New Albany News

Columbus Jewish Day School

Buckeye band members dot 'i' in innovate


Ryan Barta, a senior trumpet player in the Ohio State University Marching Band, visited the Columbus Jewish Day School in New Albany on April 4 and explained how he is helping reduce the amount of paper the band uses during practice.

Barta and Charlie King, a fellow senior and trumpet player in the band, thought they could devise a way to reduce the amount of paper instructions the band was using.

They started using an application on their iPads that could be used by band members, said Rachel Hillman, the Columbus Jewish Day School's marketing director.

Prior to that, the 225 marching band members received 80 pages of paperwork each week when learning drills, according to Ohio State's website. By eliminating the paper, the university could save $24,000 a year.

Barta and King pitched the project to Ohio Sate, and the university's office of sustainability matched $25,000 in the band's budget to "buy 50 iPads for squad leaders, staff and directors to test," according to Ohio State's website.

The project was tested this past football season and is expected to be implemented fully in the fall, the website said.

Barta's visit to the Columbus Jewish Day School included an explanation of the difference between invention and innovation to the school's fifth- and sixth-graders. He said the iPad idea was an example of using an existing application innovatively.

"He was able to work within the application for iPad and customize it to use it for the purposes of choreography for the band and to expand on what the band does," Hillman said.

The idea resonated with the fifth- and sixth-graders because they use iPads in their robotics course and in other classes, Hillman said.

"There was a real connection made," she said, explaining that students learned how to step outside the box and think of other innovative uses for technology.

Following the presentation, all 98 students in kindergarten to sixth grade met in the gymnasium and followed instructions to make the Ohio State marching band's signature formation: Script Ohio.

Drum major David Pettit led the procession.

Hillman said fifth-grader Phoebe Wasserstrom dotted the i, doing the same high kick the drum major does during band performances.

"It was unbelievable," Hillman said.