COLUMBUS - Seneca East Tigers lent their roar to Ohio State University Buckeyes Saturday.
Bands from Seneca East Local School District and Avon Lake City Schools took turns playing songs prior to Saturday's Skull Session, the pep rally in St. John Arena prior to Ohio State's football game. It was Seneca East's first time having its band play at the event, and Director Dana Willman said she had been working on arranging it for a year.
"It was exhilarating," sophomore Devin Buchholz said.
The only three local students in Ohio State's marching band all graduated from Seneca East, Josh Senn in 2009 and John Phillips and Austin Willman in 2010.
Phillips, an Ohio State sophomore from Republic studying geography, plays a trombone in the band and has been a member for two years.
"I can't imagine being at Ohio State without being a part of the marching band," he said.
Phillips said his favorite part of being in the band probably is the adrenaline rush he gets right before the game starts and when he goes down the ramp into the stadium.
"(There is) just so much energy. ... It's hard to take it all in, there's so much going on," he said.
Senn, an Ohio State junior from Attica studying music education, has been in the marching band for three years.
"With every year, there's new surprises," said Senn, a flugelhorn player.
Senn said he has not been assigned a leadership role in the band, but he chose to take one on as a third-year member. He said he and another third-year member decided to step up and help younger members.
They assist the younger musicians with issues not necessarily related to marching band.
"(My role is) going really well. ... It's something that was given to me when I was a rookie and a second-year in the band, and so it's my way to give back," he said.
Senn said being a member of the marching band has been one of the top experiences of his college career so far. He said he is going to be at Ohio State for five years and probably will be in the marching band for five years.
"I'll definitely try out for five years," he said.
Senn said Dana Willman, who helped prepare him for his Ohio State audition, got the idea to take the band to a Skull Session when he was a freshman at Ohio State. When the band couldn't participate that year, Willman took the students to watch a Friday rehearsal. He said when he found out the band was going to perform at a Skull Session this year, he was excited.
"I've been looking forward to it," he said Friday.
Austin Willman, a sophomore at Ohio State from Attica, plays the snare drum in Ohio State's band. He got to spend time with his mom, the band director, and his sisters, Marissa and Jaclyn, who play in Seneca East's band, Saturday.
"It was good (having my alma mater attend). ... Having my family here was cool, too," he said.
The performance at Ohio State capped a busy two weeks for Seneca East's marching band.
The group left Nov. 9 for a five-day trip to New Jersey and New York City and returned Sunday.
The band participated in the New York City Veterans Day Band of Pride Sept. 11 tribute in Times Square Nov. 10. They were among more than 1,500 musicians from across the United States and beyond who paid tribute to people whose lives directly were affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The following day, the musicians marched and played "Another Op'nin', Another Show" and "America on Parade" in New York's Veterans Day parade on 5th Avenue.