Every year in The Ohio State University Marching Band, each member, whether protective candidate or seasoned veteran, must audition and earn their spot in the band. All 14 spots in I – Row and 18 spots in J – Row are open (including squad leaders spots!) and will be filled with the 14/18 highest performing members come auditions. It is not unheard of for veteran members to be cut from the drumline and replaced with rookie members if the candidate worked hard enough and performed at the level of excellence demanded from the OSUDL. Due to the competitive nature of the process, auditions have remained relatively unchanged for the band and are regarded within the band as one of TBDBITL’s greatest and most intense traditions.

Auditions for the drumline will consist of a marching and a playing audition.  The marching section of the audition will take place over a series of two days where the squad leaders will grade your proficiency at the various marching fundamentals required of the band.  The music auditions will generally be a playing audition that takes place on the first day of tryouts and is in front of a judge from the music community not associated with the band.

2022 Music Audition

In addition to the tryout music sent by email (received after registering for tryouts) here are the exercises required for tryouts.

  • Snares
    • TBA
  • Bass Drum
    • TBA
  • Cymbals
    • TBA
  • Tenors
    • TBA

2023 Audition Schedule

Friday, August 11th: CANDIDATE DAY ONE / 2:00pm – 5:00pm and 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Saturday, August 12th: CANDIDATE DAY TWO / 9:00am – 12:00pm and 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Sunday, August 13th: AUDITION DAY ONE / 8:30am – 9:00pm

Monday, August 14th: AUDITION DAY TWO / 8:30am – 5:00pm

The 2023 OSUMB will be announced Monday, August 14th at ~ 10:00pm

Rehearsal Schedule After Tryouts

For those that make the band, the hard work continues! Three-a-day rehearsals begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, August 15, and will continue through Friday, August 18.

Candidates are not required to be residents of Ohio to audition for the marching band. Candidates are also not required to attend Summer Sessions as a prerequisite to audition for the band. Additionally, candidates do not have to be a student at OSU’s main campus.  Candidates at an OSU branch campus or surrounding university may try out for the band. Those at a branch or different university must register for the marching band class, offered at OSU’s main campus prior to tryouts. (Course number: 2205.01)

You can register for the 2023 OSUMB Auditions by going to the official OSUMB Website!


Candidate Days

Candidate Days take place the two days prior to the official marching band auditions. CANDIDATE DAYS ARE REQUIRED FOR STUDENTS AUDITIONING THAT HAVE NOT MADE THE BAND BEFORE. Candidate Days consist of a full review of each fundamental that the band uses, and helps catch up students that were unable to attend the Summer Session rehearsals. These two days will prepare prospective members for the audition process both physically and mentally, leaving no student behind or ill-equipped to try and make the drumline. It is important, however, that prospective members are doing everything they can to prepare themselves beforehand to be at peak performance come tryouts. This includes watching the fundamental videos on the Summer Sessions tab, reading through the Buckeye Technique Packet and Warmup Packet on the Music PDF page, and by reaching out to the squad leaders for any help that is needed. Candidate Days are in place to help students work out the last few details of the marching and playing techniques before auditions, but should not be relied upon as the only time spent working on the marching fundamentals.

Candidate Days take place outside on the practice fields at their scheduled times and are run by the squad leaders. All fundamentals required for prospective members to know for the audition are reviewed and retaught. This allows all of the auditioning members to have the techniques fresh in their minds for the auditions and can help students iron out some final details with different maneuvers. Squad leaders will teach the fundamentals and then break candidates into smaller groups of three to four for ‘mock’ on the lines. Mock on the lines are used to simulate the process used during the actual audition process the following days and get prospective members accustomed to the physically demanding nature of the tryout process.


TBDBITL Auditions

Auditions for the band take place over the two days following Candidate Days. This is when the veteran members rejoin the prospective members and the final push for membership in the band finally begins. Auditions for the marching band are considered by many to be one of the most rigorous and intense aspects of being a member of the organization.

Tryout scores are compromised of three parts:

1. Playing Audition

2. On the Line

3. Block Band

More information will be coming related to the playing portion of the audition.

On the Lines are fundamental intensive and will be performed only with the small group each prospective member is assigned. This gives the squad leaders a clear view of each person’s skill level with the fundamentals, as they only have three students to watch and score at once. On the Lines will consist of two different drills (groups of fundamentals put together), and the Ramp Entrance.

Block Band will have the groups standing and marching next to one another while playing through school songs such as Buckeye Battle Cry, Fight the Team, I Wanna Go Back to Ohio State, Hang On Sloopy (marching step and playing), and a ‘Tryout Drill’ to one other school song. Tryout Drills are a collection of fundamentals put to the music of a school song. The drill will not be revealed until the first official day of auditions however. 2023’s tryout drill will be played to Beautiful Ohio (long version).

Squad leaders will be breaking all students trying out, including veteran members of the band, into small groups of three to four people of the same instrument. These groups will stick together and be graded against the other members of the group throughout the On the Line and Block Band portion of the tryout (although these groups changed for each session of the tryout, so candidates and veterans are always grouped together with different members than their previous OTL/Block Band).