New uniforms for East Aurora marching band
By Kalyn Belsha firstname.lastname@example.org January 22, 2014 11:43AM
East Aurora student board member Angel Chavez shows the prototype for school's new band uniforms. East Aurora's Board unanimously approved 250 new band uniforms at a meeting Tuesday night. Photo credit: Stephanie Lulay, Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 24, 2014 12:31PM
AURORA — The East Aurora High School marching band will receive 250 new uniforms by May, just in time for their annual Memorial Day performance.
The East Aurora School Board unanimously approved a $104,000 contract on Tuesday to purchase the uniforms.
The district put out a contract bid after students and parents came to the school board in October to show them 24-year-old uniforms that were falling apart. At the time, district officials said they planned to dip into emergency funds to pay for new attire and the band set about designing a new uniform.
According to district documents, seven companies received an invitation to bid on the new uniforms and two responded. One was not able to meet the district’s timeline, and the second, DeMoulin Bros. and Co., based in southern Illinois, submitted a proposal to make 250 uniforms for about $104,000.
According to the district, which conducted reference checks on DeMoulin, the company has made band uniforms for more than 180 high schools in the state, as well as several universities and colleges.
Brad Mills, the president of the East Aurora Band Boosters Association, helped call the school board’s attention to the aging uniforms back in October. He told the school board that high school band members were performing at football games in black jeans and T-shirts because there were not enough uniforms for all band members and many uniforms were damaged.
Mills said Tuesday he was looking forward to seeing the finished product.
A prototype of the black and red uniform was shown at Tuesday’s board meeting. It includes a black cape that bears the East Aurora name and a tomcat, the district’s mascot.
“It should be just spectacular,” Mills said. “It’s pretty much staying in the style that most marching bands are using. It’s pretty top-of-the-line.”
Mills said he also was happy with how district officials had worked with the band and boosters to correct the uniform problem, which he saw as part of a bigger push to pay more attention to the fine arts.
The district is working on the survey it said it would conduct of all fine arts programs to inventory which ones might need uniforms or supplies.
According to minutes from the school board’s student enrichment committee meeting earlier this month, that survey wrapped up Jan. 17 and the athletics and student activities department is working on a three-year budget proposal for music, band, drama and arts.
“They jumped right into it,” Mills said. “Fine arts as a whole has gotten more attention, which is something else that we wanted. They’ve not broken any of their promises yet. They’ve worked diligently with us.”