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ChoralNet: Packing uniforms for tour

Dear Colleagues,
As requested, a compilation of ideas for storing uniforms on tour buses
follows. Thanks to everyone for the input!
Denise Hayes
Artistic Director,
Princeton Area Homeschool Choir

We store our robes and other uniforms in wardrobe boxes that you can
purchase from a moving company. They are inexpensive and quite durable.
Depending on the tour, we organize them differently. If I am taking a
group I will have chaperones label the boxes Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and
and then the robes are placed in the box in alphabetical order. The kids
line up before and after the concert to get their uniform and to place it
back in the boxes. With women's groups where they may not consistently
the same part...SI on one song and SII on another, we place them in boxes
based on alphabetical order. I hope that this helps.
Chris Storm

The robes are sorted by size in three different plywood crates built for
that purpose. When the boxes are stood up vertically, the robes hang on
a hanger rod that is bolted to the top of the box. Wheels are mounted
to the bottom/back of the boxes so that when the boxes are tilted back
they can be wheeled around. We're nearby if you wish to see them.
Best wishes,
Bill Alford

We pack wardrobe in 48-inch nylon garment bags, with name on each bag.
Sometimes the bags simply are stacked in one of the bays on the bus, other
times, placed in trunks. Have not used racks, as they fall off, and can't
really be stored vertically in the bay. Upon arrival, a wardrobe-
unloading crew is off the bus first, and they lay the bags out beside the
bus, and each singer takes his, as he comes by. The only problem is rain,
and then we have to cart them into the hall for distribution.
Upon arrival at dressing area or lodgings, the wardrobe is to be
removed from the bag and hung up to straighten out. All pieces and parts
are to be double checked by another singer when they go back into the bag -
- a buddy system.
I'm sure there are more elaborate solutions, but this has worked
for us.
Brooks Grantier

We tour yearly with 32 or so 10 - 14 year old treble boys. They wear a
blazer, long sleeved white shirt and tie with a nice dress pant and dress
shoes. The are roomed by four boys each room and have a heavy duty
bag assigned to each room. We buy these garment bags at a Wal-Mart or
Target usually, as they get pretty road beaten, especially when you travel
over seas. We store them under in the bus bay, they lay nice and flat and
this has worked very well for us for the last 24 years! We do not have
females, so I don't know how this would impact them and their needs ~
Good luck,
Bill Adams

This is actually an easy one to handle. Any and every moving company
has 'wardrobe boxes' that are tall enough for most dresses and suits,
and the clothes hang from a metal bar at the top. The idea is that
the minimum-wage moving guys just grab the clothes in your closet
along with their hangers, and put them in the wardrobe boxes with
their hangers, then vice-versa at your new home. Just use a
heavy-duty marker to mark on each box what is inside it.

When you go on tour, just put the boxes in the bus bays (or station
wagons, or minivans) on their sides, and the clothes will be about as
protected as possible from dirt and wrinkles. You'll get even better
protection if you buy a bunch of dry cleaners' plastic bags and slip
one over each outfit to provide an air cushion.

on June 17, 2006 10:00pm
Our children's choir has a mixture of girls and boys. The girls wear long satin gowns and the boys tux shirts and pants, satin vests and bow ties. Prior to departure, I have everyone pack their concert clothing, shoes (scented dryer sheets inside them) and accessories into a garment bag from Walmart that's labeled with their name. All costumes are packed into 3 very large suitcases and weighed the day before we leave. That ensures that everyone arrives at our destination with their concert clothes and TWO shoes! The suitcases are checked as part of designated chaperones luggage. At the first hotel, costume bags are checked out to each chaperone who are then responsible for their "charges" clothing. At the end of the trip, everyone packs their concert clothing into their own suitcase and chaperones have three empty suitcases for the group's "overflow" or adults' purchases while abroad. This has worked flawlessly for us, as we tour with children ages 8-18.

When we tour in the states, each child packs the same way, but costumes are stored flat in the luggage area of the bus. We follow the same "day before" drop off procedure so that we can ensure that everyone has what they need and can pack them on the bus before the children arrive.

Hope this helps!