16:05 PM

Ohio State Marching Band celebrates the music of Rush

Halftime show adds extra percussion to honor Neil Peart

To honor the early 2020 passing of one of the greatest drummers in history, Rush’s Neil Peart, the Ohio State Marching Band added a little more percussion to the mix for the halftime show Saturday.

Peart was a member of the progressive rock band for more than 40 years before he died from cancer. To help recreate Peart’s sonic impact, the percussion section was expanded by 20 toms and 20 extra cymbals mounted on four racks. They were at the front of the formation and played by the band’s five percussion alternates for this week.

The band blistered through some of Rush’s greatest hits, including “Red Barchetta,” “Fly by Night” and “Tom Sawyer.” Formations replicated Peart and Rush guitar player Alex Lifeson, and spelled out “2112” and “YYZ,” titles to Rush songs.

In addition to the tribute to Peart, the marching band performed two full single Script Ohio sequences in one game for the first time since 2011. This was done to accommodate students who have earned their chance to dot the ‘i’ but would not have been able to return for another season in 2022.

Fifth-year Ben Murawski was the i-dotter during pregame and fourth-year Garrett Everhart was the i-dotter at halftime. On Nov. 19, 2011, the band performed two full Script Ohios to allow then-director Jon Woods to dot the ‘i’ during his final home game in charge of the band.

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