Clear Spring band wants to dress for success

May 20, 1997


Staff Writer

CLEAR SPRING - Clear Spring High School Band Director Jeff Fignar can't tell you why his band's uniforms are red, white and black instead of the school colors of blue and gold.

The uniforms had been in use at least eight years before he took over the job five years ago, said Fignar, who figures his predecessor just favored the sharp color combination.

People are always questioning why the Blazer Band doesn't wear its school colors, he said.

And it's sometimes confusing, he said, because North Hagerstown High School's Hub Band colors are red, white and black.

"When we go places, they think we're North High," said Fignar, who after five years of queries and mistaken identity is anxious to see his marching band don the school colors this fall.


It's a fortunate byproduct of a purchase of necessity, said Fignar, who estimates the current uniforms are 13 or 14 years old.

"They're pretty old and pretty ratty," he said. "Some are dirty. And when they get to be this old, you have problems fitting them."

Replacing the band's uniforms has been a major project, taking about three years, Fignar said.

The 80-member band is expected to grow to 110 members next year, he said.

The 120 new uniforms are costing the band around $46,000, more than half of which was donated by local civic organizations or raised through numerous fund-raising efforts, he said.

The remaining $22,500 was covered by an interest-free loan from the Washington County Board of Education that has to be paid back over the next five years, Fignar said.

It would have been about 40 percent cheaper to keep the same color when ordering new uniforms, he said.

But the students agreed it was worth the extra money to return to the traditional blue and gold colors, Fignar said.

"It just seemed like the right thing to do," he said. "As long as we need uniforms, it just made common sense to go back to the school colors."

The Blazer Band will retain the drum-and-bugle-corp style of its uniforms, which is consistent with the image it tries to project in parade competition, half-time shows and concerts, Fignar said.

"We're a traditional military-style power band," said Fignar, who said he's glad to be able to bring the quality of his band's uniforms up to the level of their wearers.

The Clear Spring Blazer Band has been consistently strong year after year, Fignar said.

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