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Getting a marching band their very own uniforms

Posted at 5:06 PM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 17:06:07-05

INDIANAPOLIS – Coordination, musical ability and colorful costumes: All ingredients needed to be a polished marching band. But one school in Indianapolis is lacking one of those key items.

Crispus Attucks Magnet School does not have uniforms for its marching band.

But the good news – an entire Indiana University class wants to help. It’s in the middle of a campaign to bring in $50,000.

The students in the marching band have managed without uniforms till now, to be clear.

For example in 2014, they wore makeshift uniforms of collared shirts and ties.

Last year, the school got donated uniform jackets. There weren’t enough for everyone and weren’t in the school’s colors, but it was enough to show some outward unity.

Still, though, in a sea of feathered hats and fresh new uniforms, Crispus Attucks stands out. Plus, the school has already turned away about 30 potential band kids a year because they don’t have enough instruments.

This makes a big impression on IU Kelley School of Business professor Marty Pieratt, whose daughter recently taught at the high school.

“I attended a couple concerts and said, ‘Where (are) their uniforms?’ and she said, ‘Dad, they don’t have uniforms,’” Pieratt said. “And it was from that point that it touched my heart.”

Pieratt went to his students, who then made a video and created an online fund to bring in the money needed to purchase marching band uniforms.

The money is trickling in a bit slower than they had hoped, but Pieratt says they are making a dent, $1 at a time.

“It’s an area that’s challenged socioeconomically, and usually, the band parent groups are able to come up with money,” Pieratt said. “Well, a lot of (these kids’) parents are working hard just to make ends meet. They don’t have all that extra money to maybe supply the band. And the school keeps getting cut all the time. These are great kids. They could use some help.”

If enough money is raised for uniforms, the next goal is instruments, ensuring every child who wants to be part of the band has the chance.

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