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Hampton marching band will have new look

| Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, 3:48 p.m.
Hampton High School junior Annabelle Leibering helps adjust the hat strap for freshman Katie Marinack as Hampton Marching Band members try on their new uniforms on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Hampton High School junior Annabelle Leibering helps adjust the hat strap for freshman Katie Marinack as Hampton Marching Band members try on their new uniforms on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.
Hampton High School drum major Heather VanGorder tries on her new uniform for the Hampton Marching Band on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Hampton High School drum major Heather VanGorder tries on her new uniform for the Hampton Marching Band on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.
Freshman Sriram Schelbert is helped by band parent Kari Hilton with his uniform as members of the Hampton Marching Band try on their new uniforms on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Freshman Sriram Schelbert is helped by band parent Kari Hilton with his uniform as members of the Hampton Marching Band try on their new uniforms on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.

Say goodbye to Hampton High School Marching Band's hot and heavy habit.

The band's new $400 uniform features a form-fitting, royal blue jacket and black pants of lightweight, washable poly-gabardine, with a touch of gold to grab the eye.

“They're very sharp,” said Cindy Vasil, secretary of the Hampton Band Parents Association. “When people see them for the first time, they're going to be like, ‘Wow. Look at that band!'”

The Fred J. Miller uniform company of Miamisburg, Ohio, made the new uniforms after band members voted to select the design.

Hampton Township School District's 2016-17 budget allocates about $93,000 to pay for the band's 240 new outfits.

The band's old wool uniforms cost about $40,000 more, said Chad Himmler, director of the Hampton band, but they were falling apart.

“Our uniform committee was making about 100 significant repairs per year,” he said.

Himmler expects the new uniforms to last at least 10 years.

They're gender-specific — specifically tailored for the male or female form — and include a new hat with a white plume and detachable black and gold gauntlets.

“They're comfortable and when you look at them, they look sharper,” said drum major Heather VanGorder, 17. “It definitely is a change from what we had before and is much more modern.”

Unlike the band's old uniform, the new uniform sports an “H” on the jacket.

“It's designed to not necessarily be seen right away,” Himmler said. “Some people see it right away. Some people don't see it after five minutes.”

The new uniforms also incorporate snaps in the hems of the pants and sleeves for easy length adjustments.

“The new uniform's stretchy fabric also allows band members to move like dancers during performances.

“I think they will be much easier to move in and show us in a much more updated style,” said Sean Desguin, assistant band director. “They allow our look to match our high level of performance.”

What happened to the band's 250 old uniforms? Early this year, Hampton students got the chance to buy one for $20.

“We've already sold over 50 old uniforms to Hampton High School students,” Himmler said. “We have already returned about $1,100 to the school district.

“Currently, the other 200 old uniforms are on a marching band website for sale.”

Deborah Deasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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