Historical Drum Corps Publications
A permanent home to share my family collection of Drum Corps publications. My Mom started this collection in the 40s. This is my labor of love. I hope you all enjoy these articles / scores / pictures... as much as we have over the decades. History must be preserved. This is my lil corner / contribution to the drum corps community (online). A place for all of us to live, relive, learn, love and share in our passionate hobby. Please feel free to add comments, share your experiences, stories, etc.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
The Contra Bass
By Donald E. Angelica
DCN Aug. 8, 1962 issue
In order to dispel some of the rumors that have been generated by the contra bass and by both Garfield and Hawthorne's use of it. I have decided to discuss the horn and its utilization. The way the soprano bugle is related to the trumpet is the relationship of the contra to the Eb tuba. It is a bell front instrument with one valve and is pitched in the key of G (as are all bugles used in competition by most American corps.)
The function of the contra in my mind is to provide the drum and bugle corps with the one member of the brass family of instruments not available to them. This is the tuba. With the regular bass horns we can play a good standard bass part 1 octave below the french horns, however once we extend below this octave we run into overtone problems and must utilize out of tune rotaries to produce any kind of melodic bass line, (which any arranger will tell you is a fundamental for a good arrangement). SO HERE WE FIND THE NECESSITY FOR THE CONTRA...IT IS TO PROVIDE AN INSTRUMENT WHICH WILL ENABLE US TO WRITE AND PERFORM IN TUNE, MELODIC BASS LINES WHICH ARE THE FOUNDATION OF GOOD ARRANGEMENTS, IN THE TRUE BASS REGISTER.
I understand and appreciate the position of the American Legion on this matter, they wish to see if the majority of Legion corps wishes to utilize them before officially approving them. I also rejoice at the musical sagacity of Tony Schlechta in realizing the need for a true bass bugle and approving them for all V.F.W. contests. It was a difficult decision to make and I thank both organizations for their consideration of the contra. There have been many pros and cons discussed about the horns, I have worked with them and will now discuss my reaction to the horn. It is an instrument long overdue in drum corps circles, it is a true bass horn with all the characteristics of a tuba, it posseses a certain depth and resonance not afforded us by the regular bass bugle, it allows us to use a melodic bass line and affords us better intonation than the E and F rotaries did, it enables us to have complete brass choir instrumentation while still retaining all the basic characteristics of a bugle.
To those critics who feel that this is a step away from drum corps instrumentation I say let us lock up the slides, let us get rid of the french horn and the bass bugle and let us return to the music played 25 years ago. This is certainly not an effort to make a band of the drum and bugle corps, it is an effort to further the musical values of the bugle line, it is an effort to raise the quality of musical arrangements, it is an effort to solve the problem of poor intonation in the low register, and most important an effort which will I am sure, provide a more musical drum corps show. To those who say it is an awkward looking instrument let me state that I have seen some people make a soprano horn look awkward, and I am quite sure those who have seen Garfield and Hawthorne with the contra will not accuse them of looking awkward, if anything it adds a new effectiveness to the visual picture of the show. It is in my opinion, if handled properly, an aristocratic instrument which is not only a musical asset but also a visual one.
In closing let me say that of course the contra has not been utilized fully by any corps. It will be necessary to experiment and find new and varied uses for this new, new instrument, however once it is approved by both the American Legion and the V.F.W. (which I am sure it will be), expect to hear many new and thrilling sounds from the contra bass bugle.
"Northwest" Century 21
By John J. Broderick
DCN Aug. 8, 1962
The 4th of July competition was held in Everett, Washington with a big upset in the Junior competition. Three Juniors and two Seniors competed before a crowd of 8,000.
In the Junior competition, the SHAMROCKS of Seattle, took first with a score of 89.1. The THUNDERBIRDS of Seattle were second with a score of 87.4. The BLUE ANGELS of Seattle took third with a score of 82.9. This is the first time the Thunderbirds have been beaten in a field competition. An upset was predicted for this year but not this early in the season.
All Juniors put on a terrific show. The THUNDERBIRDS of Seattle seemed to be the crowd pleasers with their GE-packed show. The SHAMROCKS have shown great progress this year and the BLUE ANGELS will be a close contender before long.
