George Smith, Fisher student, marching in the OSUMB

George Smith, a third-year finance student, shares his memories of a busy fall and winter spent participating in some of the world’s largest parades and events as a member of The Ohio State University Marching Band.

When I saw Script Ohio on YouTube for the first time as fourth-grader, I immediately knew I wanted to be a Buckeye. I came to Ohio State in 2016 and experienced game day at Ohio Stadium for the first time when I marched down the ramp with the 139th edition of TBDBITL. Now, I’m a third-year finance major and a proud member of the 22nd Honors Cohort.

OSUMB marching in Macy's Day Parade in November of 2018

Growing up, I remember every Thanksgiving morning and the time I spent watching the marching bands in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on TV. So, when TBDBITL made its first-ever appearance at the event this past November, I was beyond excited to be a part of it — demanding schedule and all.

Our Thursday in New York City included a 1 a.m. wake-up call, 3 a.m. rehearsal at Macy’s Herald Square, staging the TV program’s opening sequence at 6 a.m., and stepping off at 9 a.m. It was early, cold, and brutal, but as the band marched through New York in front millions of spectators, I was proud to represent the university that has provided my classmates, bandmates and me incredible educations and opportunities. Our whirlwind trip to New York ended early the next morning, and we returned to Columbus to rehearse and perform during the Buckeyes’ 62-39 win over TTUN.

OSUMB's double Script Ohio at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2019

Barely a month later, the OSUMB was back on the road, making its way to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl. Game day in California was packed and energized as we marched in the six-mile Tournament of Roses Parade before heading to the Rose Bowl for the game. The stadium grew loud as we took the field during pregame, performing Script Ohio and the Star Spangled Banner. Fireworks boomed and a stealth bomber flew over us. These traditions (minus the stealth bomber) were part of every home game, but performing at the Rose Bowl was definitely one of the highlights of my time in the OSUMB.

These experiences were just a few of the many I gained traveling across the country with some of my closest friends and the rest of the OSUMB, living my dream as a Buckeye and performing shows that may, one day, inspire another fourth grader.