Drum Corps’ Pioneers coming here

By BRENT MAZE,

Union Public Schools and First Baptist Church of Union will be hosting over 100 top-notch drum and bugle corps for a day of rehearsals as they make their way to performance contests across the Deep South.

The Pioneers, a Drum Corps International organization based in Milwaukee, Wisc., will be spending just under 24 hours on July 26 in Union to rest and rehearse for two contests on July 27 and 28 in Dothan, Ala., and Atlanta.

Union High School band director Adam DeVenney said he is excited about the opportunity to host them in here.

“This is like the NFL of marching bands,” Devenney said. “It would be like the New Orleans Saints calling us up and asking if they could practice in Union. It’s an honor for us to host them here.”

Devenney told the Union School Board on Monday that East Central Community College Wall ‘O Sound director Ed Girling gave the Pioneers a list of places including Union to call to see if they could use their facilities.

The band is scheduled to pull into town around 3 a.m. July 26 and will hold three rehearsals during the day beginning at 9 a.m. The school and the church will be providing space for the 105 students who span in age from 17 to 21 years old and around 40 staff members. They will also need hookups for water and electricity for its own food truck.

All of the rehearsals are open to the public, and DeVenney hopes many from here and surrounding areas will be able to come and watch.

“This was supposed to be a band camp day for us, but we cancelled it to house them,” DeVenney said. “We hope our students will see this and spark an interest in drum corps and marching band. And we are planning to go see them again on Saturday at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta for the DCI Southeastern Championships.”