Archive for Monday, November 19, 2007

Band uniforms come up short

12-year-old LHS marching duds don’t cut it at competition, but replacement estimated at $100K

Lawrence High School seniors Xander Casad, left, and Emily Lamb, both field conductors for the marching band, talk about their issues with the aging LHS marching band uniforms as junior trombonist Jacob Ryan models his Tuesday at LHS. New uniforms for both the LHS and Free State High School bands will have to be approved by the school board, which is beginning budget discussions.

Lawrence High School seniors Xander Casad, left, and Emily Lamb, both field conductors for the marching band, talk about their issues with the aging LHS marching band uniforms as junior trombonist Jacob Ryan models his Tuesday at LHS. New uniforms for both the LHS and Free State High School bands will have to be approved by the school board, which is beginning budget discussions.

November 19, 2007


Band members show off shoddy uniforms

Lawrence High School band members, Xander Casad, Jacob Ryan and Emily Lamb, talk about the marching band's uniform needs. Enlarge video

Members of The Lawrence High School Marching Lions point to trombone player Jacob Ryan as a reason why they need new uniforms.

The lanky junior's uniform doesn't fit. The sleeves on his white jacket are about an inch short of reaching his wrists. His black pants are so short that it looks like he's going fishing instead of playing in the band.

"We don't have any alternatives for people like Jacob. These uniforms are just too small," said Xander Casad, an LHS senior and field conductor.

Dozens of LHS parents and students have written letters to school board members in an effort to replace the 12-year-old uniforms.

"It's like showing up at The Ritz in a pair of blue jeans - they won't let you in, and if they do, they won't take you seriously," said Terry Jacobsen, whose son is a sophomore trumpet player.

The cost to replace the uniforms is estimated to be $100,000.

LHS band director Mike Jones said the uniforms were designed for performing at football games only, but now the band marches in several competitions as well. The uniforms also present sizing issues, because they were fitted for the band students 12 years ago.

He said the uniforms also can inhibit how the band performs in marching competitions, although they have had success in recent years. He said the band's formations must be spread out because of the white jackets, and the stripes on the black pants can be telling if members are out of step or out of line.

Judges have docked points because of the uniforms, he said. The uniforms also are difficult to clean and have been hemmed so many times that it causes some to tear.

Board members talked at their Nov. 12 meeting about receiving the letters, which seemed to raise eyebrows.

"I didn't realize how old the uniforms were. That wasn't right on my radar screen," Rich Minder, board member, said. "That you brought that to our attention is good."

But they made no funding promises because they have a list of more than $6 million worth of requests.

"We will be very seriously taking a look at that request when we begin our budget process for 2008-2009," board president Linda Robinson said.

Jones said he does not want new uniforms to require the district to have to sacrifice any major programs.

Jacobsen said district leaders need to be prepared to support their fine arts programs.

"There needs to be a plan in place to replace those uniforms every so often," he said.

District administrators and principals also put requests in last year to replace the 10-year-old Free State High School uniforms, although some parents have said LHS should get new ones first.

"We would certainly advocate the school district provide new uniforms for Lawrence High, and we're happy to wait until they get theirs," said Julie Jasperson, a Free State parent.


thomgreen 10 years, 7 months ago

Why not kick off some fund raisers to help cover the costs? Car washes, candy sales, etc.? Just an idea. It might make the 100K a little easier to swallow if they could come up with some funds on their own. I'd definitely support the effort. We don't have enough funding in the arts and music in our school systems as it stands.

seriouscat 10 years, 7 months ago

I feel for these kids, but WHY would replacing band uniforms cost one hundred thousand dollars??? If there are 100 band members...that's $1000.00 per uniform!

jonas 10 years, 7 months ago

It seems high. I scrolled a few sites just for kicks, and they were talking about 250-400 a uniform, or like 20-30,000 an order.

monkeyhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

"Why not kick off some fund raisers to help cover the costs? Car washes, candy sales, etc.? "

Great idea.

What a terrific way to teach your kids if you really want something, maybe you could work to attain it, instead of requiring that someone else pays for it.

