Ohio State marching band enjoys spotlight of Apple ad

Less than a year ago, Ryan Barta was a college junior with an idea to make Ohio State’s marching band better. Barta’s thinking helped Ohio State reinvent halftime shows. Fast forward to Sunday, and Barta found himself appearing in an Apple ad on national television.

The trumpet player was dozing on his couch during Sunday’s NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers when his roommate got his attention.

“He says, ‘Hey Ryan, wake up.’ I say ‘No, not now.’ He goes ‘Really, you might want to check this out.’  All the sudden I see the marching band in the commercial and I started screaming and going nuts. I’d been waiting for so long for this. I had to keep it secret,” Barta said.

Barta can be seen in the ad holding an iPad with a visualization of one of Ohio State’s formations.  Later he twirls with the iPad in hand. The ad was filmed on Ohio State’s campus late last year. Barta joined the Screen Actors Guild to participate.

“Almost everyone I know has liked my Facebook status or tagged me in a post,” Barta said.

“It was pretty surreal to see our students and our program represented on a national scale and international level. It’s a great testament to the hard work our students put in,” Ohio State Band Director Jonathan Waters said. “If by seeing that some third- or fourth-grade kid says, ‘I want to be in a band some day. I want to play the drum; I want to play the trumpet,’ I think we’ve done our best to perpetuate what we do and forward what is a great American art form.”

Related: How Ohio State’s marching band reinvented halftime shows

Watch the full ad below:

Matt McFarland is the editor of Innovations. He's always looking for the next big thing. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.
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Matt McFarland | January 15