TITUSVILLE, Fla. — A high school marching band is sorely in need of new uniforms and equipment.
- Astronaut High Marching Band need new informs, equipment
- Uniforms, instruments fall apart, student, director say
- Band holding a dance this weekend at 6 p.m. to raise funds
- More Brevard County coverage
What the Astronaut High Marching Band has now dates back three decades, and it’s falling apart. In this case, it's also a safety issue in the sweltering Florida heat.
"We want to look sharp and sound sharp," said senior Kevin Shinskie, who is one of the 98-member strong group that rouses team spirit for the War Eagles as they hit the gridiron.
But back to what he said about sounding “sharp.” That's not the issue — they are a well-oiled machine.
It's the “looking” sharp that is out of tune. The bands' uniforms are more than thirty years old, meaning, dozens of people have worn them during that time — all in the Florida heat.
"The material is actually made for bands up north," Shinskie said. "It's very hot in Florida and doesn't do super well here."
"Each year, we have 10-12 kids go down with a heat-related emergency, just due to the fact that our uniforms are unsafe," said Astronaut High Marching Band Director Dr. Justin Davis.
In fact, they had to retire the uniforms and are stuck wearing neon t-shirts for now.
But the bands instruments are also falling apart. One tuba is being held together by duct tape.
The county gives the school $3,600 a year to run the band program. The yearly band budget is $65,000, which has to pay for music, repairing instruments, transportation, uniform cleaning, and more.
Students often have to do fundraisers to make up for shortfalls.
Buying new uniforms would cost them around $40,000.
They are hoping the community drums up support through the band's booster 501C3 nonprofit, so they can keep marching on safe and proud.
The band is holding a special dance this weekend to raise money. It’s called the “2nd Chance Prom,” and it’s on Saturday at 6 p.m. The 1970s-themed dance for “grown-ups” will be held at the Valiant Command Warbird Air Museum at the Vietnam Hangar.