2008-05-17 / Front Page

Best Damn Drum Major!

Lakewood alum is OSU's drum major
Story by Scott Rawdon

COLUMBUS- A former Lakewood High School Marching Band member feels blessed to have fulfilled a six-year dream at a young age. Josh Halter, son of Mike and Kim Halter of Licking Township, is the new Ohio State University marching band drum major. "It's every drum major's goal to be drum major for OSU," he said. In most colleges and universities, said Halter, the drum major plays an almost administrative role as conductor of the band. OSU's drum major is a charismatic performer who provides a "visual element" to the "Best Damn Band in the Land's" performance. Most OSU Buckeye fans know that the drum major leads the band onto the field, does a deep back bend at the 35-yard line, and then struts across the field to toss his baton over a goal post. According to legend, if the drum major catches the baton, OSU will win.

Halter has the honor of leading the band through its "Script Ohio" during halftime.

It's no coincidence that Halter earned the prestigious position. He said he's twirled a baton since 2003, when he was a Lakewood freshman, practicing for a couple hours per day with his sight set on being OSU's drum major. He began training at OSU while still a high school student. When he enrolled in college, he began more formal drum major training, sometimes up to four hours per day.

Halter, an OSU sophomore who was the assistant drum major, competed against three others for the top spot. Nearly 1,000 people attended the try-outs. He can remain drum major for two years, but he must compete once again to earn a second year.

Granted, Halter achieved one of his dreams early in life, but he's not ready to rest on laurels. He's currently enrolled in OSU's Fisher College of Business wherehe's studying economics. He hopes the people he meets as drum major will help open doors for him after graduation. He hasn't decided exactly what he wants to do as a career, but after he's completed his education he knows he wants to help train new drum majors.

Until then, his work is cut out for him. His favorite trick is to bounce the baton off the ground and back into his handno easy task. He's ready for the challenge, though. "OSU's drum major is an entertainer," he said. "I like doing whatever gets the biggest crowd reaction."

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