Streetsboro -- The Streetsboro Marching Rockets will help kick off the start of The Ohio State University's fall season this year.
The high school's marching band will travel to Columbus' St. John's Arena, where members will participate in the OSU Marching Band's skull session before the game at 10 a.m. Aug. 31, said Streetsboro High School Principal Eric Rauschkolb.
"They're going to get to see a college band that's very good at what it does," he said. "It also gives our students an opportunity to demonstrate their skills in front of a top-notch college band and a first-rate collegiate director."
Rauschkolb said the students will ride down to Columbus in a school bus the morning of Aug. 31.
Streetsboro High School Band Director and Instrumental Music teacher Gretchen Weaver said Saturday will be an early morning for participants.
"We have to leave at 5:15 a.m., but it's worth it," she said. "We play music for about a half hour as people are coming into St. John's Arena."
Then, around 10 a.m. The Ohio State Marching Band will enter and perform their pregame and halftime music sitting down, said Weaver.
After they're done, "they turn their chairs around and face us, and we play a song during the skull session."
Weaver said none of the students have experienced anything like this as part of the marching band.
"Their eyes are going to be wide open," she said. "They're going to be really, really surprised when they see this."
What they will likely see is an arena filled with about 10,000 people, all listening to them.
"I think the kids are really excited but nervous," said Weaver. "When the OSU marching band comes in, it's goose bumps for me."
The students are aware of the potential size of the crowd, including Drum Major Matt Kolke, who worked with drum majors from OSU during the summer.
"It's kind of nerve-wracking because there'll be 10,000 people," he said. "I kind of want to go to OSU to be a drum major down there. I know the drum majors down there, already."
Trumpet player Samantha Csorba, a sophomore, said she's "pretty psyched" for the trip.
Dylan Thompson, a junior saxophone player, said his family attended OSU, "so [the trip's] got special meaning to me."
The last time the Marching Rockets were invited to a skull session was 2007, said Weaver.
Although she doesn't know what OSU Football Coach Urban Meyer is planning, "last time, Coach Tressel came through and spoke, and a few players came through," she said.
Kolke said the band plans to perform Kiss' "Shout It Out Loud" as its featured song during the skull session.
Weaver said the band knows its music well, even though it's very early in the season.
"July 17 was our first rehearsal, we've been rehearsing almost daily since then," she said.
FB: The Gateway News/Bob Gaetjens