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  • Writer's pictureKathy

Help Wanted: Uniforms

Everyone has skills. Everyone has talents. Everyone has a desire to make their children happy. (I mean, mostly. Right?)

Anywho, if happiness comes in the form of the marching band, then we must all pitch in to make every season great.

This is part of a series giving details on how the parents, guardians, family, and friends of the marvelous marchers of the Spirit of Woodlan can support the band.

When the registration form arrives at the beginning of the season, and you stare at the "Band Booster Committee" page, there could be some serious WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO thoughts. But have no fear. We're all in this together.

And we have a pretty darn good time.

Let's talk uniforms.

I don't know all the details about this one, so I will do my best.

Uniforms are kept in the uniform know, those big blue boxes on wheels...hung neatly in their garment bags. Pants. Jacket. Gauntlets. And drop. (That's the flowing piece of fabric on the side of the jacket.) Shoes and hats (except plumes, they are kept separately) are in boxes set on shelves in these carts. A list of names is on each cart indicates whose uniforms are inside. Shoe and hat boxes are labeled with names. As of now, the color guard do not have a cart, they bring their uniforms with them and store them (and their flags) the guard room, which is off the band room. The carts also hold containers with needles and thread, tape, scissors, pins...a whole bunch of uniform related stuff.

At the beginning of the season, each marcher needs to be fitted into pants and a jacket. Each marcher needs shoes and a hat. Because everyone grows at different rates, just because the uniform and shoes fit one year, does not mean they will again.

Once a marcher has a uniform, it's theirs for the season...unless something happens. Something always happens...blame the faeries. The band member should put their uniform away after use...though band adults have had to track down a piece that is missing. In all the craziness before and after competitions, stuff gets overlooked or forgotten...or stolen by faeries.

Football games. When the band wears uniforms to the football games, and they don't wear them for every game, the carts are pulled into the hall outside the band room and people are needed to help make sure everyone gets their uniform bag, hat, and with any little problems (I've zipped many a zipper and velcro-ed many a gauntlet)...pass out the right size gloves (each marcher will know their size and whether they need fingered or fingerless ones)...then place plumes in hats. The plumes are white...and we are trying to keep them that way. They will change in the band room or the rooms off the band room. The guard will change in the guard room, doing hair and make-up and grabbing their flags. Then off they go! Once half-time is over, the band heads back inside to take off their uniforms. Someone helps place the plumes back in their safety tubes, others help to make sure every garment bag has all the uniform pieces, and others make sure the gloves get put away.

Friday nights, I believe, is the time to shine and spray (as in OMG THESE THINGS SMELL SPRAY) shoes, so they are nice for competition Saturdays. People hang out, sit on the floor with shoes everywhere, and chat and laugh as they make the shoes pretty.

Competition days, very similar to football games. The carts will be brought on the truck and placed in a row on whatever school's parking lot we have invaded. Already having their black socks, t-shirt, and whatever shorts/spandex they wear, band members will take their uniforms to the bus where they will change. A station is set up where they can get gloves and plumes. Hair braiding and ponytailing happens on the bus or in the parking lot. The guard will change on the bus, their uniforms already there and do their hair and make-up on the bus, or sometimes in a bathroom. Every once in a while an adult will be called upon to do someone's hair. Help is needed with zippers, gauntlets, and with any little problem that pops up. The marchers are very good at finding people to help.

After the performance, plumes and gloves are returned to their happy places and uniforms are stripped off and set in their bags. Volunteers go through the bags to make sure everything is there. Because sometimes the evil faeries take things...hide things...always blame the faeries.

General maintenance. These fancy uniforms are machine washable. Though they do not get washed all the time, eventually it becomes necessary. A lucky person can take home the ones that need help and wash them.

Though sewing experience is not required for this volunteer position, we do need those with sewing skills! If you can sew, even a little, please consider this job. PLEASE! If a seam needs help...if a glove has a hole...if a hem needs to be fixed...sewing is the only way to go.

Consider being part of the uniform team...TEAM WE LOOK GOOD. Uniforms are an important part of marching band competitions! WE LIKE TO LOOK GOOD.

I'm certain I have forgotten some important details...but I did my best.

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