The creation of the Ohio University Marching Band began with a young OU freshman from Athens, Homer Thomas Baird, who always loved music and had helped organize the first Athens high school band. After matriculating at OHIO, Homer went to then Ohio University president Elmer B. Bryan more than once to champion his idea of an Ohio University marching band. Bryan finally consented under the condition that the band not cost the university any money and that he gets the approval of the director of the School of Music.
Homer’s fraternity brother was the editor of the Green and White, OU’s campus newspaper. He offered free publicity to help recruit musicians for the fledgling endeavor. Homer Baird went to recent grad Raymond Connett, whose musical skill as a bandleader was widely known. He agreed to direct the band without a salary. The director of the School of Music, Dr. C.C. Robinson, gave his blessings and approved of Connett’s leadership. Although he could not offer a formal position to Connett he was able to provide a small salary of $10. per rehearsal.
Below is an image of the Ohio University Band on the steps of Ewing Hall in the early 1920s. For more images like this go the Ohio University Libraries Digital Archival Collections.
The name Marching 110 originally referred to the number of band members. While the band has expanded to 220 members strong, it has kept the name, which now represents the 110% effort expected of all members during rehearsals and performances.
If you take 110% effort plus the free-flowing funk in their souls the result is .... The Most Exciting Band in the Land!