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November 17, 2019

10/17/2019 3:02:00 PM
Help support rapidly growing high school band program, band booster garage sale Nov. 9

The Chisago Lakes Marching Band wrapped up its 2019 season October 14 with an incredible Indoor Concert. The newly formed and official non-profit Chisago Lakes Band Boosters put on a “Bandquet” for all 75 students before the concert to honor them and their families for all the hard work and dedication they contributd for such a successful season! Band Boosters also presented each student with a keychain as a small token of appreciation for how well each student played their part. They hope it is a nice reminder of how much they mean to the community and the school.

The Bandquet also included awards – some were quite funny. – The Drum Major and the Section Leaders gave out awards such as The King Kong Award, Kazoo Award, and Gazelle Award based on band jokes or things that the person did or said. As part of the concert, the seniors received gifts that the students put together for them. Class of 2020 Drum Major, Tate Redland, was given a cape to remember his year by. His special fall season uniform includes a cape that was pretty impressive, especially at Friday night’s pre-game in the crazy wind and sleet!

These students have found a place where they belong in the Marching Band. There’s something about all the time and hard work that bonds them like a family. There’s often quite a few tears when the season is over.

Chisago Lakes Band Boosters formed to not only support the directors, Joe DeLisi and Steve Boal, but to help the district’s band program be all that it can be. They have, and will work to build community, such as having socials following concerts or honoring the students, with the Bandquet. They also work to gather the volunteers for walking with the musicians during the parades to provide water and refueling as well as meals for both the students and parents before the home football games (Mr. DeLisi calls it Tailgating).

 Marching Band isn’t the only part of the program that needs people power.  In January, CLHS will host the Mississippi 8 Music Festival which pulls together the top 10 band and choir students from each school.  The High School Band program is also hoping Boosters can help fund the cost of students who would like to participate in Honor Bands that happen around the state at colleges and universities, fund the cost of additional instructional staff (percussion coach and private lesson instructors available to the students at the school), and fund new uniforms.

The Boosters have also taken on building the school fund the replacement of the Marching Band uniforms.  These students appear in front of thousands of people around the state during the summer and usually four times in front of Wildcat football fans each year. These students are more visible and represent our school, district, and communities than any other group of students in the schools. This season alone they had 33 parades and performances including a Harmony in the Park performance and a Minnesota State Fair parade. Not only did they do a parade but they appeared on television at the State Fair two days in a row. They also participated in the University of Minnesota High School Band day getting to play with U of M’s marching band on the field. Talk about visibility and publicity for our amazing district! Go Band!!  The current uniforms have been around for a very long time. Many teachers and parents of these students wore these uniforms! Boosters are trying to find out just how old the uniforms are actually. If anyone has any information or old photos, they’d be excited to hear from you.

Because the uniforms are between 20 and 30 years old, many are dilapidated and discolored and are in desperate need of replacement. Each uniform costs $400 or more and with the band’s incredible growth under Mr. DeLisi’s and Mr. Boal’s leadership, the Boosters and directors,  along with the district, need to anticipate the purchase of more uniforms than currently used.  This year, the marching band had almost double the amount of participants than last year. The growth from 2017 to 2018 was the same! If they have the same growth from 2019 to 2020 there could be 140 or more students in the CL Marching Band (which includes 8th - 12th graders) further underscoring the uniform replacement need is that fact that some of this year’s 75 students had to wear stained and/or ill-fitting uniforms just to make it work.

The Marching Band is glad to be included on a new rotation within the district for new uniforms for student groups and are well aware that band uniforms are much more expensive than any other activity uniform, but know that they also last a much longer time. While most schools strive to replace their band uniforms every 8 - 10 years, CL has waited much longer than that.

The Boosters’ first effort towards raising funds for the Band Program as a whole, including new uniforms, will be an all-community garage sale November 9 in the Lindstrom Community Center. This will be a donation based sale meaning the items will not have prices on them.  Community members can select items and choose to give whatever donation they would like for that item. At the garage sale there will be many photographs documenting this year’s marching band season as well as a proposed mockup of the possible new uniform. Boosters are grateful for this opportunity to put a great foot forward in supporting our instrumental band program in the district and look forward to seeing you there.

If you’d like to support the growing Band program, donations can be dropped off at the garage sale or mailed or delivered to Chisago Lakes High School, 29400 Olinda Trail, Lindstrom, MN 55045. Checks can be written to CL Band Boosters and earmarked for general fund or uniform fund on the memo line. THANK YOU!

Submitted by,
Jen Jensen
CL Band Booster

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