Seems like most kids are rather lost when they graduate and try to function in the real world, because they have had everything handed to them under the pretense that they are "special", and deserve to have whatever their heart desires.

I, personally, would be happy to donate to a cause rather than have it extorted from me.

deskboy04 10 years, 7 months ago

Because the band needs to have the best!

JHawker 10 years, 7 months ago

Actually, the Fine Arts students do partake in several large and for the most part successful fundraisers. However, the budget for the Fine Arts Dept.s for Elementary, Jr. High, and High School is so little - that any money earned during these fundraisers are used to help these programs function - go to these competitions, have concerts, etc. Donations from thoughtful community members is a wonderful and much appreciated idea.

freestatetrumpet 10 years, 7 months ago

i am a student and a sousa player at free state high school. our uniforms are just as bad as lawrence high, and need to be replaces also. my though is if you relpace lhs's uniforms than you have to replace fhs's, that is the only fair way to do it and it would also keep the schools =. another thing i have to say is that the university of kansas had uniformes for 20 or 30 years before they replaced theirs and those uniforms got much more use than the ones at the high schools.

inatux 10 years, 7 months ago

From the cutline: "which is begining budget discussions"

I'm sure, LJW, you mean "beginning"

mom_of_three 10 years, 7 months ago

Band uniforms are usually the last thing on the list to be replaced. In high school, we wore uniforms older than we were.
When you buy band uniforms, you are just outfitting the kids currently in the band. You are buying extras for the future growth, different sizes to accomodate people, and don't forget those awful hats.

auturgy 10 years, 7 months ago

I think there are more than 100 band members.

imastinker 10 years, 7 months ago

I have to wonder about the longevity of uniforms. When I was in high school, the band got new uniforms my sophomore year. The old ones were about 30 years old. There was nothing wrong with them, they were just very dated. A band member a few comments up said KU keeps them for 20 or 30 years too. I have to question this expense.

sourpuss 10 years, 7 months ago

Okay, so I was in the LHS marching band before these uniforms were bought, and we didn't have problems with our old uniforms, so I guess someone made a really bad decision (I think I know who) in terms of how these uniforms would function. "Just for games"? We were doing competitions and parades back before these uniforms were bought, so don't give me that line. I never did like them, especially not compared to the ones from the 80s. They looked cheap and ill-fitting.

And yes, band uniforms are expensive. Just chuck up the money and get them. Don't the kids deserve it? Give them uniforms they can be proud of. I loved wearing my band uniform because we all looked really sharp in them. For the past 12 years, the LHS band has looked like cheap tin soldiers. I can only hope better ones are purchased this time.

Nikki May 10 years, 7 months ago

When I was in high school, our school had just got new uniforms the year before. I know they did fund raisers for a good portion of them, plus we had to pay a "rental fee" at the beginning of the year. Hey freestatetrumpet - yeah, if you get one, you should get both. BUT, your school isn't even as old as as LHS's uniforms so wait a year or two.

Also, that boy in the picture doesn't look lanky. Isn't lanky by definition gaunt or bony with bony limbs? He looks like a regular tall guy to me. Not lanky.

Steve Jacob 10 years, 7 months ago

A Free State student wanting things equal. Funny.

motomom 10 years, 7 months ago

our uniforms really are in bad shape, folks. i wish you all could get up close and see them..and you would totally understand why we are asking for the school district's help. fundraisers are a definite possibility, but it is actually the school district's responsibilty to help us out with this matter. lawrence high school has won some pretty big competitions over the years and truly do deserve these new uniforms. last year they won 2 GRAND championships, which is huge, if you are a band person. we just feel like like we have earned these. free state was smart, because they actually have "cover-alls" that go over their uniforms while they are seated in the stands. we never had those and the wear and tear is really evident. the marching lions are kind of the "face" of the school. one of our goals is to illustrate PRIDE in our school..matter of fact, before the band goes onto the field they always yell,"PRIDE!"....these band members play all year round....they don't have a"season" and then they are starts with marching and ends with concert bands. the price tag IS pretty frightening...i know. i couldn't believe it either. we hope that the community will get behind us and get these bright, talented students some new duds.....they deserve it ! PRIDE!

