This year, the Pride of Paoli decided it was again time for new uniforms. They are purchased roughly every ten to fifteen years, and the last purchase took place in 2005. These uniforms will be used for parades, marching competitions, concerts and community service programs. One hundred new uniforms were purchased, just enough for everyone in any given year.
This year’s uniform budget was $48,000, and the school board generously made a $10,000 contribution. The Band Booster program, which is a group of band parents and supporters, is paying the remaining $38,000. Patrick Butler, the Indiana Representative of Stanbury Uniforms, is the sales person for the Pride of Paoli.
“Something as important as a uniform that will represent the students, the school and the community for years to come cannot be left for students who will only be around for four years to decide. The band director usually chooses a uniform company to work with, then selects some people to be a part of the visual staff, which includes some of the ‘visually inclined’ parents and Band Booster members,” said band director Bill Laughlin.
The “visually inclined” parents come up with ideas of what the uniforms should look like. Afterwards, the uniform company has a professional designer who makes a computerized image. Corrections can be made at this point. Then, a sample uniform is made, and students can try it on and see how it fits. Final corrections are made, and the final product is presented to the parents at the Band Booster meeting.
The new uniform has a black and white striped optional undershirt with a purple sleeve covered with a black jacket. The jacket has wide shoulders and silver buttons down the front. Black gauntlets with silver buttons match the jacket and black pants. Overall, it is a very neat uniform that will be put to use for students in many years to come.
Story by Kaden Lewellyn