The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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Buckeye pride in the Big Apple

Relive the Ohio State marching band’s historic appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade by walking in the steps of Erin Koyle ’16.

How do you arrive at the brink of history?

If you’re Erin Koyle ’16, you buy a thrift-store trumpet for $35 and teach yourself to play. Three years later, you’re a graduate student standing at attention at West 77th Street and Central Park West in New York City on a bright, frigid morning. You take your place in S Row of The Ohio State University Marching Band, the iconic troupe set to make its debut appearance in the 92nd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This is midpoint of a week — Michigan Week! — as challenging as Manhattan’s cacophony and intense pace. Time seems compressed, testing the wits and endurance of everyone who wears the traditional wool uniform. Yet all demands are met with military precision. Now Koyle and her bandmates — dear friends and fellow parade leaders — hear the drums sound. It is time. They step off to march into history, each footfall making an indelible memory. — Todd Jones

The band thrills 650 Buckeyes at a rousing Skull Session
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The band thrills 650 Buckeyes at a rousing Skull Session hosted by The Ohio State University Alumni Association and College of Arts and Sciences on Thanksgiving eve.

Jo McCulty

Marching band on the parade route
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TBDBITL performs sets of “Across the Field,” “Beautiful Ohio,” “Buckeye Battle Cry,” “New York, New York” and drum cadences during a one-hour march spanning two and a half miles. 

Jo McCulty

Erin Koyle on the field
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Two days and a long bus ride after their parade debut, Koyle and her band­mates report to Ohio Stadium at 6:30 a.m. to perform during the Buckeyes’ blowout of archrival Michigan, 62–39.

Jo McCulty

Fans crowd the field celebrating victory

“Being able to say we did the parade was cool, but coming home to a win over Michigan is always nice,” Koyle says. “I’m all-around pleased, but goodness gracious, I’m ready to go to sleep.”

Kenneth May

Jubilant Ohio State band member

Marching into history

Walk alongside Ohio State’s celebrated marching band as they perform for the first time in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.