yankeelady 10 years, 7 months ago

The LHS uniforms are at least 5 years older than the FSHS uniforms. However, having seen both up close the FSHS uniforms are nowhere near the quality of the LHS uniforms. You get what you pay for. My LHS alumni graduated several years ago and we had to make several alterations to her uniform over the 3 years she was in band. I would like to see both programs get new uniforms. I don't think anyone would quibble over football equipment, so why not equal recognition for the arts?
Take a look at the studies about how students that are in music programs do better and tend to be more likely to graduate. Let's recognize and encourage their talents.

coolmarv 10 years, 7 months ago

They are in band. It's okay if your pants are too short?

monkeyhawk 10 years, 7 months ago

"but it is actually the school district's responsibilty to help us out with this matter."

translation - it is the taxpayers' responsibility ...

Please propose some sort of trade out. Check the school district's budget and see what can be cut to accommodate your desires. Use some creativity (that seems to be lacking in both the city and the school district), instead of constantly reaching into our pockets. Surely, these musical artists have some imagination in them.

Besides, I would much rather fund driver's education classes.

Lonestar1 10 years, 7 months ago

LHS Band should have new uniforms. The just had a fund raiser to support some band activities. It was a Gayla at the school. If you missed it you missed a great show! What talent! All of our kids in both high schools deserve our support. I don't hear any one blowing smoke when the football teams need new uniforms. I can tell you those don't last 20-30 years!
We as tax payers get what we pay for, it you want cheap, you will replace it more often and it will cost you twice as much. I think a combination of fund raising and tax dollars would be a good way to go. I had an LHS band student once and I would be happy to kick in some to help out .
KU had it's "feather the flock" fund raiser, why not do the same for our high schools? Supporting our kids and their schools is a good investment!

jayneway 10 years, 7 months ago

If the Band has to help pay for their own uniforms, then so does the FOOTBALL team, the BASKETBALL team, and the BASEBALL team. Give me a break!

BigPrune 10 years, 7 months ago

At LHS in the 1980's, we had uniforms with stripes down the legs and all, that were 20 years old. The tall lanky kids' uniforms had an un-tailored look to them, just as today, and we won every competition.

We marched military style. We had to hit every hash mark and march in sequence. The easier "chorus line" style of marching used today was unheard of for an LHS marching band of that era.

Ragingbear 10 years, 7 months ago

Somebody may want to talk to that middle kid to find out if he is "confused".

But I agree that kids should work. Unless they are in a parade or in a game, they don't even need uniforms.

daddax98 10 years, 7 months ago

Ok I gotta say it "This one time at band camp..."

ndmoderate 10 years, 7 months ago

Purchasing quality uniforms is the best scenario. Cheaply made uniforms certainly cost less, but are still expensive...and they don't last nearly as long as well-made uniforms. Quality uniforms should have a life span of 10-15 years (or more if needed), then be replaced. How many athletic uniforms are worn by varsity athletes for 10 years or more?

The school district (heck, ALL school districts) should have a 10-15 plan for replacing uniforms. That way the Boards and the taxpayers know what's coming.

As was said before, fundraising isn't always the answer, since arts programs generally max out their fundraising with other pursuits (instruments, trips to Bowl parades, music, etc.).

jayhawk166 10 years, 7 months ago

Waste of money? make them pay for it themselves? who the hell would say something like? If the basketball team needed money no one would argue about getting them new uniforms. this is highschool its not the students responsibility to pay for things its the school distric. mabye since you dont want to give the 146-200 kids in band the money, they might decide to stop comming to the game! how would you football parents feel then. Not to mention with the football team being so bad this year you would have lost half of your ticket sales seeings how the entire section behind the students is band parents. You football and basketball parents need to be helping the band out seeings how you enjoy them playing at your sons or daughters games. As a graduated marching lion i know how bad the uniforms are. my pants had three holes in them and my jacket had a big black streak across the back. Not to mention the neck of my jacket was stained bright yellow form years of peoples sweat drying on it. The uniforms are completely necessary. FS uniforms are a good five years newer and dont need to be replaced right now but it would not hurt to start thinking about replacing them to.

