AHS marching band scores big with arrival of new uniforms

ARLINGTON – New uniforms for the Arlington High School marching band and drumline have arrived.

In all, 180 uniforms were ordered that will outfit the entire band.

“The more I look at them the more I love them,” said John Grabowski, AHS band director and music teacher who headed the design for the new uniforms working with DeMoulin Co., a leading band uniform vendor.

The uniform coats still bear the same familiar AHS blue and gold, only now the colors are no-fade, with blue in the sleeves, epaulets and collar, and a gold sash across a bright white chest.

Grabowski said the coats and pants are equipped with adjustable folds and snaps to match the wearer’s size in half-inch increments. The uniforms also include features to keep band members cooler while marching, and each uniform also comes with plume headgear and raincoats that fit into a small sack that students can keep with them.

“They can have them ready to go at any time,” he said.

The old uniforms, some more than 25 years old, were falling apart, Grabowski said. They had frayed hemlines, loose fringes, mismatched buttons, ill-fitting suspenders, missing plumes on hats, and an itchy, musty smell that had musicians eager to undress right after marching.

The public will likely get their first look at the new uniforms during the Memorial Day parade at the end of May.

Grabowski praised the AHS Booster Club that raised $38,000; the school district for providing $60,000 toward the goal; contributions from the Stilly Valley Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Arlington Business Association; and an over-the-top $65,000 donation from the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians toward the end of fundraising that generated the money needed to buy the uniforms.

“We hope they last 25 more years,” Grabowski said.

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