WASHINGTON — The Washington Community High School marching band will have a new look next season.
Uniforms that have lasted for 10 years but have taken a beating and are behind the times in style have been replaced.
Earlier this year, the high school purchased 240 new uniforms from lone bidder DeMoulin Brothers and Co. of Greenville for $107,898.
A committee made up of assistant band director Lisa Parrott and current and past members of the band boosters worked with DeMoulin to come up with a style with a classy look, according to boosters president and committee member Tammy Miller.
"This is a major capital expense for the high school. We wanted to make sure we got something we like," said band director Jim Tallman.
The other part of the equation is what to do with the old uniforms. The boosters have turned them into a fundraiser.
Miller said about 160 band members had their uniforms at the end of last season. They have four options of what to do with them.
At last count, with 115 uniforms accounted for, the most popular option was to turn in the uniform and have the jacket made into a pillow for $35. Seventy-five band members have chosen this option.
There are 240 old uniforms. Miller said band alumni will have an opportunity to get a uniform or have a pillow made.
Her son Jordan, a member of the band's drum line for four years and now a freshman at Illinois Central College, wants a uniform. Her daughter Taylor, a sophomore who plays clarinet in the band, turned in her uniform and wants a pillow.
Whatever old uniforms are left will be donated to a theater group or charitable organization, Tallman said.
The new uniforms are expected to be delivered to the high school by the end of July.
"That'll be exciting for the kids," Tallman said. "Happy kids make for happy teachers."
Tallman has been the band director since 1994. He believes this is the third time new uniforms have been purchased.
The boosters provide financial and other support for band students including instrument and music purchases, scholarships and paying the judges at the high school's annual marching band festival.
Steve Stein can be reached at 686-3114 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.