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Sousaphones have served as the bass section of the OSUMB since the beginning of the 20th Century. Though it is unclear as to when official “row” delineations began, K-Row was the first row of sousaphones. Currently, K-Row and L-Row operate jointly as KL-Row, the sousaphone section of the OSUMB. L-Row was formerly percussion until 1972 when the band’s most recent expansion project instituted L-Row as the second row of sousaphones. Each row is comprised of 14 BBb Conn 20K sousaphones for a total of 28 basses each playing the same part.
The mascot of KL-Row is the Chiquita Banana, began by members of K-Row in the late 1960s. Often, fans can see a 4th-Year or 5th-Year of KL-Row brandishing our beloved plush Chiquita banana in the Endzone after a scoring drive for the Buckeyes. This plush is emblazoned with the immortal truth of “BEAT BLUE” and is to be handled with the upmost care.
Traditions include the playing of the solos for I Wanna Go Back to Ohio State and the world-famous Round on the Ends and High in the Middle. Sousaphone players also are those responsible for signaling to the rest of the band for the beginning of the chorus of Buckeye Battle Cry in the traditional Ramp Entrance.
Perhaps the most important tradition for members of KL-Row is the dotting of the ‘i’ in Script Ohio. Only members who have served in KL-Row for at least four years are granted the honor of dotting the ‘i.’ Honorary “i-dots” are reserved exclusively for those who have given selflessly toward the betterment of the band, university, or nation. In the 75 years of Script Ohio, the only honorary i-dotters have included: Bob Hope, Woody Hayes, Buster Douglas, Dr. E. Gordon Gee, Novice and Marjorie Fawcett, Robert Ries, Jack Nicklaus, Jack and Carol Evans, Paul and Anne Droste, John and Annie Glenn, Les Wexner, and most recently, retired OSUMB Director Dr. Jon R. Woods.
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