In October, an effort began to provide the Razorback Marching Band with much-needed new uniforms. The Jim and Joyce Faulkner family of Little Rock, long-time University of Arkansas supporters, made a gift of $83,500, half of what was needed to purchase the uniforms. Their gift was intended to match every dollar given until the total amount was raised.
“We both played clarinet in high school bands – Joyce in Benton and me in Malvern – and we learned to love band music at an early age,” said Jim Faulkner. “I was in the Razorback band for two years, and did the PA work for another year. This was a small way we could pay back for the personal enjoyment we both had from our programs during high school and college.”
To date, more than $110,000 has been raised to match and exceed the challenge, including a $10,000 gift by the university’s department of intercollegiate athletics. The new uniforms made their debut at the Nov. 12 game against Tennessee.
The old uniforms were worn and the heavy material was very hot. The new uniforms are made of a lighter, but more durable, fabric that is also less expensive to clean. The overall look of the uniforms has not changed, but the comfort for the students has improved immeasurably.
“The new uniforms have brought even more spirit to an already spirited marching band,” said Chris Knighten, director of the University of Arkansas Athletic Bands. “We are sincerely grateful to the Faulkners, Jeff Long and the many individuals who chose to support the university in this way. We wish our student athletes the best of luck at the Cotton Bowl, and we know we’ll be looking and feeling our best as well, as we support their efforts and entertain fans from the stands and on the field.”
The more than 350 members of the Razorback Marching Band make up one of the largest student organizations on campus. The band, known as “The Best in Sight and Sound,” is a past recipient of the Sudler Trophy, which recognizes extraordinary musical standards and innovative marching routines and is the nation’s highest honor bestowed on a college or university band by the John Phillip Sousa Foundation.