The Ohio University Marching 110 is not just any ordinary marching band. Their sophisticated playing, marching and dance choreography require a unique brand of healthcare and medical treatment.
The “Most Exciting Band in the Land” will roll into Mobile, Alabama, on Wednesday, December 21, to prepare for Friday’s game between OHIO and Troy University. Besides their instruments and uniforms, the musicians will bring with them a staff of athletic trainers from OHIO’s Science and Health in Artistic Performance (SHAPe) Clinic.
According to SHAPe Clinic Director Jeff Russell, “Our band is an extremely physical organization. It’s essential that their healthcare services match their demanding routines, and athletic trainers are uniquely prepared to deliver that kind of care.”
In its fourth year, the SHAPe Clinic provides healthcare to all of Ohio University’s marching band, dance, theater and music students. Aaron Ngor (pronounced “Nor”), a graduate student in OHIO’s Athletic Training program who intends to pursue performing arts medicine as a career, summarizes his experience with the marching band this way: “Working with the Marching 110 has been an incredible opportunity. They are very talented and out-of-the-box. As a result, we have cared for some very interesting injuries and health conditions.”
The SHAPe athletic trainers—Russell, Ngor and undergraduates Taylor Hufford and Matt Flory—go wherever the band goes. Much of their work parallels that of athletic trainers in more traditional sports settings. Russell and his team set up a treatment clinic at the band’s hotel in Mobile and are accessible to the musicians at a moment’s notice. A lot of what they do is preventive, but both overuse and traumatic injuries—including concussions—are not uncommon.
“We carry medical kits and emergency equipment such as an AED with us,” Ngor said. “We have to be ready for anything.”
One example of preventive care is the SHAPe Clinic nutrition guide Russell and Ngor prepared for the band’s bus ride from Ohio to Alabama. Said Russell, “It’s not easy traveling long distances by bus, so we gave the musicians tips about healthy snacks and proper fluid intake. Following this advice makes it easier for them to get into their rehearsal routine once they arrive.”
Russell encourages fans to not miss the OHIO and Troy bands at the Mardi Gras parade and the football game, where fans will see the SHAPe team in their solid black uniforms both in the parade and on the field.
Kickoff for the Dollar General Bowl game is at 7:00 pm Central Time on Friday, December 23, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. Tickets are still available via StubHub.
The SHAPe Clinic is a partnership of Ohio University’s College of Health Science and Professions and the College of Fine Arts. The OHIO Marching 110 is directed by Dr. Richard Suk, now in his 20 th year of leading the band.