“Dot your i’s and cross your ts” is said when paying attention to details of a task. When Hartville native Adam Brott, 22, dots his ‘i,’ he will be high stepping and bowing in front of 104,944 football fans!
As a senior tuba player and mechanical engineering major, Adam will dot the ‘I’ completing the iconic script Ohio march Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 when Ohio State University (OSU) plays Michigan State at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.
Joining the OSU Marching Band was a goal as Adam graduated from Lake High School in 2016. “It seemed like a hard thing to accomplish and I just wanted to prove to myself I could do something like that.” (Adam spent six years playing tuba as a Lake band/marching band member. He also was a member of Lake’s original Boys of Brass quintet.)
Adam will practice with the OSU drum major a couple weeks prior to the Michigan game to learn his solo. “The required moves are a strut out to the location of the dot, then a hats off bow to the east and west sides of the stadium. Then the I-dotter plays a solo of the Buckeye battle cry.”
Josh Laux, Jazz Band director at Lake (and OSU graduate/former OSU Band member) coached Adam on OSU marching form before Adam left for Columbus. “I was uncoordinated and out of shape. I come from two generations of accountants,” Adam said. “I was running with a 30-pound weight while screaming.” All of Lake’s assistant band directors attended OSU to earn undergraduate or graduate degrees in music: Laux: 2006 – 2013; Jared Cooey: 1995 -2000; and Mark Tryon: 2006-2008.
As a freshman in the OSU band, Adam started as a water boy and alternate, then progressed to become one of the 180 regular members, marching in two home football games by year’s end. During the Rutgers game he was so nervous he could not look up. During the next game in front of 100,000 fans he was “really freaking and blanking out” and relied on muscle memory.
“I spent a whole year doing band challenges, learning toughness, and doing school work. My first spring/summer at OSU I also did concert band. It made me better, and as older members graduated I took their spot.” He also earned his upcoming starring role by meeting criteria below:
• making the cut during annual summer tryouts for one of 28 spots in the OSU tuba squad from among 40 applicants
• continuing as a senior playing the tuba; four other senior tuba players dropped out this year
• earning a high ranking based on total number of OSU football games marched (both away and at home) as a ‘regular’ band member since his freshman year
• meeting strict attendance/timeliness guidelines for practices
• maintaining an immaculate uniform (including his white cotton cross belt)
During the last several years he has learned to relax. “Now I can think about where I am going after the game for supper. It has been fun. We shared tough times – getting up at 4:30 a.m. and groaning about band practices. It really is a band family,” he said.
On Oct. 5, 2018, whether from your home in front of the TV, or from the stands of Ohio Stadium, cheer on Adam as he steps out from the script as a proud senior to dot that “I” with his shining, bright tuba!
Adam (fourth from left) and fellow band members during a game.
Stepping out at OSU stadium.
Adam with twin sister Grace and mother Karen.