A double-time fundraising drive means the Grandview Heights High School marching band can ditch its decades-old uniforms this season.
After a successful campaign led by the band parents association to raise $75,000, the band will debut its new uniforms during the Sept. 8 home game against North Union, director Chris Herrmann said.
"We're really excited to have our new uniforms on order. The students can't wait to put them on," Herrmann said. "We're so grateful for the support from the community. We thought this would be a multiyear campaign to raise money and we were able to do it all in just a year's time."
The former uniforms were more than 30 years old.
The new ones sport a "classy, clean look," featuring white and navy blue with a touch of silver, Herrmann said.
"I think the bitonal design sharpens the uniforms and makes them stand out more than the four-color uniforms we had before," he said.
Each of the 150 new uniforms includes pants, a jacket, a hat and a parka.
The band also will debut a new assistant director this year.
Scott Warburton previously served as an elementary music teacher in Mansfield.
"I'm really looking forward to working with the older students," Warburton said. "I liked working with younger students, but it's going to be fun to teach students who are at a more-advanced level.
"No matter what grade level I work with, the best part of teaching music is helping students advance to that next level," he said.
Warburton also will serve as orchestra teacher at Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School.
"I'm so excited to be here, in this district, where there is so much support for the arts and where parents encourage their children to participate in the music program," he said. "A lot of the credit for that goes to Mr. Herrmann."
About 120 students will participate in the marching band this year, representing about one-third of the high school, Herrmann said.
The band held a precamp July 17-21 at the high school and its members are at band camp through Friday, July 28, at Ohio Wesleyan University.
"Precamp is a precursor to the main camp, and we spend that week just going over the basics of marching and holding your instruments," Herrmann said. "It's like a sports team going through fundamentals at the start of practice."
During band camp, members are learning the first three of five halftime shows and the pregame show they will perform this season, he said.
This year's slate of halftime shows includes:
* Super Sound of the '70s, featuring classic hits of the era
* Magical Mystery Tour, featuring songs by the Beatles
* At the Movies, featuring music from popular films
* Sing Along Show, with the band performing familiar songs spectators will be able to sing along with
* Seniors' choice, with seniors selecting their favorite music performed during their years in the band.
While beginning to learn the season's music is an important part of band camp, just as important is the spirit of unity and camaraderie that develops during the week band members spend together, Herrmann said.
"It's not all marching and learning music," he said. "We plan a lot of fun activities that help the students bond, like going to Ohio Wesleyan's swim center, having a game night and holding a dance.
"The mantra for our band is we work hard and we play hard," Herrmann said.
After returning from camp, band members will conduct their annual decal drive from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 30.
Band members will go door to door handing out decals and collecting donations. The proceeds help pay the cost of band camp, scholarships, instrument repairs and other miscellaneous expenses for the band program.
The band will give its annual concert at 7 p.m. Aug. 13 at Falco Park in Marble Cliff.