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Jefferson band seeks funds for uniforms

By Staff | Jun 17, 2011

James Turner holds up what the Jefferson High School Marching Band's new uniforms, left, will look like. The older uniforms, right, were purchased in 1999 and are torn; some are even held together in places with Duct Tape. (Chronicle photo by Tricia Fulks)

When the Jefferson High School Marching Band takes to the field – whether its during football games or competitions – director J.P. Lynch said the audience usually comes away with a wowed feeling.

The award-winning band, which in the last year has competed at four area marching band competitions and won over 14 awards including Grand Champion at the Loudoun Valley Showcase, believes it needs to look as good as it plays.

The JHS Cougar Marching Band is continuing to raise $75,000 to purchase a fleet of new uniforms to replace the nearly decade-old ones students still wear.

“Half of what we get judged for on the marching field (in competitions) is visuals,” Lynch said. “If you don’t look good, it’s going to have some effect.”

“If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you march better,” said James Turner, an incoming junior baritone player.

The Jefferson County Marching Band has won numerous awards this past school year. (Chronicle photo by Tricia Fulks)

The new uniforms, which run $500 each, will replace those purchased in 1999, which have holes and tears. Some are even held together with Duct Tape.

Over the last 12 years, the band has raised $30,000 to put towards new uniforms, $6,200 of which has been raised since it launched a new fundraising drive in January. With $45,000 left to raise, band members and Lynch are seeking corporate and business donations as well as individual contributions. They said any amount helps.

“We will buy these uniforms when we have the money,” Lynch said. “I will make the call that day.”

And with the Jefferson County School Board of Education and boosters covering other marching band expenses – the board just bought $25,000 worth of instruments – Lynch and Turner hope the community can do its part for the local program.

“The arts are getting left behind to sports,” Turner said. “If (a community member) isn’t doing it, that isn’t an excuse to let your local school get left in the dust.”

JHS Marching Band Director J.P. Lynch shows a band uniform with a tear along a seam. The new uniforms will cost $75,000. (Chronicle photo by Tricia Fulks)

And Lynch said there is no other group of students who deserve this more. He said through their work ethic, their talent and their commitment, he hopes the community can find a way to support them through donating to the uniform drive.

“We work these students very hard, and we work by the credo here that they put in their best effort,” he said. “They’re very deserving.”

For more information about donating, contact Jefferson High School at 304-725-8491.

“This really is it takes a village thing,” Turner said. “We just really need to rally around.”