Colonia Marching Patriots Have a New Look


Photo Credit: Photo by Kevin Perdoni from Colonia Marching Band Instagram used with permission.

The Colonia Marching Patriots getting ready to step off for the annual South Amboy St. Patrick’s Day Parade in their new uniforms for the first time.

By: Michael Passarelli, Fall Reporter/Editor

After months of waiting and backordering the Colonia Marching Patriots finally received and were able to wear their new uniforms for the St. Patrick’s Day parades.

Marching Patriot senior Justin Wolff preparing for the South Amboy St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Photo Credit: Photo by Kevin Perdoni from Colonia Marching Band Instagram used with permission.
Marching Patriot senior Justin Wolff preparing for the South Amboy St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

At the end of the 2015 spring semester every member of the Colonia High School (CHS) Marching Band was personally fitted for a new uniform, which was personally designed by the bend director, Mr. Perdoni. These uniforms would come out to be about $28,000 payed for by the district. “The district pays for new uniforms every 8 years. Last year Woodbridge got new uniforms, and next year JFK will get new uniforms,” Mr. Perdoni explained.

The uniforms were said to be in by the time the season would start in September. However, that was not the case. By the end of the summer when the uniforms were supposed to be in, the director of the band, Mr. Perdoni was informed that they would be late and should be in by mid-September. And so the band was issued the old uniforms to start the season.

Again, the deadline for the company manufacturing the new uniforms had come and this time they said the order would be delayed until the end of October – also the end of the competition season. As disappointed as everybody in the band was to hear this news there was nothing they could do but continue to wear the old, poor fitting, “ugly” and mismatched uniforms for their football games and remaining competitions. They had the hope that according to the manufacturer the uniforms would be in by the time the most important competition of the season would come around – the state competition.

As an extremely disappointing blow to the band, the uniforms were once again backordered. However, it was promised that they would be in by the end of November just in time for the Woodbridge Holiday Parade where the Marching Patriots would be able to show off their new uniforms. At this point, to no surprise they were once again backordered, and the band was once again stuck in the old unentertaining uniforms for the parade.

Finally, months after they were promised, in the middle of winter when the band needed them least, the uniforms arrived! They were distributed to whom they were measured for, everybody had they own personal uniform that was perfectly tailored to each individual person. For the seniors in the band, they would get to wear these perfect fits a total of three times before they graduate.

Many of the band members were very disappointed with how long this took. Angelica Batista, this year’s drum major of the band said that despite how long it took to get them, she is “very excited to have them now” and is “honored to be the first drum major to wear the uniform.” Other senior members of the band such as James Miller and William Walsh were “pretty disappointed” by how long they took. Miller said, “Even though we are technically the first seniors to wear them, in a way we’re not, we really only get to use them 3 times.” However as for the old uniforms, Batista, Walsh, and Miller all agree that the new attire beats the old by a longshot.

The uniforms feature two different designs. One design which features a stripe going across the torso, however this optional piece can be removed exposing the more formal old time style button down coat.

Option #1 (left) and option #2 (right) for the new uniforms.
Photo Credit: Photo by Kevin Perdoni (left) and Sarah Bankert (right) from Colonia Band Instagram used with permission.
Option #1 (left) and option #2 (right) for the new uniforms.

Mr. Perdoni said that despite the long wait “it wasn’t their fault”. He explained how he designed them himself, starting in January of 2015. He wanted the uniforms to have “a completely different look.” His goal was to resemble the Blue Coats of Canton, Ohio with “the long tail from the jacket, the buttons, basically the more formal look,” and at the same time to capture the “look of the revolutionary patriot.” To capture this look Perdoni went straight to the company who makes the uniforms for the Blue Coats.

Perdoni said because of this specific custom design it took longer because the company had to come up with the design and present it to him. He said the first design they proposed he did not like, so it was a trial and error process that took time. There was even discussion he said of the “tri-pointed revolutionary hat” to go along with the uniform as an optional accessory, “but they were too expensive,” he said.