Rebel Band soon will have new uniforms

April 30, 1997


Staff Writer

You could buy a luxury car for what it's going to cost to outfit the South Hagerstown High School band with new uniforms.

But the roughly $50,000 will be well spent, said the band's director and members, who think the flashy new military-style uniforms will boost pride in the band and dazzle audiences.

Band boosters and members have raised about $12,000 toward the cost of 160 uniforms - a striking combination of crisp white, dark green and metallic gold in a traditional military style - since the fund-raising campaign started in September, said Tony Domenico, who directs the school's marching, concert and jazz bands.


Although he won't get to wear one himself, senior Jarret Blum said he has been active in the fund-raising efforts.

"It's still nice to do it for the people coming up because I was part of this," said Blum, 17, who prefers the "more modern" style of the new uniforms to what he has been wearing the past four years. "If you look good, you want to be good."

The band's uniforms are more than out of style, said Blum, a saxophonist, drum major and field commander.

"The material was white when we bought them. Now it's tan," Blum said. "The lining is ripped out. They've been hemmed like 40,000 times. It's just terrible."

The old uniforms, now 10 years old, are in sore need of replacement, Domenico said.

The average life of a band uniform is eight years, maybe 10 years with good care, he said.

"We're a competition band and a traveling band," Domenico said. "We use them about every weekend."

The Rebel Band will look and feel much better in their new uniforms, said freshman Amber Shingler.

"I think it will raise our self-esteem and give us more confidence out on the field," said Shingler, 14.

The uniform was designed to create an imposing presence, Domenico said.

The tall, gold military-style helmet - replacing the band's cowboy-style hat - will make a band member appear a foot taller, he said. And the shoulder of the jacket will stand a finger higher than the band member's shoulder.

Band boosters already were working on updating uniforms when Domenico took over the band program this year, he said.

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