Sunday, March 26, 2006

Pennsylvania Report
By Fay & Francis O'Donnell
DCN Aug. 8, 1962

Congratulations to Vasella, Archie, Westmoreland Esquires, and Meridain Woodpeckers' and Houston post 3 color guards, who were crowned Pa. American Legion Champions the evening of July 20th at Philadelphia's Olney High School Field.

The Scores and prize money:
Vasella - - 83.866 ($400)
Bracken - - 79.733 ($300)
Mann Rangers - - 72.066 ($200)
Palmer Chessmen - - 71.600 ($100)
Media Fawns - - 64.866 ($50)
Argonne - - 59.866

Senior Class "B"
Westmoreland Esquires - - 76.700 ($650)
Bangor Yellow Jackets - - 71.033 ($400)
Latrobe Colonials - - 69.183 ($300)
Milton Keystoners - - 68.250 ($100)
Tyrone Gardner Guards - - 67.166 ($75)
Warren Cornplanters - - 65.250 ($50)

Senior Class "A"
Archie - - 86.050 ($875)
Reilly - - 84.266 ($750)
Pittsburgh Rockets - - 83.283 ($500)
Hershey Chocolatiers - - 57.650

Color guard contest was held in the morning with these results:
Meridian Woodpeckers - - 89.9
Liberty Bell - - 88.85
Mann Rangers - - 87.85
Bishop Eagen - - 82.6
Houston Post #3 - - 90.8
Rawnhurst - - 88.0
Olney - - 86.7

Judging duties for the evening were evenly divided between Mid-Atlantic and Penna. All-American Associations. Although the contest got underway at 7:04 P.M., delays were caused by the flowery introductions of the corps and the introduction of Miss American Legion and the state commander.

The first corps of the evening, Palmer Chessmen, is also known as "Li'l Bangor" as all of their instructors are from the Yellow Jackets. The Chessmen present several marches with "Hail to the Chief" as their color presentation. To break the red and white of their uniforms, their color guard carried several flags which feature the chess-piece made popular by Palidin on varied colored fields. Incidentally, Bob George is mighty proud of his 13 year-old snare drummers!

Vasella's major, Jerry Powell, is noticeably attired in a white satin shirt and red trousers. And while we're mentioning things that are new - - the color guard has two new flags, one red background and one black, both with intersecting white diagonal stripes and a fleur-de-lis decorating each triangle of color. Must mention their tropical influence in music of "Mangoes" and "Bali Hai" plus the Dixie Land feeling produced by "Robt. E. Lee".

You may recognize Argonne by their regular name, Rising Sun. The all-girl color guard and guidon section is almost as many in number as their buglers. About their most recognizable numbers are "Whispering", "This is My Country", "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie" and "Going Home". Even though this corps is much larger than before, there's much work needed here.

This night Media Fawns had a substitute drum majorette, Joan DiAntonio, replacing Roe Apenbacher, who was unable to march due to a leg injury. The Fawns' repertoire is appropriate for an all-girl corps starting with "The Man I Love" fanfare into "I Enjoy Being A Girl" and "My Hero"!! The girls feature "Stardust" at concert followed by "Don't Blame Me", "I'm Just Wild About Harry" and "Blue Hawaii". This was the corps' first appearance at a State Legion contest.

Bracken Cavaliers' color guard is a show in itself. The outstanding work with their silks may have gone unnoticed as the girls are behind the corps proper part of the time. The audience seemed to appreciate Bracken's efforts, in particular - - "Love Letters".

Mann Rangers' new black, white and gold shirts are much more effective when you see then close than at a distance. To think that a Western Pa. corps had their hands on the Rangers' "Bill Bailey" and they sent it back! Turns out that this is just about the brightest part of their show. Their opening tune sounds suspiciously like the "Bugs Bunny" theme (actually titled "This Is It")! Seems that "High Society" may have lost something from last season.

