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About the Bands

Wind Symphony

Wind Symphony playing at Severance Hall

Conducted by Professor Russel C. Mikkelson, The Ohio State University Wind Symphony is widely recognized as one of the country's elite wind bands. Its membership comprises the most accomplished brass, woodwind and percussion players in the School of Music. Committed to the creation of new music for winds, this ensemble regularly commissions and premieres music for the medium. Current and recently commissioned composers include Pulitzer Prize winners Julia Wolfe, Wynton Marsalis, William Bolcom, and Aaron Jay Kernis, as well as esteemed composers Robert Beaser, Zhou Tian, John Mackey and many others.

Graduates of the Wind Symphony hold positions as professional orchestral musicians, soloists, conductors, members of the Washington-based military bands, university professors, and include some of the world's leading music educators. The Wind Symphony Recording Project, instituted in 2000, has recorded six compact discs including Network (Naxos), Rest (Naxos), Southern Harmony (Naxos), Winds of Nagual (Naxos), Jubilare! (Mark Custom), and Sounds, Shapes and Symbols (Mark Custom). The Wind Symphony has twice performed at the national conference of the College Band Directors National Association, the American Bandmasters Association national conference, the CBDNA North Central Division, and performs regularly at the Ohio Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference.

What the reviewers are saying:

"...the music is very strong and tightly played by this expert wind ensemble. By turns splashy and reflectively still, this is an outstanding wind symphony disc. Naxos' Southern Harmony: Music for Wind Band is a solid effort on every front; a great band, outstanding, fresh literature, and a fine recording -- made at OSU's Weigel Auditorium -- that delivers all of the music up close and personal." — All Music Guide

“(I played in a good band), but we never came within a continent of the Ohio State University Wind Symphony, who under director Russel C. Mikkelson give us some superlative performances of 20th and 21st century works on Network (Naxos 8.573446). They not only sound great, they have chosen a program that keeps you energized and interested.” — Gapplegate Music Review

"Sound is superb and quite vivid. The performances are stellar in keeping with OSU's outstanding musical tradition. It's hard to believe that this is only a college ensemble. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!" — Joseph Kline, classical music reviewer

Undergraduate: Music 2204.01 | Graduate: Music 7204.01
Classes meet MW 1:503:55 and F 1:502:45

  • Please consult Class Search to confirm course meeting times and locations.

Symphonic Band

Symphonic Band at Ohio Union

Conducted by Professor Scott A. Jones, the Symphonic Band is a vibrant community of musicians dedicated to both exceptional artistry and the exploration of the human condition through music. The ensemble has earned praise following performances for the College Band Directors National Association, the Ohio Music Education Association, the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Ohio State Contemporary Music Festival, on tour, and through its recordings.

The Symphonic Band is comprised of approximately 65 instrumentalists, most of whom are undergraduate and graduate music majors. A registered student organization at Ohio State, the ensemble is led by a Student Board elected from the membership of the ensemble. Membership is open through auditions to all university students regardless of major.

Collaboration and partnership are central to the mission of the Ohio State Symphonic Band. A 2019 residency with composer James Stephenson and his composition “there are no words” served as a catalyst for a meaningful collaboration with the Ohio State Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the producers of the documentary Emanuel. Other recent collaborations include the Ohio State Department of Dance and the Institute for Japanese Studies.

Symphonic Band performs a minimum of four campus concerts each year, as well as serving the campus community at commencement exercises. Since 1990, the band has premiered more than 25 new compositions; students have had the opportunity to work with notable conductors and composers such as Frederick Fennell, Frank Ticheli, H. Robert Reynolds, Gunther Schuller, Jennifer Higdon, John P. Paynter, Steven Bryant, David Gillingham, Daniel Bukvich, Nancy Galbraith, Jonathan Newman, Col. Timothy Foley, John Mackey, Elizabeth Green, Roger Cichy, David Maslanka, Warren Benson, Carter Pann, and Andrew Boysen, Jr.

Undergraduate: Music 2204.02 | Graduate: Music 7204.02
Classes meet MW 1:503:55 and F 1:502:45

  • Please consult Class Search to confirm course meeting times and locations.

Collegiate Winds

Collegiate Winds is an ensemble of approximately 60 musicians, who join together to perform two concerts per semester. The ensemble is dedicated to broadening the artistic level and interest of its members while performing music of artistic and historical significance. Membership is open through audition each semester to all university students regardless of major. Students have the opportunity to interact with important composers and conductors including recent guests Steven Bryant, John Mackey, Carter Pann, Michael Daugherty, David Maslanka, Joel Puckett, and Craig Kirchhoff. Phillip Day, conductor.

Undergraduate: Music 2204.03 | Graduate: Music 7204.03
Classes meet Tue. and Thu. 78:30 p.m.

  • Please consult Class Search to confirm course meeting times and locations.

University Band

The Ohio State University Band is open to students from all majors. This non-auditioned ensemble allows student musicians the opportunity to cultivate their musical growth in an inclusive and creative environment with a lighter time commitment than that of other Ohio State concert bands. Musical excellence and enthusiasm for wind band repertoire are at the core of the ensemble’s mission — providing a transformative experience for its members. The band performs four concerts per year and is conducted by graduate associates. Join us!

Undergraduate: Music 2204.04 | Graduate: Music 7204.04 
Classes meet Tue. and Thu. 78:30 p.m.

  • Please consult Class Search to confirm course meeting times and locations.

Marching and Athletic Bands

Marching Band sousaphones at Ohio Stadium

Marching Band

The Ohio State University Marching Band consists of 228 brass and percussion instrumentalists who must try out every year. The Marching Band meets during the autumn semester (beginning in August, prior to the start of classes), and it performs at all home football games, select away games, post-season games and other athletic and community events.

Learn more about the tryout process for the Marching Band.


Athletic Bands

Athletic Band playing at St. John Arena

The athletic bands offer students the opportunity to perform both in concert and at athletic events, including men’s and women’s basketball, hockey, wrestling and the spring football game in Ohio Stadium. A large quantity of pop music is performed.

Instrumentation includes brass, woodwinds and percussion for these open-enrollment ensembles. Selected band members participate in trips, including post-season tournament play. These bands are composed of students representing almost every college in the university.

Questions? Visit Marching and Athletic Bands, email osumb@osu.edu or call 614-292-2598.