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Marching Band to Perform at D-Day Ceremony

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 United States at the D-Day commemoration. The honor was reserved historically for official military bands, but, in recent years, it has been assigned to university marching bands of distinction.

"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 its 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.

Read-In Brings Elementary School Students to Campus

More than 100 third graders participated in the annual Literacy Alive! Read-In event on campus. Hosted by the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, and offered as an extension of the North Star Reading Partners Initiative, Literacy Alive! is meant to be a first step in preparing students to be college ready. Through a series of hands-on events, students from Newell Elementary got a firsthand look at college life and the importance of education.

The third graders took a walking tour of campus in the morning, and then talked with COED students about the college experience. In the afternoon, they built and raced "puffer cars," in the day’s STEM education activity and sat for interactive read alouds with students and faculty.

"All eyes were lit with a new purpose for education and a new heart for learning. The energy on their faces sparked a sense of determination and ownership in their choices," said Jen Boysko, Literacy Facilitator at Newell Elementary. Boysko said the opportunity to directly experience the college environment was invaluable for the young students.