This fall, when the Ashe County High School Husky Vanguard Marching Band takes the field at home football games, they’ll be wearing new uniforms.
On Tuesday, March 25, at the Ashe County Board of Education’s 2014 Retreat and Budget Work Session, board members gave the go ahead to superintendent Dr. Todd Holden to authorize band director Carrie Mitchell to purchase 65 new uniforms.
According to Dr. Holden, Mitchell has been pushing for the new uniforms for some time.
The band uniforms currently in use were purchased in 1999. According to associate superintendent Phyllis Yates, typical band uniforms have a “life span” of eight to 10 years, meaning the current uniforms are 15 years old.
The uniforms are in poor shape and Yates said some band members have had to make do by piecing together and mending the uniforms themselves.
Several board members questioned whether or not they would be setting a precedent for other groups to press the board for new uniforms, such as the football or basketball teams, but while the athletic department has three sources of funding, music has only two.
Athletic teams are funded through money budgeted for the athletic department and monies raised via entry fees and booster clubs, whereas the marching band and chorus rely on department money and fundraisers.
Board member Terry Williams said the one thing the athletic department has that the music department doesn’t is “the gate,” which translates into the price of admission.
Dr. Holden informed the board that he had worked out a deal with Mitchell where he’d ask the board for matching funds if the marching band could raise $10,000 on its own, which they did.
The board agreed with staff that $10,000 should be allocated for the purchase of the new uniforms, which must be ordered by March 31.
Board members expressed their support for the work Mitchell’s done since May 2012.
“She’s working very hard at it,” Dr. Holden said.
Alan Bulluck can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @abulluck.