OSU marching band boldly goes

By Phil Plait | October 25, 2012 9:30 am

A little while ago, the interwebz went all twitterpated over the Ohio State University marching band doing a halftime show tribute to gaming. Don’t get me wrong: it was really cool, especially the part starting at 6 minutes in. I was in a marching band for many years (shocker) and I’m amazed at what OSU did.

But somehow that particular show overshadowed the one OSU did on September 15 that was way cooler. And by cooler, I mean geekier.


I don’t want to spoil it, but if you want a cheat sheet, the You Tube page for the video has a list of the highlights and their times in the video.

My favorite part – duh – starts at 4:50. Make sure you keep watching for a minute. Make it so.

Tip o the shako to Heather Curtis.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Geekery, Humor, Space

Comments (21)

Links to this Post

  1. Boldly Go OSU Marching Band | Fleeing Nergal, Seeking Stars | October 25, 2012
  1. Chris

    Kind of nice to see that many people came out to watch a marching band.

  2. Carey


    THAT was amazing. From a former member of the Univ. of Alabama Million Dollar Band.

  3. Jim Ortner

    That was really cool! Have to show this to my 14 year old daughter who is in marching band. Jupiter is her favorite song!

  4. In the not-quite as cool and geeky vein, I’m told the Notre Dame marching band did a “Back to the Future” themed half-time show last weekend including creating a DeLorean that zoomed across the field, complete with exhaust shooting out the back. A launching space shuttle it even better, tho!

  5. That was a thousand and one kinds of awesome! :) Particularly loved the space shuttle with launch exhaust and of course the Star Trek theme music! I

  6. Eric

    Many years ago (like 20+) I saw the Stanford band do an entire halftime tribute to the doppler effect including both audio frequency shifts and color shifts of their standard red jackets. This was one of the tamer LSJUMB shows.

  7. shunt1

    I absolutely hated the Army’s military marching drills, until we had a band member join our artillary Battery. He taught us how to do formations and even how to twirl our rifles like battons.

    Then it suddenly hit us!

    This was teaching us how to work together as a unit, even if we could not see the overall pattern from our personal perspective.

    After he taught us, marching in front of some General became fun!

  8. Matt B.

    I’m always astounded at the ability to coordinate dozens or hundreds of people to do such things, having rarely had the chance to coordinate with even one other person myself. I don’t know how marching bands can accomplish these things, but it’s a treat.

  9. House full of huge smiles for these. Very awesome.

  10. Austin

    Pfft. Gorram band nerds.

  11. Funkopolis

    Incredible! What country was this from again?

  12. Derek

    @Matt B.

    I am a high school band director. I love doing this job.

    Last year we did a Star Trek show, which was fun. OSUMB is incredible. This Space Ex show was done just three weeks before that Video Game show everyone loved so much. Three weeks to learn a completely new show! Amazing! And the timing of this one was just four weeks after Armstrong’s death. I wonder if they decided to do it then?

  13. Great work, great tribute , great choreography – and great to see one of history’s greatest explorers and astronauts included as well. What a way to dot the ‘i”s! 8)

    Also liked the use of Holst’s ‘Mars’ (3 minutes & 30 seconds in) – thinking that’s a case of Curiosity rewarded?! :-)

    Classic. Cheers Phil. :-)

  14. rbray18

    every time i see osu i think Oklahoma state not Ohio state or Oregon state . course i live in Oklahoma.

  15. theoncomingstorm

    Finally a good use of a football field.

  16. Jim Ortner

    Matt B.

    To coordinate a show such as this is quite a feat. You first have someone who writes the ‘drill’ routine. This could be a simple drill with just a few pages or a complex one with a hundred pages. Everyone is notated in the drill such as F1 for Flute1, F2 – Flute2, etc. Each person in the band is given there notated number. Each person in the band usually has a drill book which tells them where they start and end for each page of drill and what measures in the music for that part of the drill. The drill routine then has to memorized usually along with the music. It is a lot of work and it still amazes me when large bands such as OSU learn these routines in just a few weeks time!


  17. Melody

    Brilliant; I loved it. Thank you for sharing this- really brought tears to my eyes.

  18. Wonderful! Touching and filled with hope for the future of space exploration!

    The part I liked the most was the Lunar Module.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  19. “I was in a marching band for many years (shocker) ”

    Hey! The great ancestor of this man (pedigree) was in a marching band! Galloping et all!
    never mind it was a triangle!

    You should respect yourself a bit more!

  20. Oh and btw: here at Menorca we´re crazy about horses. We have our own breed of sturdy warhorses which we use in the fiestas. *grin* Bulls are for woosies who run away.
    In the photo you can see some youths dancing with them:

    Don´t worry about the horses: they are build like tanks. But. And to be honest the gin* helps to get in front of them and make them go up… which they have to do if you want to touch their heart (a good luck thing).
    So everybody who I showed the video of Ohio´s horse trick went like “AAAhHHH” and “OOOHHH”

    *Gin was imported here by the british in the 1700´s but only after they stole the recipe from us, the dutch.


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