Growing Holmen band in need of more uniforms

Holmen High School Band raising money to buy more marching uniforms

For the past four years, the Holmen High School Band has been growing exponentially creating new challenges along the way.

But at the top of the list is marching band uniforms and with so many students, there just aren’t enough to go around.

And with some big events coming up next year, like a trip to the Gator Bowl, the band is trying to raise money for additional uniforms so they look like one cohesive band when they head down to Florida.

A high school band is made up of many parts, including the brass section, woodwind instruments and percussion.

Each section has a role to play, a different melody or beat, but in the end it’s all one sound. But for the Holmen High School Band something small is standing in their way of truly being one cohesive band.

“The need for marching band uniforms,” said Michelle Jensen, band director for Holmen High School.

When Jensen started four years ago, she had 77 students in band. Next year, she is looking at more than 130 students.

“Our current uniforms were purchased in 2003 and at that time they bought 100 uniforms and that was enough at that time. Now with 130 kids, we don’t have enough,” said Jensen.

To cope with the increase of students, about two years ago Jensen decided to take the drum line out of the marching band uniform.

“They march in black pants and a maroon polo shirt,” said Jensen.

Sophomore Will Sibenaller has never worn a marching band uniform and said it does impact the band.

“When you are marching with the band, you feel a lot of pride but it is definitely taken down when you are not in the same uniform as the rest of the band,” said Sibenaller.

Fellow sophomore Logan Graff plays the tuba and wears the traditional uniform but he also notices a difference.

“It doesn’t feel like we are a whole. It doesn’t feel like we are matching the way we should,” said Graff.

“Just kind of decays the team spirit,” said Jensen.

That’s why the band is trying to raise money for an additional 50 uniforms with a price tag of about $25,000-30,000.

“It’s a purchase that will take a few years to pay off,” said Jensen.

But Jensen says it’s worth it because the students have worked so hard.

In band, it’s important to have one sound but it’s just as important to feel like one too.

“I love being in the band and having everyone in uniform would make our band so much better than it already is,” said Sibenaller.

To help the Holmen High School Band raise money, the booster club is hosting an event Sunday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Holmen High School. A national touring show Rock Legends will be performed. The show has everything from Elvis’s hit songs in the 50s to The Rolling Stones in the 70s.

Tickets are $20 dollars and 100-percent of the proceeds go toward new uniforms. The tickets can be purchased at Holmen High School or at Festival Foods in Holmen. If it’s a sold out show, the band will meet about a third of its fundraising goal.