Friday, March 17, 2006

'Conky' Wins 1st Ontario - Michigan Jr. Championship
By Sam Berdan
DCN July 11, 1962

Sarnia, Ontario, June 3 - In one of the most interesting contests, the "Conqueror" (Hamilton Optimists Drum & Bugle Corps) won the first Ontario - Michigan Junior Championship, by a wide margin over three other competing corps, in the first international junior "B" corps competition. This was the first M&M contest ever held in Sarnia, and it proved to be quite successful.

Some readers may dispute the statement in the previous paragraph. Please bear in mind that for several years now, the Sarnia Lionettes have staged their annual spectacles with M&M corps, under the title of "Pageant of Drums". These, however, always were exhibitions, not contests, although in some of them, the corps participating were judged just as if they had been competing.

The "Cavalcade of Music" was unique in several ways. For example, none of the Canadian corps which competed, or put on exhibitions, had more than three years' competition experience, and all but two, (Hamilton Optimists, and Brantford Belltones) were entirely new corps, having been organized within the past 6 or 9 months. On the other hand, the one American corps which competed was the "Green Hornets" of Grand Rapids, Michigan - a corps that is enjoying its 16th season of competition. It is interesting to note that Brantford "Belltones", under Drum Major Ross Baker, had only tried out their show the Thursday evening prior to the contest, and went on in spite of knowing that things might easily go wrong.

As a preliminary to the main contest, the host corps, the newly organized "Marching Angels" led a parade of all the competing and exhibition corps to Norman Perry Stadium, to set the stage for the contest. The only unit in this parade which did not participate actively in the contest was the "Westernaire" Majorette Corps of Sarnia, which marched behind the host corps.

The competition followed an introduction of all the corps, as they paraded by the stands to the delight of everyone. Each one in their turn was introduced to the audience by the M.C., Mr. O'Hagen, the programme manager of Sarnia's radio station, CHOK. (I might comment here, that Mr. O'Hagen did a very fine job as M.C. and explained many of the points of the contest which he thought people would find interesting.)

The competition part of the contest began with "York Lions" Drum & Bugle Corps of Toronto, coming off the line first. Under the direction of Drum Major Doug Saunders (with whom I had the privilege of meeting after the contest), this newly organized corps gave the audience many a reason for applause, as they really put on a good performance for the length of time they have been going. Included in their music is a lot of music formerly played by De LaSalle "Oaklands": "Without a Song", "September in the Rain", "Stranger in Paradise" and "In the Still of the Night". For the impressive color presentation, they played the hymn "Abide With Me", which is an outstanding part of their musical show. Their drum line seemed to be particularly good, and they had good power and tone in their horn line, which everyone enjoyed.

The "Conqueror" of Hamilton left no doubt as to what they are like this year. This is the first time I have heard them since the 1961 Canadian Nationals, and their improvement has been remarkable. They fielded a 25-man horn line with a large 16-man color guard, plus a powerful drum line of 12. Their music was very interesting and quite well presented, and included such favorites as: "Land of the Pharoahs", "No Other Love", "Grand Entry March", "Taking a Chance on Love", "Hail Fanfare", "Theme from Conqueror of the Ages", "Tropicana", "Full Moon and Empty Arms" , "Gladiator March" (by Sousa), and "Green Leaves of Summer". This corps, which is being helped very much by the "Conky" (Jim McConkey), and from what could be seen in this contest, is shaping up to be one of the most interesting of Canadian junior corps, and is well worth watching.

Third to compete was the very popular "Green Hornets" of Grand Rapids, which was engaging in its first contest on Canadian soil. They played a lot of interesting music, and their horn line came through quite well at times. Their best part of the show is the color presentation "America, the Beautiful" and "Your a Grand Old Flag". Other music includes "Your Cheatin' Heart" and "Stranger in Paradise", "Lonely Guitar" and a very interesting rendition of "Rock Around The Clock". While they did not come very near to the terrific show of the former corps, they did put on a very interesting and entertaining show, and they had a very large group for a cheering section, who traveled a long way to attend this contest.

The final corps to compete was the Brantford "Belltones", under drum major Ross Baker. This corps also presented a fine show for the length of time they have been performing it (they had only begun it on the Thursday evening before the contest). One peculiar thing about their corps was a horn player in a contrasting uniform to the rest of the corps (he wore a blue one instead of a yellow one, which the rest of the corps had). They played a medley of music almost like a "Lanin" medley, with just enough of each selection being heard to be able to recognize it. Most of them were familiar "Sing-Along" type of pieces, such as: "Tonight", "Just Because", "Isle of Capri", "Lady of Spain" and "Skip to My Lou". The color presentation, "Faith of Our Fathers" was the most effective music they played. They seemed to suffer from lack of preparation more than anything else, and once they learn their M&M, they should have a very fine show.

