ASU’s Mighty Marching Hornets Debut New Uniforms
By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU
When the Mighty Marching Hornets Band took to the field of The ASU Stadium during the halftime show on Sept. 30, they were sporting brand new uniforms for the first time in more than a decade. Band director, Dr. James Oliver, said the moment was long overdue.
"We certainly got our money's worth out of the old uniforms when you consider that we purchased them way back in 2012," Oliver said. "When you look at them up close, you see that they are pot-marked with tears, rips, stains and all imaginable types of distressed places that makes them unworthy for a marching band of our caliber to be seen."
NEW ASU BAND UNIFORMS
Oliver said that the new uniforms are black and gold and are made of 100 percent top -grade wool—the same material worn by other college/university and military bands, due to wool’s strength and longevity. Because of the uniform’s tendency to hold heat, they were not worn during the Labor Day Classic, which was the first game of the season.
"We knew that just coming out of August that these new wool dress uniforms would be too hot for our students to wear and perform in on the field; so we came up with a contingency plan -- We had a short-sleeve shirt made of cotton that closely resembled (mimicked) our new dress uniforms, and it worked out well.”
OLD UNIFORMS SURPASSED INDUSTRY STANDARD FOR WEAR
Oliver explained that he and his team do all they can to use the money allocated to the band wisely.
"We used our old uniforms for the last 11 or so years which is far beyond the industry standard of five years’ usage before ordering new ones," stated ASU's band maestro. "We wore them until the stitching was loose and the patches began falling off; however, when your band plays such important performances such as at Carnegie Hall and in so many movies and television shows, we have to not only sound good but look good, too. So it was time to suit up, and we are most happy with our new look."
Oliver said that the cost for one complete uniform, including the feathered hats and all of the trimmings, came to a little bit less than $1,200.
"The price we paid is certainly not cheap, but neither is the music that the Mighty Marching Hornets play, regardless of the venue. Most importantly, these new uniforms make our student-players and our ASU alumni feel very special when they perform in them -- and that kind of spirit is very important."