“Mary Kate and the rest of the band have made sure I feel confident in my abilities as a musician, and I have improved significantly since my Freshman year. OWU’s marching band has prepared me for the adult world by giving me a leadership opportunity as Student Assistant Director to prepare for my future as an art professor.” Katie Lee ’23 (Tenor Sax, Student Assistant Director)
“This band has boosted my confidence in my abilities as a leader because I have realized that being a leader does not mean you are perfect. Leaders still make mistakes and they are still learning. In the auxiliary, I am still learning from other members and they are learning from me.” Adrienne Wentling ’22 (Auxiliary Captain)
“This band has not only provided me with a community and place to belong, but with many opportunities to work on the leadership skills I will need as a future music educator. This year I am the Field Captain of the saxophone and clarinet sections, which means that I get to run sectionals and essentially get a feel for what it is like to lead a mini-rehearsal. I am also a member of the library committee where I am learning how to arrange music for our ensemble, which is an important skill for me to have. These opportunities have greatly increased my confidence in my leadership skills.” Hannah Watson ’23 (Alto Saxophone, Reeds Music Captain)

Lead a New Era

As a member of the OWU Marching Bishops, you are an important part of our team effort to inspire, serve, and entertain. Student input is highly encouraged, and has a real impact on rehearsal goals, repertoire selection, and the ensemble’s relationship to the broader campus community. The students are the ones who craft a band's identity.

To help facilitate student impact on the ensemble, action groups within the band carry out certain tasks and projects throughout the season. These groups have influence in music organization, designing choreography, arranging stand tunes, managing equipment and uniforms, and planning community outreach events. Students work together on projects centered around a shared interest, allowing members who may not have an instrument or academic program in common to develop meaningful bonds. All members of the Marching Bishops get to be involved in an action group of their choice, giving every single member a voice in how the community functions.

Members with a year or more of experience in the Marching Bishops have additional opportunities to develop their leadership skills in various capacities. Each action group has a leader whose vision shapes the course of their group’s work for the season. On-field leadership roles, such as field captain and drum major, infuse growing as a performer with serving the ensemble as a role model and peer mentor. The Student Assistant Director is a paid internship position funded through the Student Assistantship Program (StAP), which provides hands-on experiences in a professional setting for students who desire to complement their liberal arts education with practical experiences. For the fall of 2021, the student in this position will work 6 hours per week to help plan the season, recruit new members, and oversee action group leaders to support their success. With so many ways to be involved, how will you leave your mark?

“OWU’s band has helped me feel comfortable playing without feeling pressured and stressed. It has also affected me personally by being comfortable with myself. It has positively impacted my college experience by finding a group that is welcoming, there when you need help and are the first people to become friends with.” Stephen Kraizel ’24 (Mellophone, Education major, Theatre, ASL Club)

A Community for All

“The band has helped me significantly in managing my time. Having a schedule filled with things seems scary at first but really it becomes a blessing. As an astrophysics major it is nice to have something to help relieve stress. It’s also delightful how flexible the band can be for me with my busy major.” James Doerle ’23 (Baritone, Astrophysics major, Alpha Sigma Phi)
“Going to band gives me something exciting to look forward to throughout my day, even if my regular classes are getting me down. OWU’s marching band is super welcoming and relatively casual compared to what I’ve experienced in the past. This low pressure environment helps me find the fun in music again instead of stressing about every note and rhythm.” Ginny Faeth ’24 (Clarinet, Genetics major, Theater)

In the Marching Bishops, we know that a great marching band doesn’t only involve music majors; it is a cross-section of an entire campus. Our membership includes music lovers from coast to coast majoring in things like zoology, psychology, physics, politics and government, education, history, English, international studies, microbiology, and fine arts, to name just a few. You can also find Marching Bishops engaged in a wide variety of other activities on campus, whether it’s playing in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, working on campus, competing in varsity sports, singing with our a capella choirs, taking part in French and Spanish clubs, engaging in the Global Scholars program, participating in Greek Life organizations, or even honing their battle skills in Medieval Combat Club. Students from all backgrounds are welcome. No matter what type of band you come from or whether you have marching experience, you'll be introduced to our movement style at preseason training camp along with fellow band members in an encouraging, growth-driven environment.

Since the beginning, members of the Marching Bishops have expressed passion for community service and engagement. The band’s founding season included creating a mural for the nearby Boardman Arts Park, a project coordinated by an action group that involved the full ensemble. As a result of that student influence, partnering with an organization in the greater Columbus area has become a key feature of our fall season. In 2019, the band traveled to the Ohio Reformatory for Women to share a program of empowering music by powerful women with the residents, and the 2020 OWU Create-A-Thon brought students together in their creative endeavors to raise over $1,500 for the King Arts Complex in Columbus. The Marching Bishops is a band for the greater community, not just OWU.

Contact Information

Marching Band Directors

Chris Lizak, DMA
Marching Band Director and Instructor of Percussion

Melissa Grimes
Assistant Marching Band Director