Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Southern Breezes

By John F. Van Tassell
DCN Sept. 12, 1962 issue

Well, Nationals are over for many corps and the Drum Corps season is coming to a close. This writer attended the VFW Nationals in Minneapolis and it was some contest. There had been some 41 corps registered. However, only 33 participated in the contest for the Juniors and 4 in the Seniors.

There were only two Southern corps participating in the contest, so I will give you a run down on them. They were the Miami Vanguards and the Greeneville Presidents.

The Vanguards were on in the early morning and were doing a fine job until going off the field, they came to what they thought was the finish line and began marking time, since the gun hadn't gone off. Actually the line they stopped at was the finish line for the Color Guard competition from the previous day. As a result, some of the Corps quit playing, and the Corps was penalized for too much time on the field. This probably kept them from being in the pageant that night.

The President's came on strong, doing a good M&M job, and with a strong drum line looked very good. In some spots, horns were a little weak, but overall, it was a good job. Both corps should have placed higher and perhaps next year will see these corps in the finals.

It was good to see all the old faces at the Nationals - Vinnie Ratford, Frank Hyrup, Jim Costello of Hawthorne, Don Angelica, and the many more old friends of bygone years. Many of the corps looked real sharp and improvement was the word of the day.

On the local Southern scene, the Chattanooga Corps has changed their name, uniforms and has had a general revamping altogether. They are now known as the Volunteers, have a new cadet-style black and white uniform, and have changed instructors.

Mr. Tilson, of the famed Chattanooga Central High School is the music instructor. He is a student and co-worker of the famed Casavants, who has written many books on drum corps style drill for bands.

Their music is along the show business theme and plans are now for them to go to Las Vegas to participate in the Legion Nationals. They recently topped the Memphis Corps for the Legion State Championship. Memphis has reorganized their corps and have new uniforms, instruments, and arrangements by Tru Crawford. The word is that they have improved greatly over past years.

News from Louisiana is that the annual Dairy Festival in Abbeville will be something this year. There will be a corps contest for the first time. Three corps will be competing: the Southernaires and Stardusters from New Orleans and the All-Girl Eaglettes from Abbeville. This is the first contest in the Bayou State in many a year. I hope to have first hand coverage of this event for you. Good luck to Doc LaBorde in this endeavor.

The Presidents of Greeneville are planning big things for next year, going to a larger horn line, possibly a bigger drum section, two Contra-Basses from Getzen, and to top it all off, Don Angelica is going to arrange music for them. This last stroke was arranged in Minneapolis and this should be a good thing for the Presidents. Much credit is due to Jerry Cole for the advance of this fine corps. He is a real worker and a good spark plug.

Well, I guess it is sign off time for this edition. From the land of hot weather, and we have had it this summer. The word is, "Yours for better corps".

Presidents Greeneville, Tenn. 1962

Drum Corps News Sept. 12, 1962 issue

SEVEN CORPSMEN from the Greeneville, Tenn. Presidents were credited with helping to save the lives of a family of five whose car plunged into a Jacksonville, Fla. canal July 14. The corpsmen were across the street standing in front of the National Guard Armory Annex, where their corps was housed while participating in the 1st annual Southeastern "Parade of Champions", when the car swerved off the expressway and crashed upside down into the canal. The seven youths jumped into the canal and pulled the mother, father and two children to safety. While diving for the youngest child, a two-year-old boy, they were joined by a Jacksonville policeman who managed to find the tot after three diving attempts while the seven corpsmen lifted the car. The hero youths were honored that night in the Gator Bowl for their courageous action, credited with saving the lives of the family, and on their return home were cited by the City of Greeneville and the Andrew Johnson Post, V.F.W., their sponsors. Pictured above, from left, they are Tony Anderson, Stan Lindsey, Butch Legg, Bobby Hurt, Gurney Harrison, Jimmy Holiday and, kneeling, George Via, Jr.

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Notes and Quotes

By Ed and Les Dahlstedt
DCN Sept. 12, 1962 issue

We recently attended a drill practice of the Wanderers on Randall's Island, and we can honestly say that they have come a LONG way since last season - or for that matter, earlier this season.

While at their practice, we were shown a flag that had been presented to them by the Mayor of Truro, England after one of the corps members wrote to the Mayor telling him of their playing, "The Nightingales Sang in Barkley Square", their off-the-line number, which originated in England.

Drum Corps is really getting into the public spotlight when New York's newest radio station is broadcasting contests! It's about time someone got the ball rolling here in New York.

We're travelling again . . this time to Milford for the Troopers contest.This contest was a fund raising affair for the Jimmy Fund, and all proceeds went to this worthwhile fund.

