

Richard Suk, director of marching and athletic bands and a professor of music at OU, explained that he was hopeful that when the high coronavirus case numbers started falling in May, it was the beginning of the end. However, the coronavirus is still spreading across the state, with over 20 new cases reported in the past two weeks in Athens County. The Marching 110 may just have to remain virtual for the rest of the semester, or even school year. 

“We’ve all seen it is possible to have virtual musical ensembles, we’ve seen it all summer on the internet,” Dr. Suk said. “That’s great for the listener because they get to hear the product of music being performed by various musicians. For the participating musician, however, the experience of playing in an ensemble is not the final product. The experience is in playing music along with others gathered together in the same space. That’s when the performer’s joy occurs.”


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH