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Monday, September 17, 2018

Ohio University's Marching 110 to Perform at Highlands Under Friday Night Lights

When Highlands High School hosts Simon Kenton for a varsity football game on Friday, September 21st, a college team will be on-hand in Fort Thomas to showcase its talents on the field as well.

The Ohio University Marching Band has agreed to perform throughout the evening for a game that gets underway at 7:00PM at David Cecil Memorial Stadium.  Known as the "Marching 110", the OU band also plans to spend time mentoring current Highlands band members throughout the day.

Jacob Young, the Highlands High School choir director, played trombone and was the drum major for the Marching 110 during his college days in Athens, Ohio.

"The 110 is incredibly important to me," Young said.  "The 110 is constantly rated as being in the top 5 in the nation, most recently by Kirk Herbstreit from ESPN’s College Gameday."

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Young thought that this collaboration with his alma mater would make for an electric atmosphere at Highlands and presented the idea to the school's leadership at the beginning of the year.  "Jacob got me in touch with Dr. Richard Suk, the director of the marching band at OU," HHS band director Lori Duncan said.  "Since that time, Dr. Suk and I have been planning their visit to Highlands."

The Highlands Band Association, a booster organization, will be providing a reception at 5:00PM on Friday for the more than 300 members of the OU and HHS bands.  The meet-and-greet will allow current HHS band members to get a first-hand sense of the work ethic and dedication that it requires to perform music at the college level.  After that reception, Duncan said, the Ohio University and Highlands High School bands will rehearse for their joint post-game performance.

The HHS marching band still plans to perform before the game with the cheer and dance teams, while Ohio University will produce a rendition of the National Anthem.  The Marching 110 has also choreographed a halftime performance.  Once the game concludes, the two bands will fill the stadium with music on the field at the same time.  Young expects those watching to be impressed.

"Having been in the 110, I know how hard those kids work to perfect each maneuver, music and dance move," he added.

Highlands graduates are playing in bands at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.  And Duncan pointed out, "I think we may have several students that will be inspired to audition for Ohio University's Marching 110 after this amazing experience."

Ohio University plans to stay overnight in the area after the game and perform at the football game at the University of Cincinnati on Saturday, when the Bobcats meet the Bearcats at Nippert Stadium at Noon.  Next month, the Highlands marching band has organized a trip to experience the rich music culture of New York City, with visits scheduled at Radio City Music Hall, the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center.

PHOTO: Duncan and Young. Zach Wells. 

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