Rockin’ new threads for MSU’s Famous Maroon Band

Mississippi State’s Famous Maroon Band always commands attention with its talent-driven sound, and 420 student members now have an even sharper, more comfortable look to match thanks to new uniforms.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum, center, compliments members of Mississippi State’s Famous Maroon Band on performing in their new uniforms for the first time during the recent MSU vs. LSU football game at Davis Wade Stadium. Pictured with Keenum are, from left to right, Andrew Cox of Lakeland, Tennessee; Emma Reynolds of Ocean Springs; Ruthie Southall of Acworth, Georgia; Beth Boyd of Germantown, Tennessee; Jon Zeipen of Jenison, Michigan; Kyrstan Lyles of Southaven; Kaz Shumpert of Booneville; and Benjamin Paske of Pass Christian. (Image courtesy of Mississippi State University)

“We are very grateful to Dr. Keenum for assisting us with this purchase,” Director of Bands Elva Kaye Lance said of support from MSU’s 19th president. “It was our intent to design a uniform that is appropriate for the collegiate environment, but yet has contemporary features as well. We are proud to wear our school colors as we support the Bulldogs and are always excited to be an integral part of the gameday experience.”

Lance explained that MSU band uniforms endure a lot of “wear and tear” during football season due to heat and other weather-related factors. Designed and manufactured by Brookfield, Missouri-based Stanbury Uniforms, the new uniforms provide improved comfortability, durability and professional appearance.

Along with prominently featuring maroon and white, the uniforms incorporate a bit more black to better coordinate with the student musicians’ black shoes, Lance said.

“We have also used a fabric inset of contrasting color near the cuff of the sleeves instead of the additional pair of gauntlets that we have used in the past, and the uniforms are constructed of a lighter weight fabric to keep our students as comfortable and healthy as possible during their gameday performances,” she said.

Lance also noted that while the Stanbury Uniforms plant is located in Missouri, a longtime company representative from Mississippi has provided decades of “excellent” service to the Famous Maroon Band and many of the state’s other band programs. 

At 117 years strong, the 2019 Famous Maroon Band is the largest college band in university history. Led by MSU alumna Lance and associate directors Craig Aarhus and Clifton Taylor, this year’s group has an overall average GPA of 3.3 and ACT score of 27.3, and consists of 16 high school valedictorians and 10 salutatorians. Students hail from 19 U.S. states, as well as Colombia, South America.

MSU’s Famous Maroon Band is part of the College of Education’s nationally accredited Department of Music.

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