By ANIKET MEHROTRA
The Marching Trojan Regiment recently bought a new set of 150 uniforms for the 2017-2018 season for the first time in 15 years.
The uniforms cost approximately $54,000, or $360 per uniform. To account for the cost, the band program has been accumulating funds for the past several years through fundraisers such as Casino Night and Jazz Galas in addition to parent and community donations, which included a $15,000 grant from the Associated Student Body (ASB).
“Band boosters raised about $39,000 …and we saved up a chunk of about $25,000 in about 10 years,” Mr. Corey Heddon (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.) said. “We did a couple of big fundraisers and big pushes to raise over $14,000 in about two years…and then we were given $15,000 grant by ASB, which we’re very grateful for.”
According to Band President Mitchell Rogers (Sr.), the new uniforms accurately “represent [University’s] school colors” and are “much better fitted” than the old uniforms that were “one-size-fits-all,” which made them uncomfortably fitted for several members of the marching band.
“We would use clothespins to hold the uniforms together,” Rogers said. “It was just too baggy, and these issues would not allow the group to perform to the best of their abilities.”
Other students agree with Rogers’ opinion.
“The material looks and feels a lot better, and is a lot more comfortable,” Assistant Drum Major Elias Fang (Jr.) said. “Another plus is that the new uniforms don’t smell.”
Apart from the new uniforms, several other changes have been made to the Band Program this year. For example, the usual after-school Marching Band class has been moved to zero-period from sixth-period, an unprecedented change in the program.
“My goal for the next few years is to make Marching Band easier to be apart of and more accessible, because I’m trying to change the overall perception that it’s such a time-suck,” Heddon said.
Additionally, the entire band program has been invited to the 37th Annual Rainbow Invitational, a nationwide festival in Hawaii which involves a Concert Festival, Parade and Drumline and Color Guard competitions.
“It is going to be a fun event but it’s also educational,” Heddon said.