The UNC Charlotte “Pride of Niner Nation” Marching Band has been selected as the official band to represent the United States in Normandy, France, in June 2018. The performance will mark the 74th anniversary of D-Day. Each year, one band is chosen to represent the U.S. at the D-Day commemoration. The honor was historically reserved for official military bands, but in recent years has been assigned to university marching bands of distinction.
The “Pride of Niner Nation” Marching Band made its debut on September 12, 2015, at the first UNC Charlotte home football game last season. The 2015-16 band had 145 students representing 40 different majors and all colleges in the University. Dr. Jeffrey Miller is the director of athletic bands. The band’s second season begins on August 7 with a two-week band camp.
“This is a great honor,” said Jay Grymes, chair of the Department of Music. “Given the newness of our marching band, this invitation confirms that we are receiving national recognition for the quality of our program.”
The band has been invited to give multiple performances during the week-long stay in France in 2018, including a parade performance in the village of Sainte-Mere-Eglise, the first village to be liberated by American troops in 1944. Additional performances include official public ceremonies at the St. James Cemetery and the Normandy American Cemetery.
The University hopes to send 150 musicians to France. Students will be asked to cover a portion of the costs themselves; the band will raise funds to cover the rest.
May 18 article from The Charlotte Observer.