NEWS 2011
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It's a Wrap!
August 8, 2011

It was an exciting two weeks for all of us with the All-Ohio State Fair Band. . . and there is so much more to say.  So, keep coming back here each week to look back and ahead to 2012!  Be sure to sign-up for the eNews to be in the loop and know all that is happening.

Attendance was up in 2011, by 2.5%, over 2010.  It was hot and humid - but Ohioans know a great Fair with everything a State Fair should be. 
Click here to read the Ohio State Fair press release.

Also, mark your calendars as the 2012 Ohio State Fair is July 25 - August 5.

Having Fun at the Fair
August 4, 2011

Today we were filmed in an upcoming movie titled Parker starring Jennifer Lopez and Jason Statham.  We played The Stars and Stripes Forever while actor Statham walked around the cardinal gate dressed as a priest.  The film crew was also on the parade route filming the band.  It will be exciting to see if we made it in the film when it premiers in 2012.  

We have been very busy the past couple of days.  On Tuesday we headed over to Schmidt's to sing Happy Birthday to George Schmidt.  The band has been playing for George since he was twelve years old.  George turned ninety this year.  After we finished playing, Schmidt's served us hot dogs, chips and pop for lunch.  This is a tradition that we look forward to year after year.  Happy 90th Birthday George!

Yesterday we had a visitor during our evening concert on the Rhodes front lawn.  Ellwood aka Tank arrived in a State Highway Patrol cruiser when we played our Blues Brothers tune.  We were shocked when we heard the sirens and saw the cruiser pull up on the lawn.  Ellwood  performed his crazy stunts and was handcuffed and taken back to the cruiser when the tune was over.  What a surprise, and Tank was awesome!

There are only two more days of the fair before we head home.  We still have many concerts to perform and two more parades.  We have been troopers with the hot temperatures in Columbus.  It has been a great week and a half, and we are definitely having fun at the fair!
Coliseum Show
August 1, 2011

This evening we performed for the first time in the Coliseum.  We did a great job since we only had one rehearsal last week.  After the coliseum show,  we had a stand up concert in the Youth Center.  It was nice to play inside the air conditioned building.  This evening the band was treated to ice cream for no uniform infractions on the first day.  This was a nice cool treat and a great way to end a long hot day at the fair.
Celeste Center Concert & Park of Roses
July 31, 2011

Our day began with a 6:00 reveille.  We were featured on WTTE Fox 28 in Columbus during a weather segment at the fairt.  It was very early, but it was fun to be on TV.  Today was our big concert with the choir in the air conditioned Celeste Center.  It was nice to be inside this afternoon since it has been really hot.  During the concert our recording was made for this year's CD.  We did a great job and the audience loved us!  This afternoon was very busy.  After the Celeste Center Concert, we marched in the daily parade, ate dinner, and then loaded the buses for the Park of Roses.  We were amazed to see so many people there to listen to us perform.  It was a great time and enjoyed by all. 
Alumni Day
July 30, 2011

Alumni Day is a great day for us to visit and share stories with old and recent alums.  Some of us even have parents that are band alums.  The alumni band directed by Jim "Tank" Esswein consisted of thirty three alums and more than one hundred attended the fair today.  The band performed at the DeSalle Building, and then went for a ballyhoo in the Bricker Building.  After a short break, they lined up for the daily parade.  Alumni represented the fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties and many from 2000-2010.  Our historian, Weldon Carpenter was the oldest band alum to attend today's festivities.  Weldon was in the boy's band from 1950--1954.   We enjoyed looking at the AOSFB display in the Rhodes Center lobby.  Weldon did a great job putting this display together, and we appreciate his hard work.  It was great to see pictures dating back to the early years of the band and symphony.  It was great to see many alumni in the stands at our evening concert, and we had fun playing National Emblem and The Stars and Stripes Forever with the Alumni Band.
Opening Day
July 27, 2011

Today was a very exciting day as we celebrated the opening of the 158th Ohio State Fair.  Many dignataries including Governor John Kasich and his family were at the opening ceremony.   The band and choir performed a few songs before the ceremony began..  After the ribbon was cut to officially open the fair,  we performed the Star Spangled Banner with the choir.   This afternoon we marched in the first daily parade.  Some of us had the opportunity to ride on the band float.  When we had a break between  performances, many of us had fun walking around the fairgrounds and eating some fair food.  At 9:30p.m. we lined up on the Rhodes lawn for a rehearsal at the Coliseum.  We will perform there on Monday, August 1.   Even though it was a long day, we are excited to be performing for the many fairgoers who will attend this year's fair.
Final Rehearsal Day
July 26, 2011

