If the 64 members of the Horizon High Marching Band looked like they had more pep in their step at the Friday-night game Oct. 29 — it could be because they were debuting their crisp new white, purple and orange uniforms. The Disney fireworks in the background as the band took the field added to the magic.
The band has been performing in show shirts and shorts all season while awaiting the arrival of the uniforms — but they were able to proudly show their new look for the last two games of the season.
The excitement was palpable as the students pulled the garments from their boxes.
“They love them,” said band director Charlene Cannon. “We talked about what a special moment this was. They all ripped open the boxes … and the cheering and the screaming — they posted pictures right away. The excitement was incredible. They were so happy.
“It was emotional to see them put them on for the first time,” she said. “One of my favorite memories (is) watching the students get ready before the game. … They kept saying they felt tall and they looked tall. And maybe they were standing taller.”
Cannon said she thinks the band members feel a greater sense of pride and ownership in the program.
“The uniforms make marching band feel real,” said drum major Melanie Schattschneider, who is a sophomore clarinet player. “For the longest time we were just waiting for them to arrive, but the second that we put them on, we felt like an actual marching band. From the start of the year, we all knew that we were a family, but with the uniforms on it felt like so much more. They made us even more unified, and after all the anticipation, we finally looked like a marching band.”
Cannon said she is pleased with the results and praised the uniform company for delivering such a beautiful product.
“I love them; I think they’re really unique,” she said. “The thing I love the most about them is when somebody sees us coming into the game — when they catch sight of the front, you can’t miss the hawk on the front of the uniform.”
Cannon helped with the design process and envisioned the hawk boldly placed on the front. Horizon Principal Laura Beusse suggested the top of the uniform be white so the hawk stands out. Purple pants complete the bold look.
The delivery of the band uniforms was the culmination of two weeks of excitement, as the color guard members received their uniforms and then their silks. The flags, which resemble wings, were designed by color guard director Kassidy Garcia.
“I absolutely love everything about our new uniforms,” Schattschneider said. “I think that they look clean and sharp. Coming into the new school was a little scary because the colors we were given made everyone think that they would never match on anything. Mostly, when people thought of purple and orange, they thought of Halloween, so we were all a little worried at the start of the year before we had seen them.
“But Ms. Cannon did a phenomenal job designing them, and everyone absolutely loves them,” Schattschneider said. “They bring the field to life in this captivating sea of purple, and the hawk on the chest exudes school pride; every time we put them on it feels surreal. The first time we put them on we couldn't stop telling each other how good we looked.”
Schattschneider said putting on the uniforms likely was the most exciting event of the school year.
“I finally felt like a drum major,” she said. “The moment is one that I will remember forever; seeing everyone in uniform felt complete.
“It really made us all see just how far our program had come,” she said. “In July, we were just a bunch of kids at band camp with no end in sight. After putting on the uniforms we felt like a marching band, and as sad as it is to see our first season come to an end, all that we have accomplished this year shows the promise of even more for years to come.”