Canal Winchester alumna Katie Bingmer will fulfill a lifelong dream at the next Ohio State University football game.

Canal Winchester alumna Katie Bingmer will fulfill a lifelong dream at the next Ohio State University football game.

The sousaphone player will dot the I in Ohio while performing Script Ohio with the OSU marching band at the Oct. 29 homecoming game against the Wisconsin Badgers.

Its exciting that shes getting to live her dream, father Zack Bingmer said. This has always been her dream; shes worked hard for it and everything is going how she planned.

The OSU marching band holds tryouts every year just ahead of the first football game. According to Katie Bingmer, most band members begin learning the music and marching techniques more than a year before tryouts, in hopes of getting a spot with The Best Damn Band In The Land.

Its a two-day tryout that occurs three days before the first football game, said Bingmer, a biomedical major. I attended two voluntary practices a week during summer between high school and college and spent a lot of time on my own, because its so hard. I have tried out every year still and they are so hard. Everyone has to try out every year, and us vets arent cut any slack.

Bingmer said senior sousaphone players who make the band all four years are given the opportunity to dot the I, making those spots that much more competitive.

When Katie made the band freshman year, she had a tough time adjusting because Canal Winchester uses a different marching style than OSU, Katies mother, Lisa Bingmer, said. She was probably one of the best musicians, but worst marchers, that made it on. Her whole freshman year she was always an alternate, but shed challenge for a spot on the field every Monday.

According to Katie Bingmer, the seniors get to choose the game at which they dot the I based on how many games they have marched in. She had last choice because she had marched in the fewest games. The OSU homecoming game is the least-desirable, because instead of performing Script Ohio before the game starts, the band performs it after the game is over and most of the stands are empty.

The homecoming game was the last one left and, of course, Katie was disappointed, her mother said. But then, the scheduling changed and the homecoming game was moved to the evening to be aired on ABC, and this is the 75th anniversary of Script Ohio, so it is going to be at halftime.

Bingmer said she couldnt believe her luck to go from the last pick to being front and center at halftime on national television.

I really cant describe how much it means to me; I dont think Im as passionate about anything else except this, she said. Even with the team struggling this year, we still have to be perfect. Ive got a big family and so many people supported me getting to this point. So many people have known that this is what Ive wanted to do and theyll all be together with me for this. Itll be a very emotional moment.

When Bingmer started lessons in fifth grade, the sousaphone otherwise known as a tuba wasnt one of the instruments from which she could choose. She begged her director each week to switch from trombone to tuba until he finally gave in.

Zack and Lisa Bingmer are both musical, according to their daughter, and have shared their love of music and OSU with their three girls: Katie, Kirstin (also an OSU student) and Kasey (a sophomore at Canal Winchester High School.)

The family hopes that all of the people who have made this opportunity possible for Katie over the years will be at the game. Zack Bingmer said about 150 friends and family members are planning to attend, coming from as far away as Georgia and Florida.

This spring, Katie will graduate and will leave the band that has become her life.

Im going to miss it very dearly, she said. Im in the process of applying to several medical schools and my top choice would be to stay here and get to continue to see the band. Ill miss my best friends and practicing every day and performing for 105,000 people each week. Im going to really miss it.

Katie Bingmer