What a difference a year makes! Tyrone's Gardner Guards have replaced most of their music, have a new drum major - - Robt. Albright, Guard commander - - Charlie Buck, and lots of new faces in the corps. With musical changes in the form of "Hello, My Baby", a concert of "Stranger In Paradise" and "Autumn Leaves", "King Cotton March", "Battle Hymn" fanfare, "Ghost Riders in the Sky", and "Varsity Drag" you would hardly recognize the Guards if it were not for their uniforms. To avoid open ranks, the corps has cut their bugle line to 24.

Before you ask, we'll tell you that the black armband worn by Esquires is in memory of George Lentz, a member of the color guard who passed away earlier this season. For a corps that changes its concert several times a summer, Esquires have hit on the winning combination in "Lover Come Back to Me". In addition to concert, the corps presents "Love Me Forever" and "I am Loved". Looks like they may have taken over the LOVE theme used by Tyrone. Bill Urban's color guard looks better every trip out! You may recognize their drum majors as being ex-Rockets for they are Lloyd Simpson and Bob Stephan.

Gold, white and brown silks (new this year) complement Warren Cornplanters' uniforms which are significant of the Indian's buckskins. In keeping with the Indian theme, the corps includes "Apache", "Moon River" and "God of Our Fathers" in their repertoire. They've dropped "Tonight" in favor of "Exodus". You may be interested in knowing that the Cornplanters traveled the longest distance to compete (310 miles one way!)

In the large part, Bangor Yellow Jackets have retained last season's music and even their drill looks familiar! If our memory serves us, their opener, "Another Opening, Another Show" is about due for retirement. Their "Rhapsody in Blue" concert is coupled with "Embracable You". It's from '61's show.

Milton Keystoners are slightly smaller than before with only 24 buglers, 7 in drum line and 8 in their guard. Yes, they're wearing the shocking pink shirts and white Kaiser Wilhelm helmets both of which caused a sensation when the corps appeared at Erie last July! They're colorful to say the least! Fortunately the corps has retained the "Sheik" as it brightens the entire show.

"Aida" excerpts "On the Banks of the Sacred Nile", "To the Glory of Egept" and "Triumphal March" are becoming identified with Latrobe Colonials. The corps now has 3 drum majors - - - Jeff Loux, Gene "Greep" Miller, and Jim Beidler. The Colonials have the largest guard of the "B" corps. Incidently, if their rifles look unusual it's because they're original flintlocks! The Colonials are one of the few corps to try the twist (other - Reilly and Esquires).

Definitely the smallest Senior "A" corps of the night, Chocolatiers have 20 buglers, 9 in drum section, and 9 in guard. About the only thing new is their white shirts for color guard. Remember that the class "A" in Penna. Legion refers to percentage of Legion members and not size of corps.

Exhibiting a drive seldom seen, Pittsburgh Rockets presented one of their better shows of the past few years. Their repertoire is varied in that it includes the classic "Swan Lake", popular "Climb Every Mountain", and old standard "Sugar Blues" concert with Riggie Laus solos. Some of the spectators that we know were all in favor of putting their money on the "boys" from Pittsburgh. You will be surprised when YOU see the Rockets as others may have been when they saw the corps at Philadelphia.

What can be said of the remaining two corps, Arcie and Reilly, that has not already been said in other columns and accounts of contests? Both were running hot this evening! Both have their followers whether they be Legionnaires or corps fans and it seemed that they were waiting for their favorites as the stands really came alive when these two appeared!

Of course, the parade the following afternoon climaxed the contest. The parade champions are: Meridian Woodpeckers in Juniors and Hanover Lancers in Seniors. Altho Meridian was unopposed, Lancers had some opposition in E. Stroudsburg Keystone Grenadiers and Wind Gap Blue Eagles.

Garfield Continues Winning Habit At St. Lucys Show
DCN Aug. 8, 1962

NEWARK, N.J., July 14 - It may not have a thing to do with Blessed Sacrament, but Newark is surely a town that the Garfield Cadets make a habit of winning in.

