The Drum Major


The drum major has been a familiar figure on the Ohio State campus since 1878. In 1920, Drum Major George 'Tubby' Essington, first introduced showmanship, color, and personality to this leadership position at OSU. Prior to his time, the drum major’s position was based on strict military discipline. Perhaps the thrill and excitement of OSU’s winning football teams sparked by All-American Chic Harley in 1919 may have helped to break the on-standing somber look and regimentary characteristic of military bandleaders. Essington’s showmanship, coupled with the smart execution of movement, established a tradition that has continued to the present day.

Today the Drum Major is an iconic figure and leader of the OSU Marching Band. Over the past 100 years many traditions have been established that the Ohio State Drum Major is known for. These traditions inlcude the Pre-Game Backbend, leading Script Ohio, the showmanship and mace-work using the Gray Baton, and the Pre-Game goal post toss.