In a referendum attached to this year’s Presidential Ballot, students voted ‘Yes’ to award the McMaster Marching Band 90 cents from student fees next year to support their actions.

Marching Band President Joshua Patenaude, a fourth-year BioPsych student, explained how the club has made both short-term and long-term plans for this new wave of funding.

“In the short-term we will be repairing everything we have. Everything needs repairs. But in the long-term, we’ll be building up our instrumental set and replacing instruments that have gone beyond the point of repair.“

The McMaster Marching Band will be receiving close to $20,000 next year because of the new levy. The band has budgeted for the monies to be predominantly spent on instruments, while also allocating some funds towards instructional costs and uniforms.

Queen’s University has a $5 levy attached to their student fees, while Western requires the members of its marching band to pay a $200 introductory fee.

Marching band members at Mac have typically paid a $65 membership fee, $250 in uniform fees and a miscellany of fees attributed to their respective instruments and music.

Patrick Osborne, a Marching Band VP and third-year Business Informatics student noted that this funding does not completely solve all of the band’s problems.

“The $20,000 is not sufficient right away. But we wanted to shoot for long-term stable amount of funding. Five years down the road we think $20,000 is what the band should be able to be sustained upon,” said Osborne.

The members all agreed that the funding will significantly lower financial barriers which would preclude students from joining the band. Miranda Clayton, the band’s promotions director described how certain instruments, such as the sousaphone, the instrument she plays in the band, are more expensive than the average cost of repairs.

Other major expenses include instructional costs, drum line replacements and possibly budgeting for the introduction of a colour guard to perform along with the marching band.

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