Friday, March 31, 2006

Wanderers 1962

Drum Corps News Aug 29, 1962 issue

(click on photo to read)


By Jerry Dreva
DCN Aug. 29, 1962

Congratulations to the Cavaliers on their victory at Nationals and to all the corps that survived the morning competition to make finals.

This year saw one of the finest arrays of top-notch drum corps competing for the coveted national title. Many really fine corps were eliminated by only a few points in prelims. Corps such as St. Joseph's, the Purple Knights, Phantom Regiment, St. Raphael's, and the Vanguard showed that they will be the corps that will have to be beaten in the years to come.

To those who did make the finals, it can only be said that they are today's cream of the drum corps world. In the night show, we saw the veterans of national competitions - the Cavaliers, Garfield, Blessed Sacrament - and we also saw the newcomers - Racine Scouts and Beverly Cardinals. To all of us who saw these twelve corps put forth their very best efforts, I can only say it was a show that will not be soon forgotten.

Commenting briefly on the evening show, the RACINE SCOUTS were obviously a victim of circumstance. A six point tabulation error in the prelims had them thinking they had not made finals. It was only an hour and a half before the contest that they were notified they were to go on first. When they did get on the field, they appeared to have a bad case of the jitters; and the show they put on was far from their best. The crowd loved their "Sweet Georgia Brown" and also their too-short concert of "Maria." Congratulations are due to Color Captain Gary Pauly and his guard for taking third in the tough guard competition.

The ST. MARY'S CARDINALS had, without a doubt, the most beautiful drill of the night. Wide open throughout, I doubt if there was an inch of field not covered by them. Music-wise their show was weak, mainly due to a rather unappealing repertoire. Best song was their opener of "King of Kings". They used a very large color guard that worked very well with the corps. Their assistant drum major, marching his first contest in that spot, did a very nice job. Their horn line of 42 was the largest of the night, and I think they had about the youngest corps present. You can expects big things from the CARDINALS in the future.

The BLACK KNIGHTS lost quite a bit when they cut their horn line from 39 to 27. Their music lacked power and in "Serenata" the inner parts weren't coming through at all. As always, they featured a very smooth marching style; and their strutting DM held the crowd's attention. The bugles demonstrated great dynamics and volume control in their concert of "Sherwood Forest."

St. Paul Scouts Win Grand Award At Washington Seafair Parade
By John Broderick and Vince Tarasco
DCN Aug. 29, 1962 issue

The St. Paul Scouts of Minnesota won the Grand Sweepstakes award at the Seattle, Washington Seafair Parade. There were over 60 musical organizations in the parade including units from Canada and many of the west coast states. This parade was viewed by over 200,000 people along the parade route, and was also televised. The Scouts also took first place at the Seattle Worlds Fair Competition on July 29.

The "MUSIC IN MOTION" competition, sponsored by the Shamrock Junior Corps of Seattle, was held July 29.
Scores were as follows:
1. St. Paul Scouts ........... 93.1
2. Thunderbirds .............. 84.1
3. Columbians ................ 81.6
4. Shamrocks ................. 79.0
5. Vernon Girls .............. 68.8
6. Blue Angels ............... 66.5

Albert Wittman, Manager of the Shamrocks, entertained the St. Paul drum line, drill instructor, drum instructor and three of the adult leaders at his home with a barbeque and swim in his 45 ft. swimming pool. There were also many Shamrock parents and corps members there.

The Scouts made a tremendous impression upon the Shamrock parents and corps members. They conducted themselves like true gentlemen. St. Paul can well be proud of this unit as ambassadors for St. Paul, Minnesota. They were eager and willing to answer all questions put before them, and we must have asked thousands.

Roger Brodeson, drum instructor, wrote us a drum solo; Mike Gordinie, drill instructor, showed us how we could sharpen our drill; Jack Bodin told us about their ways and means projects and their drum line introduced us to a terrific style of drumming. I could go on forever telling you how well these boys were received in Seattle, but I will some it up by saying: "The city of Seattle would be proud to have these boys for permanent residents in our great city."

Now for a few comments on the "Music in Motion" show:
The Thunderbirds put on their usual G.E. packed show. The corps lacked some of the sharpness they usually have, but this could be because of the many demands made on them for parades during this "Seafair Week". Drums and bugles took high score for west coast corps.

The Columbians of Pasco, Washington were next off the line with their very sharp drill. Their music sounded good but their corps is getting smaller in size and the other corps are growing. This is hurting their G.E. This corps is from a small community that gives them a great deal of support and their manager, Mr. Halverson, works for them 24 hours a day, so watch for their large horn line next year.

Next corps off the line, the Shamrocks of Seattle: This corps looked good at times, but their show was spotty. They have two good numbers, but the rest are "Mickey Mouse". Add more GE to their show and they will be real contenders.

Next corps was the Vernon Girls from Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. Most of their drill consisted of column movements. It seemed as if they had at least 20 drums and 30 horns. This corps showed good spirit and received much applause from the audience.

Next corps, the Blue Angels, from Seattle, Wash: Before I comment, I must say this is a newer corps and it showed. They need much work in each caption. Parts of the concert number have very little appeal. Their new color guard presentation is very good. Drum Major good, but is maybe over-doing it. This is an up and coming corps; watch them next year.

