“The Pride” heads south with stops planned in Mercer County, North Carolina

PRINCETON — Members of “The Pride of West Virginia,” WVU’s Mountaineer Marching Band, open the 2018 performance season in Mercer County today with a show at Princeton’s Hunnicutt Stadium.

It’s one of the stops the Pride is making en route to North Carolina. WVU football takes on Tennessee at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Charlotte.

“The students are extremely excited,” said Teresa Russell, data and information specialist for Mercer County Schools.

“For the most part, many of our students may not have the opportunity to see a college band performance.”

Nine buses will carry about 400 band members into Mercer County.

Gates open to the public at 11 a.m. at Hunnicutt Stadium for a noon performance, scheduled to last 20 to 30 minutes.

Almost 5,200 Mercer County school students from different grade levels at all 27 county schools are scheduled to attend, along with community members.

Princeton last saw the Pride in 2014.

“We hope this will spike interest with our middle school students to have more of them enroll in band and choir classes at the high school level,” Russell said.

After the Princeton stop, the band continues south with an 8:30 p.m. performance scheduled at Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem, N.C.

On Saturday, the Pride performs both pre-game and halftime shows at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

MetroNews GameDay coverage starts at noon Saturday on the MetroNews Radio Network and at wvmetronews.com.

The trip for WVU’s band is being paid for with help from the Pride Travel Fund, established through WVU Foundation.

Also on the travel schedule are the Sept. 15 North Carolina State game in Raleigh, N.C., and the 2018 Buckwheat Festival on Sept. 29 in Kingwood.

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