Part of the money that Viking Marching Band (VMB) band families are asked to donate each year goes towards the purchase and repair of competition uniforms, plus new practice t-shirts, football t-shirts, and jackets.

Students have two different casual uniform t-shirts — one for rehearsals and comps (to wear under the full uniform) and one for football games (also called a “retro” shirt).

They also have a full competition uniform, which is rarely, if ever, taken home; it stays up at school and is transported to and from comps in the Viking trailer.

MB Senior Night

When in uniform – whether competition or casual – students are representing the Santa Monica High School Band. They are expected to behave in a manner that reflects well on their bandmates and instructors.

The Competition Uniform

Marching uniform

The Samohi Band program provides the full uniform, hat, and gloves. Students are expected to provide their own black socks. Students may buy the marching shoes (called Dinkles), or borrow shoes that the band owns. Competition uniforms stay up at school and travel to comps along with the instruments and props. On competition days, students just wear a practice t-shirt and lightweight shorts to wear under the uniform, and bring black socks and Dinkles.

The competition uniforms are cleaned, refitted, and reused from year to year; they require special care. Click here for instructions on taking care of your marching band uniform.

During band camp, most of the musicians will have their competition uniform fittings. The image below explains what the students wear for field show competitions.

Uniform Layout

Variations on the Competition Uniform

Drumline members do not wear gauntlets, because gauntlets would interfere with the drumsticks. Some percussionists wear wristbands to keep their sleeves from catching on the instruments. Sousaphone players do not wear hats, because sousaphones bells are notorious hat killers. Members of the Front Ensemble do not wear hats, gauntlets or gloves. In some years, the Front Ensemble wears concert black or costumes instead of uniforms.

Uniform Layout2

Color Guard Costumes

The Color Guard costume changes every year. The Color Guard instructor will inform students about requirements for what to wear beneath the costume, and the type and color of footwear required.

Uniform Layout3

Casual Uniforms

Viking Marching Band & Color Guard students wear several types of uniform shirts. Once again, these shirts are paid for by the Samohi Bands through the suggested donations of the band families.

Rehearsal Shirts

Rehearsal ShirtEvery year, each new OR returning student receives one new rehearsal/practice shirt (Viking helmet for musicians; crossed flags for Guard).

Mr. McKeown expects students to wear the rehearsal shirt to every Thursday or Friday evening rehearsal. Visit the Samohi Band Calendar for rehearsal dates and times.


Musicians also wear the rehearsal shirt under their uniform pants on competition days. Sometimes, there will be a rehearsal on Friday night and a competition the next day. Returning students may wear their shirt from any year, so this shouldn’t be a problem for students with multiple shirts. Others can buy extra rehearsal shirts (they will be sold at various meetings during the year at times to be announced), or can run the shirt through a quick wash on Friday night.

Guard Rehearsal Shirt 2017

Guard students wear the crossed flags rehearsal shirt (pictured at right) to rehearsals on Thursday or Friday evenings.

Football Shirts (a.k.a. “Retro Shirts”)


All musicians AND Guard wear the “Retro Shirt” to football games. This is also the typical uniform for pep rallies, parades, and local informal gigs. Students may wear their choice of pants, shorts, or comfortable skirts below the football shirt, but the outfit should comply with the Samohi dress code.

Football shirts are expensive and sold only from one shop located in Georgia. We provide one football shirt to each new student. If returning students need a new football shirt (e.g., their old one is too small or missing), returning students will receive a new football shirt upon request — no questions asked. Please try to help us keep costs down by taking care of the football shirt.

Band Jackets


These are distributed by the student leaders to welcome new members into the band. Each new student receives one jacket. If returning students want a new jacket, we ask them to donate $30 to cover the cost. Please take good care of your jackets.