The Wauwatosa West Marching Band, under the direction of Richard Smith has just fulfilled a dream for a school in New Orleans who is continuing to rebuild after the effects of hurricane Katrina.
This year the Wauwatosa West Marching Band was fortunate to receive from the school district new band uniforms. This is the first time in 15 years that the band has received new uniforms. The retired uniforms have been proudly worn and carefully taken care of for all of those years. With the band now wearing their new uniforms, the previous uniforms were packed away in boxes in hopes of finding a new home.
Members of the West High School Trojan Band Boosters were able to connect with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School for Science & Technology in New Orleans. Like the entire New Orleans area, the charter school was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. The marching band at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School for Science & Technology, which has over 100 members, has not had formal band uniforms since their uniforms were destroyed by the hurricane. The school does not have the funds to purchase new uniforms. As a result the marching band is unable to participate in the Mardi Gras celebrations and parade. Ironically, the band colors at the school are the same as the Wauwatosa West Marching Band so the school would be able to use the uniforms right away.
On December 20, 2010, band members, parents and staff at West High School helped load vans with boxes containing the retired uniforms. Each of the Wauwatosa Band students were able to write a message to the school on the sides of the 24 boxes before they were loaded and flown off to New Orleans.
With the generous donation for shipping from Frontier Airlines the uniforms were taken to Milwaukee County’s General Mitchell International Airport where they were loaded on planes headed to New Orleans.
“I want to thank the Wauwatosa School District for the generous donation of band uniforms, ”Dr. Doris Hicks, CEO/Principal of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School for Science &Technology said. “With the generous support from your organization, we will be able to invite more students into our music program and provide a uniformed look during our performances. Your donation will also allow us an opportunity to participate in our city’s rich history of Mardi Gras parades.”
The Wauwatosa West Band hopes to meet with students from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School for Science & Technology on the band’s trip to New Orleans in early 2011.
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