As fall approaches, we think of football, cool mornings, everything pumpkin spice and for many students and parents across Union County ... marching band season.

In addition to providing entertainment and excitement at football games, many marching bands compete with each other at local, statewide and national competitions. 

They begin practicing in early August and after many hours, create a show that includes music, marching formations, theatrical props and a color guard that incorporates dance, flags, sabres, and rifles to enhance the music. 

The show is a culmination of dedication from directors, instructors, musicians, guard members and parents.

The public is invited to enjoy a sneak peak of the 2021 season at the 14th Annual Union County Marching Band Premier on Sept. 18 hosted by Marvin Ridge High School.

This is an early performance in a competition setting that provides each band feedback from leading marching band judges. 

The event kicks off at 5 p.m. on September 18th at the Marvin Ridge High School football stadium. All eleven of the Union County High School Marching bands will participate to kick off the competition season and present their shows. Those schools include Cuthbertson, Monroe, Weddington, Union Academy, Porter Ridge, CATA, Forest Hills, Sun Valley, Piedmont, Parkwood and Marvin Ridge. 

There will be a full selection of food available. 

Each show lasts under 15 minutes and families can come and go at will. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. The first band will take the field at 5 p.m. Marvin Ridge will perform last as the host band, around 9:15 p.m. The cost is $5 per person.

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