The public will get an early look at the county’s high school marching bands at the Union County Marching Band Preview on Sept. 13.
This is the eighth year Marvin Ridge has hosted the event, which is the first gathering of all of the bands in a competition setting. Judges are brought in to provide early-season feedback to each band.
The event kicks off 4 p.m. at the Marvin Ridge High School football stadium. Admission is $5 per person.
Beth Kitteringham of the Marvin Ridge Band Boosters said nine of the 10 Union County High School marching bands have confirmed their attendance. The lineup is Piedmont, Forest Hills, Parkwood, Cuthbertson, Weddington, Sun Valley, Monroe, CATA, and Marvin Ridge.
As host band, Marvin Ridge will take the field for the final performance about 9:30 p.m.
An incredible amount of work goes into a halftime performance by a high school marching band. In addition to mastering instruments, members must learn intricate steps and formations, all while playing a particular piece of music.
Practice begins in the blistering heat of summer with two straight weeks of 13-hour days, and performances can continue through the pre-winter chill of November.
In addition to performances at football games, bands compete at local, statewide and national competitions, involving creative sets, staging and performances by both musicians and precision teams of pit ensembles and color guards.
A team of dedicated parent boosters who help with sets and transportation also supports each successful band.
“Each band selects a variety of challenging music that ties to their show theme,” Kitteringham said. “They will put on a one-of-a-kind performance that involves playing the music and marching in a variety of formations.
“Most bands have a variety of props or theatrical sets that further support the theme and add interest. A color guard also accompanies the marching musicians to provide a colorful visual element to the marching band by combining the elements of dance and flag work.
“There is also a front pit ensemble that musically supports the overall performance.”
Kitteringham said the competition is a family oriented event that entertains all ages with music, dancing, flags and fun.
There also will be a full selection of homemade dinner items, including baked goods, available at the band-booster-supported concessions and bake sale table.
CMC-Union ‘Stuff the Bus’
CMC-Union sees its mission as something more than providing first-class health care for Union County.
Employees also find time in their busy schedules to open their hearts and wallets for the benefit of the less fortunate.
Readers may recall that last Christmas, the team donated 181 new bicycles to the Union County Christmas Bureau for distribution to the needy.
Caroline Lilly, communications associate for Corporate Communications, Marketing & Outreach for Carolinas HealthCare System, said the latest effort has been to provide school tools and supplies for the coming school year.
Lilly said approximately 1,400 Carolinas HealthCare System employees from CMC-Union, CMC-Waxhaw and Hospice of Union County participated in a campaign called “Stuff the Bus.”
They collected needed school supplies such as backpacks, rulers, tape and small calculators to be donated to the Union County Division of Social Services. After collecting items for two weeks, a school bus parked outside CMC-Union on Aug. 8 to collect the supplies.
Volunteers from all departments helped “stuff the bus” with the collected school supplies.
In total, CMC-Union workers collected a total of 8,219 items for distribution.
“The response to this year’s ‘Stuff the Bus’ drive from CMC-Union teammates was overwhelming,” said Hollis Breeden, senior human resources consultant for Carolinas HealthCare System. “It’s a great feeling to know that Carolinas HealthCare System was able to help make a positive difference in the lives of many children this school year.”