Traditions

SCRIPT OHIO

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In the hearts of fans and musicians alike, Script Ohio has been OSUMB's showpiece for more than half a century. The unique formation has been repeated each year since it was first presented at the Indiana game on Oct. 24, 1936. Performed to the driving rhythm of Le Regiment de Sambre et Meuse, assisted by the fans' unison clapping, the band phenomena has evolved into many varieties including double, triple, and quad scripts.

Script Ohio is an integrated series of evolutions and formations. The band first forms a triple Block O formation which will slowly unwind to form the famous letters. The Drum Major leads the outside O into a peel-off movement around the cuves of the script, ever man and woman in continual motion. The middle Block O revolves counter-clockwise as the other two rotate in a clockwise manner. Slowly the three blocks unofld into a long singlur line which loops around, creating the OSUMB's trademark.

Wesley Leas was the first drum major to lead the snake-type formation. His part was at first a necessity, to guide the bandsmen around the strange new shape in 1936. On Oct. 23, 1937, he once again led the script, but this time with a Sousaphone dotting the 'i', as it is still done still today! Click here for more information on the Incomparable Script Ohio.

 

THE GRAY BATON

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There was a time when the drum majors' tradition of using an all-metal baton was in danger of being lost. Their manufacturing had ceased, and only rubber-tipped models were being produced. John Gray (OSUMB 1959-63), president of the Ward Steel Service Co. in Dayton, Ohio, took on the challenge of designing an all-metal baton in 1975 to maintain the tradition. His first challenge was to find a metal flexible enough to survive a five-story toss without bending or breaking if dropped. It had to be light enough to maneuver, but heavy enough to prevent the wind from carrying it during aerials. Gray decided to use the highest strength stainless steel tubing with a cast aluminum ball. The ball, strengthened by lightweight interior reinforcing ribs, was permanently fastened to the shaft by a steel pin and a chemical bond. After chrome plating, the baton balanced as predicted, at 1 1/2 inches off center, to expedite twirling. Gray developed two models: the "Twirler", for the normal performer, and the "Strutter" for the more advanced twirler who specializes in the high toss, strut and thrust. The Gray Baton has fulfilled its purpose. "It was built solely to continue the tradition of using an all-metal baton at Ohio State", Gray said. "It comes, of course, in a scarlet and grey carrying case.