CHHS’s Blue Machine seeks new uniforms

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 5, 2000

Staff Writer

Sept. 4, 2000 11 PM

Blue Machine is in need of some extra parts to keep it moving.

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When the Charles Henderson High School marching band takes the field, they are doing so in uniforms that have been mended to the max.

Sherman Stafford, president of Band Foundation, said it is "virtually impossible" for the band to get any more wear out of the uniforms that are literally decomposing.

He said there is nothing like sitting in the stands, watching a child and wondering "Is it going to fall apart tonight?"

And, that’s quite possible because the uniforms being worn are more than 10 years old and Band Director Michael Thomas said band uniforms are designed to be used for five years.

The Blue Machine uniforms are showing significant signs of that wear and tear of a decade and are trying to do something to make things better, next year.

This year, the Charles Henderson band Foundation is taking on a major fund-raising effort to purchase new band uniforms for the Blue Machine.

Thomas said it will cost almost $35,000 to outfit the marching band and replace the 10-year-old uniforms that bear the stitching of many repairs. The uniforms CHHS are planning to purchase cost $325 and at least 100 will have to be purchased.

The new uniform was chosen to provide superior durability, interchangeability and a sharp appearance, Thomas said.

With the purchase of new uniforms, Thomas said the band will be properly outfitted in something that wasn’t designed three decades ago.

"It’s time for us to make some changes that benefit our children," Thomas said of new uniforms with a new look.

Last year, the Blue Machine participated in 42 public performances. The band achieved a superior rating at the Daleville Invitational Marching Festival, superior ratings at the Alabama Bandmasters Association District Concert Band Festival and received over 80 superior medals at the District VIII Solo and Ensemble Competition.

If they can accomplish that while wondering if their pants will stay up, Thomas believes the band can accomplish even more with brand new band uniforms and no mending worries.

Members of the Troy City Council voted, earlier this year, to match the Troy Board of Education’s $10,000 offer to help in the cause.

Now, the band members are asking the public for assistance.

In an effort to raise the much-needed funds, the Charles Henderson Band Foundation has created different levels of contribution: Platinum Circle, $500 and up; Gold Club, $300 to $499; Silver Club, $100 to $299; Bronze Club, $50 to $99 and Blue Machine Donor, $10 to $49.

Anyone who would like to donate can contact the Band Foundation at 566-0843.