Marching Band Uniform History and Description
The Golden Bear Marching Band’s current full uniform was first used in 2001, and is a compilation of the band’s previous uniforms and represents the band’s military style of marching. Based on the uniforms of West Point, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, the 100% wool uniforms are dyed true black with accents of metallic gold that glitter brilliantly under the lights. The plume which adorns the hat consists of the feathers of South African male turkeys. The seven gold buttons placed in the center of the waist coat are emblazoned with two golden bears supporting a crest with the words, “Salus populi suprema lex esto” which means “Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law.” The motto is borrowed from the state seal of Missouri.
The Upper Arlington marching band uniform is a time tested classy look based on our marching history. A black tailored hip length coat with a white decorative belt and a left chest logo clearly shows our audience “elegance in simplicity”. A snappy scoop top shako hat completes our uniform.
Drum major uniforms differ from the rest of the band. The drum majors wear white pants with a short waist black coat. Their hat, known as a Busby, is flocked white and is 14 inches tall. They wear spats designed to look like high black boots.
Summer uniforms, worn for the 4th of July parade and for designated football games early in the season, are comprised of black shoes, black socks, a gray dry-fit t-shirt and black shorts.
Marching Band Uniform Requirements
All Marching Band students are issued the following during the uniform fitting in July:
- Uniform (coat and pants)
- Hat Box
Students must purchase the following uniform items on their own:
- Black shoes (must be completely black – click here to see examples, though any similar shoe will suffice).
- Black calf-length socks
New band students will purchase their Summer Uniform shirt and shorts during the summer before starting band – contact the Uniforms Committee Chair for ordering information.
First-year students will receive their first set of the following accessories for free during their uniform fitting at school:
If replacements of accessories are needed after the initial set issued, the student is responsible for the replacement cost.
Each summer, prior to the start of the marching season, returning and incoming members must attend a uniform fitting appointment, typically held over a 2-3 day period. During the fitting, the student will be assigned the dress uniform and hat box to be used throughout the marching season. The uniform will be tailored (by band volunteers) to fit. A uniform fee is included in the band registration fee that helps cover the cost of dry cleaning and repairs. Each member must purchase the accessories (plume, gloves, spats, suspenders), as needed. Summer uniforms must also be purchased for all new members and as needed by returning members. Summer uniforms are typically sold during the Family social at the end of June, as they are worn during the Fourth of July parade.
The uniform, whether summer or winter, makes an important statement about the band. Prior to all performances, the band directors conduct a uniform inspection. The students are responsible for knowing the components of each uniform, their instrument needs, and must have all the necessary items to pass inspection.
While the uniforms are professionally dry cleaned as needed (paid from the uniform fee included with registration), each band member is responsible for keeping the dress uniform as clean as possible and rehanging it neatly after each performance. The dress uniform remains at school. Each band member is responsible for bringing their hat box, which stores the hat and accessories, to each performance. Accessories must be kept clean. Specific instructions on uniform accessory care can be found here.
The concert dress this year for symphonic/concert/gold band is a white shirt/blouse with black pants (with belt) or skirt, and black shoes/socks. A black dress is OK if it is plain; the goal is to have the students look neat and uniform.