Big Red Marching Band to get new uniforms

Big Red Marching Band new uniforms

Lily Burris

The Big Red Marching Band will be getting new uniforms for the Fall 2019 semester due to its growing size over the last year. 

With the band’s increasing membership, a 115 percent increase over 10 years, the amount of uniforms purchased nine years ago was no longer sufficient to outfit the band, according to an announcement from President Timothy Caboni on Feb. 15.

“WKU’s marching band deserves to look as good as they sound,” Gary Schallert, director of bands, said. “If we’re gonna have a 300 or a 350-piece marching band, we should have enough uniforms to outfit the band”. 

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The money for the uniforms comes from one-time funding, WKU Athletics, Potter College of Arts and Letters, the Office of the President and alumni, the announcement stated. Caboni described the BRMB as “one of the university’s most visible organizations representing the institution” in the announcement.

While in high school, Caboni played baritone and tenor saxophone in band and served as drum major for two years, according to a previous Herald article. Later in college at Louisiana State University, Caboni was a music major and had aspirations of becoming a high school or college band director.

“I think Dr. Caboni sees the band as the largest entity on campus,” Director of Athletic Bands Allen Kennedy said about the diversity of majors represented in the group. “So I feel like that money is targeted to the greatest population as a whole.”

In the announcement, Caboni displayed photos of the new marching band uniforms. Schallert described them as mostly black uniforms with a spot on the chest and a WKU red towel insignia featured prominently on the front.

“The uniforms are, I think, a combination of a traditional college-marching-band look with something that is really cool and contemporary,” Schallert said. “The uniforms are very versatile and allow the band the potential to be involved in black-out or white-out games.”

Kennedy said it looks like a traditional uniform, but the upgrades allow them to be more modern-looking.

“It screams WKU, the traditions that we have with the towel and the cupola,” Kennedy said.

In Fall 2018, the BRMB wore tracksuits as uniforms. Schallert said the students liked the tracksuits because they were comfortable and lightweight, so the tracksuits will continue to be used for different things. 

“I think that especially those that have been in marching band their entire life will love the drum corp-esque kind of look that we’re going with,” Cameron Clark, a junior from Graham, Kentucky, said.

According to the announcement, the BRMB is introduced as the “Pride of the Hilltoppers,” and the new uniforms are an effort to reflect that pride.

News reporter Lily Burris can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @lily_burris.