UNION — Parents of Union County High School Marching Band members are asking for support from the community.
The Union County High School Marching Band will compete in the finals of the South Carolina State Championships at Batesburg-Leesville High School this Saturday, and band grandparent Dolly Pittman said she would like to see the band receive the same amount of support given to other student activities.
“We all need the support,” Pittman said. “We want Union County citizens to participate in cheering on the band as they go to the state competition.”
Pittman and other supporters of the band — which has been affectionately known as “The Sting Machine” for decades — plan to line Main Street at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday to cheer as the band heads out of Union for a final competition.
Saturday will mark the band’s fifth competition this year. On Sept. 29, the band competed in the Boiling Springs Festival of Bands and won First Place and the award for High Music in Class IV, which also included Gaffney, Greer, Mid-Carolina and South Pointe high schools.
On Oct. 6, the band won Third Place and an award for Outstanding Drum Line in Class 4-A during the James F. Byrnes Tournament of Bands.
On Oct. 13, the band competed in the Chesnee Eagle Classic to win Fourth place in Class 3-A.
Band Director Matt Chastain said competition classes are based on band size and can be relative to the size of other bands in the competition.
Last Saturday, the band competed in the South Carolina Upper State Championships, scoring an 89.95 and ranking seventh out of 20 bands.
The Sting Machine’s show this year is themed “Colors.” It starts as a landscape without color and gradually progresses into a colorful masterpiece.
“It goes from a blank canvas to full color,” Chastain said.
The show opens with “Over the Rainbow,” which is followed by Rolling Stones classic “Paint It Black.” Then comes the ballad, “Aquarium,” and the finale, “Color Chant,” which is a percussion feature with a recap of “Over the Rainbow.” During the finale, a backdrop with a large prism is revealed.
“There is color all over the field,” Chastain said.
As for the band’s competition this Saturday, Chastain said he doesn’t know what to expect.
“It’s hard to compare because we haven’t even seen any of the lower state bands yet,” Chastain said, pointing out that the goal of competition is not to beat the other bands.
“The goal is always to go out and be better than the week before,” Chastain said. “So far this season, we’ve certainly done that.”
Find more information regarding the Union County High School Sting Machine on the Union County Band Aide Club website at www.unioncountybands.org.
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.