BigPrune 10 years, 7 months ago

In the early '80's, there were actual "cool" kids, even football stars, who belonged to band. The footballers would come out and perform at halftime.

yankeelady 10 years, 7 months ago

I can think of worse ways to spend my tax dollars. Let's show a little pride. These kids do work. Anyone who has been in band or been a band parent knows just how much work it truly is. Why throw more responsibility on them? I'm sure the district can come up with something. Fundraisers only go so far and there a lot of other expenses involved in band. Ask any of the parents.

Terry Jacobsen 10 years, 7 months ago

To anyone who thinks that purchasing new band uniforms is a waste, I would ask you to consider the following:

Our music students win many awards and are often recognized for their quality performances, which reflects positively on our community

Involvement in music at LHS teaches our students to be a part of a greater program and teaches them valuable lessons about time management, practice, preparation, follow-through, discipline, striving for excellence, rewards and perseverance. In short these students learn about life and how to achieve goals.

New clinical research is quantifying the health benefits of the arts, from pain relief to faster recoveries.

Research shows that reported participation in fine arts courses leads to higher academic ratings and lower dropout rates.

Students enrolled in fine arts courses score from 6- to 11-percent higher on the SAT than students not enrolled in any of those courses, according to a recent study.

Research also shows that students who are involved in fine arts are more committed to school in general and that work ethic carries over when they go to college.

We don't put the football team on the field without uniforms, pads, or balls. We spend thousands of dollars each year renting a stadium for the football team to play in. We don't put the soccer team on the field without uniforms or balls. We don't put the basketball team on the court without uniforms or balls.

The Music department just did their first annual Gala Concert to raise funds for the fine arts program at LHS. They worked hard and they raised about $10,000.00. It isn't like they are asking for a handout. If we are going to have a fine arts program, then we should fund it properly.

motomom 10 years, 7 months ago

WELL SAID, TJ. !!!! you could not have said this more clearly and eloquently. there ya have it everybody. THAT is why we need to support these kids.

Gabe Hoffman 10 years, 7 months ago

I was a senior the first year the schools split up. We got new uniforms that year, which would also mean Free State had new uniforms since it was their first year. I don't really care either way, but if it comes down to wearing 12 yr old uniforms, or putting the money towards something more universal for the school, I would pick the second.

That said, moneyhawk, I don't think that a school paying for uniforms will teach kids to be "spoiled"

That would be the same as saying that all students should be partially responsible for school repairs. Need a new roof? All students sell 10 candy bars or freeze. How about a more teachers? Each student must commit $50 per semester.

Get real, it's high school, no one is being ruined, and it's our responsibility as a community to help young kids, high school or not, whether it's emotionally, intellectually, or god forbid, monetarily.

imastinker 10 years, 7 months ago

Some of you keep comparing band to other sports, but there are alot of people questioning this that were in the band. I was. So don't accuse me of favortism. I didn't play football. I was in the band. Our unifoms were replaced about the same time that FHS got their new ones, and the high school I went to still has very nice uniforms.

yankeelady 10 years, 7 months ago

TJ, well said. Please go before the school board when this is discussed. As should all who support these fine musicians.

motomom 10 years, 7 months ago

don't worry, yankeelady...we will all be should come, too, if it indeed gets to that point. thanks for your support...and everybody else, too!

wildcat86 10 years, 7 months ago

As a Free State Graduate I have seen the wear and tear of both high schools uniforms. My best friend was a year ahead of me at LHS and her uniform had to be ducked taped several times before performances because there was no time to sew the holes up. This is because she was in charge of helping unload the truck at each performance and she was in the pit this particular year so her uniform got snagged on the pit instruments. This was six years ago! At Free State the white pants are protected by scrubs in the stands, yes, BUT the white color is fading is getting harder to clean in order to keep them white. I also had problems with holes at the bottom of my band pants. The uniforms at Free State are as old as the school is which happens to be 11 years so Free State should have the same opportunity at LHS to get new uniforms. Free State has the same problems as LHS does with finding the right size uniforms for their students too. Last year there was a kid who didn't quite fit into his uniform because he was really tall and big around. This year, there are several really tall kids who's pants look too high on them even if they have the suspender adjustments all the way down. This happened to my little brother this year (his first year). He's really thin (or lanky if you will), but the boy is 6'3! I will have to agree that LHS does look like tin soldiers out on the field but that could have easily been avoided by finding a different hat. Anyway, my point is that BOTH schools do need new uniforms and should be supported by everyone in the community/district, especially those parents who's kids are in sports and/or sports and ALSO band. It is true that half of the tickets sold at games are band parents so the sports teams would lose attendence if the band wasn't being supported!!

