You can march to the beat of a different drummer … just make sure you look snazzy when you do.
Alton’s Marching 100 recently wrapped up a successful 2014 fall season. This year, it performed a Chutes and Ladders-themed show, the name derivative of the popular Milton Bradley board game. The band, which has grown by leaps and bounds the past few years, was in dire need of new uniforms, having last purchased uniforms in 2004.
Alton band director Alyssa Cudney says the premiere of the brand-new threads occurred during the annual Alton Halloween Parade on Oct. 31.
“I can’t emphasize just how appreciative we are for the community support,” Cudney said. “At the Halloween parade, all we heard was, ‘Wow! Look at those new uniforms!’ We’ve had a lot of community support. We brought back the Marching 100 ‘Button Days’ to fund raise for the new uniforms and the community really responded to help.”
The Alton School District chipped in as well, covering half of the cost for the uniforms.
“We couldn’t have purchased the new uniforms without the support of the school board and the Alton School District,” Cudney said. “Their support of the music program and the Marching 100 has always been outstanding.”
The band takes a major trip every four years. This year, the Marching 100 will head to Disney World from Feb. 25 until March 2 for a parade and a clinic with Disney musicians. Cudney says the trip will be their first opportunity to really show off their new uniforms outside of the Greater Alton area.
“The goal of the Alton Marching 100 is to consistently improve our rehearsals and performance through hard work — leading by example, holding ourselves accountable, and growing as leaders and as an ensemble,” Cudney said. “We owe this to our community and the Marching 100 because of our love of the tradition, the friendships we create, and the unique life experiences we can’t get anywhere else.”