A strange thing: Old Cheney band uniforms appear in Netflix series

Cheney High School’s old band uniforms are featured in an episode of the new season of “Stranger Things,” a popular series on the Netflix streaming service. Cheney purchased new uniforms for the 2017-18 school year, and sold their old uniforms online.

By Travis Mounts
The Times-Sentinel

Fans of the Cheney High School marching band will see something familiar in season 3 of the Netflix series “Stranger Things.”

The beginning of episode 7 includes a county fair scene that features actor Cary Elwes (“The Princess Bride”), who stars as Larry Kline, mayor of Hawkins, Ind., where the show is set. There are several shots of marching band members wearing red, white and blue uniforms.

Cheney High School band director Travis Johnson received an email last week from the show’s costume coordinator, Kenya Morgan.


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“Your assistance last summer was much appreciated with the band uniforms. Here’s a surprise for you and your band kids! The costume designer of our show worked some creative magic with the uniforms we purchased, and the results can be seen at minute 2:07 of this trailer,” she said.

The email included a trailer for season 3. The entire season then became available on July 4. This writer has not watched the show, but it appears you can watch the scenes featuring the uniforms without being exposed to any major spoilers. The scenes are at the very beginning of the episode.

Johnson said there were a couple of minor changes to the uniform. The white plumes on the hats have been replaced with red, white and blue ones. And the red sashes that used to say “Cheney” now have white stars on the red.

“The drummers look like they’re holding their sticks the right way. The flutes are facing the same direction,” Johnson said with a laugh. Those are the kinds of details that are sometimes wrong in TV shows and movies.

Johnson hasn’t seen any episodes yet.


Get peak at the Cheney High School band uniforms in this trailer or go to Netflix and watch the beginning of Season 3 Episode 7.


“I’m going to start watching it now. It’s a show I’ve wanted to watch,” he said. Even though he hasn’t seen any of the first two seasons, he’s willing to risk spoilers to jump into season 3 to see the scene with his school’s old uniforms.

Cheney purchased new uniforms in time for the 2017-18 school year. They were the first new band uniforms the school had in at least a quarter century. Johnson wasn’t sure when the old uniforms were purchased, but he guessed around 1992.

The old uniforms were sold online. Johnson said he had thought they might be purchased by a school starting a new band program that couldn’t afford the cost of new uniforms, which run several hundred dollars apiece. Another possibility was that the uniforms could be rented for theater productions, such as the show “The Music Man.”

Instead, Cheney’s uniforms can be seen in the latest season of “Stranger Things.”

“I think people will get a kick out of it,” Johnson said. “People have been asking for a year what happened to them.”

“Stranger Things” is an American science fiction/horror show set in the 1980s. Based in the fictional Indiana town of Hawkins, it is about a young boy who disappeared in the midst of supernatural events. Stars include Winona Rider, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Paul Reiser and Sean Astin. Season 3 is set in 1985, just a few years before Cheney High’s old uniforms were made.