Band Jackets & Summer Jobs

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by tubafran, Aug 9, 2004.


Should Jackets be worn at all times

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. First few pieces then take them off

  4. Depends on Fee & Booking conditions

  1. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    OK this poll will probably reflect all the above options equally or it may depend on your position conductor, player or audiencebut I'll ask it anyway.

    A lot of you were probably out playing this weekend and the weather was terrific but what did you do with your band jackets. Did you play on regardless in 80 degrees, play for a short while then take them off or not wear them at all?

    I have come across this at a number different bands and the only criteria seems to be "we have a unform so we must wear it at all times" or "we don't look smart in shirts".

    At Killamarsh we resolved the above views by having a separate "summer" uniform which is usual blacks and a polo shirt with embroided band emblem. Agreed not as smart as jacket and ties but for out-door jobs seems acceptable.

    Do the audience expect to see the band in full dress uniforms and if so do they appreciate the levels of comfort the band are suffering?
  2. Bariman

    Bariman Member

    At Chelmsford SA we have a number of combinations of uniform.

    We use our "blues" (ie our standard uniform jacket) for winter (October to mid-May) wear;
    white short sleeve shirts with epaulettes for summer wear and use red festival tunics when the situation arises.

    We are encouraged to always wear short sleeve shirts and carry our epaulettes with us so should the weather change (70 degrees F while Christmas carolling :D ) then we can adapt to the situation and be comfortable.
  3. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    I think you'll get all sorts of replies to this!
    Whatever you do you can't please everybody, someone once said to me "The Guards bands don't take their gear off when it's hot" to which my reply is "well, that's their job. This isn't mine.". There's no way I'm going to ask anyone, especially those at either end of the age spectrum (our members go from 7 to 73!) to play, or even worse, march and play, in 80+ degree heat wearing a jacket, it's just not on.
    Generally for concerts we'll wear them for the first half and then only if it's got unbearable in the meantime we'll remove them for the 2nd.
    It'd be nice to have summer and winter uniforms, but for a lot of bands cost may be an issue. If everyone's got properly ironed and cleaned white shirts, black trousers, socks and tie, polished black shoes, and can mrch in step and formation, they'll look pretty smart anyway.
  4. Bariman

    Bariman Member

    If only. I hate seeing bands where these simple things aren't done properly.
  5. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    True, and it's not as if these things are expensive, places like Matalan and most major supermarkets could kit a bandsperson (less jacket and shoes, of course) for about £20-25 tops.

    Happy to say we don't have a problem in that respect, apart from the odd dodgy pair of socks!
  6. Liz Courts

    Liz Courts Active Member

    Oh dear...!! :? Do any of you know how hard it is to get a load of ten year olds to wear black socks? And I'm not even going to get into marching in step and formation :shock: :roll: !

    We try to wear our jackets as much as possible, but sometimes it's just waaay too hot, especially when marching!
  7. Miss Presley

    Miss Presley Member

    There is no doubt that full uniform always looks smarter,

    However, on occasions such as this weekend, I think it is more than acceptable to go blazer/jacket less for a job!

    I was nearly passing out playing in York this weekend because of the heat, and that was without jackets, people can not be expected, nor made to wear a jacket in that kind of weather!

    Luckily, our band sergeant is a top bloke and he is more than happy to say no jackets if it is really warm!
  8. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    We have a couple of different uniforms: Our "stage" jackets which are traditional mess-type jackets and for warmer days we have waistcoats. They were made specially for us, and didn't cost a huge amount (about £35 each), look fairly smart and are almost as cool as playing in shirt sleeves.

    The only problems are that for the waistcoats to look decent we all have to wear long-sleeved shirts (and you wouldn't believe how difficult that can be to achieve :? ) and if the weather forcast is unsure, as it usually is, we have to take both sets of uniforms with us. Although neither waistcoats or jackets are particularly heavy and we all have special suit carriers, it is a chore.

