Making Music on a Shoe String & Duct Tape

By Lorri Ooley

HERALD Reporter

During the most recent meeting for the Truth or Consequences Municipal School Board, Music Director John Price addressed the mounting and degrading status of the music equipment and uniforms for more than 50 students participating in band.

With the aid of four current band members, Price provided tangible conditions for the board. The uniforms are presently made out of a heavier material, better suited for cooler climates, which does not lend itself to comfort of the ardent weather experienced in southern New Mexico. Furthermore, the uniforms have not been properly maintained in regard to their overall cleanliness, as Price expressed the dry-cleaner advised against proper cleaning due to the poor fabric condition. This does not address the simple fact that there are not enough complete uniforms either, of which most are missing pieces from the complete uniform – namely pants. This contributes to the inability of the band from being able to enter into music competitions, as judges require minimum standards for uniforms.

Price provided a financial breakdown for the uniform costs, with each new uniform being able to configure into two different types of uniforms – formal and marching – which would allow for the band to modify its complete uniform based upon the type of event. A single uniform, composed of both formal and marching, would cost roughly $340, not including shoes. This standard uniform would be property of the music department, which could be used in the long term if properly cared for. Price cautioned that certain non-standard uniforms might be necessary later on, as not every student meets a standard size.

Three students wore jackets from the current uniforms, which show how uncared for the pieces have been taken over the years, with black permanent stains around the cuffs, collars, and lighter portions of the jackets. As a department that is used to support the ambiance for sporting events, the students expressed difficulty in taking pride in themselves when they are wearing such neglected items.

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