Ohio State Tradition with The Best Band In The Land
Part concert and part pep rally, The Ohio State University Marching Band Skull Session is a long-standing tradition of Ohio State Football. Each, week more than 10,000 fans come to listen to the band’s “cheer groups” perform a song to go along with the football team’s opponent of the week. After the cheer groups, the football team enters and a senior football player speaks to the crowd. The band will then practice several more songs including its pre-game and halftime show.
The tradition started in 1932 when band Director Eugene J. Weigel enhanced the band's performance by having members completely memorize music before the game each week. This allowed the band members to concentrate on marching maneuvers without sacrificing the music. Weigel scheduled a final rehearsal of the music before game time so the band could play and think through the show one last time. This became known as the "Skull Session."
These sessions were first held in a room for a few hundred parents and fans. Watching the rehearsal became so popular tickets were issued to bandsmen to make sure their parents had seats. After St. John Arena was built in 1957, the Skull Sessions found a new home.