Thunderbirds' "Besame Mucho"; Shamrocks' "What A Difference A Day Makes"; and the Blue Angels' "When The Angels Sing", were the top numbers of the evening. Some comments from the audience were: "Thunderbirds overdo the concert by pulling too many individuals out of line". - "Shamrocks weak on concert". - "Blue Angels show uncertainty in their numbers". (new corps)
Girl Color Guard add much GE to all Juniors - Good Show!
Now for the Seniors.
The Everett Blue Knights took first with a score of 90.4. The Hurricanes took second with a score of 83.4. The Blue Knights show great improvement over last year and the audience knew they were first before the scores were announced. Comments from some in the audience were: " 'Grandfather's Clock' should be replaced; it has no crowd appeal." Drill is much improved over past years. Many predict this corps will be new Legion Senior Champion in August?
The Hurricanes of Seattle showed with a much smaller corps than the last four years. Completed their drill 2 days before competition and it showed. Much uncertainty in drum line - had top drum line for many years until this years. They had the lowest drum score of all corps, including juniors. The horns were not playing together. The Hurricanes need more togetherness in all captions.
Perpetual 4th of July flag donated to the Association four years ago by the Blue Knights was finally presented to them for the first time at this competition. The Blue Knights really celebrated that night.
John Broderick and Vince Tarasco
Back From France, Andrew Sabres Regain Win Trail
DCN Aug. 8, 1962
Auburn, Me., July 28 - Superiority in bugle execution and general effect evaluation was enough to give the Andrews Sabres the needed advantage to top a quartet of determined challengers this evening in Walton Field.
Recently returned from a highly successful journey to France for the Lions International conclave, the Portland, Maine, group were recipients of a final mark of 74.65 in this "Spectacular" handled by the Scarlet Cadets of Lewiston under the sanction of the Northern New England Association.
Second position was annexed by the Golden Eagles of Portsmouth with a smooth flowing performance highlighted by innovation of a new concert selection. The New Hampshire group posted a mark of 70.80.
Despite the absence of key personnel, the Milford Spartans salvaged an expected high percussion efficiency rating and an accompanying third position at 68.15.
Drill proficiency and an entertaining series of horn manipulations failed to pull the Graniteers of Rochester into higher position. The young Granit Staters settled in fourth position less than five tenths behind to Spartans at 67.70.
Fifth were the colorful St. Mary Cavaliers at 54.70 with lows in drum execution and general effect being instrumental in the downfall of the appealing Claremont youngsters.
Exhibitions were presented by the host, Scarlet Cadets, this season's junior Legion monarch in the Pine Tree State, and by the enormous St. Mary Cardinals of Beverly, Massachusetts, who weathered transportation breakdowns to put on a very entertaining presentation.
1962 Hawthorne, N.J. Caballeros
LIKE FATHER - Like his famous father, Ralph Silverbrand, D.M. of the Hawthorne Caballeros, 2 1/2 year-old Richie Silverbrand also receives trophies. This one was presented July 7 at "Music Under the Stars" at New Rochelle, N.Y., where Hawthorne presented an exhibition.
(Photo by Maurice D. Knox, Jr.) DCN Aug. 8, 1962
Royal Airs Annex 'Concert Of Corps'
DCN Aug. 8, 1962 issue
LAPORTE, Indiana, July 22 - The Chicago Royal Airs added another victory to their list of wins by winning the Concert Of Corps contest held here tonight.
Far out in front of all competition, the Royal Airs proved once again that they are a top contender for national honors this year.
Chicago Royal Airs .............. 87.84
Norwood Park Imperials ..... 79.40
Skokie Vanguards ............... 79.33
Racine Scouts ..................... 76.183
Morton Grove Cougars ........ 68.07
Custers Brigade .................. 64.39
Gator Bowl Honors Won By Vanguards, Goldcoasters
DCN August 8, 1962
CONGRADULATIONS to the Miami Vanguards and the Miami Goldcoasters for taking top honors in the 1st annual SOUTHEASTERN "Parade Of Champions" contest held in the Gator Bowl on Saturday July 14th before a small gathering of Southern drum corps fans. Under the guidance of Chief Judge, the three senior corps, five junior corps and competing color guards presented a fine evenings entertainment.
