by Amelia Wedemeyer
A collective groan can be heard from the five senior drum majors at the mention of the state of the Winona Senior High School marching band uniform pants. It is a groan that seems to encompass all of the last minute taping, pinning and praying involved with making sure the aging pants don’t fall apart while marching.
“I’ve had to use a bobby pin to hold up someone’s pants last minute,” drum major Greer Kosidowski said.
“A lot of times we use duct tape and tape the pants onto a student’s waist or leg,” continued Susan Miller, another senior drum major.
The pants are from the late '70s, and as marching band director Myron Haug said, “you can only Fabreeze them so many times!” They are mismatched; some pants are outfitted with one dingy off-white stripe down the side, while others have two, which is never good when you are partially judged at parades on whether your uniforms match. These pants have been hemmed so many times that sometimes the bottoms are just a mess of frays and black thread.
Often the pants are simply too small for the students. “Unlike a lot of schools, we have a lot of athletes in our band as well,” Haug said. “Many of the uniforms are for really tiny people, which makes it hard when you’ve got the football team in your band.”
For a marching band that finished third in the Minnesota State Fair marching band contest this year, parading around in worn-out uniforms can be a little embarrassing.
“We’ll be at parades and see the other marching bands and they’ll look cool, while we’re wearing pants that barely stay up,” drum major Katie Bruels said. “Getting new pants is a way to look more professional.”
This year the Winhawk marching band replaced the sequined bell-bottom one pieces, which once belonged to the flag team, that the drum majors used as uniforms. They also finally got new outfits for the flag team members, who, according to senior drum major Anna Hanesworth, sometimes wore “yoga pants and tank tops” to perform. Now the goal is to raise enough money to replace the outdated pants for the rest of the marching band. The last estimate is that about $10,000 is still needed to outfit the whole band.
“This town has always been so supportive,” Haug said. “The students take a great deal of pride representing our community in local events.”
“I’d like to think that we’re part of the community,” Bruels added. “And when you think that way, we’re not only representing the school, but the entire community of Winona.”
Anyone who wishes to contribute to the Winona Senior High School marching band pants fund may donate via mail by sending a check to: Foundation for Winona Area Public Schools, 1570 Homer Road, Winona, Minn., 55987, or by visiting the Foundation for Winona Area Public Schools’ website at: http://www.foundationwaps.org/. Any questions about the WSHS marching band may be directed to Terri Sim at firstname.lastname@example.org.