Dr. Richard Suk: The Most Exciting Band in the Land

Mike Lawson • Archives • August 5, 2009

Dr. Richard “Ricky” Suk (rhymes with “book”) is the director of Ohio University’s Marching 110, an illustrious marching band that may fly under the radar because the school’s football program isn’t exactly among the nation’s elite. In fact, the Ohio University Bobcats have only made it to one bowl game in the 13 years in which Ricky has been leading the marching band. Yet, the lack of national exposure doesn’t stop the Marching 110 from putting on dazzling and electrifying field shows, with a high-intensity, athletic marching style that often includes elaborate dance routines. In fact, one could argue that the band’s halftime shows are the highlights of the Bobcat football games, as Suk’s ensemble routinely keeps the crowds ooh-ing, aah-ing, and cheering ecstatically throughout their performances hence the nickname, the “Most Exciting Band in the Land.”

After cutting his teeth at several high schools in Mississippi and Tennessee, Ricky followed his ambitions to the University of Illinois, where he earned a doctorate while studying under the Fighting Illini’s distinguished director, Gary E. Smith. From there, Ricky packed his bags for Athens, Ohio, where he’s been since. In a recent SBO interview, the Alabama native details his progression through the teaching ranks while stressing the importance of forging bonds between universities and local high school bands.

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