    If we have our jackets and it turns out to be hot we would normally play the first couple of pieces before our conductor askes if the audience minds if we remove them. Which I always feel is rather quaint :lol:
  9. groovy

    groovy Active Member

    When we're on tour or at informal summer jobs (eg band bbq) we have polo shirts, because there was no way we could wear shirts or jackets in 40 C! But for normal jobs we wear jackets, then as a band decide whether we should take them off or not depending on the weather. Shirt & tie looks smart anyway.
  10. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Well, isn't it about time they started learning? They are going to have to sometime - the sooner the better. :)

    The main band, BTW wear waistcoats and the junior band have polo shirts with band logo.
  11. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    As Bariman pointed out, a couple of years back the SA introduced an official "summer" uniform, consisting of white short-sleeved pilot's shirts, to be worn with epaulettes in the summer months. If outdoors, we would normally also be playing in caps, which gives us another form of identification, whether or not we're using our stands with banners.

    For more formal occasions during the summer, then we may wear our red festival tunics, and we usually carry our blue tunics if there is the prospect of any open air activity and it is likely to be colder or wet.

    Some bands have also adopted the use of polo shirts as a move towards a more informal approach - Hendon, for example, often change into polo shirts in the SA colours for the second half of the programme, frequently also setting the band out in a big-band style. As we acquired polo shirts with our band logo for our Holland trip it may be something we would consider in the future.
  12. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    "Great minds..." Killamarsh also acquired a set of extra polo shirts last year on our tour to Belgium which we will be using again this year for a trip to Holland. We managed to secure some commercial sponsorship to cover the cost so we included logos for the sponsor.

    This year we have some more sponsorship but didn't need any more polo shirts (we have 3 sets) so we are investing in lightweight water-proofs.

    By the way Peter where did you get to in Holland?
  13. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    I went on tour with Shropshire Youth Brass a few weeks back, and although their usual uniform was white shirt and dickie bows, they had recently purchased a set of T-shirts (blue!) with the bands logo printed on. Much nicer than shirts and certainly band jackets no matter how smart you look! ;)
  14. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    As band sergeant it's part of my job to make sure that the proper uniform is always worn, and for weekends like the one we've just had to make sure that what we do wear is acceptable to the players but also smart.

    There was no way we could have sat and played in jackets either at Emley Show on Saturday or in York on Sunday, it was just way too hot, however I did insist that ties were still worn.

    We have band polo shirts that could have been worn in a perfect world, but we've had a few go missing (much to my annoyance!! :evil: ) and if I'd said we were to wear them you can bet your back teeth at least one person would have either lost theirs or forgotten and turned up in White shirt and tie.
    I try to make the band wear the jackets as often as poss tho, it's looks so much better.

    p.s. Thanks Miss Presley, you're a chick! :wink:
  15. Ali

    Ali Member

    At Dobcross we have two uniforms. We have our traditional red tunics (with caps at all times when we do any sort of marching job) and our black dinner jackets with red dickies for the second half (when we do our big band set). Bands may be amature organisations but you should always try to look your best. Especially when the audiance is paying to listen (and watch) the band. We played in Burnley the other week, it was about 24 degrees and we played in reds. No complaints from the band. Same with our hats. It is not just about how you sound but how you look as well.
  16. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Our main summer concert was in a stuffy hall with no air conditioning on the hottest weekend in June. Last year we'd worn our formal DJs and dickies, got too hot and as a result played pretty pants, so this year we went on in shirt sleeves and long ties, and played much better. Needless to say it was discussed for a loooong time at the next committee meeting! :roll: Imho most people are mainly coming to listen not watch (its not as if the average band is a visual feast after all!), so on balance the comfort factor should be more important.
  17. louise0502

    louise0502 Member

    we have jackets and take them off if we're too hot, which is fine as long as all the band are the same.

    i went to belgium last week with my army cadet force band and we did a concert at the tyne cot cemetary in full scarlets (thick, heavy woollen jackets and trousers, leather boots with huge socks, belts and helmets) stood up in scorching heat when all the audience were wearing shorts and t-shirts. That was hell! (thank goodness we weren't marching!)