After 17 years of marching in the same tattered old uniforms, the PCC Band is on its way to obtaining a new wardrobe that they will debut in the 2014 Tournament of Roses parade.
“The reason they’ve lasted 17 years is because of the fact we’ve really made a point to take such good care of the uniforms, but typically the average lifespan of a uniform is ten years,” said Kyle Luck, director of the band.
The new uniforms will cost approximately $119,000, according to Bobbi Abram, director of the PCC Foundation.
The band has raised $108,000 after fundraising for more than a year, said Abram. “We started the campaign last fall [and] at this point we’ve got $11,000 [left] to raise. So far we’ve raised $108,000, of which the Tournament of Roses Organization contributed $60,000 with a pledge toward the campaign and is matching donations two to one,” said Abram.
The campaign to raise the funds was a diverse one that involved calling up former alumni and promoting at local businesses, among other things.
“We did a phone-a-thon where we called band alumni, a public relations campaign where we took posters to the local businesses, a presentation at the Chamber of Commerce to involve more businesses, and we did some grant writing to get grant funding and we got a grant from the Rotary Club of Pasadena and the Jerry and Terri Kohl foundation,” said Abram.
For the last part of the campaign, Luck is hoping to get the support of faculty and staff.
“We are hoping that maybe the last part of this campaign is to ask if the faculty and staff can help contribute towards that goal. We are doing a campaign that is 300 for 300. Three hundred dollars to purchase a uniform and sponsor a uniform,” said Luck.
Even though the band has been marching in old uniforms and dealing with the problems that arise from that, Luck said the students have been good sports about it.
“The students have been wonderful about it but they know the uniform crew has been frustrated trying to keep them clean,” said Luck.
Tania Hernandez, baritone trumpet and assistant manager for the uniform crew, talked about her personal experience with the old uniforms.
“It’s always tearing up. This year I put on my jacket and when I lifted up the horn the hem ripped. It doesn’t hold anymore after being fixed so many times,” said Hernandez.
Paola Martinez, flute and uniform crew, has seen the toll the uniforms have taken over the years and feels the band should not only sound good, but look it as well.
“I’ve been in the band for five years so I’ve seen a lot of wear and tear,” Martinez said. “There’s a lot of them that are worn down and we desperately need new uniforms. We represent PCC, Pasadena itself and the Tournament House. We need to look better than we already do even though we sound great.”
Luck also brought up the importance of the image of the marching band, especially since the band represents the school in the Rose Parade.
“We are the only community college band that represents in the Rose Parade. This will mark our 85th consecutive appearance this coming year, so we have a long-standing tradition,” Luck said.