Karl Neudorfer: 1995-1996

Karl Neudorfer OSU Drum Major

The band earns its title — TBDBITL — every time it takes the field. Its members wear white spats and white gloves, so that the color contrast between the black uniforms and green turf highlights the precision of their marching — but it has the same potential to highlight a mistake. To ensure that those mistakes don't happen (and they rarely if ever do) requires an incredible amount of preparation, both mental and physical. That statement is equally applicable to the Drum Major.

Neudorfer rose to become Drum Major for the OSU marching band in 1994 and held the position for two years. “It never ceases to amaze me just how much work was required to get ready for a single halftime show if it was to meet the band's only acceptable standard of absolute flawlessness. I recall spending countless hours running the stadium stairs and on the band's practice field, so that six Saturdays each year, fifteen minutes each time, I could live up to the band's exacting requirements. Without exception, the effort was worth it.” said Neudrofer.

Yet, for Neudorfer, describing these experiences falls short of capturing what it means to be the Ohio State Drum Major. The position involves much more than just strutting and twirling — it means playing a part in a tradition, and at an institution, far larger than oneself. The Drum Major continues a long line of Ohio State history, and in some respects is the embodiment of the best of Ohio State's traditions. The Drum Major is a part of something special that happens only in Columbus on football Saturdays.

“ To have been able to contribute to those traditions in even a fleeting way is an honor for which I will forever be grateful.”

“ I consider it a great privilege to have had the opportunity to serve as the head Drum Major of The Ohio State University Marching Band. There is no experience that can match leading The Best Damn Band in the Land on a Saturday afternoon; there is no greater thrill than strutting out of the tunnel and onto the field of Ohio Stadium, into a sea of scarlet and gray and a wall of noise. At most it would be a small exaggeration to say that Ohio State football is pursued in Columbus with a sense of higher purpose, and so the chance to perform for 100,000 of its cheering fans is something that, even nine years later, remains for me unequalled.” said Neudorfer.

After Neudorfer’s two years as Drum Major he graduated summa cum laude in 1997 and earned his J.D. degree, with honors in 2000 from The Ohio State University College of Law. He was executive editor of The Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution. Today, he continues to practice law in the state of Texas and regularly attends the annual high school Drum Major clinic every spring.