Students march in style

Stephanie Ivankovich
Students march in style

For the first time in 20 years the high school marching band will have a new uniform.

The Perry High School marching band replaced their uniforms from the 90s with brand new ones last week.

Band students said the need for new uniforms was long overdue.

“They are way better than the ones from the 90s I’ll tell you that,” said Morgan Holmstrom, a senior marching band student. Lauren Benjamin, a junior marching band student, said they make the band look more like professional.

“Last year we looked pretty bad because we hadn’t been in a contest 20 years but we still probably looked the same as we did 20 years ago,” Holmstrom said. “Buttons were falling off. Some people had to safety pin them.”

He said many of the uniforms had weird stains and smells on them.

“My freshman year I found a really old half-eaten granola bar,” Holmstrom said. “I remember because I reached in my pocket and I feel something sticky and I pulled it out. The expiration was 2009. It was 2011 that year. It was bad.”

Benjamin said the new uniforms fit them.

“These ones actually fit us,” Benjamin said. “Last year none of them fit us.”

Brandon Weeks, marching band instructor, said when the boxes filled with the uniforms finally came the kids felt like they were getting presents. Weeks said he spent an entire day taking them out of the boxes and putting them together before they made their debut at the game on Sept. 11.

“I took from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. that Wednesday getting the uniforms ready for the game that Friday,” Weeks said. “The need for uniforms was high. They are really only meant to last 10 to 15 years.”

The students said the uniforms look great.

“We look good,” said Angel Escobar, a sophomore marching band student.

Holmstrom said they look sharp.

“We’ll be fresher than the rest,” Holmstrom said.

And the students love them.

“We love them,” Edwardo Medina, a junior marching band student said. The uniforms are not only more comfortable but warmer than last year, Holmstrom said.

“Last year you could get cold in,” Holmstrom said. “At our first game wearing them it got down to 40 degrees and it wasn’t even cold.”

The uniforms are not only important to the students, but the community, the band instructor said.

“There’s a sense of pride in wearing them,” he said. “Not only here, but it’s when we go out in other places. It represents not just the high school but our entire community. That’s one of our biggest jobs as a band— being ambassadors for Perry.”

The uniforms cost more than $500 each and 100 uniforms were ordered. They were paid for by the school board. Weeks and the students are thankful for the school board’s support.

“We are super thankful for the school board for supporting us and especially Lynn Ubben for the support she gave,” Weeks said. “Had she not probably given support, and Dan Marburger and Tom Lipovac, without those three people’s’ support we would have never been able to get these uniforms. I could’ve screamed, moaned and cried but it wouldn’t have done any good had they not supported us in getting these. We are super thankful and the kids understand it too.”

Several band students also thanked the school board.

“Thanks goes to the school board for allowing us to get the uniforms,” Holmstrom said. “We needed them.”

Weeks said it’s an exceptional thing for kids to recognize who they should thank.

“That’s something I love about here,” Weeks said. “These kids appreciate everything they are given. We are super thankful again. I am happy to wear them out and represent Perry.”

The Perry High School marching band also got a new band trailer earlier in the year.

“Every year we have a goal of getting more kids in band— we always want more kids involved,” Weeks said. “There’s something you get from band that you can’t get from other classes. There’s life skills, relationships you build… there’s things you learn in band that you can’t learn anywhere else. I wish we could get everyone to do band, obviously that’s not possible, but certainly we are trying to get more and more kids.”

The Perry High School marching band will compete in three competitions this year. They will first compete Sept. 26 at Fort Dodge.

“I am super excited to go to our first contest, as are the kids,” Weeks said. “We are going to be a whole new band. People probably won’t recognize us. We have new uniforms, we are doing a whole new show, we have a new trailer, new instruments, almost a new attitude even. I can’t wait to go out in public and show people this.”