Junior Color Guards
1. Crusader Girls of Miami .... 93.00
4. Grenadiers of Miami .......... 89.50
1. Vanguards of Miami ......................... 90.595
2. Presidents of Tennessee ................. 86.250
3. Emerald Buccaneers, Jacksonville ... 74.700
4. St. Mary's Cadets, Georgetown, SC . 74.100
5. Grenadiers of Miami ......................... 68.200
1. Goldcoasters of Miami .... 91.06
2. Greenville, S.C. .............. 64.50
3. Gastonia, N.C. ............... 63.50
NOTES & VIEWS - Goldcoasters were the show-stopper. The "Lord's Prayer" by Bob Cotter's men was tops. The Women (yes wives) in the Goldcoasters Color Guard were very nice. Vanguards broke down on the highway and took sixteen hours to get to the contest and after a long, long, and so very hot ride, rushed into the stadium and stopped the show with a tremendous show. Hat's off to Dave Blakely and Bill Hayes, these boys are the best. Contest judging was way off according to most directors since one judge would score high, in drumming and the other was cutting the lines down. St. Mary's Cadets scored a 18.10 from one drum judge and a 2.0 from the other. The other captions were handled on an even keel but there was much concern over this problem. Sorry Harvey Seeds could not make the show.
Southern contests were ended for the season in Jacksonville (on July14th) and this is a shame. The top Southern outfits are now preparing to venture north to nationals to conclude their year.
CONGRADULATIONS to St. Mary's Cadets for concluding their 1962 season with a first place award in the Timmonsville Tobaco Festival on July 19th, just one day after they returned from Florida.
Two or three carloads of Carolinians are planning to travel to the DREAM contest in N.J. on August 25th, This is an annual trip for these Southernaires and it does all of us a lot of good to see the big outfits rolling full blast.
South Carolina has a high school band going completely Drum Corps style in M&M and uniforms. They are the LORIS MARCHING LIONS BAND and they will step out with an eight girl C.G., twin drum majorettes and eight drums and thirty four instruments. White satin blouses with white ten gallon Stetson cowboy hats will catch the Southern eyes starting August 13th.
Fleetwood, D.C.N. To Attend Nationals
(DCN August 8, 1962 issue)
The Fleetwood Records - Drum Corps News representatives will be at The Pines Motel in St. Paul during the V.F.W. Nationals. Corps members and fans are invited to visit us there.
The championship finals will be recorded by Fleetwood.
The next issue of Drum Corps News will be issued one week later than usual to allow for full news and pictorial coverage of the Nationals.
Set For VFW Nationals In Minneapolis
Hawthorne Undefeated After Baltimore Win
By Gene Des Jarlais
Drum Corps News Aug. 8, 1962
Baltimore, Md., July 21 - The Hawthorne Caballeros remained undefeated at the midpoint of the 1962 drum corps season by outlasting four top notch corps in the "March of Champions" held tonight in Baltimore Memorial Stadium. A throng of 9,000 fans watched the Conn. Hurricanes scramble into second place in one of the closest contests in four years.
It was a Hawthorne night, and the boys from Jersey held the crowd entranced with "Siboney", "Carmen", and "El Cid". This is the third consecutive year that Hawthorne has taken home the "March of Champions" championship flag.
In the battle for second place, the Connecticut Hurricanes eked ahead of Archer-Epler by .033 points. Introducing a new look, a new sound, and a new concert - major Joe Genaro, the Hurricanes presented a show based on the best music to come from the world of the stage and screen. This included "Maria", "Tonight", and a concert from "Porgy and Bess".
The Musketeers from Upper Darby, Penn. applied their rich horn line to such music as "Camelot", "Hallalujah", and "Younger Than Springtime".
The Skyliners from New York by way of Yonkers, presented their ever popular big city theme with and added "Twist".
The Buccaneers of Reading, Penn. thrilled the crowd with their "Big Sounds of 1962" which included such favorites as "Maria", "Carioca", and "Muskrat Ramble".
In the exhibition, the host corps, the Yankee Rebels, had the crowd in a frenzy with a wild arrangement and dance of "The Stripper".
Southern hospitality abounded everywhere and the boys of the Hamilton Yankee Rebels should be congratulated on a fabulous job. They should also be congratulated on the immediate correction of a tabulation error to the satisfaction of all corps concerned.
