PHS band to debut new uniforms at Aug. 23 game

PELHAM – When Pelham High School’s marching band takes the field during halftime at the school’s first home football game on Friday, Aug. 23, they will be donning brand-new uniforms.

PHS band director Justin Ward said the school purchased 180 new uniforms at a cost of $90,000. The uniforms replace ones that were 11 years old.

“The previous uniforms were made of very heavy material,” Ward said. “They were very hot, difficult to move in and not conducive to performing. We needed something different so that we could physically do what we needed to do.”

Since Pelham City Schools was established in 2014, the look of the school’s logos and its branding has changed, and the old band uniforms were not aligned with what the district is currently using.

“A lot of effort and energy went into designing the new uniforms,” Ward said. “We worked with designer Michael Cesario with Fred J. Miller Inc. to get the look down. It was more than just picking out a uniform – we participated in in-depth interviews with him and filled out questionnaires to help him get an idea of what we wanted.”

Ward said the process involved input from PCS Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield, band booster parents and PHS principal Amanda Wilbanks. The uniforms are a timeless color scheme of black, gray and silver with Pelham’s shade of green woven throughout. The plume on top of the hat is white and accented with a green feather.

The new uniforms are light weight, modern and machine washable, whereas the old uniforms were dry clean only. The hems of the pants and jackets are held in place with snap fasteners so they can be easily adjusted to fit different body types. The PHS uniforms were chosen to be featured in the design company’s catalog that will be sent to schools nationwide and internationally.

The band currently has 150 members, but Ward said 180 uniforms were purchased to accommodate anticipated growth.

“The kids absolutely love them,” Ward said. “They’re very excited about it.”

Audiences will be able to get a closer look at the uniforms on Aug. 23 when the Panthers face off against the Calera Eagles at home. The band’s field show, titled “Royals,” will explore what it means to be royalty in the traditional ceremonial aspects and the idea of being in power.

The show will include the songs “Royals” by Lorde, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears. The show will feature props such as crowns, thrones and scepters.