Ohio University’s Marching 110, “The Most Exciting Band in the Land,” is also one of the healthiest bands in the land thanks to its team of performing arts medicine Athletic Trainers. When the band accompanied the OU Bobcats football team to the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama, two licensed athletic trainers and an athletic training student were also on hand to meet the band’s healthcare needs.
Jeff Russell, founder and director of Ohio University’s Clinic for Science and Health in Artistic Performance (aka, the SHAPe Clinic), designed a performing arts medicine program to provide the same level of care for the institution’s performing arts students, including the marching band, as that delivered to their intercollegiate athletes.
“Most people don’t recognize the high degree of physical exertion required of marching musicians, especially those in a band like the Marching 110,” notes Russell, who also is a member of Ohio University’s Athletic Training faculty. “People expect to find athletic trainers with sports teams; but, performing artists need their services, too.”
There are several important health considerations in traveling with a group the size of the Marching 110, which comprises approximately 260 musicians. One is the travel itself, which is by bus.
Russell explains, “We’ve prepared a bus travel snack guide to help the students be in decent shape when they arrive and have to head for rehearsal. Our marching repertoire is very physical, so proper energy and hydration availability are very important.” Another important role the athletic trainers play is preparing any musicians who require injury treatments or taping.
Russell’s team, including Marching 110 lead athletic trainer Moegi Yamaguchi, who was honored by the band at its banquet with the Ronald P. Socciarelli Award for Outstanding Service to the Marching 110, and athletic training student Danyale McLean, works closely with the band’s director, Richard Suk, and his staff to ensure that any musician needing care has access to it. In addition to the supplies and equipment they travel with, a room at the band’s hotel is set up as a treatment clinic.
The SHAPe Clinic is a partnership between Ohio University’s College of Health Sciences and Professions and College of Fine Arts. The Clinic is available to all of the university’s dance, music, and theater students, along with the Marching 110.
Ohio University’s Marching 110 performed during the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl festivities and at halftime of the game between the OU Bobcats and Appalachian State on Dec. 19.