Hawthorne Cabs ........ 87.816
Conn. Hurricanes ...... 85.683
Archer-Epler .......... 85.650
Skyliners ............. 85.266
Reading Bucc. ......... 85.183
Improving St. Paul Scouts Leave For Worlds Fair
By Jim Ward
DCN Aug. 8, 1962 issue
Winning two of four contests during the month of July, the St. Paul Scouts departed for the Seattle World's Fair on Thursday, July 26.
Copping first place money at St. Peter, Minnesota on July 8, and again at Fort Dodge, Iowa on July 17, the Scouts have shown tremendous and steady improvement through the summer. In additionto these two contests, the corps placed second in Dubuque, Iowa only 1.8 behind Madison - and again were right behind Madison at LaCrosse, Wisconsin on July 15, this time by a spread of four points.
Featuring a repertoire of "El Cid", "America The Beautiful", "Two Different Worlds", "Where or When", "Diana", and the concert of "Intermission Riff", the Scouts have a clean and powerful sound this year. The drum line, just recently rebuilt, has been improving with every contest and is now going with three and three. Mike Gordaneir instructs M&M, Corky Whitlock teaches horns, and DM Roger Broderson works with the drum line. Stan Thullen replaces Bill Arnold as corps director.
In their win at Fort Dodge, the Scouts completely outclassed all opposition, winning by nearly seven points. Their show featured a clean, moving drill, powerful horns, and a fine color guard. They were the favorites of the crowd, as well.
Austin, Minn., July 16 scores:
Madison Scouts ........................ 84.6
St. Matthias Cadets .................. 73.9
Eau Claire Boys ........................ 73.7
Argonne Rebels ........................ 64.5
Cedar Rapids Cadets................ 63.2
Fort Dodge Lancers .................. 56.8
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 18:
St. Matthias Cadets ................... 75.0
Argonne Rebels ........................ 73.9
Eau Claire Boys ........................ 72.3
Spamtown Lancers ................... 62.7
Royal Guard .............................. 55.8
Fort Dodge Lancers .................. 54.4
Unfortunately, we do not have the scores from LaCrosse. Of the Midwestern invasion by the Argonne Rebels we may say that they are definitely not ready for big time competition, but judging from the scores, are improved over the Legion Nationals when we watched them take a sixth, as the judges, and their "Intermission Riff" brought down the house. There was no doubt in anyone's mind as to the outcome of the show when the Scouts had finished.
St. Matthias was well back in second, "Moon River" being the highlight of their show. They tied for high M&M with the Argonne Rebels, 0.1 ahead of the Scouts; were second to the Scouts in drums by 0.4; and were 4.1 back in horns, also for a second. The Scouts topped St. Matt's in GE by 2.5 and this score plus the big horn spread, accounted for the seven points difference in final score.
Only 0.5 points separated the next three corps, five points behind St. Matt's. The Cedar Rapids Cadets presented a confident and clean show to nose out the Argonne Rebels from Great Bend, Kansas, and the Eau Claire Boys. Cedar Rapids topped Argonne by three in drums to offset small margins in the other three captions, while Eau Claire lacked the GE and horn scores to move into third place. Eau Claire's drums again came up with a respectable score, quite a bit above the calibre of the rest of the corps' show.
The Spamtown Lancers were 5.5 back of Eau Claire in sixth, while the young Royal Guard from Wisconsin Rapids took a seventh.
Only 1.2 points separated the seven corps in M&M, but the spread was much greater in other captions.
St. Paul Scouts ................................ 81.4
St. Matthias Cadets .......................... 74.6
Cedar Rapids Cadets ....................... 69.7
Argonne Rebels ................................ 69.3
Eau Claire Boys ................................ 69.2
Spamtown Lancers ........................... 63.8
Royal Guard ...................................... 55.7
In addition to the Fort Dodge show, three others followed the July 14th Madison show. They were LaCrosse, Wisconsin on July 15th, Austin, Minnesota on July 16th and Cedar Rapids, Iowa on July 18th. Madison won at LaCrosse by four over the St. Paul Scouts with St. Matthias in third. At Austin, Madison topped the St. Matt's by 11 points with Eau Claire only 0.2 behind Matthias. In the last show at Cedar Rapids, St. Matthias topped the Argonne Rebels and the Eau Claire Boys.