By Per Peterson
Eager to upgrade decades-old, outdated band uniforms and choir robes, a group of parents have banded together to resurrect the Tracy Area Music Booster Club and fund-raising efforts are under way for both the choir and band programs.
“A challenge was brought forward by (choir director) Wendy Johnson and (band director) Brittani Klaverkamp last spring to form a booster club to help begin raising funds for new choir robes and band uniforms, along with other special projects that would benefit the TAHS music program,” said booster club member Linnea Surprenant. “There was already a group of supportive parents that helped with sizing uniforms and chaperoning the band trips. The goal of the Music Boosters is to help fundraise for larger, specified projects that the Music department needs. The goal is to ultimately form a booster club similar to the athletic booster club but with more specific objectives, such as purchasing robes and uniforms.”
Johnson said the pants the marching band uses are very stiff and heavy and said judges have commented on how they don’t fit properly or that the nearly three-decades-old uniforms have an outdated look. The choir robes, meanwhile, are nearly 40 years old, and Johnson is looking to purchase new robes — she envisions black ones — that are made of lighter material. She said new choir robes are going to be about $13,000, and the marching band uniforms will cost roughly $38,000.
The initial Music Booster group is comprised of Denise Hoek, Ann Struchen, SueAnn Moyars, Chris Schmitt, Tammy Horner, Kris Tiegs and Surprenant, along with Johnson and Klaverkamp.
Surprenant said anyone who is interested helping the club achieve its goal can talk to any of the members.
“We encourage as many parents and community members to join us in our efforts, either by donating funds, time or helping support our fundraising efforts,” she said.
Surprenant added that because raising enough money for new garb could take up to three or four years, many of the parents volunteering their time with the group won’t even see their children benefit from the new robes and uniforms, which speaks to the real need.
For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.