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Wayne County School Band Marches On With Tattered Outfits

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GOLDSBORO, N.C. — Eastern Wayne High School's band takes pride in thrilling the audience when they take the field, but band members and their parents say one thing is off-key.

Band mother Carol Martin said the uniforms band members wear are at least 12 years old. The uniforms are tattered and torn. Many jackets have to be fastened with safety pins.

"They play so well and I'm so proud of them, but when I look at them in uniform, I'm just disgusted," she said.

"As you march, you can actually hear the safety pin going up and down," band member Catie Miller said. "The way we feel about ourselves when we perform is just our confidence is so low."

The booster club raises money for many band expenses, but it is not enough to cover uniforms that cost $400 each.

"It's very frustrating," Martin said.

Earlier this week, a group of band parents took their complaints from the bleachers to the Wayne County school board.

"I don't know of any school that is in more need for band uniforms than Eastern Wayne Senior High School," said Shirley Sims, of the Wayne County Board of Education.

Sims said the problem is a tight budget. The county tries to replace band uniforms every 10 years, when money allows. Right now, the focus is on teacher salaries, but she said officials are trying to work the band into the budget.

The students recently won a local competition with their routine. They are set to play in another local competition this weekend.


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