MIAMI COUNTY — It’s homecoming season and not just for high schoolers. Local resident Stu Shear will be taking a trip this weekend to his old stomping grounds — Ohio University in Athens.
During his college days in the ’60s, Shear was a member of the Ohio University Marching Band, which laid the foundation for what is known today as the Marching 110.
“I was in the original Marching 110 in 1967,” said Shear, who plays the trumpet. “We had the same-style uniforms and played the same jazzy tunes.”
“We had at that time about 100-150 musicians in the band.”
On Saturday, Shear and about 20 of his college bandmates — as well as original band director Gene Thrailkill — will celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary as grand marshals in OU’s homecoming parade, where they will play and ride on a float. They also will perform with the Marching 110 during half-time and post-game, following the face-off between OU and Central Michigan.
“They’re anticipating over a thousand alumni on the field performing,” said Shear, who accomplished the impressive feat of making first trumpet in both his freshman and sophomore years at OU.
In recalling high points of his time at OU, Shear said, “The big highlight of whole year was going to Penn State when OU played them. Our band got a standing ovation from the crowd at Beaver Stadium. Then later, when we were going to our bus, the Penn State band gave us another standing ovation. That was unheard of.”
These days, Shear continues to play with the Tipp City Community Band and has been president of the Piqua High School Alumni Band — of which he’s a founding member —for the past five years.
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341