Edison grad dreamed of joining OSU marching band

Cary Ashby • Nov 24, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Jarett Burns was about 8 years old when he saw the Ohio State University marching band perform at Kalahari Resort Convention Center.

That concert gave him a dream — to one day be in the band known as “the best damn band in the land.”

“That was through elementary school, middle school and high school,” Burns said.

So the young Milan boy even practiced marching the famous “Script Ohio” in his back yard. And now that dream has become a reality; the 2016 Edison High School graduate is in his first year in the OSU marching band.

“It’s really unreal. It’s hard to put it into words,” Burns said.

The band returns to Kalahari tonight for a 7:30 concert on the way to play the Buckeyes’ rival, Michigan, on Saturday. Tickets are $20.

“It’s always every other away Michigan game,” Burns said.

Every four years, the OSU marching band performs in Erie County on the way to the Big House.

“I’m definitely excited to see it. I’ve wanted to see it in person,” Burns said, referring to the Wolverines’ historic stadium. “I’m exponentially excited to put our signature on their turf.”

Burns, a sousaphone player, isn’t the only area high-school graduate in the OSU band. Jake Ramey, of Huron High School, plays mellophone and Port Clinton grad Adam Wells plays trumpet.

The OSU marching band has 28 sousaphone players — quite a change from Burns’ days in the Edison band.

“I was the only sousaphone in my senior class in Edison. I had to take the lead,” he said.

Now the OSU sophomore is a little Charger in a big Buckeye world.

“It’s amazing to see you’re a part of something that is bigger than you are,” said Burns, who noted “you can’t really count” all the traditions in the OSU band.

“We’re really a tight-knit group. It really is a huge family,” he added.

When he was an Edison student, Burns and trumpet player Ryan Reilly were selected to perform with OSU at Kalahari. On Friday, current Chargers Evan Hoffman and Gabe Mazurik have been chosen.

“The room (at Kalahari) is perfect for it. They have a great space for the band. We have enough space to march in (there),” Burns said. 

Marching into Ohio Stadium, known as the “Shoe,” is a highlight in his marching band career.

“Unless you’re a sousaphone, then you want to dot the ‘I,’” Burns said.

But you never know — sometimes dreams do come true.

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