The Brookings-Harbor High School marching band has been showing up in a big way and holding their own in competitions against much larger schools in Oregon.
They recently got third place in their division at a competition in Grants Pass.
“The band has really improved over the past two years, and we have been competing against schools that are twice our size,” said Brookings-Harbor High School volunteer Rochelle Jenkins.
Unfortunately, Jenkins said, there is still one major component of the marching band that needs improvement.
“One of the major comments we’ve received is that our uniforms are very old,” she said. “It’s time for a polishing.”
The uniforms are so old – in fact – that it’s possible that some of the marching band’s parents could have worn the same uniforms their children are wearing today. The uniforms were purchased in 1996 and are 26-years-old.
Jenkins said she found out just how old the uniforms were when she offered to look into getting them dry-cleaned.
“There was some concern from the dry cleaner as to whether or not they could tolerate being dry cleaned,” she said.
The students look sharp in the uniforms and have taken good care of them over the years, but many of the uniforms are falling apart. So Jenkins set a goal to get the marching band into new uniforms before the Brookings Azalea Festival over Memorial Day weekend.
“That’s a big showcase and the end of the school year hurrah – especially for the kids that are seniors – their last performance is in the parade. It would be huge to send our seniors off in bright beautiful new uniforms that will hopefully last for many years to come – but hopefully not another 26 years,” Jenkins said.
Each uniform is $300 and Jenkins goal is to raise $25,000.
Rochelle Jenkins daughter, Emily Jenkins, has been in the High School Marching Band as a flute player and now as a member of the color guard.
Jenkins said she has seen her daughter, and other students in the marching band, develop lifelong skills while participating in the marching band.
“It teaches you cooperation and working with others, even those you might not get along with all of the time,” she said.
“You make a commitment. You have to be there for practices and everyone is counting on you to do your part. These kids are really good about bringing their piece in and they work together very well because they count on each other,” Jenkins said.
“Not to mention, a love of music keeps your stress levels down. Everything kids have is plugged in – phones, computer, video games – it’s a constant deluge. When they are in the band, that’s put away and it teaches kids to be present,” she said. “That’s something we need to focus more on.”
The Bruins High School parent said she’s seen staff and other parent volunteers work hard to make improvements to the school in the past few years “to bring it back up to the level we want it to be.” This would be another improvement that would raise the spirits of the marching band – and the impression of the school to all of the kids, she said.
Anyone who would like to donate can take part in a Little Caesars’ pizza fundraiser or donate straight to the band.
Jenkins said one of her children previously had a Little Caesars’ fundraiser and it was her favorite one to participate in. Each element in the pizza kit comes in individual packets and it is freezer friendly. Plus, friends and family in any location can help raise money, she said.
There is also a link to donate on the “BHHS Marching Band Uniform Fund” Facebook page to purchase freezer-friendly pizza, crazy bread and cookie dough kits from Little Caesars in support of the marching band uniform fund. Each kit purchased will raise $6 toward the marching band uniforms.
Additionally, anyone interested in donating money directly can go into U.S. Bank and write a check to Bruins Music Foundation – with a note “Uniform Fund” and the money will go directly to the marching band’s fundraiser.