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The uniform of the Harvard band is criticized by a graduate in the current Alumni Bulletin on the grounds that it is "very, very high-schooly". This graduate feels that the martial strains the band produces and the precision of its military formations are far superior to the outward trappings of its members.
The word "uniform", it must be admitted, is something of a meaningless euphemism when applied to the combination of red sweaters, sailor hats, and the mixture of clean and soiled fiannel trousers which clothe Harvard's musicians, but there remains, nevertheless, considerable doubt as to whether any effort should be made to change this "uniform".
The Harvard band has to pay for its own dress and consequently is very definitely limited; but even if some trumpet-conscious Maecenas gave from what he had left after the Stock Market crash to buy gilded epaulettes and Cossack helmets for the bandplayers, it would be unfortunate if the musicians succumbed to the glamor and the tinsel of it all.
The present uniform is simple, moderately dignified, and wholly practical. It is distressing to notice how widespread is the belief that college undergraduates exist purely to put on a good show for the crowds that fill the football stadia. If the band's costume be criticized for being too "high-schooly", it might be remembered that after all Harvard is only a college, and not the U. S. Army, the U. S. Navy, the Boston fire Department, nor even the American Legion.
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