By Mike Hutchens, UC Schools Communications Director
Union City, Tenn.–It’ll be all hands on deck Saturday for members of the Union City High School band.
Members of the March Golden Tornado contingent will shoulder a number of responsibilities and fill a variety of roles as hosts of the 34th annual Union City Invitational at War Memorial Stadium.
A total of 14 bands from three different states have committed to compete in the event, which has become one of the most prestigious of its kind every year in West Tennessee.
Noted out-of-state judges will again be brought in to grade the bands and their performances, according to UCHS Band Director Jason Deem, who insisted he’d need all of his 125-member group to handle the many jobs that go with putting on such an undertaking.
“So much goes into this and we need all of our kids to do things – some behind the scenes, and others that people see,” said Deem. “This is the biggest fundraiser that we do each year, and we always want to make sure we put on a first-class contest.
“Our kids are involved in every aspect. It’s a huge undertaking and we want it to go perfectly.”
Part of that, though, is up to Mother Nature, who forced cancellation of the event last year with heavy rains in the week leading up to the contest.
Deem, while noting the intense heat that has gripped the area this week, managed a wide grin when saying, “Thankfully this year, that doesn’t look like it’ll be a problem.”
The first band (Piggott, Ark.) will take the field at 12:30 p.m. Preliminary awards will be handed out at 3:45, with the finals accolades to be handed out at 9 p.m.
Admission is $10 to view the preliminary round and $10 to watch the finals. An all-day pass will be available for $15. Kids younger than 10 will be admitted for free.
Deem insisted it will be a great day for Union City Schools to show off its multiple campuses to those visiting bands and other band enthusiasts.
And he had high words of praise for all involved with making the contest a success.
“Our whole system will be on display,” Deem said. “Everyone not already familiar with Union City Schools will get to see our wonderful facilities that I just so happen to believe are the best around.
“From the turf management crew who’ll spend extra time on the field after the football game on Friday night, to all our workers and band member to our administration who allows us to have this great event, we’re truly blessed with a team that all pulls together to pull something like this off.”
The UCHS director also has specific words of thanks for Cox Oil Company, a longtime generous supporter of the band and the UC Invitational.
The Union City band will not perform at this year’s event, but will open its competition season next Saturday (Sept. 21) by participating in the South Gibson County Invitational at Medina.