News from Ohio State University

Tom Cruise takes marching band to the ‘danger zone’

Just as he promised late last year, Tom Cruise treated The Ohio State University Marching Band to a private showing of his latest film, “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Cruise saw a replay of the band’s “Top Gun” tribute during the 2021 Purdue football game. The band performed a medley of songs from the 1986 film including “Top Gun Anthem,” “Take My Breath Away,” “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” and “Danger Zone.” Through carefully planned choreography, 195 students formed a fighter jet, a volleyball game and Cruise’s iconic aviator sunglasses on the Ohio Stadium field. The band also spelled “Top Gun” and “Maverick,” Cruise’s character’s callsign.

He said he was thrilled by the performance, sending a note to the band as well as T-shirts from the new film.

Band members saw the film at the Wexner Center for the Arts on Friday evening. They all received free bandanas to celebrate the event. Afterward, they were encouraged to come up with call signs, or nicknames, of their own as they left the theater.

“It was absolutely amazing,” said Isabel Slaven, fourth-year sousaphone player, KL Row. “There were so many twists and turns, literally, inside the movie. I thought I predicted so many different things that were happening as I was watching it but I was wrong. The movie was absolutely amazing and blew us out of our seats.”

“This was such a special night for our students,” said Chris Hoch, director of the marching and athletic bands. “They were thrilled to hear from Tom Cruise last winter. We’re grateful for this experience.”