Mill Valley News

Marching band receives new uniforms after 17 years

For the first time since the school opened, the Marching Jaguars gets uniforms with an updated design

Before+the+homecoming+football+game+on+Friday%2C+Sept.+8%2C+the+drum+majors+lead+the+band+to+the+bleachers.
Before the homecoming football game on Friday, Sept. 8, the drum majors lead the band to the bleachers.

Before the homecoming football game on Friday, Sept. 8, the drum majors lead the band to the bleachers.

By Morgan Gurwell

By Morgan Gurwell

Before the homecoming football game on Friday, Sept. 8, the drum majors lead the band to the bleachers.

Elizabeth Joseph and Michael Sandri

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The new band uniforms have finally arrived after much anticipation by members of the band. Unlike the old navy outfits, the new black uniforms are sashless, use jackets that zip in the back and have hats featuring plumes about six inches in height.

The marching band wore the original uniforms for 17 years, since Mill Valley’s opening in 2000. The new attire cost around $93,000 for the district to purchase and are expected to be in use for the next 10 to 15 years.

Band director Deb Steiner has been attempting to purchase new uniforms for eight years, after the outdated design became apparent in comparison to other marching bands.

“Our old style … was actually from about 1985 or 1990,” Steiner said. “They were 10 years out of date when [the district] bought them.”

Junior clarinetist Tyler Jeanneret agrees with Steiner’s assessment of the old uniforms.

“The old ones looked like painted cardboard,” Jeanneret said. “Now, we actually look like a marching band.”

Senior saxophonist Tom Colling added that the old uniforms were “navy blue potato sacks.”

“The new uniforms are sleek, modern and look very nice,” Colling said. “I really like the color scheme and the fact that they do not have as many snaps and zippers.”

Jeanneret, along with the majority of the band, spent the last year participating in multiple fundraisers to pay for the new uniforms.

“We sold a lot of mulch and mattresses,” said Jeanneret. “Getting enough participation [was difficult]. It’s not a fun Saturday activity, but we had motivation.”

By Morgan Gurwell
Junior Noah Smith marches with the band at the homecoming football game on Friday, Sept. 8.

After the band marched after Bishop Carroll at the 2015 state football game, the side-by-side comparison between the two schools and their attire was enough to sway the district into paying the full cost for all 225 new uniforms, in spite of the fundraising.

“When we went to state football, the district office looked at how the other band’s uniforms looked and then they looked at ours,” Steiner said. “They said ‘those look pretty bad.’”

Although the district paid the full cost of the uniforms, the funds collected by the band will still be put to good use.

“Everything that we had fundraised we got to keep for the school,” Steiner said. “[The uniforms] fit. They look so much better in them. This style is more current.”

Like Steiner, Jeanneret is excited for the upcoming marching season with the new uniforms.

“I’m super hyped, as is the whole band,” Jeanneret said. “They’re an amazing way to start out the school year.”

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Marching band receives new uniforms after 17 years