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]
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