The maroon and white chalked up another lopsided victory here tonight at St. Lucy's 10-corps show, and defeated the Penn-Jersey Circuit's three in the process. The Woodsiders, Loretto and Selden gave Garfield a run for their money in horns, but couldn't make up the difference in drums, M&M and G.E. Both Loretto and Selden, sporting hot horn tallies of 25.60, tied the winners in that caption, while the Woodsiders were five tenths away with a 25.10. And Bracken was a surprising one-tenth off the pace with a 25.50. To say the least, it was a great night for horn lines!

Judging was handled by the Eastern States Judging Association.

The scores:
Garfield Cadets .......................... 85.316
Newark Woodsiders .................. 83.566
Our Lady of Loretto ................... 83.433
Selden Cadets ............................ 81.850
Bracken Cavaliers ...................... 81.200
Fairlawn Police Cadets .............. 76.850
St. Vincent's Cadets ................... 75.433
St. Rose of Lima ......................... 70.033
Neptune Shoreliners ................. 68.216
St. Brendan's Cadets .................. 66.733

2 Top Jr. Corps To Give Exhibition At Northeastern Circuit Convention

DCN August 8, 1962 issue

Two of the top junior corps in the New England area have been selected to put on the feature exhibitions, at the on-coming Northeastern Circuit Convention & Championship Contest, to be held on Sunday, Sept. 2nd, at Riverside Park, Agawam, Mass. (Rain date, Sept. 3rd)

The MONARCHS, coming from the Pittsfield Mass. area, are well guided and instructed by members of the famed Interstatesmen Corps. The GRENADIERS, coming from the New Britain, Conn. area, are also helped along and instructed by members of the popular Hurricanes Corps, having an ex-member for their drill instructor.

The officials of the Northeastern Circuit are very happy with this announcement, as they know these Corps will more than add to this year's Championship Contest, which will be the biggest show in the east this year.

Because of the vast scope of this year's Championship, the committee has decided to open the Riverside Park Stadium gates at 6:00 PM to be able to better handle the very large expected turnout of spectators, and have approved the very choice selection of these two junior corps for exhibitions. The exhibitions will start promptly at 7:30pm with the Northeastern Circuit Championship Finals starting at 8:00 p.m. sharp.

This extra added attraction will be a great asset to the Circuit, and also a reward for the early-birds, who have in the past been waiting for the Stadium to open to be sure to get the best seats. Both the MONARCHS and the GRENADIERS have been in the top spots in their separate fields of contests, and fighting all the way during the current Drum Corps season, and are at the present time, close to the greatest perfection of the Corps careers.

Advance tickets can be obtained by contacting the Ticket Office at Riverside Park, Agawam, Mass. A very small amount of reserved seats are left, - and first come, first served.

DCN August 8, 1962

AUBURN, Me., July 28 - The Andrews Sabres of Portland won the "Music Spectacular" held here today at Walton Field before 2,000, sponsored by the Scarlet Cadets of Auburn.

The St. Mary's Cardinals of Beverly, Mass. presented an exhibition.

Judges were from the Mass. All-American chapter A.S. Callahan was master of ceremonies.

The scores:
1. Andrews Sabres ................ 74.65
2. Golden Eagles ................... 70.80
3. Milford Spartans .............. 68.15
4. Rochester Graniteers ........ 67.70
5. St. Mary's Cavaliers ........... 59.70

Drummers Service
By John R. Dowlan
DCN Aug. 8, 1962


First of all, I would like it clearly understood from the beginning, that the purpose of this article is NOT intended as slander against or to degrade the "Swiss Rudiments" in any manner, as I am certain they do have their place in the percussion world, but rather, the Swiss Rudiments MUST NOT be used as a primary basis for credit scoring in the repertoire captions of our drumming score sheets, and; MUST NOT be given prime consideration over and above "our own" Standard American Twenty-Six Rudiments in the determining of drum scores.

In recent months, there has been mounting considerable confusion and frequent discussions which have resulted in controversy among modern drum corps drummers regarding the influx of foreign rudiments to the scene of the American Style of Drumming, namely . . . The Swiss Rudiments. These rudiments are by no means new. However, it appears that a recent intensified drive has been initiated to promote and incorporate these "imports" as a part of our way of percussion. Okay, I know a few of them, but what happens to the drummer who doesn't? What is his reference and where does he turn? But for that matter, should he really be interested? Let's see!

