Band members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and The Ohio State University (OSU) took to the stands and the field after a long hiatus to perform in their respective spring football games.
The Marching Illini had many new logistics to accommodate for safety, but this performance also brought to light exciting additions, such as a new football coach. The band played its pregame show in the stands and various pep tunes. “Though there was some normalcy, … it still was all very different,” says director Barry Houser.
The OSU Athletic Band was able to take the field for a halftime performance as well as play pep tunes in the stands. Its show was based on “The Wizard of Oz,” including music from the 1939 film as well as “The Wiz” and “Wicked.”
According to director Dr. Christopher Hoch, many students said that it was the most normal that they’d felt all season long. “To the credit of the students, every single one said they could participate and were excited to do so,” Hoch says.