Scores were:
1. Conn. Hurricanes ......... 86.216
2. Carver Gay Blades ........ 81.133
3. Sunrisers ................ 78.833
4. Vagabonds ................ 74.566
5. Wanderers ................ 71.566
6. Stateliners .............. 68.050

Exhibitions by Troopers and Shoreliners. Both corps showing great improvement since we last saw them.

This was the first contest for the Stateliners, and how could they have made enemies so soon after being in their ONLY CIRCUIT contest this season. It seems a good percentage of their uniforms were cut to ribbons in the locker room dressing area ... WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS POOR SHOW OF SPORTSMANSHIP???

The Miss Milford Beauty Pageant took place at this contest, and those girls kept everyone's attention (even us drum corps nuts).

The next day were were at the Dream which we will voice our opinion on. Thought Audubon a much improved corps...much of the improvement lies in their drum line. It sounds really fabulous. Liked St. Kevin's color guard, especially rifles and sabres.

Liked Archie's BIG drum line - 5 snares, 4 tenors .. are big drum lines coming back? Those Yankee Rebels, WOW!!! Their GE loaded concert, "The Stripper" was accompanied by a corps member, who had the crowd of 30,000 believing he was a Stripper. After retreat as the corps marched off the field, they stopped and serenaded the crowd, who were shouting for more. We could not believe the decision of the judges that B.S. won over Garfield. Many people felt that Garfield did the better job. Hawthorne winning the Senior show, did their no-sweat job, although one man went down at the finish line.

See ya soon. Any news or questions? Just write...

Crusaders Win

DCN Sept. 12, 1962 issue

MEDINA, N.Y. --- In a recent contest held in this city, and sponsored by the Grenadiers Drum & Bugle Corps, the N.Y. state Crusaders returned from their second place win at the V.F.W. Nationals to beat the Geneva Appleknockers here with a score of 80.7. The Appleknockers sported a score of 78.25.

The contest, the second annual "Drum Corps On The March", was held by the Albion Grenadiers of Albion, N.Y.

The Appleknockers were originally given a score of 77.25, but after realizing a tabulation mistake, the score was changed to 78.25.

Riding in a high third place were the Rochester Grey Knights with a score of 77.5. In fourth place was St. Joseph's of Batavia with a score of 76.75. The Welland, N.Y. Lancers were originally scheduled in the contest lineup, but pulled out to be replaced by that ever-popular "replacing corps" the Geneva Appleknockers.

Judging was done by the New York State Chapter of the All-American Judges Association.

Starlight Fiesta Won By Loretto
DCN Sept. 12, 1962 issue

Clifton, N.J., Aug. 4 - The annual "Starlight Drum Fiesta" contest, sponsored by St. Brendan's Cadets of Clifton, N.J., was held here tonight before an appreciative crowd of about 4500 fans, at Clifton High School Stadium.

The Penn-Jersey Circuit contest was won by the Loretto Knights of Brooklyn, with a score of 86.52. The "Knights" made it two wins in a row, following their clean victory over the Cambridge Caballeros at Ansonia, Conn. to defeat the best in their Circuit - The Woodsiders, Selden Cadets, and St. Lucy Cadets.

The Loretto Knights were not to be denied as they stepped off the starting line and thrilled the audience with their fine musical repertoire. They received a standing ovation at the finish line. The Woodsiders, showing continued improvements, edged out the Selden Cadets for the 2nd spot by a mere three tenths of a point, thanks to their fine drum line. A bit ragged on M&M but still a threat, St. Lucy's Cadets placed 4th.

A very well planned contest was topped by a thrilling exhibition by the Hawthorne Caballeros and host corps, St. Brendan's Cadets.

Final Scores:
Our Lady of Loretto .............. 86.52
Woodsiders ............................ 83.79
Selden Cadets ........................ 83.356
St. Lucy Cadets ..................... 80.673
Fairlawn Cadets ..................... 77.023
St. Vincent Cadets ................. 76.116
Shoreliners ............................ 65.433

By Carol Merkel
DCN Sept. 12, 1962

The Livingston County Fair at CALEDONIA, N.Y. sponsored a mid-week contest August 9, which featured exhibitions by the Mineapolis-bound CRUSADERS and Rochester's Drum Corps-style band from AQUINAS, plus a contest which saw the STATESMEN defeat the ALPINE GIRLS, who were in second place, and the LANCERS in third.

The competition was held on a very, very narrow race track on a rainy evening, and all the performances were a credit to their organizations under such trying circumstances. The LANCERS in their first year of M&M, under pert girl major, Bev Passion, put on a very pleasing show.

