The Boardman Spartan Marching Band is one of the premier show bands in northeastern Ohio, gaining notoriety for its innovative field shows. Props and graphics are becoming integral parts of each year’s creative productions.
For its annual football homecoming game, Grammy-nominated Boardman High School band director Thomas Ruggieri allows the BHS Spartan marching band’s 189 students to decorate their instruments in celebration.
This year, Ruggieri purchased black mesh covers for the tuba bells, which allow the tuba sound to come through and present a blank canvas to be decorated. The tuba section decided on the Pac Man theme and section leader Mike Perorazio, who is employed at Rudinec & Associates (RA) as a communications specialist, brought the idea to work looking for suggestions.
Any decorations used for the band’s 12 tubas would have to be removable and would have to stand up to Ohio’s unpredictable October weather elements.
Sarah Hoefert, Digital Imaging Specialist at RA, suggested LexJet Print-N- Stick Fabric as it had been successfully used in several previous projects. The images were printed to cover only half of the tuba bell opening, leaving room for sound to come out around the Print-N-Stick since it is a much denser material than the mesh covers.
Joe Rudinec, owner of RA, donated the material for these one-time use decorations. RA is a commercial photography studio offering a wide range of services including graphic design, tradeshow booths and banner stands and various display and exhibit services.
Since Print-N-Stick is designed for application to flat solid surfaces, a few safety pins were used to help secure the graphics to each tuba’s mesh cover.
“Mike’s idea and Joe’s donation of sousaphone decorations at this year’s homecoming game worked out so well because the graphics really popped visually while not hindering the sound of the instruments,” says Ruggieri. “It got me thinking about other ways to customize many of the instruments and props we use. This gives us a cost-effective way to give the band a makeover for every new show idea. It’s like getting new instruments that match the theme of each show. The best part is that the stickers will stay on until taken off and not harm or change the instrument in any way except visually.”
The tubas’ decorations were visible and the theme easily recognizable from across the field in the stands where the band plays and throughout the presentation of the pre-game and half-time shows.