This is the irony of the entire situation. To my amazement, and dislike I might add, it has been brought to my attention by an authoritative source that new drumming score sheets are now being planned and prepared, which will embody a credit caption specifically dedicated for the inclusion of the Swiss Rudiments. This, I feel, is getting carried away, so hold tight drummers . . . we're off!

Not too long ago, a top-rated drum section in the East competed at a "Class "A" Senior contest. This particular drum line had been obtaining very high scores in repertoire consistently (about 10 years, in fact), when, out of a clear, blue sky, they were penalized very severely in this caption. Their execution job was typically of the highest calibre and the field drum sheet proved it; and therefore, this would present no serious consequence or reflection in repertoire . . . but what could have happened? Naturally, I was quite concerned about this, as I had definite interests in the drum section involved, and so I approached the judge following the contest. His remark was simply, "Your repertoire score was low because you did not attempt or play any Swiss Rudiments". We chatted, which I believe was sensible, even under these present circumstances, and soon I realized the "panic button" had been pushed . . . or at least, by this judge, anyway. But my chief concern was how many others were also thinking along the same lines? He told me to re-arrange my drum parts and incorporate these Swiss Rudiments if I wanted to attain higher repertoire scores; or the next time the corps competed in that area, the same condition would result. What a long drive home it was that night, and how I wished I hadn't remained a gentleman. I pondered over the thought that maybe next week, the push might be for French Rudiments and the week after, possibly German Rudiments. (I imagine they must have rudiments, too!) Now, when and where will it stop?

In the majority of cases, most of our Standard American Rudiments are far more difficult to perform and perfect than the Swiss Rudiments, but apparently, we will not receive due credit for this accomplishment on the basis of this new system. I have played some Swiss Rudiments and I can say some sound tricky and unusual - - especially, when played cleanly with flawless execution and in combination with some of our rudiments. I also believe, that when used with discretion and moderation, they can aid in our overall effectiveness, variety and showmanship. But why go overboard and state that our credit build-up captions will be affected by the quantity of these Swiss Rudiments attempted? Why not be sensible about the whole thing? To judge a drum section in this manner is not fair, unless the contest is held in Switzerland.

Here is the way I look at it: In most cases, the average drummer does not have any access to the proper musical notation of these rudiments, nor does he know the number of these rudiments that exist. What particular techniques are involved, and how many judges are qualified to determine a drum section's proficiency, adaptability, authenticity, etc., in the manipulation of the Swiss Rudiments?

So, all of a sudden, it's Swiss.... no warning, no nothing! One day you're tops in drums - next day you travel 100 miles and compete against corps of a lower quality standard and you are low man on the pole. It's ridiculous when you really give it some thought. All of the rehearsal time spent in the practice, study and perfection of our own rudiments does not permit delving into a nationality exploration of percussion oddities. Why kid ourselves, knowing we have only ample time to devote to mastering the "Original Twenty-Six" established by better men than we three decades ago.

In conclusion, ask yourself these questions:
1.) Have we, as drummers, completely explored and applied all conceivable aspects of the Standard American Twenty-Six Rudiments?
2.) Do you honestly feel they leave much to be desired?
3.) Have we exhausted our originality and imaginative resources in applying the hundreds of combinations and variations available?
4.) Should we place more emphasis, importance and consideration, both in playing and scoring, on the Swiss Rudiments than our own?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes.... well, maybe that's why we have vanilla and chocolate ice cream. As far as I am concerned, I feel there is plenty to be done with the Standard American Twenty-Six and they will always fascinate and sound good to me. If you firmly believe we are now in a rut with the progress that has been accomplished over the past ten years, then I honestly believe you are not a real drummer in the true sense of the word . . . and, I do feel sorry for you! Go Swiss? . . . NOT ME . . . but maybe your thoughts are different!