On Friday, Aug. 29, the Leyden High School marching band showed off its first new uniforms in 28 years.
“We were at the point where (the existing uniforms) had reached the end of there serviceable life,” said Bryan Miller, marching band director.
Gary Alioto, a parent who has been volunteering with the band for six years, knows what Miller is saying.
“They’ve been ripped, re-ripped, sewn, hemmed down and hemmed up,” Alioto said. “For as long as I can remember we’re trying to piece them together to make all the kids look good.”
The new uniforms will take a lot less effort. Built-in snaps in the coat sleeves and pant legs will do away with the need for hemming. Replacing wool is a manmade material that “wicks away” sweat. The fabrics can be washed at home rather than requiring dry cleaning.
Robert Doody, a junior who plays alto saxophone, prefers the new uniforms.
“During parades and other performance during the summer, the old uniforms would get really hot on the inside,” Doody said. “For parades, it would always be a huge relief to take off the jackets. I like the new uniform better. When I tried it on, it felt cooler.
Since 1986 when he previous uniforms were bought, the marching band has grown. For the school year that started in August, almost 200 students are participating in the marching band.
The 225 uniforms were manufactured downstate by Stanbury Corp. at a cost of $84,964. They’re blue, gold and white with epaulets and designed by Miller.
“We wanted to keep some of the tradition,” Miller said. “These are the uniforms that will take the schools beyond its 100th birthday (in 2027).”
A middle school that Miller declines to name is considering the purchase of the old uniforms.