Ohio State Marching Band halftime show of video game theme songs

Halftime performance of The Ohio State University Marching Band during a game against Nebraska on October 6. A "video game" theme, with music from Zelda, Halo, Pokemon, Tetris, and others.

So how'd they do it? A play-by-play breakdown in the Plain-Dealer:

The idea for the show came during the band’s annual brainstorming session each spring, and was first mentioned five years ago and put on the back burner until the decision was made to go for it this fall. Music arranger John Brennan helped lead the way on choosing the right video-game music and pulling it all together. Assistant director Chris Hoch guided the creation of the formations, with the final execution of the designs aided by a computer program.

The final result featured, among other things, Tetris pieces falling into place, a horse from Zelda running across the field, a Michigan flag being lowered and an Ohio State flag raised on a castle from Mario Bros. and a ghost chasing Pac-Man.

“It was a historical journey through video game music,” Waters said. “Some of the early music is a little trite, kind of tinny, so we tried to capture that in the musical arrangements. Some of the more modern stuff is very symphonic in nature and translated very well to our band. So we took all that into account and merged the music with the visual presentation we wanted to make.

In just two days, the video racked up close to 7 million views on YouTube. Insane! As a commenter points out, it's not a first: Cal did this back in 2007.

[video link; photo courtesy Ohio State University Marching Band]


    1.  According to a member of the band that posted on Reddit, they practiced for about a week, 2 hours each day.  I am amazed they picked it up that fast!!

        1. My understand is they are the cream of the crop and well trained. So not surprised they picked it up quickly. I love the fact that even though it is a Nebraska game, they still made a dig at Michigan with the flag lowering on the castle. Rivals to the end! :D

  1. Love it so much! I could not begin to care less about football (sometimes I care rather more, in fact, as when OSU play Michigan and I face the legitimate fear that someone will burn my car). But these, these are Buckeyes I can be proud of!

  2. I saw this over on Videogum the other day.  I can’t stand the sports, but this marching band TOTALLY FUCKING RULES!! I can’t imagine how much time and effort it took rehearsing this to pull it off!  Way to go, band nerds!!  Band geeks are rad!!

  3. Not to pee on OSU’s parade, but it’s curious they came up with this in a brainstorming session five years ago, ’cause Cal did it in 2007.

    Okay, I’m peeing a little bit.

    1. Sure, Cal did it first, but OSU did it so much better. As a former marching-band geek, I cringed a bit at the ragged lines and sloppy formations.

  4. Oklahoma State Marching band did the same thing at halftime when they hosted Texas on Sept. 29.  Coincidentally, they are both “OSU”.

  5. Bad feelings leftover from the Michigan-Ohio war are still so strong that they had to diss Michigan during a game against Nebraska??? I do not know from footsballing, but isn’t it traditional to make a big fuss about how you’re going to defeat the team you’re currently playing? I loved the performance though.

    1. Michigan and Ohio State have a long standing rivalry. Both teams take all opportunities to continue that rivalry. Growing up in Toledo, OH – next to the Michigan border – this game was a BIG deal and I mean BIG in the biggest sense of the word. Almost 100% of the students and teachers in grade school showed up that Friday wearing their school of choice colors. It was probably split 50/50 on support. In any case, lots of history there and I *love* it that they keep at it, even at other games.

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