Judging was done by the Western New York Association Judges, a group which this year has expanded their territory and reputation tremendously and looks to have a very bright future in this area.

In the parade circuit around Western New York, we have seen the birth and rise of several new parade corps this season.. In particular, we mention the OAKFIELD Junior Corps of Oakfield, N.Y., a plucky group of youngsters who in their first year have copped eight first place prizes in sixteen parades.

New instruments are in the offing for them, and their enthusiastic sponsors look to bigger and better things, including M&M, in the near future. Also being seen are the RANCHEROS of Nunda, New York, the HI-TONES of Hamlin and the BLUE ANGELS glock and drum corps of Rochester (Suburb Greece to be exact).

Congratulations to the 1962 Champions of the NEW YORK-CANADIAN ASSOCIATION CONTEST, the CRUSADERS in the Senior Division and the OPTIMISTS in the Junior . . both retained their 1961 titles.

Runners-up were the GREY KNIGHTS in the Seniors and ST. JOE'S of Batavia in the Juniors.

Brass And Percussion

DCN Sept. 12, 1962 issue
By Bill Stalzer

DREAM CONTEST, Aug. 26 - A crowd in the area of 30,000 witnessed a dream come true. Here are my comments: Archie's drum line sounding great with 5 snare and 4 tenor. This might be the beginning of big drum lines again. Hawthorne almost upset by Archie and the Skyliners. Reilly's drum major looking a bit like Al Jolson when the corps played "Mandy". Yankee Rebels concert of "The Stripper" was fabulous. They even had one of their horn players act like a stripper. They really stole the hearts of the crowd. As they were leaving the field at retreat, they played in front of the people who were sitting at the finish line. The people kept yelling for more and more.

The Bon Bon's have improved much over the last year, especially their drum line. This was the finest performance the girls have put on this season. They are really beginning to jell. By the end of the season, they will pull a few surprises. The Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights were booed on to victory today. I would have been disappointed if they hadn't. Now that we are on the subject of booing. I have this to say. Any persons who boo another corps or do not show due respect to them are only showing their ignorance.

One particular issue was when the Conn. Hurricanes came on the field. As expected, their fans were going wild. When the remaining senior corps came on, who were better except for one, they just sat there and took it all in. One woman had the nerve to boo the winning Hawthorne Cabs, who are just about perfection in motion. All in all, it was a great show.... The Selden Cadets are looking for a change in drill instructors, and they are looking toward a member of the Carver Gay Blades.

By John Bouteiller

The Richmond Hawks and the Stockton YMI Joaquin Caballeros continued their domination of Northern Calif. corps, as they walked off easily with first place honors at the Napa Fair Contest on August 12th. Second place in each of the categories went to the Delta Thunderbirds of Stockton - Junior; and the Manhart Capitolaires of Sacramento - Senior.

Let's look for a moment at the Juniors. The Hawks continue to improve everytime out and are definitely going to be a threat to the Southern California corps at Las Vegas, if they continue this improving trend. Their presentation is clean throughout and M&M is improving steadily. Frank Rua does an excellent job as field general. Remind anyone of "Wild Bill"? Their score for this show - 82.5

The Delta Thunderbirds proved the surprise of the show. This was the first time for them on the field in actual competition, and when you realize they have only had their drill and four of their seven numbers for three weeks, it is easy to see this is a corps to watch in the future. After a little experience, these kids - who are by the way 3 to 5 years younger - will be giving the Hawks and Cathay a real run for their money. Their score was 75.5

In senior competition, the YMI Caballeros had a fine show, with lots of GE and a very pleasing horn line. Their M&M needs lots of work, and the day they compete against some better class senior corps, this caption will undoubtedly spell defeat. Although the majority of people out here have never seen the fabulous Hawthorne Caballeros, it is very apparent that this corps is trying to imitate the champs. There is such a wide variety of the Spanish-type music available, it would be so easy to be original. Think about it Manuel and Charlie!

The Manhart Capitalaires were the final competing corps. Weak in size and in every competing caption, it makes this writer wonder why a city the size of Sacramento can't enlarge this corps. These few men who are trying so hard to field a good drum and bugle corps, with some new blood, would really be a good, winning units. With all the military installations in the Sacramento area, it seems there must be many drum corps people stationed there. This is a corps that would receive you with open arms, fellows. I'm sorry I don't have the senior scores.

Why do the senior corps in this area march with girl color guards? I like girl guards, but with juniors, not seniors.

I read in Ray and Rita Nicholas' column, the train crossing episode of the Floral Park, N.Y. Mainliners. With all that beef in the horn line, boys, I think the train would have shuddered and stopped.

Until next time, drop a line....