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Tom Cruise wowed by marching band’s ‘phenomenal performance’ in ‘Top Gun’ tribute

Action star sends note, shirts and invitation to special screening of upcoming film

A high-flying halftime show from The Best Damn Band in the Land has captured Hollywood’s attention.

The Ohio State University Marching Band was surprised this week with a note from a famous admirer: international action star Tom Cruise. The actor saw a replay of the band’s “Top Gun” tribute during halftime of the Purdue football game last month.

He was so impressed that he shared his appreciation, as well as shirts from his new movie “Top Gun: Maverick” and an invitation to a private screening of the film when it premieres this spring for all TBDBITL members.

“The Top Gun tribute was fantastic. What a phenomenal performance – thank you!” Cruise wrote. “I’d love for you all to be my guests for a special screening of Top Gun: Maverick in Columbus this Spring. And best of luck to The Ohio State University in the Rose Bowl.”

The band performed a medley of songs from the 1986 film including “Top Gun Anthem,” “Take My Breath Away,” “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” and “Danger Zone.” Through carefully planned choreography, 195 students formed a fighter jet, a volleyball game and Cruise’s iconic aviator sunglasses on the Ohio Stadium field. The band also spelled “Top Gun” and “Maverick,” Cruise’s character’s nickname.

Marching and Athletic Band Director Christopher Hoch was thrilled by the actor’s reaction.

“This is pretty cool! As I’ve said several times during the season,” he told band members, “this is a constant reminder that what you do matters to people.”

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