Friday, April 07, 2006

Bellaires Continue Win Streak

Drum Corps News Sept. 12, 1962 issue

On a very cool evening in Wilmington, Delaware the "Bellaires" of Bellmaur, N.J. continued their hot winning streak which began last May. The occasion was the Annual Drum and Bugle Corps Competition held by the Diamond State Cadets of Wilmington at Baynard Stadium.

Seven corps competed in the Round Robin Circuit contest of the National Association of Jr. Drum and Bugle Corps.

The Diamond State Cadets began the evenings proceedings with an exhibition that showed much improvement since their initial performance last spring.

The first corps on the line was a brand new entry in the circuit, the Starliters of Westminister, Md. The fine solo work and good selection of music gave all a fine show. The M&M seemed to put a large dent in their final scoring.

Following the Starliters came the Zorro Rangers from Rosedale, Md. The kickoff was taken from the Hawthorne program but was performed well. The movements and antics of Miss Suzie Pollack always bring flash to the Zorro's show and on this night brought her the trophy for the "Best Majorette".

The Hurricane Girls of Baltimore, Md. need a good deal of improving on drums and M&M although their horn line could be quite good with more practice. This all-girl corps will be heard from next year --- you can be sure.

The Rising Sun Cadets of Philadelphia have improved 100% over last year and can be proud of their performance on this night. The M&M and G.E. of this corps seems to need good hard work. The horn line has improved steadily all season and was exceptionally good on this occasion.

The Media Fawns, who have the largest corps in the circuit, followed the Rising Sun Cadets. Media always presents a crowd pleasing show with music familiar to everyone. Miss Roe Oppendecker, Drum Majorette, does a remarkable job directing this unit in that many in the horn line are quite young and inexperienced girls. The M&M and G.E. following the concert is real nice to watch. This show is truly enjoyable.

Another new corps in the circuit this year is the Shadettes of Maple Shade, N.J. A new outlook on the musical selections will benefit this corps next year. As we find in all new corps, inexperience is the greatest hurt. The Shadettes should be proud of themselves and their director for continuous improvement shown.

The final corps on the field was the Bellaires of Bellmaur, N.J. Under the direction of Jerry Ann Simon, who is one of the best Drum Majorettes I've ever seen, the Bellaires performed exceptionally well. Their performance earned them first place and the Round Robin trophy which they have not had to surrender since they won it at the first circuit contest last spring.

I do not believe the horn and drum lines ever played so well as they did on this occasion. Musical selections such as the Theme from "Irene", "When Day Is Done", and "Music Makers" highlighted the drill.

The Scores:
Bellaires ......................... 80.66
Zorro ............................... 76.90
Media Fawns ................. 71.01
Rising Sun ..................... 68.96
Hurricane Girls .............. 64.03
Starliters ........................ 62.56
Shadettes ...................... 54.88

Cambridge Caballeros 1962

DCN Sept. 12, 1962 issue

CAMBRIDGE CABALLEROS perform at the V.F.W. Nationals. The Mass. corps finished eighth. (Photo by Rev. John Lepore)

Eastern Mass. Tidings

By Herb Cole
DCN Sept. 12, 1962

Despite rumors to the contrary, the Princemen have not folded, although it can be said they were floundering about this summer (and what better place to "flounder" than in ol' Beantown -- just had to get the pun in). Seriously, those ailments that often beset a highly-rated national corps caught up with the Norman Prince and until a few forlorn souls were replaced, there was fear that stagnation might set in permanently.

But to alleviate and allay any further apprehension over total collapse, there are enough proud and true Princemen alumni that would never stand for it. And a rejuvenation took place last month that found Louie Green of Wakefield assuming chairmanship of the Executive Board, Bob Jennings returning to his important post Business Manager and arranger of contest commitments and the acquisition of the famed Scotty Chappel as musical instructor.

On the later point, it might be emphasized that it was during the realm of the same Scotty that Prince soared to the national and even international heights in drum corps. And it is strongly felt that a rebirth and rekindling of interest will be generated that will again put Norman Prince back up where it belongs. Two musical approaches to next season's repertoire are now under consideration. Not at liberty to divulge any further information, yours truly can vouch for the enthusiastic acceptance that either will receive from the stands in 1963. One borders on the unique and novel side (never attempted by any corps to my knowledge) while the other could produce endless moments of captivating music Chappel-style. 'Nuf said.

So watch for further developements from a live 'n kickin' Princemen (again, a seafood term describing lobsters perhaps but symbolic of the spirit and drive of the HUB-men)

THANKS DEPT.... To the Militiamen and Scarlet Lancers for the swell decal.... CONGRATS DEPT..... to the Chicago Cavaliers on successfully retaining their VFW junior title and to the other midwestern corps that finished so high up in the standings according to the scores announced. We're also very proud of the showings by the Emerald Knights, