The 75-member Northwest High School band, under the direction of Nick Basham and Christy Berry, will perform for about 30 minutes at the ceremony.
“We got a call on Tuesday asking us to perform,” Basham said. “I had heard rumblings before that we were going to play.”
Strickland, a NWHS graduate, will be sworn in at 11:30 a.m. on the west lawn of the statehouse in Columbus.
The band will perform after Strickland is sworn in as he greets the public.
“Playing at the governor's inauguration is a pretty big thing,” Basham said. “This will be one for the history books. Personally, it will make me feel great. But it's even more important for the school.”
He said the band will play various patriotic songs, The Ohio State University's unofficial theme song “Hang on Sloopy” and AC/DC's “You Shook Me All Night Long.”
The band will put in a few extra hours of rehearsal time to get ready for the big day.
“Marching band ends with football season,” Basham said. “Now we're into our concert season. So we'll spend our practice time split between concerts and the inauguration.”
The inauguration will not be the first time the high school band has played for Strickland. It also played at a pre-election rally in Portsmouth in which Strickland was featured.
While the day should be fun for the band members, Basham wants them to learn something, too.
“They read about things like this and see it on television,” he said. “For example, they saw Gerald Ford's funeral on TV. But they will remember more about it by being a part of it.”
Besides the band, Basham said a contingent of Northwest administrators and teachers probably will attend the event.
Basham said he is a distant relative by marriage to Strickland, but does not know him well.
“I don't get invited to Christmas dinner,” he said.
Strickland defeated Kenneth Blackwell in November to replace Gov. Bob Taft. Taft could not run for a third term because of term limits.
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.