Some music publishers are barring the Ohio State University marching band from playing their music in response to the university report that found a lewd culture in the band.
The reasons go both ways, though: Some publishers have said they don’t want to be associated with the behavior revealed in the report, while others said they don’t want to be linked to a university that rushes to judgment about its band leaders, said Mark Greenburg, president of Tresona Music, an Arizona company that distributes music licenses to college marching bands.
“They have lost support with some publishers,” Greenburg said, but he wouldn’t say which companies cut ties with Ohio State or which songs would be cut from the band repertoire. “The publicity surrounding these unfortunate events resonates across many different facets of music.”
Companies such as Tresona serve as the middle man between publishing companies, which represent music composers, and the marching bands that play their music. Ohio State works through Tresona to buy custom arrangements of music to match the types of instruments in the band.
Other companies are waiting for more details about the case before making a decision, Greenburg said: “The executives that we talk to are watching this very closely.”
Greenburg defended former band director Jonathan Waters, who was fired last week after Ohio State found that he did too little to change the culture. David Axelrod, a lawyer working for Waters, has criticized the OSU investigation and said Waters had made strides in changing the culture.
Former band members, too, have come to the defense of Waters over the past week.
The report lists 23 nicknames that band members gave one another and that investigators called sexually explicit. Several women have written open letters to OSU President Michael Drake saying that their nicknames were on the list, but that they embraced those monikers that they received as “rookies.”
Investigators also reported that a female band member was sexually assaulted by a male band-mate last year, and that there was a case of sexual harassment in the Athletic Band, which also is under the purview of Waters. Some alumni have called those cases “isolated incidents.”
“I’m not here to defend some of the things in the report. I wouldn’t have supported them if they happened in my row when I was a squad leader,” said Jon Picking, 27, who is now a graduate student at Ohio State. “But those are not reflective of the incredibly positive experience.”
The official alumni club for the marching band broke its silence this week when it released a statement urging Ohio State to reinstate Waters. Leaders of the club also said they are performing their own investigation into what they called a campaign against Waters and the marching band.
By Collin Binkley - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
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