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Ski Band to get new uniforms

High school group raises money for ski coats, cowboy hats

If you go

What: Steamboat Springs High School band concert and bake sale fundraiser (proceeds go toward new Steamboat Ski Band uniforms)

When: 6:30 p.m. (bake sale), 7 p.m. (concert) Wednesday

Where: Steamboat Springs High School

Cost: Admission for the concert is free

Call: 879-1562

More information: To donate to the Steamboat Ski Band new uniform fund, e-mail band director James Knapp at jknapp@sssd.k12.c...

— Convincing a high school student to march down the street in the Steamboat Ski Band’s current uniform isn’t easy.

Sure, parents think the 30-year-old uniforms – a red coat that stops with the rib cage, black pants that go way higher than the waist, and a military-style hat topped with a feather plume – are adorable.

But they don’t hear the complaints band director James Knapp hears. And with most of the adjusting buckles and straps on the uniforms broken, keeping the outfits intact has become a yearly challenge.



“After the last parade – a lot of our students are just too big for them, and the adjustable fixtures on the uniforms either don’t work or they’re just not there,” Knapp said.

Working with the Steamboat Springs High School band boosters, Knapp has come up with a new uniform for the band’s 2009 Winter Carnival parade performance: a red, black and white ski coat designed by BAP, black felt cowboy hats from F.M. Light & Sons, and black ski pants from the band members.



“It’ll be a lot more functional. The coat will be big enough so they’ll be able to keep their instruments warm,” Knapp said. The new coats feature interior pockets for instrument mouthpieces and will keep instruments from developing sticky, frozen valves or going wildly out of tune.

The band hosts a bake sale before its winter concert at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday to help pay the estimated $5,000 bill for 45 to 50 new uniforms. Admission to the concert is free.

The group also has been selling $5 Steamboat Springs Sailors car magnets, and Knapp plans to organize a ski marathon fundraiser for early January.

Because the ski band tends to draw attention in national media coverage of Winter Carnival, Knapp wants the group to look good, and to fit with Steamboat’s combined ranching and skiing heritage. He said students have welcomed the change.

“They were like, ‘Oh, that’s way better – ski coats that are warm and hats that will be comfortable,'” Knapp said.

The band also is accepting three-pin ski bindings and boots.

“The skis that we have probably go back 20 years, and they’ve just been used so much. Last year, we were using rolls and rolls of duct tape to keep them on their feet,” Knapp said. “It was pretty much a mess.”


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