Clubhouse Family Tree: The Colony HS

The Colony High School Band unveiled their trailer on October 4th, 2020, in grand fashion. Flanked by police escorts and heralded with a water arch from the fire department upon arrival, this 53’ custom build was the first-ever total-electric trailer The Clubhouse produced. 

New features in the trailer included an electric ramp, interior electric stairs, electric side stairs with integrated handrail, electric Tubavator and a custom-branded golf cartThe project was funded entirely by an anonymous donor.

The Colony High School Band Director, Michael Larkin, shared his experience.

What initially motivated you to want a trailer?  

“I’ve always seen a trailer as a point of pride at competitions. I always felt inadequate not meeting a higher standard when it came to transportation and having a stronger visual identity for the program.”

What transportation process were you using? What were the challenges with that process?  

“We were renting 5-6 box trucks every time we traveled. It was a challenge to find enough drivers each time that would take on the responsibility and liability of driving the trucks. We also had to work with a truck rental company to reserve the trucks, and they weren’t very reliable. It was also a challenge to load the trucks because there was only one entrance point for each truck. Having so many trucks also increases the chances of maintenance issues. After one of our games last year, a truck wouldn’t go into drive so it was stuck there for a while and had a delay in returning. We had to wait for it to return to unload it. “

Describe the process of designing your trailer with Clubhouse Trailer Company.  What stood out to you during those planning conversations?

“Working with Clubhouse Trailer Company was a very smooth process. Drew and Jeff guided the way, and I was at ease the entire time. I was blown away when I visited The Clubhouse. The people, process and product are impeccable. The process is well thought out; the product is undeniably innovative and creative. The craftsmanship is top notch, and the people are awesome. The customer service is what stood out the most. The Clubhouse made us feel really important and that our input was important. I was also really impressed with how the delivery was set up. There was a team effort that really helped to make the unveiling a special event for us.”

What features of our trailers were especially appealing during the design process?  What trailer feature were you most excited to see in action for your program?

“The fact that everything is electrical is really neat. I love that solar panels on the roof of the trailer harness the power of the sun and use that throughout the trailer. I also thought it was incredible that The Clubhouse uses 3D printers to make many of their parts from recycled plastic bottles. We are definitely excited about the TUBAVATOR! That thing is so cool. In doing a practice loading of our trailer, we also lifted some lighter pit equipment to fit on the top deck as well.”

Did you consider any other trailer providers?  

“Yes, there were some that we looked at and also considered building ourselves.  None of the companies that we looked at were as reliable or had as much experience as The Clubhouse. Nothing on the planet matches the quality of a Clubhouse Trailer.”

What were your emotions throughout the process, specifically related to the financials and the offer from your anonymous donor?   

“I was blown away at the generosity of our anonymous donor. Someone sees enough value in me, and the program, to invest in such a way and it’s an incredible feeling. The fact that it was an anonymous gift is such a humbling experience, and I hope that the donor knows that their investment will pay off, and the value of our program has certainly increased instantly with this trailer. “

What was going on in your mind and your student’s minds throughout the build process?  At what point were students aware that they were getting a trailer?  

“I really just couldn’t wait on getting our trailer here. I announced that we would be getting a trailer at our winter concert last year.  The students became very excited, and much talk went into what it was going to look like.  I decided not to show the artwork so that it would be more of a surprise when it got here. I was really antsy in the end, and wanted the trailer to get here sooner so we could all be in awe of its presence.”

What did the unveiling mean to you and your program?

“The delivery and unveiling was a really great experience, especially during a tough time with the pandemic. It brought much needed excitement to our program. It also brought our community together with the help of firefighters and our police officers, and it continues to bring our community together after-the-fact.”

What feature or features of the trailer are you most excited about now that it is parked at your school?

Definitely the Tubavator and also the rear ramp. It’s quite impressive. I also REALLY like that it has many entry points, which will allow us to load in multiple locations all at one time. The best overall feature is really just showing the trailer off. The artwork is really great and everyone loves driving past it.

What would you like to say to other band directors out there about what a trailer can do for their programs?    

“Three of the most valuable things to a band program are time, money and an identity. A trailer helps us save valuable time in loading and unloading equipment. Renting 5-6 box trucks every trip and paying for the gas becomes quite pricey, so a single trailer saves us quite a bit of money as well. We will be able to lower band fees because of this. The third is the most exciting: I’ve always wanted to feel at the top of our game in all aspects of our program, including the way we travel. When we travel to games or contests and pull up with our trailer, it lets everyone know that The Colony has arrived. Not just the band or the school, but also the entire community. 

The whole process has been really fun and exciting. Clubhouse Trailers is a world class organization, and I can’t thank them enough for not only putting out an incredible product, but also for the great experience they provide. I also want to take every public opportunity I can to thank the donor. It’s the best feeling in the world to know that someone sees the value in what you are doing. Thank you to an incredibly humble and amazing human for doing such a selfless thing. I hope that you will see your investment grow overtime, and I hope we will make you proud.”