It is hard to believe that today was our last day of rehearsal.  We had a very busy day with unit band practice performances in the morning and a full band practice performance on the Rhodes center lawn in the evening.  This evening we had our full band picture taken at the Cardinal gate.  This was the first time in AOSFB history to have the full band photo taken in this location.   After the final practice performance, we were treated to a pizza party provided by band alum Dr. Rob Gardner.  Dr. Gardner also provided us with toothbrushes to make sure that we are taking care of our teeth while at the fair.  Pop and granola bars were provided by Lisa Gallagher, Jennifer McDowell and Melissa Spangler.  It was pretty amazing to see how fast we could eat forty five pizzas.  We had fun on the front lawn of the Rhodes Center and a great way to celebrate our final rehearsal day. 
Marching Day
July 25, 2011

This morning we divided into unit bands and lined up outside the Rhodes Center for our first marching practice.  After we learned and perfected our marching skills, we stepped off to march through the fairgrounds. This was pretty exciting especially for us rookies who have never heard or marched to the AOSFB cadence.  Even though it was very hot outside, we all had a great time watching the vendors and fair employees prepare for the opening of the 2011 Ohio State Fair on Wednesday.  After marching practice, we had sectionals and then a final full band rehearsal in the auditorium.  It is hard to believe that we have only one more day of rehearsal before opening day.
Rehearsal Day 2
July 24, 2011

.Today we had our first inspection and did a great job cleaning our bunk area.  During our morning rehearsal we had a fire drill and evacuated the building quickly and orderly.  Rehearsal is going well.  Late afternoon rain showers changed our plans for sectional rehearsals.  Many sections stayed in the Rhodes Center rather than rehearsing outside.  This evening we had our uniform exchange and had the opportunity to purchase lyres and flip folios so that we are ready for our first marching practice tomorrow.  Hopefully the rain will hold off so that we can get outside to march.  We have been working hard and survived two days of rehearsal.  
2011 Band Arrives
July 23,2011

.As the stafff prepared  to open the doors for registration, many band members arrvied early to find their bunks and settle in.   After a fantastic lunch in the Rhodes Center Cafeteria,  parents were invited to stary for the first rehearsal to hear the 2011 AOSFB and meet the staff.     The evening rehearsal included chair placement and an informational meeting with Camp Manager, Ed Gallagher and the camp staff.  After a long day, lights were out at 11:00p.m. with the playing of taps. We are off to a great start!

Almost There 
July 18, 2011

If a It was a busy day in The Rhodes Center on Sunday the 17th as numerous alums, current band members, parents and friends gave the dorms a good spring cleaning.  The space is almost ready for Band members to begin moving in on Saturday morning.

What did this eager group accomplish?  Sweep and mop all dorms, hallways amd stairways.  They cleaned every windowsill and all 200+ mattresses in the Band area.  The bunks were realligned and tagged.  All percussion and sound equipment received a deep cleaning and the showers were power washed.  There was even enough time for a few folks to assist with preparing music for the folders.  In all over 25 individuals gave 2 1/2 - 5 hours volunteer service which totaled over 100 hours.

So, who gets the special applause?  Alums Polly Justice Anderson, Anna Wolf, Ryan Hurd,as well as Larry Twitchel & his son Joel; Sandra Kemerer and her daughter Sarah; Dan Conlin & his dad, Paul; and Kristin Engle with her boyfriend Colin.  Then there were current members Katie Talkington, Sarah Sigman and Brandon Stone with both of his parents as well as Matt Pozderac and his mom, Chip; There were staffers Don & Pat Santa; Ed, Lisa & Megan Gallagher; Jennifer & Ashley McDowelll; Bryan Dodd, l, Stephanie Hyde, Jim "Tank" Esswein and former staffer Joyce Wendel.

The great part this year was that the Ohio Expo staff and their contractors did a fine job of preparing the space after all of the construction.  This allowed the AOSFB Cleaning Crew to take the space up a level and have the space looking fantastic.

