ATHENS, Ohio. (WTAP) - Members of Ohio University’s Marching 110 are no strangers to hard work. Classes don’t begin until Monday, but they’ve already been on campus for a week prepping for game-day.
Once known as the exclusive Marching Men of Ohio, the women-inclusive Marching 110 begins its 52nd year under the leadership of its first female field commander.
“It’s very exciting and I’m really honored to set the standard for other women to follow in my footsteps,” said Field Commander Sophia Medvid.
It’s Medvid’s job to discipline the band, monitor morale and teach freshmen proper marching techniques.
But the Marching 110 is known for more than just their marching. Many of the band’s shows include elaborate dance numbers choreographed by members known as dance commanders.
“The majority of the dances, we meet up at someone’s apartment or maybe at one of the fields and we spend a couple hours thinking, brainstorming moves, listening to the drum break and putting it together,” said Dance Commander Ethan Marting.
Band members have to learn their songs quickly in order to keep up.
Freshmen may have some culture shock to the intense training, but the band has a ritual to make sure they don’t stick out. When a freshman acquires a band jacket, they don’t wear it until it has been purposefully beat up and dirtied.
“The idea behind it is that everyone’s jackets look the same. You don’t want to be able to tell the freshmen from the old men, the upperclassmen who have had the jackets for years. You want everybody’s jackets to look equally disgusting,” said Marting.
The Marching 110 has grown significantly since they began their co-ed run, and actually have over two hundred members this year.