deskboy04 10 years, 7 months ago

Spare no expense! Get the best uniforms that money can buy for this valued activity. If you have to raise taxes to do...go ahead, you have my permission. I go to the football games to watch the bands perform. I love band. I was in it when I was in high school and we didn't have nice uniforms. It was wrong!

Nikki May 10 years, 7 months ago

Not that this changes my opinion, but something BigPrune said made me think. My highschool had stripes down the leg of our pants. You know how we made it look like we were all in step and at the right spot? We marched right. They shouldn't emphasize that the stripe is bad for competition. In fact a few of the DCI (drum corps international) bands have stripes on their pants.

jumpin_catfish 10 years, 7 months ago

They purchase uniforms for the athletes why the band? Priorities are all wrong in public education.

motomom 10 years, 7 months ago

my daughter's pants have big holes and have been stapled in the past for hemlines. when i took her pants to get altered at aneita's, the lady there said,"what is it with lawrence high's uniforms? they are a mess." if free state can help us to ALL get uniforms, i encourage the FSHS band parents to make some "noise" to the school board like we did... if one agrees or not, lawrence has the best musicians in the entire state. the cream of the crop are right here in our let's show them that we care. climb aboard our train, free uniforms for ALL deserving musicians!!

my2girls 10 years, 7 months ago

I also agree with TJ. I was a parent helper at the Blue Valley festival and we had to duck tape some uniforms together before the competition this year. These kids work very hard learning their music and the show. They deserve to have nice uniforms. My family was at every football game and believe me we would not have been there had it not been for the band. Also we pay a fee to play in the band and band fees to help clean the uniforms. It is not like this is something they get to do for free!

Confrontation 10 years, 7 months ago

I'd rather see city money go towards new band uniforms, rather than crappy overpriced art. I know we're talking about school funding here.

thomgreen 10 years, 7 months ago

I would think this could be a nice joint program for both LHS and FSHS. Get the bands together to do mutual fund raising. Then start a yearly drive to keep a fund going. Rotate who gets new uniforms. There's just so many good ideas that could come from this. Sure, it might be the "responsibility" of the school board to fund the new uniforms, but why be reactive when you can be proactive?

gccs14r 10 years, 7 months ago

ISTR that the kids had to buy their own uniforms when I was in school, but that was back in the 70s in Oklahoma.

freestatetrumpet 10 years, 7 months ago

erlier i said that their needs to be equality in the schools in lawrence. that means not only band but all programs. but that is not what i am here to talk about

as i red this artical i saw were one of the people interviedwed mentioned the fact that the white jacktes caused problems. At free state we have white pants. we Have to be instep other wise it is almost instinatnious to spot when some one is out of step. that is the first thing that we are taought during summer band is keep time and stay instep. We dont have issues with getting docked on points. and in just ten years we have won a huge amount of awards all with the same uniform. granted they are getting worn out but the can last for a few more years.

freestatetrumpet 10 years, 7 months ago

one more thing being 6' 4" tall and 350 i have uniform issues the pants are too short and the sleves come almost to my mid lower arm and we have others in our band with this problem so the fact that the artical focuses souly on LHS as do most articals in the journal world kinda pisses me off

motomom 10 years, 7 months ago

hey, freestate! you guys looked great this year. i liked your show alot. LHS won BEST marching at the KU competition this year, so i know what you mean about how important marching is. keep up the good work over there on the other side o' town!

yankeelady 10 years, 7 months ago

I will certainly be at the school board meeting to support this. We spent 3 yrs as band parents and never missed a game, performance or competition. We also paid to have our students uniform cleaned several times a year and altered at least twice. It is money well spent to support both programs.

