By Richard Rourk
The Blue Devil Band is looking for a facelift in the form of new uniforms. It has been about 15 years since the band purchased uniforms and it’s time for an upgrade, according to Evangeline Hurter, the band’s director.
She noted that new uniforms would help the appearance and competitiveness of a modern marching band and accentuate school pride.
“Notice the subtle devil head on the left chest and the tail that runs from the left shoulder and across to the right leg,” Hurter said while showing the design for the new uniforms. “That’s the very embodiment of who we are as Blue Devils. There will be no doubt who we are and where we are from.”
Hurter added that uniforms as old as the one currently being worn begin to show their age and require constant attention.
“We are also beginning to have trouble fitting the students we have,” she said. “For those reasons, in the very near future, we will not be able to outfit the band. The time to act is now before we find ourselves in that situation.”
Hurter wants to represent the community in the best possible way as the Blue Devils travel to other areas to compete and perform.
“New uniforms would provide for the band a fresh sense of confidence, unity and pride in our performances,” said UCHS band member and junior Kayla Bowman. “When going to football games and competitions, our uniforms are outdated compared to those of other bands. The future of the Blue Devil Band depends on our confidence and overall image towards the crowd. New uniforms would provide those for us.”
Hurter explained that uniforms are an important part of the band’s presentation and identity.
“Band uniforms are not cheap,” she noted. “This is why we make them last as long as possible.”
Now she and the band’s members are seeking to raise funds to make new uniforms possible.
When purchasing uniforms, Hurter said it would be very cost-prohibitive to buy for just the students presently in the program.
“Uniforms are purchased to suit the band for the next several years,” Hurter said. “We plan to buy enough to accommodate both growth in numbers and varying sizes of the students who will pass through the program. Eighty uniforms are the number that will best serve our program for years to come and that will cost $40,000.”
“To me, band means family,” Bowman said. “I know that no matter what happens in my life, the band will be a constant. We are all here for each other and I have been blessed with friendships that will last a lifetime.”
Students also learn the importance of working for the success of the group, not personal gain.
“Band to me, is a place where everyone is a part of a community, of how we communicate and work together to make every moment count,” said UCHS band member Paola Ramirez said. “It’s also where I can truly be myself and work with the people that I’ve known and will always remember in my life.”
Hurter said the uniforms are an investment into the future of the UCHS band program.
Hurt said there are several reasons that might motivate someone to contribute. She said people can choose to sponsor a uniform in honor or memory of someone. Other donors might want to sponsor a uniform in honor of their favorite section of the band, such as the trumpet section.
She noted that a contribution of $500 will cover the cost of an entire uniform for a single student. Donations will be accepted for any amount.
Donors will be recognized on a plaque in the band room.
Categories for donor recognition are as follows: Platinum Donors, $500 and above; Gold Donors, $300 -$499; Silver Donors, $100-$299; and Bronze Donors, $25-$99.
Donations may be mailed to:
UCHS Band Boosters
P.O. Box 1173
Erwin, TN 37650
Donation forms are also available on the band’s website and Facebook page.
Look for Unicoi County High School Band Boosters on Facebook or visit uchsbandboosters.org to access the web page.
The UCHS Marching Band also has official accounts on the social media platforms Tik Tok: @uchsband and Instagram: uchsband.21.