Letters to the Editor

MIHS band needs new uniforms

I am writing to express my enthusiasm for the campaign to raise funds for the purchase of new uniforms for the Mercer Island High School Band. The old uniforms have been great, but after 30 years they are threadbare, crumbling, and they smell. Whether we replace all of the uniforms or not, money will need to be spent. Either we do the responsible thing and replace them all now, or we spend a lot of money matching these old, tired uniforms with enough additional uniforms to outfit the numbers anticipated in the fall of 2009.

The band is dear to my heart because of the incredible educational, social and character-forming experience it was for my own children and hundreds of band students, but also for what it means for the high school, and what it provides for our community. What pride we all take in this magnificent band!

Just think: over one-fifth of the student body in our school district directly participates in the band program. Those fortunate students learn and absorb so many intangibles that come from being a part of a hard-working team, and from daily instruction by exceptional faculty who truly love their work and are committed to the noble task of encouraging kids to fulfill their potential as individuals and citizens.

Just as important, the students who aren’t in band gain so much pride, school spirit and pleasure from the wonderful presence of the band at school assemblies and sporting events. I love living in a small town where the Friday night football game is a community event, made truly spectacular by the band halftime show. Girls and boys basketball games are so much more spirited by the crazy, fun antics of Animal Band. Who doesn’t love the blood-stirring rhythms of the drumline, and the inventive messages spelled out by the sousaphones? Go to a football game and you will find your town. Retirees, families with little children, the high school kids ... and what makes it so much fun? The band!

Outfitting a band in uniforms is expensive, no doubt about it. But I believe it is a worthwhile investment in our kids and in our community. If you love to see our band filling town blocks with music during the Homecoming parade, if you have fond memories of your child’s years in band or at high school events, or if you are one of the lucky parents looking forward to your child’s experiences in these things, support the future of the wonderful Mercer Island High School Band.

Please send a check, payable to MIHS ASB Uniform Account. Please do it soon: an order needs to be placed in March to have the band outfitted next fall. Mail it to MIHS Uniform Campaign, c/o Terry Pottmeyer, 6207 Island Crest Way, Mercer Island, Wash., 98040.

For donations of $450 or multiples thereof, you can have your name, your child’s name or a message sewn in the label.

Thank you,

Gene E. Robertson

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