motomom 10 years, 7 months ago

freestate...the reason the article in the newspaper focuses on LHS is because we are actively AND presently trying to get new uniforms. the band parents sent the school board members hundreds of letters expressing our has nothing to do with LHS would be nice if you supported both musical programs...because you are BOTH GREAT. maybe if we work together we can all get new uniforms......think about that

freestatetrumpet 10 years, 7 months ago

motomom i never said that i did not support both the musicdal programs in this city. both my uncle and my mother were in the lhs marching abnd and i have several freidns in the band their all that i am saying is that regaurdless of what the topic is if both schools are involved fs gets the shaft. that is all that i am saying. I DO SUPPORT BOTH MUSICAL PROGRAMS!

Raider 10 years, 7 months ago

Both the LHS and FSHS bands have been invited to appear in some of the local parades and events. Each time they were invited their directors have said no. They (the directors) said it is too inconvenient for them to get the kids downtown and organized. Therefore, if they don't want to participate in events for the community, I don't think my tax dollars should pay for them to have new uniforms. Let them raise the funds themselves, or let the school board find alternative funding. This should not be funded by the public.

motomom 10 years, 7 months ago

wanna know why the bands don't partcipate, raider? it costs money to rent the 3 to 5 buses to get the members and all of their gear to these events. it actually costs hundreds of dollars EACH time.... that is why. we simply don't have that much money to go to every parade we are asked to be's a real bummer.

motomom 10 years, 7 months ago

freestate...sorry i misunderstood you....and i am sorry you all feel shafted...... : (

Michael Stanclift 10 years, 7 months ago

I was a sophomore at Free State the third year it was open, and being 6'2" I got "shafted" when it came to uniforms and I had pants that were too short. We won quite a few first place and grand champion throphies that year.

By my junior and then senior year, I had advanced to the front of the line and got a uniform that fit me correctly. Senior privilage.

When Ms. Bear was the director at FSHS, she was very aggressive about making sure that we took great care of our uniforms and didn't abuse them. I can think of a couple times we marched in our "scrubs" to keep our white pants clean and still won first place and grand champion trophies.

My experiance in the uniforms is at least 6 years old, but they didn't look bad to me when I was at the LFS vs LHS football game, or at band day.

My point is, you don't need to have the latest and greatest uniforms or even ones that fit everyone correctly to win. When there are 150+ kids on the field, what matters is that they all march in step and sound great. Both LFS and FSHS do that.

Gabe Hoffman 10 years, 7 months ago

I'm going to take a stab here; 6'4'' and 350 is gigantic and that's with the assumption it's not all muscle. It would be my guess that when ordering unifroms, you have to get a lot of general sizes, and I don't believe your particular size is a frequent one ordered.

That being said, let's let the LPD pick up the tab. Have a ticket Tuesday once a month where they set up a speed trap. Given their past such as west of Wakarusa, we could have gold plated uniforms for all in about 3 months. Thanks speeders!

Prydain 10 years, 7 months ago

I remember having those uniforms for the '97 Sugar bowl, my junior year. Sophomore year was the older uniforms with the awnings over the shoulder. That doesn't add up to twelve years. Did I do my math wrong or is my memory all messed up?

freestatetrumpet 10 years, 7 months ago

granted my size is not what is concidered average size and i by no means expect that their wuld be a uniform that would fit me perfictly being a senior that was not the point that i was trying to make. the point that i was trying to make was that both schools have issues with uniforms that do not fit properly

Nikki May 10 years, 7 months ago

I have to admit that I went to a small school. However, for in town parades (that we went to all of) we just had our parents drop us off down town or on occasion we walked, but we got ourselves there. This included everyone. I played percussion, I brought my own instrument (I did play quad toms one year and bass drum another year). Not that big a deal, especially since everyone drives big vehicles these days. I don't see why they need a bus to get to an in town parade.

BigAl 10 years, 7 months ago

Absolutely get both high schools new uniforms. This is every bit as important as football or basketball uniforms. We should budget LHS first and then get FSHS after. There are well over 100 kids in each band and Lawrence has two outstanding high school bands. There is no reason in the world that their uniforms are not replace as needed.

