The Ohio State University has a little more Springfield supporting the best damn band in the land.
Several graduates of Kenton Ridge High School are currently in the famed marching band, which has received multiple accolades over the years and has taken part in presidential inaugurations.
It isn’t uncommon for graduates of Springfield-area schools to join the band if they attend the university, but having multiple individuals take part at the same time is somewhat rare, said Chris Thompson, a father of one of the Kenton Ridge graduates.
“It’s kind of strange that they’re all there at the same time,” Thompson said. “We were kind of surprised when they all found each other.”
The Ohio State band has four former Kenton Ridge students right now, he said: his daughter, Taylor Thompson, a freshman nursing student who plays trombone; Erin Kitchen, a fifth-year psychology student who plays mellophone; Cody Freshaur, a fourth-year philosophy and religious studies double major; and Cameron Hanson, a second-year arts management major who attends an Ohio State satellite program at Columbus State Community College, and acts as a member of the band’s management staff.
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Thompson said they first found out about the other Kenton Ridge students during tryouts this past summer.
“They have long tryout sessions that go all day, and by the end of it, the kids are dog tired,” Thompson said. “Cody offered to let (Taylor) stay the night with him once he found out she was from Springfield, too. From there, they all got together.”
Because the four students are on different rows — sections of similar instruments — they don’t play side-by-side. But they do get together during a lot of the practices, he said, and they still keep in contact with Jim Templeton, the director of the Kenton Ridge marching band.
“They come back down to see all the new kids that have joined the band about three or four times a year,” Thompson said. “They talk to Jim a lot and let him know what they’re up to.”
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Several of the kids have joined music fraternities and sororities, he said, and plan on continuing in the band throughout their college careers.
“They all work hard and want to succeed,” he said.