A virtual battle cry

OSU Marching Band in formation

By Laura Arenschield 

Every Buckeye football game at Ohio Stadium starts with the band marching onto the field, perfectly in step, precisely positioned, playing Buckeye Battle Cry. It’s a song of optimism, rising up to a crescendo of percussion and horns. When the band starts playing it, people stand up throughout the stadium—often 100,000-plus people coming together in one moment—and cheer.

The COVID-19 pandemic has stopped almost every communal moment from happening. But, like musicians around the world, the Ohio State University Marching Band is still trying to create them.

This week, the band posted Socially Distanced Buckeye Battle Cry to its various social media accounts. Sixty-one of the band’s members recorded themselves playing Buckeye Battle Cry from their homes. One band member, baritone horn player Luke Boyle, edited their audio together. Evan Drexler, the band’s communications manager, edited their videos into a patchwork and laid the audio over top.

Drexler said he almost dismissed the idea at first because he knew so many students—sousaphone players, bass and tenor drummers, cymbalists—wouldn’t have their instruments at home.

“There was a lot of percussion missing,” he said. “But we wound up having one student who had finger cymbals—she’s in it.”

To read more, click here. Watch the virtual battle cry below!