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Ohio Women 2019 Edition
Alumni & Friends Magazine

In command

The college experience is transformational. For Sophia Medvid, the contrasts between her first day on campus and the start of senior year are especially significant.

By Peter Shooner | November 15, 2019


As the Marching 110’s first female field commander, senior astrophysics major Medvid was tasked with training the band’s incoming cohort in August, leading young members through footprints she left just three short years earlier.

Ohio Women asked Medvid to share her thoughts, emotions, and reflections at key moments throughout the first critical weeks of the semester, starting with the 110’s rigorous training week. Excerpts from her responses follow.

Aug. 17 – Training week, day one

After a 12.5-hour day, I feel tired but proud of the achievements the freshmen learned today. It was really fun to watch them grow throughout the day as performers. It was also fun to feel myself grow as a teacher. I have never talked in front of 100 people for four hours before (let alone teach), but I felt really in my element. I felt a passion for teaching. That, coupled with my passion for the Marching 110, made it a very rewarding process.

Aug. 18 – Training week, day two

Today was merging of the blocks. On one side of the field stood the freshmen, on the opposite side stood the old men. I gave the command, “merge the blocks,” and the two blocks started marching toward each other. At the end of the command, it was the first time we were one band, no longer freshmen and old men. It was a unifying feeling to watch the two blocks merge and to see for the first time the 2019 Marching 110!

Band members enjoy playing at Heinz Field for the OHIO vs. Pittsburgh game on Sept. 7.

Band members enjoy playing at Heinz Field for the OHIO vs. Pittsburgh game on Sept. 7. Photo by Mijana Mazur, BSVC ’21

Aug. 31 – OHIO vs. Rhode Island

Today was the first game! It started out with a rehearsal in Peden at 9 a.m. That was the first time I gave commands in front of people outside of the 110. In the stands were the high school bands for band day and lots of parents, including my own. The first thing I yelled was, “It’s game day Bobcats, get jacked!!” I was so excited! I was a little anxious considering this was the first time the public would see the Marching 110 this year, but I knew we were ready. When I gave the commands, I felt so in my element and I could tell the rest of the band was, too! It was a thrilling experience—one of the best of my life!

Sept. 7 – OHIO vs. Pittsburgh

Today is my 21st birthday as well as gameday at Heinz Field, where the Bobcats played against the Pitt Panthers. My twin brother is in the band at Pitt and also plays mellophone! It was great to watch him perform as well as to watch the Marching 110. It was also amazing getting to celebrate our 21st birthday together doing what we love most: marching band! The stars aligned, and it was the best birthday yet!

At the end of the game, I got up on the ladder with the band huddled around and told them how thankful I was to share such a special day with them. I feel truly honored to lead such a great group of people!

Feature photograph: As field commander, Sophia Medvid, who plays mellophone, holds the highest student leadership position in the band. Photo by Max Catalano, BSVC ’20. Video production by Clinton Amand, BSC ’12, MA ’18, and William Laterza, BSJ ’22.