Despite uniforms as old as some of the students who wear them, the Pride of Ardmore has continued to march its way to superior ratings.

 


Despite uniforms as old as some of the students who wear them, the Pride of Ardmore has continued to march its way to superior ratings.


“If they judged on looks, we’d be in trouble,” sophomore Wesley Hargis said.


The band’s current uniforms were purchased in 1996 and have given the band members and their boosters no end of discomfort and work.


“The old ones are itchy. There’s something on the inside that pokes you,” senior Zinat Turner said.

“The sequins is falling off and losing its color, and the Velcro doesn’t stick.”


“It’s moldy, especially after you march in the rain in Konowa,” senior Kaylyn Roan said.


“I was missing a button the whole season,” Hargis said.


Students are reluctant to wear the uniforms.


“Sometimes we don’t want to wear it, especially since it’s so hot, and just wear khakis and band shirts,” Roan said.


To the students, the hats are not much better.


“They hurt. There’s something inside that pokes you and it feels like your head is burning,” sophomore Dakota Cryer said.


Band boosters help the students repair the uniforms to the best of their ability.


“Our band boosters do a lot to hem it and sew on buttons. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to compete,” Roan said.


Uniform mishaps have included everything from hemming ill-fitting uniforms to safety-pinning a sash to taping a hat plume in place.


Finding a uniform without holes or a button missing is even more difficult than finding one that fits today’s students.


“Sometimes it’s whatever you can find so you don’t have to hem it so much. It will have holes in it. It’s not going to be the perfect uniform,” Roan said.


Now the band boosters are asking for donations to purchase new uniforms. They have picked out a proposed new uniform and the approximate replacement cost is $66,000.


Uniforms will arrive six months after they are ordered.


“It’s critical to start this campaign now so we can have them next fall,” booster president Lewis Logan said.


The boosters will be mailing letters to garner donations. Anyone who contributes $1,000 or more will be listed on a donor plaque in the AHS Fine Arts Building and recognized on the district Web site, television channel and newsletter.


Ardmore City Schools Superintendent Dr. Ruth Ann Carr kicked off the fundraising campaign by making a donation in memory of her late husband.


“It’s the way kids grow and mature as they go to contests ... He went to a school without band, but he always thought it was a great opportunity for students,” Carr said.


Carr herself played the clarinet and alto saxophone in the band during fourth through 12th grade.
“I just wanted to help them get started,” Carr said.


An important aspect of the new uniforms will be the return of the school colors.


“It gives people pride to put on your school colors, but if you don’t have it, that’s bad,” Turner said.


Current uniforms are black with a red sequence sash and small white ‘A’ with red trim on the front.


“Not much ties it back to Ardmore, just the ‘A’ and the ‘Ardmore’ on the side. People wonder where we’re from (when they see us marching),” Roan said.


In addition to red tops, the new uniforms include a removable sweat guard, thinner material and adjustable sleeves.


“Whenever you’re a drummer your sleeve comes up, and your arm shows. This will definitely be better,” Hargis said, who is a drummer.


The uniforms also include an overlay that creates three different looks — two different A’s and a tiger paw.


Cryer plays the trumpet and said he liked the comfort of the new uniforms.


“It looks like you can actually breath in it,” he said.


To donate, mail contributions to the Ardmore Band Boosters, P.O. Box 261, Ardmore, Okla. 73402.


Jennifer Lindsey, 221-6536