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Osbourn High School Band Could Get 75 New Marching Uniforms

New outfits to replace 17-year-old uniforms.

The Osbourn High School marching band will get 75 new band uniforms, at a total cost of about $30,000, if the Manassas City School Board approves a recommendation made by the board’s finance committee on Wednesday night.

The three-member committee adopted an appeal by Bill Stevens, high school band director, for up to $19,000 for purchase of the customized uniforms. The rest will come from band fundraising. There are about 50 members now in the band and the extra uniforms will be needed as the band grows, Stevens said.

“The kids are real excited about this,” Stevens said. “They all really hope this will happen and have been working very hard.”

The military-themed outfits, which cost about $400 each, come with a detachable cape and a feather-plumed West Point-style hat. The outfits include a jacket with “OSBOURN HS” stitched in an arch on the right sleeve and a single-sided overlay vest which can convert the uniforms into a more contemporary look for band competitions.

Finance Committee Chairman Arthur Bushnell expressed concern that the band was asking for a significant amount of money outside the normal budgetary request cycle.

However, Stevens said the band was hoping to raise about $15,000 toward the uniforms purchase and wasn’t ready to file a request for board support during the last cycle. Because of the long lead time that it takes to make the outfits, waiting for the next budget round would mean that band members would be stuck with their aging uniforms another year, Stevens said.

Board members agreed that it was important to move ahead with the purchase. If approved by the board, the money would come from the district’s $600,000 contingency fund.

“It looks to me that these kids have been working very hard and that they are very good,” said board member Tim Demeria. “I want, when these kids go out, for them to look really good.”

Stevens also said that the new uniforms may be used as a recruiting tool. A school the size of Osbourn could have a band with upwards of 200 members. “I know that we have kids in the high school right now who are interested in music and we could recruit them with these new uniforms,” Stevens said.

In other business, the committee also recommended the approval of $3,946 for a district wide pyramid choir concert on Jan. 31 at the 1,100-seat Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas. The concert will involve about 635 choir members from all the schools, said Matt Harrison, high school choir director.

“This is a great experience and something that we need to do for our kids,” said Superintendent Catherine Magouyrk. “We need to do more with the performing arts and this is something that gets the kids very excited.”

The full school board is to consider both items at its Nov. 13 meeting.

Cindy Brookshire November 08, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Congrats to the OHS Screaming Eagles Marching Band on winning 1st place in Class 2a at the US Bands Northern Virginia Showcase and winning 3rd place in Class 2a at the US Bands Virginia State Championship! Here's a link to the Band Boosters -- anyone in the community is welcome to make a donation for new uniforms for this award-winning program at any time! http://www.manassas.k12.va.us/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=4908&
Thory Monsen November 08, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Another way to help is to recycle this weekend at Osborne High School, all proceeds go to the Marching Band!! http://www.facebook.com/events/340762539350167/
Suzanne November 08, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Can we see a picture of the new uniform? Maybe if the community sees them, they might be more willing to make a donation.
Tracy November 08, 2012 at 08:52 PM
The Osborne Marching Eagles have done an outstanding job this season representing their school and the community. As a first year band parent I've seen first hand the difference in uniform quality that other schools have had. It's TIME to give to the Music Department and it is long overdue! These young adults spend countless hours with fundraising projects in hopes of this dream becoming a reality. Please DO NOT let them down another year. I'm so proud of the Marching Band and their successfull season, this would end the season on a HIGH note.
Ricky November 08, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Ricky The Osbourn Eagles Marching Band has really worked hard all year and they deserve more support from the School Board. The Marching Band supports themselves on fundraisers and have been saving for replacement uniforms. These funds have to spent to transport band equipment to competitions as well. I would like to see the school board help find a solution for this issue as well as this is a huge cost/ burden on the band funds. This is my first year as a band parent, after attending many competitions this year the Manassas City School Board needs to step up help resolve these issues. I am really proud of all of the hard work that the kids are doing along with there acomplishments.I too believe like everyone else this would be a great reward for all of there hard work.

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