Next on the field was the St. Paul Scouts from Minnesota. Their show was very, very good. They received a standing ovation when they finished and the audience requested more. They said they were "not up for this show"!! If so, we would certainly like to see them when they are. Their show was the highlight of the afternoon.

This completed one of the best "all-junior" shows ever presented here in Seattle. Our hats are off to Mr. Albert Wittman, Manager of the Shamrocks, and to Mr. and Mrs. Chambers and many more who worked so hard to make this show a success.

Belles Of St. Mary Win VFW National Drill Team Crown
DCN Aug. 29, 1962 issue

Belles of St. Mary, Hull, Mass. won the Class A VFW National Drill Team Championships. The contest was held at Cook Field, at the University of Minneapolis Monday, August 13.

The R-Lettes from Round Lake were the favored team due to the excellent showing they have made all season against midwestern rivals.

The Belles were chosen as runners for the Million Dollar Pageant on Wednesday night.

The instructor for the Belles is Richard "Ike" Iannessa.

Northeastern Circuit Trophies 1962

DCN Aug. 29, 1962

Northern New England Notebook
By Alan Brooks
DCN Aug. 29, 1962 issue

BACK FROM THE EDGE OF OBLIVION... This is probably the best way to summarize our main subject for this edition, the Bath Buccaneers - the northern New England region's number one senior competitor.

Only six months ago things looked extremely bright for the men from the Shipbuilding City as they stood nearly eighty members strong on the rehearsal field starting line. They were unquestionably in for their best year since their inception some two years previous.

However, the bubble of expectancy was soon to burst as combinations of circumstances saw the ranks dwindle in number. Internal frictions arose as a result of dissatisfaction with the progress of the music program as well as minor undercurrents as a result of a few governing policies.

Soon, the first contest was but three weeks away . . . time had rushed rapidly by. The musical portion of the show was far from complete; and, as a result of lack of co-ordination between music director and corps staff, the unit's M&M program was delayed in completion while awaiting termination of musical instruction.

The hand-writing was on the wall . . . and two weeks prior to the first contest, the Bucs had now only forty men standing where twice that figure had been shortly before.

Rather than try to salvage the Buccaneer ship, which now appeared doomed. . . . additional members "took the easy way out" by simply leaving the ranks of the floundering craft . . . perhaps following the fine example set by the ship's captain (the corps director) and the first mate (the music director) who suddenly decided to resign only moments earlier.

The nucleus remaining refused to concede to what seemed inevitable . . . DISBANDMENT. However, after the necessity of pulling out of their first scheduled appearance and a pair of completely devastating rehearsals, it seemed that the pilotless Buccaneer ship would ram itself on the rocks of oblivion. Even the most loyal members now admitted almost complete discouragement.

A final meeting was to bring down the curtain . . yet, at that bleakest, gloomiest of moments came the ray of light that meant a new beginning. A small handful of dedicated corpsmen . . . REAL corpsmen . . . . suddenly refused to concede defeat. Their spirited attitude, though now understandably stained with discouragement, made others stop and re-evaluate the possibilities of last-minute salvage.

Enter one Donald Colby, a young gentleman fresh from nearly a decade in the ranks of the U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps in our nation's capitol; who, at the request of the Bucs' "sparkplug" business manager and percussion instructor, Robbie Billington, consented to take the hopeless task of rejuvenation of a doomed unit by becoming the new corps director. Shortly thereafter, the unit began anew . . . reorganization in the middle of june . . . but the spirit was there; the spirit that would prove to make the difference between failure and progress. In addition, a replacement for the music director was found and the Bucs' ship swung somewhat unsteadily back on course. A "crash program" to end all such "crash programs" was initiated. Before this paid off, however, it was necessary to withdraw from two more contests, including their own state contest. In the meantime, new men had been added to bring the Bucs back to a forty plus complement. The program was completed, though still somewhat make-shift, in two weeks' time and the boys were ready for their Northeast circuit opener. But, Uncle Sam stepped in and said, "National Guard comes first." and the hard-working, disappointed men from Bath found they would have to wait just a while longer.

Two more weeks of almost unbearably hard work to whip themselves into more respectable shape and they were out on the starting line at last. Their seasonal debut was disappointing to those who had witnessed their performances during the past two annums . . . and a source of amazement to those who knew that this was but four weeks of work displayed so creditably that afternoon.

Their first outing saw them attain the lowest mark in the history of their organization. . . yet two more weeks of constant hard work saw them attain the second highest mark posted by their unit since its inception and were accorded a standing ovation at the conclusion of their performance that same night in Torrington, Connecticut in their Northeastern Circuit bow for 1962 . . . a contest which featured the likes of the Gay Blades, the Marksmen, the Criterions, and others.

The Buccaneers did not die! They were reborn at the same instant that their chief competitors were culminating a year's work by stepping off the starting line for 1962. Neither will the Buccaneers die as long as REAL corpsmen like the Billingtons, the Sam Trotts, the John Maguires, the Danny Hallowells, the Dick Gallants, the Bob Barters, the Jack Goodys, and others are there refusing to give up!