Again, there are more kids in band than there are in football, basketball or any other sport.

BigAl 10 years, 7 months ago

You're welcome motomom. I am a huge sports fan (basketball & football) but it irritates me when these great band kids of ours sometimes do not get the recognition that they deserve. These kids work very hard and it shows every time I see one of their programs.

Tristan Moody 10 years, 7 months ago

punkrockmom --

From my understanding these days, that's actually illegal now. I seem to remember that being a reason a Free State cross country coach got fired about 8 years ago. For a school-sponsored event that they are required to attend, the students are not allowed to drive themselves there.

To do offseason parades, you have to consider the following: Busses Additional staff necessary who normally only work during marching season Breaking stride with concert season to spend at least two days preparing for the parade Pulling marching instruments out of storage and the additional tuning and maintenance required Providing all the students enough notice to plan to attend these events (if they don't happen during the school year, they can't be required to attend)

The monetary cost to do this is already substantial, not to mention the academic cost of interrupting the curriculum to do an event like that. It is never an easy thing to mobilize a 170-member performing ensemble, so an "inconvenience" is a pretty big deal.

Wilbur_Nether 10 years, 7 months ago

thomgreen suggested a fundraiser for band uniforms. Great idea! Why don't they also do bake sales and other fundraisers to raise money for library books, textbooks, the school bus contract, utilities, and the teachers' and staffs' salaries, while they're at it?

Nikki May 10 years, 7 months ago

Interesting, thanks for clarifying. I would never have thought that was a problem. Of course, our band was smaller, all the parades were during the school year, we tuned our own instruments, and we played the several of the same songs all year because we also did pep band. BUT, different dynamics. Still, I didn't know about the bus thing. Very interesting.

visage 10 years, 7 months ago

LHS needed new band uniforms when I was there, and I graduated five years ago. I can only imagine the shape they're in now. The fact of the matter is, band uniforms wear out - just like any other uniform that is used for years and years. Yes, they are expensive. Everything in music is expensive! Think of the cost of school instruments, all the equipment, and so on... the uniform is part of that equipment. Does this mean we replace everything year by year? No. It simply means that when the time to replace things rolls around, it gets done and we move on.

wildcat86 10 years, 7 months ago

The reason why the kids don't drive themselves downtown is because there is hardly any parking down there because no one can park on the street where the parade is. Also the parking garage may not even hold that many cars and when I was in band the parking garage wasn't even there so parking was even more limited. The fees for the buses are also very expensive just like someone mentioned above. Another reason why kids can't drive themselves to band events/parades is because kids in Lawrence will think that they can skip or that they can show up anytime they want to, which leaves holes in the parade block/not enough people showing up. At least this was when I was in band, I don't know how it is right now.

This whole town is in bad shape when it comes to priorities. I think sports should be either last or after band when it comes to funding. Not every kid who plays a sport gets to continue it after high school anyway whereas with playing an instrument, you can continue to play it in college even if it's not in marching band. Yes, there are intramural sports in college, but it's no where near the fun as actually being on a NCAA team.

KU_cynic 10 years, 7 months ago

The idea of having a marching band costumed in a style that mimics 19th century military uniforms just seems so . . . dare I say ... passe. This is Lawrence, Kansas -- the funky town! How about a nice inexpensive "alternative" attire for the band members ... like jeans, matching school-color sweatshirts, and baseball caps. Let's compete on how the band sounds and performs, not on how extravagantly its members are dressed. If the band can conduct a fundraiser to make $20K a year that would be great; just donate the money to a worthy charity like the boys and girls club, food pantries, etc. And let's have our kids, parents, and everyone who sees the band perform learn a lesson in living simply so that others may simply live.

freestatetrumpet 10 years, 7 months ago

today i commented on this atrical. only to get to my band class and be aproched by my band director. he said that i had miss represented my self and introduced false information. for that Mr. FIllmore i am sorry. but i am not sorry for using my first amendment right of free spech in a opinon blog! and i underline opinion! it is not like i said any thing dirogitory, or inapropriate if any one thinks so i ask them to call me out on it. but i again say i am not sorry for using my first amendment right of free speech Mr Fillmore!!

ndmoderate 10 years, 7 months ago

Maybe Mr. Fillmore was embarrassed about your poor writing skills, freestatetpt.

