The Oak Harbor High School Band is marching into a campaign to raise cash to replace 11-year-old band uniforms.
The goal is to come up with $50,000 – half of which the Oak Harbor Music Boosters have already committed to providing, said Travis Magoto, director of bands for the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District. Magoto said he put boosters on notice about five years ago that this uniform change was in the making and since then members have been squirreling around funds to help the cause.
The current uniforms, debuted in 2003, are made up of a synthetic blend. The uniform’s top is white emblazoned with splashes of school colors green and red across the chest area and shoulders. The pants are green. And the outfit is topped off with a white cowboy hat trimmed in red.
“I have to tell you, I am not a huge fan of the cowboy hat,” Magoto told Benton-Carroll-Salem Board of Education members regarding the old uniform as he outlined details of the new fundraising effort. “And to be frank, they were a cheap uniform and their life expectancy was about seven years.”
It was the current cowboy hat in the uniform attire that sparked initial conversations between Magoto and Superindent Guy Parmigian regarding a uniform change.
“He said to me, ‘Can we talk about the hats?’ ” Magoto recalled.
Magoto said the new uniform created by the Stanbury Uniform Co. is a more classic band uniform style comprised of a more durable wool and synthetic blend.
The current uniforms have managed to have a prolonged life expectancy because of the efforts of dedicated booster members who clean and mend the uniforms.
“They put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the maintenance of these uniforms,” Magoto acknowledged.
The new uniforms cost about $425 each. To fit the entire band and have reserve uniforms of various sizes for future band members, the bill tallies $50,000, the band director explained.
Board member Jeff Dornbusch asked Magoto how he settled on the design for the new uniform. Magoto said several options were considered and then he sought feedback from school personnel, band members, boosters and people on the streets before pinpointing a winner.
Dornbusch asked how his plan differed from the one undertaken before the district ordered the last batch of uniforms.
“I could not tell you, I wasn’t around then,” Magoto said.
Stanbury staff is currently creating a sample of the new uniform that will be shown off at fundraising events.
A flier explaining the upcoming fundraising campaign will be delivered soon to residents and businesses on a mailing list for The Sampler, the school district’s newsletter.