In the early 1950’s I was a very inadequate trombone player but nonetheless qualified for my Stanford University marching band. It dawned on me as a band member that the uniforms we were required to wear which included a military brass tunic topped with a large hat and feather on top were inappropriate. I complained that we were not a Prussian military organization which the band in its uniform seemed to emulate. I told the band management that I thought uniforms more appropriate to a California school of general humanism would benefit from what I suggested to be a uniform of slacks and blazers. It was a few years later that the Stanford band abandoned the look of a middle European military organization. Although now the laissez faire Stanford Band may have gone a little far overboard as they appear to be completely unstructured. However, the uniforms of the local high schools and colleges should be addressed as they contrive to suggest an unjustified military history.
By Michael Harris