If it no longer fits, donate it! Music boosters collect outgrown concert attire
Families of students who were members of Wilton High School’s musical performance groups within the last 10 years or so are asked to look in their closets to see if there might be a black polyester gown or tuxedo gathering dust in the back. If so, the high school’s music department boosters group would be happy to take it for a new Concert Performance Attire Recycling Program.
All members of the performance ensembles at Wilton High School — band, orchestra and chorus — must purchase formal attire to wear at concert events. The idea is to reduce the financial burden on families having to purchase ensembles, which can be costly, especially if a student outgrows the clothing over the course of four years or may not participate all four years.
The girls wear a specific style of floor-length black, polyester dress which many — if not all — have said they would never wear again. It runs about $80 to $100, according to several booster club mothers.
Boys purchase a tuxedo package from Camillo’s in Norwalk for $175 to $200 that includes jacket, pants, cummerbund, bowtie, shoes, shirt, etc.
According to Dottie Jankowski, president of the boosters club, the style for boys and girls — which they must purchase through school — has been the same for the last eight to 10 years.
“A few of the parents realized that there were lots of dresses, and perhaps a few too-small tuxedos, lurking in closets all over Wilton,” she said of the genesis of the recycling program. “They got together to work out the logistics of storage and distribution, but collection is the first step.”
Girls may donate concert dresses if they are graduating seniors or no longer participate in any of the school’s music programs.
Boys will often keep their tuxedo if it still fits, Ms. Jankowski said. “A tuxedo is not a bad thing to have in the closet,” she added.
And local stores often have trade-in programs, but families who have been holding on to too-small tuxedos and shoes are welcome to donate whatever they have. Everything donated should be clean.
Next fall, before students must order their concert clothes, they will have a chance to look through what has been donated, which will be catalogued by size. If they find something that fits, they may have it at no cost.
“And every piece of performance attire that the students can choose from will be in excellent condition,” said Alison Conroy, who organized the program. “We will coordinate opportunities for students to peruse the available formalwear at the beginning of the school year, and we hope that this program grows in the years ahead. It’s an ecological as well as an economical initiative.”
Graduating seniors began dropping off their clean donations at the POPS concert at the Clune Center on June 5. Band students may make donations when returning their uniforms. Others interested in participating in this recycling program may drop off no longer needed concert attire in the bin in the Wilton High School lobby through June 21.