Michael Smith, the Assistant Director of Marching and Athletic Bands at Ohio State University, caused quite a stir around the country when his band performed a tribute to all of the greatest shows on television. Now in his third year, Smith has the OSU band doing the kind of presentations usually associated with HBCU bands which has caused quite a stir among certain HBCU corridors.
Smith met up with Tom and J. Anthony Brown in Columbus, Ohio to talk about OSU’s now-famous tribute to Michael Jackson and who he ranks as the top three HBCU bands in the land.
On OSU’s performance:
“We’re just trying to bring some pretty music to the people.”
On OSU’s band:
“We have 225 marching members of which a 192 are on the field. The rest of them are alternates.”
On if he thinks HBCU bands are too big:
“Maybe there is such a thing as being too big….”
On His Top Three HBCU Marching Bands:
3. Grambling State University
2. Southern University
How The OSU Band Prepares:
We have a number of arrangers. We have about 7 arrangers that arrange the music exclusively for us. We start in the springtime and pick the shows that we want to do and divide it out among the arrangers. Once they get the music to come to life, with the brass band that we have then we start to do the drills.
Our primary drill writer is Dr. Chris Hoke and he does an amazing job with the visuals. We will put the music and drills together and we rehearse in one week, sometimes we have the luxury of two weeks. We rehearse every day from 4:10 to 6:20. On Friday, we have music check and they have to know everything.
Click the link above to hear the entire interview!
Rappers With a College Degree
1. Honorary: Diddy spent some time at Howard University but never finished. This year he received an honorary Doctorate.
1 of 25
2. Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) Glover graduated with a degree in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Art.
2 of 25
3. Honorary: Lil Wayne went to the University of Houston before transferring to the University of Phoenix to take classes online.
3 of 25
4. Mos Def graduated from NYU
4 of 25
5. Honorary: Common attended Florida A&M for two years with an academic scholarship
5 of 25
6. Camron graduated from junior college in Texas
6 of 25
7. 2 Chainz graduated from Alabama State University
7 of 25
8. Lil Jon graduated high school, finished college at Ohio State University in '93 and straight into the music biz. (AP)
8 of 25
9. Producer, Singer Ryan Leslie has a Degree in Government & Economics from Harvard University. (PR Photos)
9 of 25
10. J. Cole has a Bachelor's Degree in Communications with a minor in Business from St. John's University. (AP)
10 of 25
11. Joe Torry has a Degree in Mass Communications from Lincoln University. (PR Photos)
11 of 25
12. David Banner has a Bachelor's Degree in Business from Southern University. (PR Photos)
12 of 25
13. Young MC has a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of Southern California. (PR Photos)
13 of 25
14. Ludacris has a Bachelor's Degree in Music Management from Georgia State University. (AP)
14 of 25
15. Public Enemy's Chuck D. has a Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design from Adelphi University (New York) (PR Photos)
15 of 25
16. M.I.A. She completed a program in fine art, film and video at London's Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. AP
16 of 25
17. Ice Cube earned a degree in Architecture from Phoenix Institue of Technology in 1988. (PR Photos)
17 of 25
18. Stat Quo has a Bachelor's in International Business & Economics from the University of Florida. (TheUrbanDaily)
18 of 25
19. Rapper Sage Francis earned a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Rhode Island in 1999. (Twitter)
19 of 25
20. Talib Kweli has a New York University Theatre and Arts Degree. (Photo: AP)
20 of 25
21. Flava Flav earned degrees in Radio Communications & Business from Adelphi University. (Photo: AP)
21 of 25
22. MC Solaar earned degrees in Languages and Philosophy from the Jussieu Campus of the University of Paris. (Tumblr)
22 of 25
23. Musta Ace earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Rhode Island. (Tumblr)
23 of 25
24. Rumor has it that Plies graduated from a four year college in Miami with a Degree in Nursing. (Photo: EURweb)
24 of 25
25. The late great GURU (Keith Elam) earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Morehouse College
25 of 25