That's precisely the dilemma faced by the Portsmouth High School band, who are wearing uniforms originally purchased in the early 1990s. To help band members get new uniforms, the school has begun its "Adopt a Uniform" campaign.
The campaign began at about Christmastime, seeking to raise money to allow the band to buy new uniform jackets to debut next year.
"Our uniforms that we're wearing right now are falling apart," said band director Shawn Brehm. "We've already got a sample uniform of the new style. We've been replacing the uniform by pieces, and the jacket is the most costly part."
The jacket, he said, costs about $300 each, and the band needs 60 to 70 of them - covering students from grades 8-12.
"We got the new hats this past year, and the plumes to go along with it. We're keeping the same pants. What we're going to do is keep on phasing in new pairs until they're all brand new," Brehm said.
He also said he hopes to have enough raised to order at least 50 jackets in April, to begin using during the first game of next school year. The new uniforms will be classic in their design, rather than contemporary. This will be done to avoid having them go out of fashion, as contemporary styles change. The new style also will accommodate both game and competition performances.
"I'm not planning on switching the uniforms while I'm here," Brehm said.
The design follows a Big Ten and Mid-American Conference style of uniform, with the older military style of hats with upright plumes. They are modeled very closely after the marching band hats worn by Ohio State marching band, with its main body being navy blue, red stripe at its base, and two-color upright feather plume of blue and red. The hats were purchased in 2006, using the money raised from a school fruit sale.
This year's focus is on raising money for the jackets.
All donations are tax deductible, and those who contribute enough will be eligible for advertising space on the band's trailer, which travels with them all over the country and into Canada. The size of the space available depends on the amount of the contribution. Anyone interested in contributing money to Adopt a Uniform can contact Brehm at (740) 355-4481, or by e-mail at shawn.brehm@
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235.