Lacking uniforms, Ferndale High band turns zombie to win competition (w/ video)


FERNDALE - Luckily for Ferndale High School's marching band, the undead don't need nice uniforms.

With more students signed up for band this year than in the past, the school didn't have enough uniforms for everyone and couldn't afford to buy more. One of the student's parents came up with a creative - if dark and dirty - solution: zombies.

For its fall performance, the band resurrected its old uniforms out of storage and roughed them up to look like they were fresh from the grave. Then half the band members got the current uniforms and half were turned into zombies in the old outfits.

"It was a really good idea," said band director Steve Menefee. "She provided the spark for the show. It was up to me and the creative staff to flesh out the meat of the show."

The half-zombie show has been a hit with crowds and just earned the band first in its division at the Auburn Veterans Day Marching Band Competition.

The performance starts with "Amazing Grace," which is then interrupted by the theme song from the popular zombie TV show "The Walking Dead." The zombie students attack the new-uniform band members, and during the apt "You Raise Me Up," their victims turn into zombies before "Thriller" kicks things into high gear. That was when the crowd really went wild at the Auburn competition.

"There were times when I couldn't hear the kids playing on the field because the audience was so loud," Menefee said. "I can only imagine what the kids felt like on the field hearing that kind of reaction."

The zombified performance was a perfect workaround for the band's uniform issues, but Menefee said they really need new uniforms for next year. A holiday craft fair will take place Saturday, Nov. 16, at Ferndale High School to raise money for the uniforms.

"We really have to buckle down to figure out how we're going to raise the money for next year," he said. "I don't think people are going to want to see zombies part two."


The Ferndale Band Boosters is putting on the Trinkets & Treasures Holiday Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, in the Ferndale High School gym. The event is free to attend and will include more than 50 arts and crafts vendors, a gingerbread house contest, bake sale, clothing drive and music. Proceeds from the festival will go toward the purchase of new uniforms for the marching band.


Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or Read her School Days blog at or follow her on Twitter at @bhamschools.

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