NMSU Pride band sports new uniforms

NMSU Pride Band debuts new uniforms at Homecoming parade.

Courtesy of the Office of the President

NMSU Pride Band debuts new uniforms at Homecoming parade. Courtesy of the Office of the President

The Pride of New Mexico Marching Band recently received 240 new uniforms after their previous uniforms had been in use for 12 years. The new uniforms debuted at New Mexico State University’s recent homecoming parade Oct. 6.

Each of the 240 uniforms were priced at $600 each. With 240 uniforms, the program has enough to dress 210 members and there currently 203 Pride members.

“We have to have more sizes than we have members,” The Pride of New Mexico’s Director Steven Smyth said.

The design of the uniform has an innovative feel along with three elements.

The uniforms are innovative in the way that they are desert-specific, meaning its material is lightweightsuitable for the hot temperatures that can be present in Las Cruces—and they are brighter than past uniforms now that the bottoms are grey instead of black.

“When we make a design, we make one that’s going to look good on the field, so you’ll notice it’s a lot brighter than the uniforms we’ve had in the past. Grey does help us look taller and bigger—Most colleges have those sorts of light colored pants because it’s a little more flashy,” Smyth said.

The three elements that Smyth wanted to incorporate within the uniform are placed on the jacket and these are the university, the state of New Mexico and NMSU Athletics.

“We have the logos ‘NM State’ for the school, the zia symbol for the state, and then we have ‘Aggies’ on the back for the athletic teams,” Smyth said. The zia symbol is grey as well.

“I like them way more than our last uniforms—they’re nicer and grey and I definitely like them. The jackets are shiny and reflective with the zia symbol—It just makes us look sharp,” woodwind captain Ruben Mireles said.

In total, $120,000 was spent on new uniforms thanks to the generosity of former Chancellor Garrey Carruthers and the current NMSU administration who have been working the purchase for the past few years. The marching band did not have to fundraise any money themselves.

“We’re really thankful for the Athletics, administration—everyone. We know how much it took and cost and I really want to thank everyone that helped us out—It was definitely a good investment for The Pride,” Mireles said.

Mireles also explained that The Pride of New Mexico’s current director Steven Smyth and NMSU’s former Chancellor Carruthers were a driving force towards obtaining the uniforms.

“Our new director came from Iowa State and knew everything about marching band—His mentality was that we’re just like Michigan state, UCLA, and other big schools. He’s brought a whole different mentality to this place. The band is a representation—Since were a main representation of NMSU, we have to stand out,” Mireles said.

Smyth explained that Chancellor Carruthers wanted to leave the program with new uniforms through his discretionary fund as a parting gift. “He basically said, ‘You need them, so we’ll get them,’” Smyth said.

“A couple years ago our former Chancellor Carruthers, went down to Vegas for the WAC tournament for basketball and our uniforms had duct tape on them and that’s why we got new ones,” Mireles said.

Smyth and band members have also mentioned that aside from having holes, the old uniforms had permanent smells after years of being overused and they are happy to have something new.

“Our old uniforms—don’t get me wrong—they were cool, but they were 12 years old, they were a little stinky, they had holes, they had a bunch of stuff,” Mireles said.

“They were good, but they were worn beyond what we could wear—things were breaking, the hats were not good—So it’s good that we made that change,” Smyth said.

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