ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – For those who may not know, the Abilene High School (AHS) band is the oldest high school marching band in the state of Texas, and at their 2023-2024 homecoming game they unveiled a new look for the Eagle Band. Cooper High School (CHS) debuted theirs at their homecoming about a week-and-a-half earlier.
“You draw up the concept and you’re not totally sure because, off of a computer screen you’re not totally sure. You can’t really tell, like, ‘okay, what’s that fabric gonna look like…’ To get everything in and actually put it on a kiddo and see it was really cool,” said CHS head band director John Landin.
Both Landin and AHS head director, Amber Moore told KTAB/KRBC they have received nothing but positivity to the new band uniforms. The purchase and design of these uniforms has been a multi-year process. Landin and former AHS band director, Paul Walker worked with international company, Fruhauf to custom tailor the uniforms to their schools.
“They took pictures of our old uniforms and did an updated new look with some new designs, but also some new material because so much of what we do now here in West Texas, it’s so hot,” Amber Moore, AHS band director, explained. “Kids are marching in 110-degree weather sometimes, and so we have to make sure that it’s breathable.”
Each uniform is handmade and Fruhauf is well known for its quality as a brand, having recently designed and manufactured costumes for the Broadway stage production of The Music Man. Moore said the school will certainly miss its old uniforms, but the new ones were a much-needed change.
“They were really nice, and they had a great logo. It was just really hot… So, it’s a really nice change for our kids to have a modern, sleek look,” said Moore.
All throughout the design process, the band students were able to watch as their new uniforms came to life. Landin said his band was excited to add to the legacy of Abilene excellence by being the first to debut the new looks.
“I’ve loved seeing it at Shotwell and I’m gonna love seeing it when we go to area, and if we get to San Antonio, I’d love seeing it there,” Landin added.
High school bands usually get new uniforms every 15 years. Abilene and Cooper purchased upwards of 250 uniforms, all of which were budgeted for in the schools’ regular expenditures. In addition to the new looks, the uniforms are able to be modified with buttons, covers, and hat sleeves to better fit whatever performance or show either band decides to take on.