. . . 4 days until the first notes of rehearsal
Deep Fried Buckeyes
June 30, 2011

If a parade is not on your schedule for the 4th of July you may want to tune into The View .  The special holiday edition will feature the best of the best fair foods and The Ohio State Fair is one of the five taking center stage.

Representing Ohio is the deep fried buckeye from vendor Brian Shenkman of the Bulk Candy Store and Mickey Shanks booths.

Other fairs being featured?  deep fried peanut-butter and jelly from Texas, walleye from Minnesota, homeade pies from Indiana and corn dogs from Iowa.

See more on the
ABC 6 web site which airs the program at 11am in Columbus - check your local listing for more info.

. . . 23 days until the first notes of rehearsal
Daily Fair Schedules
June 29, 2011

Hot off the presses and right to your computer screen. . . The Daily Fair Schedules

. . . 24 days until the first notes of rehearsal!

AOSFB Staff Announced
June 27, 2011

A new year at the Fair brings some new faces to the staff and we say good-bye some familiar faces as well.

This year we bid a fond farewell to Kathy DiBlasi who was Assistant Director in charge of Clarinets for the last 7 years.  Her love of music and teaching will be missed on the staff.  In addition, we say good-bye (again) to Jennifer McDowell, a 16-year member of the staff.  Mrs. McDowell and her husband Andrew welcome their second child Duncan this spring. We hope to see both Mrs. DeBlasi and Mrs. McDowell at the Fair this summer!

Joining the staff is Rebecca Bickel who will be working with all woodwinds, except clarinets.  She is a longtime teacher in Trumbull County, spending the last 22 years in the Maplewood District.  We also welcome Frank Cosenza to the staff as Assistant Director in charge of Clarinets.  Mr. Cosenza  is a band director with 31 years experience and most recently taught in the West Geaugue School System.  Finally, Will Boas joins us as an equipment manager. He is currently a student at Miami University in Oxford and played trumpet in the Band from 2007-2008.   Internally, Stephanie Hyde will move from Equipment Manager to Counselor.  

Please check out all of the staff biographical info and photos by
clicking here.
Cleaning Day . . . help needed on July 17!
June 26, 2011

Your assistance is needed again this year as we prepare the Rhodes Center dorms for the 2011 AOSFB.  This year it is needed even more than before!

Over the last year The Ohio Expo Center has dedicated  many resources to upgrading the entire outlets throughout the dorms, roofing improvements, structural repairs, new windows and many new coats of paint.  It is amazing how much the space has been improved - somtehing that will be appreciated by staff and band members alike.

As you can imagine it has left behind quite of bit of building residue - including many layers of dirt and dust.

Please join us on Sunday, July 17 from 12 noon - 6:00 pm for cleaning day.  Just bring yourself in clothes that can get dirty and everything else will be supplied - from gloves and cleaning supplies to lunch and beverages.

Send your confirmation of attendance to  Bring a friend, a family member or a fellow alum who wants to make a difference!


New AOSFB Gear online year round.
June 26, 2011

It's time to expand your wardrobe with AOSFB Gear by AOSFB partner  - The Identity Group.  So, Mom & Dad, current band members and, of course, AOSFB Alums check out the link below to see what is new this summer . . . . gray and red polos & t-shirts, bags, fleece sweatshirts and more! 

As usual, the folks at
The Identity Group will embroider your purchase with instrument or year to make it a great souvenir to wear during and after the State Fair.  Click on logo below to check it all out.

AOSFB eNotes . . . sign-up now!
June 26, 2011

This summer we celebrate the first anniversary of  AOSFB eNotes a collaborative email based newsletter from the AOSFB and AOSFB Alumni Association.  The publication comes through Yahoo Groups and offers a quick and easy way for the organizations to stay in touch with current members, parents, the community and, of course, AOSFB Alumni.

Everyone is invited to join.
Click here to be taken to the subscribe page and follow the directions.  You may also send an email by clicking here and typing the word "subscribe" in the subject line.

27 days until the first notes of rehearsal! . . . dusted off and ready to go!
June 25, 2011

Some early summer cleaning has taken place here at as updates have been made to  with staff updates, packing instructions and more.  Take a moment and look around.  Stop back everyday for up to date info and inside details about the 2011 Ohio State Fair.

28 days until the first notes of rehearsal week!