An outstanding exhibition was then put on by the guest corps, the newly organized "Sertomanaires" of Sarnia, under the direction of Drum Major Larry Williams. Their music is all arranged by Johnny Bond, who was formerly the music arranger for the Sarnia Lionettes. He has done a fine job with this corps, which, as many may remember, made a complete change from a prize-winning Concert Band to a very respectable Drum & Bugle Corps, since last autumn. I believe a lot of people were very favorably impressed with the music of this corps, and with its performance, which was quite good. Their music (which was played for the first time before an audience) included, "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Rio Rita". This corps promises to be very strong, with a fine horn line and a very well balanced drum line, as well as an excellent color guard. They played as much of their music (at the standstill) as they have down.

The final exhibition of Marching and Maneuvering was by the host, "Marching Angels", and it must be quite interesting to many drum corps readers and fans, that this corps is coming along as well as it is. I am sure that many of the loyal fans of this newly organized all-girl corps were amazed at the sound of the horn line, especially, and the music they were playing. Included are such favorites as "Little Girl", "Hello, Everybody, Hello" and "O, You Beautiful Doll". In their concert, "I'll Be Seeing You" is quite outstanding, as is the color presentation "Onward Christian Soldiers". "Canadian Sunset" is also an outstanding selection. They certainly deserve a lot of credit for the progress they have made, and everyone will be watching them as they continue to progress.

Words and remarks of congratulations were the order of the day, after the contest, as many Sarnia fans were treated to a very fine show. Some of them, who could not, it seemed, afford to pay the admission fee, watched the show from outside the park, but they seemed to enjoy it from that vantage point. If they had been able to afford the admission fee, it would have assured the financial success of the first M&M contest ever held in Sarnia.

After the contest, the corps personnel enjoyed an informal get together in the Rose Garden Roller Rink, in Point Edward, Ontario.

Bill Mann, corps director of this new corps, and his busy staff of helpers need not be ashamed of the show they worked so hard to put on. It was well presented and well performed.

Cambridge Caballeros 1962

Cabs Win N.H. V.F.W. Competition
DCN July 11, 1962

Nashua, N.H., June 10 - The Cambridge, Mass. Caballeros won the open Class"A" competition and the Portsmouth Golden Eagles the Northern New England Assn. closed contest here today at the N.H. State V.F.W. championships.

The scores:
Caballeros .......................... 86.50
Crusaders .......................... 81.15
Warriors ............................ 75.20
Musketeers ........................ 73.50

Northern N.E. (closed)
Golden Eagles ................... 72.70
Spartans ........................... 72.20
Graniteers ........................ 71.90
Scarlet Cadets ................... 68.55
Pine Tree Warriors ........... 59.00

Skyliners Win 2nd 'Dream Corps' show
By Tom Gilmartin
Drum Corps News July 11, 1962

Milford, Conn., June 30 - The second annual "Dream Corps on Parade" contest held in this city tonight turned into a nightmare for those corps competing, whether losing or winning. Those corps finishing in the top spots couldn't believe some of the scores received by their competitors, and those on the bottom were as equally, if not more, surprised at the outcome.

The N.Y. Skyliners, sporting a superb all-around show, captured a hard fought first place spot and were over 7 points ahead of the last place corps; Yankee Rebels. The Skyliners also captured high horns with a score of 26.80 and high drums with a score of 27.10. The Archer-Epler Musketeers of Upper Darby, Pa., captured the best Drum Major award. Two corps, Archie and the Yankee Rebels, each received 1 point flag penalties.

The scores announced at retreat ceremonies are as follows:
1. Skyliners ......................... 87.40
2. Reading Buccaneers ...... 83.08
3. Reilly Raiders ................. 82.10
4. Archer-Epler .................. 80.94
5. Yankee Rebels ................ 80.14


The local Milford Police Cadets were the first corps on the field with a fine exhibition routine. A good showing for the large audience.

From that point on, began the competing corps for the evening. First off the line were the Baltimore Yankee Rebels. The Rebels came off the starting line with power plus in horns and drums, but hit a little shaky in M&M. The M&M quickly straightened out and the "Chesapeake Bay Boys" sported their finest show yet this season. The crowd appeal was not at its highest point, as all first on the field corps can vouch for, but this corps was still able to work for good applause and a standing ovation as they left the field. The Rebels never lost that hard power from the time of the "Rebel Yell", to the last strain of music.

The second corps on the field, Reilly Raiders, had real "hot" crowd appeal in their horn spin when they again made it with no heads getting knocked off from the lashing horns, the "sitting on knee" routine in "Mandy", and those strong solos. Power, Plus! It seems Reilly is now working on the Buddy System. They don't leave that poor soloist out there on the field all by his lonesome for that high-G in "Irish Eyes".

