MORRIS – Marching bands have changed a lot in the last 10 years, with more athletic, showy performances than in the past.
Morris Community High School’s marching band is changing with the times as it takes to the field this year in new band uniforms.
Since the band started competing, it has won several awards, including a Best Visual trophy. The visual appearance stands to improve as the band’s uniforms go from the former cardinal red to the newly designed maroon and gold school colors.
The Morris High School Band Boosters raised $15,000 earlier in the spring, money combined with $15,000 from the Morris Community High School District 101 budget to purchase new jackets, plumes and gauntlets.
“I think the uniforms are certainly something that was overdue,” Superintendent Pat Halloran said Monday. “The new uniforms give a new sense of pride to the students.”
On Saturday night, the boosters held the first-ever Morris High School Booster Bash at Clayton’s Tap in Morris, raising more than $5,000 toward the purchase of the rest of the marching band uniforms. That includes pants and hats, according to a news release from the Boosters.
“I am thrilled with the turnout, the money raised and the dedication and creativity of the Band Boosters – they did a great job of organizing and setting up,” Julie Buck, band booster president, said in the release. “We have a very strong group of band parents and they are doing a great job of supporting our kids.”
Buck said the new goal is to raise $12,000 to purchase new black pants, known as “bibbers” and hats.
“We can continue using the old pants and hats, but they are old and showing wear and tear,” she said. “The new bibber pants will be a lighter-weight material and have adjustable hem pant legs.”
Halloran said the district will continue working with the boosters to help where they can.
“They’ve done a great job,” he said.
Entertainment Saturday night was local celebrity Tony Kidonakis, with Halloran as special guest singer, performing Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” while accompanied by Kidonakis. Buck said the performance was a hit.
“New director of bands, Mr. Jeff Muraida, attended with his wife, Becky,” Buck said in the release. “They were celebrating their 11th wedding anniversary and we were thrilled to have them spend it with us.”
The River Road Trio also performed, with the event featuring numerous raffles and auction items.