In what’s becoming a ritual whenever Ohio State has a home game — past performances included a Michael Jackson moonwalk and a roving Jurassic Park dinosaur — the deservedly-nicknamed Best Damn Band in the Land executed a Salute to Gettysburg during halftime of yesterday’s game against Indiana (GIF via Cork Gaines):
In a really interesting recent story for the Washington Post, Mat McFarland profiled the OSU band, revealing that they spend just 10 hours per week rehearsing as a group. In order to use that time with optimal efficiency and curtail exorbitant paper printing costs, the band has made use of iPads:
The impressive performances are a product of the band’s hard work, but the contribution of a graduate of the rival University of Michigan has been key as well. This summer [students] Barta and King found an app, Drillbook Next, which helps marchers know exactly where they should be on the field throughout a show.
Instead of looking at printouts or PDFs on their iPads of formations while practicing, band members can watch the animation in motion. The app can be paused at any moment in the sequence to verify that all marchers are at their proper coordinates. Band instructors first design performances on software called Pyware, and then load the files onto the iPads using Drillbook Next.
The Drillbook Next app was developed by Detroit-area high school band instructor Scott Rundell.
The Ohio State band, meanwhile, is actively planning to make further use of technology next season, intending to install a WiFi network at their practice field that will display a birds-eye view of their practice formations, so we can probably expect plenty more viral videos next season.
Related: Ed Orgeron Sent Hand-Written Notes To Every USC Marching Band Member
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