Thursday, March 30, 2006

Conn. Yankees 1962

Drum Corps News Aug. 29, 1962 issue

Hurricanes Down Skyliners Twice

By Roger Rilee and John Jeneva
DCN Aug. 29, 1962

The big news of the month! The defeat two weeks in a row of the SKYLINERS. Not by HAWTHORNE, but by the CONN. HURRICANES! Another champion in the making for Jumping Joe Gennaro.

The first time was Albany, New York, July 14, when the HURRICANES pulled down the number one spot with a final score of 85.793. With "Jumping Joe" himself as one of the two drum majors, the "HURCS", clad in their sharp new uniforms, stepped off the line and immediately showed the fine crowd that they didn't come to the Capitol Mardi-Gras just for the ride.

Their rendition of the "West Side Story", from which they played "Maria" and "Tonight" is really unique, and just as beautiful is their stirring arrangement of the old favorite, "Battle Hymn of the Republic".

Close on their heels, the SKYLINERS pleased the crowd with their usual fine show. That concert is something nobody should miss. It takes you from a seat in a stadium to the heart of Times Square.

The gentlemen from the big city were runner-ups with a score of 85.436. Glad to hear that the vacancy in their drum line is strictly temporary. He's toting a rifle for two weeks instead of drum sticks.

In third spot were the Marksmen, a pleasingly clean corps. Love that color presentation. And in fourth place, the Gay Blades. One can never tire watching this crowd pleaser. They use two rifle twirlers, instead of one, this year. Love the way those two so nonchalantly play "catch". The only trouble is, who do you watch? Them or the corps. "Sweets for my Sweet" is really an ear pleaser.

The following week we took in the thrilling show in Baltimore. Our hats are off to Bill Hooten and the Yankee Rebels on a very fine evening. Thanks must also go to the weatherman. It rained before the contest and after the corps and spectators had cleared out of the stadium following the contest, it poured. It didn't last long though and everybody retired to the Hamilton Post for "refreshments".

This contest will be talked about for a long time to come. Proving that their victory in Albany was no "fluke", the HURRICANES added their name to the list of "Big Timers" by capturing second spot amongst the best in drum corps today.

And to further their laurels for the evening, Bob Daniels of the "HURCS" took home the P. Ballantine & Sons Trophy for the Best Drum Major of the evening. Congratulations, Bob, on a fine job of leadership against such greats as Ralph Silverbrand and Walt Winkleman.

When the scores were announced, the READING BUCCANEERS shared second place honors with the Connecticut corps. But a retabulation later moved the V.F.W. National Champions to fifth place.

The final scores were as follows:
1. Caballeros .................... 87.750
2. Hurricanes ................... 85.681
3. Musketeers ................... 85.651
4. Skyliners ...................... 85.216
5. Buccaneers .................. 84.770

And to top off a tremendous evening, the Yankee Rebels displayed their fabulous routine. Always a crowd favorite, they proceeded to convince everybody in attendance that they weren't taking a back seat to any of the competitors for the night. Wow, if they had competed ------- I wonder?

Then upon completion of their drill, they continued to play while all the corps marched across the field simultaneously in a mass retreat. ---- Very, very beautiful!! Again we say: "A TREMENDOUS show."

We were also lucky enough to hear the Skyliner "chorus" later at the "Blast". These fellows are fine showmen, on and off the field. We have heard and read various things about this corps, but believe us, the times we've had the pleasure of seeing this corps this year, they've been gentlemen, win or lose, on or off the field.

In Albany, we saw Walt Winkleman walk over and exchange hand clasps with the D.M. of the winners in front of the whole corps. If that isn't being a gentleman and a sport, then what is?

Our congratulations to the newly crowned Connecticut State A.L. Jr. Champions, the GOLDEN BUCCANEERS, who captured the title from the P.A.L. CADETS, former State Champs. since 1958. In the senior class, the CONN. YANKEES retained their title for the 28th consecutive year. And taking the color guard honors again were the ST. ANN'S LOYALAIRES, led by their lovely captain, Kathy O'Toole.

Scores were as follows:
Senior Class -
1. Conn. Yankees ................... 80.550
2. Bridgeport Troopers ......... 79.233
3. Torrington Vagabonds ...... 76.018
Junior Class -
1. Golden Buccaneers ........... 81.655
2. Bridgeport P.A.L. .............. 79.766
3. St. Ann's Loyalaires .......... 78.550

On July 28, we witnessed "Music in the Air", a Junior competition given by the HURRICANES, in Ansonia, Conn. This has sure been the year for surprises.

Capitalizing on a tremendous job done by their drum line, OUR LADY of LORETTO KNIGHTS pulled out a great victory over the CAMBRIDGE CABALLEROS. Another note of interest was the fifth place finish of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION REVERIES, who a week ago nosed out the CABS.

First off the line were the CABS. And as expected, they came forth with their smooth and well executed drill and SWEET horn line. Featuring their always popular concert that held the crowd spellbound. The big difference here was drumming, a caption which seems to plague the CABS.

Second off the line, ST. ANN'S LOYALAIRES ---- their M&M shows need of much work and horns apparently weakened in second half of show. It seems that more drive and spirit afield would tend to clean up a lot of this.

Third on the starting line, the BOSTON CRUSADERS -- much improved since we saw them last in New Haven. Love those uniforms! "Zing Went the String" very, verynice - as was "Matilda". Overall, a smooth and pleasing corps.

Next appearing and the winners - the LORETTO KNIGHTS. The showmanship of Don Freising's drum line was evident from the start. And who said you need a big horn line? Wow! 24, yes 24 horns playing their hearts out throughout, yet softly when needed, did the job. The drill could present the music a little better though. A little lack of drive was apparent in the first half but picked up immediately coming out of the concert.

Fifthe on the line were the I.C. REVERIES. A well balanced job behind their fabulous drum majorette, Elinor McCarthy, who took home the trophy for Best Major of the evening. A lot of the crowd had this corps picked much higher. Fine horn power and solo work throughout the show.

Love that sound that Joe McNaught has obtained, using numbers like "I Love Paris", "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" and "Smile". One of the finest exits we have ever seen while playing "I'll Never Walk Alone".

Next off the line were the P.A.L. CADETS of Bridgeport. This corps needs a little more work all around, but good spirit was evident. Nice color presentation and like that "Limehouse Blues".

Last of the competing corps, and in what we believe their first contest of the season, were the FLOYD BENNETT GOLDEN EAGLES. Fielding only one snare drummer really hurt this corps as the horn line did a nice job for their first showing.

And then appeared for the first time this year in their new uniforms before the home crowd, were the hosts, the CONN. HURRICANES. Home from their "swing west", as the announcer put it, they left no doubt in anybody's mind why they have fared so well this year. CLEAN was the word for the night, the word that echoed from the lips of everybody present, as the "Boys From the Valley" showed their stuff.
Scores on this contest listed in last issue.

The same night in Torrington, Conn., the CARVER GAY BLADES showed their usual mid-season surge by defeating the SPRINGFIELD MARKSMEN, who only a few weeks ago beat them by more than three points. The corps in the order of their finish were as follows:
1. Gay Blades - Newark, N.J.
2. Marksmen - Springfield, Mass.
3. Criterions - Kingston, N.Y.
4. Kingsmen - Fitchburg, Mass.
5. Troopers - Bridgeport, Conn.
6. Buccaneers - Bath, Maine