Band uniforms being donated to Iola High School Marching Band
The Andover Central High School Band will not be marching during half-time of the Alamo Bowl in January, but their former blue and gold uniforms will be. That’s because they were donated on July 17 to the Iola High School Marching Band.
“Our uniforms are old, they were missing so many parts, we didn’t have the right sizes to fit all of the kids, and they didn’t all match,” said Matt Kloepfer, Iola band director. “We were just barely doing what we could to get by.”
Kloepfter, who has been band director for just three years, said he was driving to Wichita with some students for a competition, when he received an email about the Andover uniforms.
“I stopped in the middle of the road and emailed her back and said send me a picture,” said Kloepfter. “They are in great shape. This is such a blessing.”
Kloepfter, and the students who were with him, stopped off in Andover and loaded up the 220 uniforms, before heading back to Iola. By the time he arrived home, word had already spread.
“There were about 40 kids standing outside the band room when I arrived to see the new-to-them uniforms, and they were excited,” said Kloepfter. “My kids were like man this is Christmas in July Mr. K.!”
Kleopfter said the small district just couldn’t afford brand new uniforms for the 60 members of his marching band. They were looking at another 10 years to be able to buy uniforms, not soon enough for their national television debut.
“We had a great competition season last year so at the end of the season we applied to be a part of the Alamo Bowl half-time show,” said Kleopfter. “We will be going down there Dec. 31 and will be performing Jan. 2.”