Archie!! Nice, Nice, Nice! One of the VERY few corps left in the country that can have the fans jumping in their seats with a routine of marches. That famous Archie-sounding horn line is still with it, and they really prove that they have what it takes in that "Camelot" concert. We are still waiting to see King Arthur and the round table appear to top it all off. A real broadway drama sound came through at the finish line with the roll by a tenor drummer on the bass drum.

The Reading Buccaneers hit the people with a nice sounding horn line on "Maria" and "Climb Every Mountain". "Muskrat Ramble" is still the good crowd pleaser it was last season. This corps had a nice, smooth show in all captions. "Beyond the Sea" going off the field has real class.

The N.Y. Skyliners, gathering up the biggest applause of the evening, hit the field real strong and never faltered in a real stylish show. This corps, ended up with an easy win score over all opposition, played and marched hard right to the very end. As a matter of fact, they looked, on the finish line, like a corps that was trying to SQUEEZE out a close win.

The Bridgeport Troopers, second exhibition corps of the night, looked much improved over past seasons, and they should prove a threat to some of the "top guns" in the Northeast. They had a real pleasing show. Glad to see the "Bunny Hop" being played with no jumping.

Judges for the competition were from the Eastern States Contest Judges Association, and are as follows: M&M, A. Kazazian and J. Meyer; Drums, E. Fitzgerald and J. Mallen; Bugles, B. Baggs and P. Mahfouz; GE, M. Petrone on M&M, W. Carrig on bugles, and E. Pierce on drums.

Madison Wins At Cedarburg
Drum Corps News July 11, 1962

Cedarburg, Wis., June 24 - The Madison Scouts won their second contest here today, topping their namesakes from Racine.

The Racine Kilties were third, and Norwood Park Imperials finished fourth, nearly three points behind Madison.

The scores:
1. Madison Scouts ...................... 86.60
2. Racine Scouts ......................... 84.15
3. Racine Kilties .......................... 83.95
4. Norwood Imperials ................. 83.85
5. St. Matthias Cadets ................ 78.25
6. Rockford Knights ................... 77.25
7. Morton Cougars ...................... 71.60
8. Starlites .................................... 71.40
9. Kenosha Shoreliners ............. 70.00
10. Our Lady of Mercy ............... 68.20
11. Royal Guards ........................ 66.35
12. Royal Emperors .................... 62.90
13. Kiltie Kadets ......................... 60.10

Garfield Wins Sac Contest
Drum Corps News July 11, 1962

Newark, N.J., June 16 - The Garfield Cadets headed a field of eight junior corps to win a show held here tonight at Newark City Stadium by the Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights.

Garfield's 83.99 effort topped runner-up St. Catherine's Queensmen, who posted an 82.32. The other corps trailed badly.

The scores:
Garfield Cadets ............ 83.99
St. Catherines .............. 82.32
St. Lucy's .................... 78.80
Bracken Cavaliers ........ 78.16
Woodsiders ................. 77.87
St.Raphael's ................. 74.06
St. Patrick's ................. 73.85
St. Rose ...................... 66.71

California Drumbeat
By Melvyn Lee
Drum Corps News July 11, 1962

"The Fastest Growing Corps In The West", the Richmond Hawks, announced their 1962 repertoire in a recent interview with Hawk Manager, Thomas Wuetrich.

It will include "March of the Olympians", "El Capitian", "No Other Love" (from Victory at Sea for concert), "Irish Fanfare", "Little Bit of Heaven", "I Could Have Danced All Night", "Amour", and "Lovely Way To Spend An Evening".

The Hawks, under the able directorship of Bill Medina, will hit the competition field with 21 horns, 7 drummers, and 10 color guards. Each season the Hawks participate in many functions. Recently, they have participated in parades in Sausalito and East Oakland; 1st anniversary of Lucky Lanes (bowling) in Richmond, and the 24th Annual Moose Picnic. Throughout the years, the Hawks have put on tremendous performances. I am sure that this year will be no different.

Santa Rosa - The first field exhibition of the Northern California season was held on May 19 in Santa Rosa. Participating drum and bugle corps in this non-competitive exhibition were the Caballeros of Stockton and Cathay of San Francisco.

Both corps presented their field show to the public for the first time. Although lacking in horns, the Caballeros put on a most outstanding show. The ever-popular "Cherry Pink" was greeted by the crowd with great enthusiasm.

The Cathay Drum and Bugle Corps drilled in their new uniforms for the first time under field conditions. "Fanny" concert to be one of the big ones this year. Both corps thought that this exhibition helped tremendously. There is nothing like performing before a live audience. Much could be learned from the recordings taken at the show.

TIDBITS: Let it be known that the CHAMPION drill team from Santa Rosa are not CHAMPIONS but CAMPIONS, although they are National CHAMPIONS. You figure it out. Forgot to include "Wonderful, Wonderful" in Cathay's repertoire. Haven't heard from ANY of the judges yet. I am wondering if they will answer. Still Waiting.