TacoBob 10 years, 7 months ago

So I was in the LHS band in the late '70's. Can't remember the band teacher but he was there forever. Terrible wool uniforms. First gig was a disaster, half the band was out of place. Too hard to play an instrument and march as the same time, so faked it all. Remember a certain person who refuesd to march in the band so he was busted down the the jr. band, or whatever it was called. One of the best musicians of his time. May have quit for good after that.

Is a marching band good for true musicians? Will the glory days ever be again?

deskboy04 10 years, 7 months ago

It teaches you to march in formation. This is important.

Kookamooka 10 years, 7 months ago

What with all of this global warming and such, Kansas high schools need to take a cue from the high schools in Miami and Southern California. LHS and FS rarely wear their uniforms in weather under 30 degrees. With our extended Summer and "unseasonably" warm temperatures in November, I say re-evaluate the style, eliminate the wool and consider marching in short sleeved, button up shirts with collars and long ties, suspenders, black slacks, black wingtip shoes and panama hats. ((A la Havana, Cuba!-cigars not included)

George_Braziller 10 years, 7 months ago

Stupid looking hats and bizarre jackets for $100,000 that will only last a few years?

Tammy Copp-Barta 10 years, 7 months ago

After reading the spelling and grammatical mistakes the students are making in these posts, maybe we should be investing in more English classes rather than uniforms!

I was in the band in the 80's and we had stripes. We had to LEARN to march and stay in line, stripes shouldn't make a difference .. teach the kids to march CORRECTLY! We're always looking for the easy way out instead of trying to fix the problem. We participated in football games, parades (including the Portland Rose Festival) AND competitions, so there isn't anything new the band is doing that wasn't done before.

Band was a great experience and I love to watch the bands perform. Maybe the band/school should hire or contract seamstresses to CORRECTLY alter the uniforms each year instead of letting the kids figure it out with staples and duct tape. This is part of why the uniforms end up with tears and holes.

ranger73 10 years, 7 months ago

Wow- Go have a fund raiser-and yes, band uniforms do cost that much, and yes they wear out quickly. Think about it folks-teenagers wearing the same outfit at least once a week, and they can't be washed-have to be dry cleaned; worn in the rain, heat of August (phew!)

Maybe hit up all these posters who appear to have strong ties to the bands! Twenty-some years later my school still hits me up for money for the band!

Godot 10 years, 7 months ago

The band should have good uniforms, but not at $1K per uniform. Get something that is washable, durable and that can be worn with or without jackets, depending on the weather. When I watch a band, I don't care about the uniforms, I care about the precision, and the sound of the music.

Wilbur_Nether 10 years, 7 months ago

Godot, the $1K estimate was based on seriouscat's conjecture that the band would order only 100 uniforms. Likely they would order several times that amount.

auturgy 10 years, 7 months ago

I am curious to know how often uniforms are replaced for athletic teams. If it is comparable to the 12 years that LHS has had their band uniforms (and 10 year old FS ones), then we should stop complaining. I doubt they would ask the football team to play in 12 year old uniforms or practice jerseys. But I could be wrong.

Terry Jacobsen 10 years, 7 months ago

Dollyduhduh, wrote...You are so full of beans. Music=Intelligence.

I didn't say musc=intelligence.

I said:

Research shows that reported participation in fine arts courses leads to higher academic ratings and lower dropout rates.

Students enrolled in fine arts courses score from 6- to 11-percent higher on the SAT than students not enrolled in any of those courses, according to a recent study.

Research also shows that students who are involved in fine arts are more committed to school in general and that work ethic carries over when they go to college.

research shows that students who participate in fine arts perform better on college entrance exams and get better grades in college than students who have not participated in fine arts.

I don't believe any of the postings here were about Mr. Bush or his intelligence. Perhaps if you had been in the band, you would be able to focus and stay on the subject everyone else is discussing.

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