Bobcats, Bengals and Browns…Oh My!

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On Sept. 13, The OU Marching 110 had a quaint audience during its Thursday afternoon practice: Just a small boy and his grandmother in the bleachers, eating Chicken McNuggets as they bopped along to the music.

Three days later, the band played to a crowd of over 65,000 anxious fans packed into Paul Brown Stadium.

On Sunday, Sept. 16, the Marching 110 packed up and headed to Cincinnati to perform during halftime of the Bengals/Browns football game.

Besides preparing two songs in lieu of the normal four to five, and keeping in mind the different markings on a NFL field, practices leading up to the game were like any other.

On game day, the band rocked out to "Motown Philly" by Boyz II Men and "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC.

Trombonist Gina Alexander, a senior Communications Sciences and Disorders major from Tipp City, Ohio, thought nothing of heading onto the field.

"Playing at the Bengals games my freshman and sophomore year felt so much different," she said. "I was nervous because I had never played in front of such a large audience. I wasn’t really nervous performing as a senior."

During OU halftime performances, the enthusiasm and energy that vibrates through the stadium before the band takes the field is a given. Before an NFL halftime, that energy level is just as intense.

"The atmosphere is amazing because of all the people there. I love the feeling I get when the clock reaches 0:00 and when we're waiting to march onto the field," said Alexander.

With such a large percentage of students and alumni from the Cleveland and Cincinnati areas, this game was a significant one for the 110.

"During the game, there were so many supporters, mostly OU alumni that would come up to us saying things like 'We’re so excited to see you perform, we love the Marching 110', said mellophonist and Browns fan Anne Connors, a senior from Medina, Ohio, studying Health Services Administration. "After the game, both Browns and Bengals fans were really happy that we had performed and told us that they want to see us at more games."

As for the result of the game? Even though her team lost, Connors loved the experience. Alexander on the other hand, had a bit more to be happy about.

"I’ll always remember it because it was my last-ever performance at an NFL game. It was great being able to watch my favorite team destroy the Browns and having my family there too."

For more information about the OU Marching 110, including a video of the band's famous rendition of "Gangnam Style," visit www.marching110.org.