The North Medford football team will have a couple hundred unexpected supporters for tonight's state playoff game at Spiegelberg Stadium.
The University of Oregon Marching Band (OMB) will pay a visit to Spiegelberg tonight when the Black Tornado, making its first appearance in the postseason since 2010, hosts Reynolds.
The OMB will warm up on the field one hour prior to the 7 p.m. kickoff, and then share room in the stands with the North Medford marching band during game action. The OMB will also provide a show at halftime.
Why the visit to Spiegelberg? And why now? It was the perfect set of circumstances, said North Medford High Principal Ron Beick.
"They (OMB) were traveling to Stanford for the Ducks football game Thursday and we did our part by making the playoffs and hosting a game (tonight)," said Beick. "It really is a bunch of things coming together."
The OMB will arrive today on its way back from performing at Oregon's matchup with Stanford. The band will receive a catered dinner by Rosario's Italian Restaurant — paid for by donations from the North Medford Booster Club and Southern Oregon Duck Club — then do a warm-up on the field at 6 p.m. for the fans.
The OMB will also form the tunnel and play the North Medford fight song, "On, Wisconsin", when the Black Tornado rushes onto the field for its pregame warm-up.
"They'll have a whole repertoire to play during the game," said Beick. "They'll play certain songs when the offense comes out and certain songs when the defense comes out. I'm sure they'll throw in the Oregon fight song [Mighty Oregon] here and there."
The OMB has around 250 participants, and needs six buses and two trucks to haul the members and their equipment during trips.
The North High marching band has about 75 members.
"Our band will get to sit with them and play some songs," said Beick. "It's going to get pretty loud."
Beick used his ties to the University of Oregon to help organize the OMB appearance. Beick, a former North Medford High volleyball coach, is in his first year as a volunteer assistant with the Oregon volleyball squad. He also has three sons that attend Oregon and play in the OMB.
"I got to know (OMB director) Eric Wiltshire and we talked in the summer about doing something like this," said Beick. "He likes to promote the band and music in general. It just worked out where they were traveling for a Thursday night game and we have this Friday night game.
"They like to play in front of stadium crowds and it allows our band from North to watch them warm up and perform. They get to see what it takes to be in a large, university band."
Added Beick: "It's a great recruiting tool. (OMB) doesn't really get a chance to play down here and they would love to get more kids from this area. We have some great music programs down here."
Beick hopes this won't be the last time the OMB will make a special southern Oregon appearance.
"They always travel somewhere by bus, either to the Bay Area or to Washington," said Beick. "We'd certainly see if they'd stop and do this again."
Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 541-776-4483, or email email@example.com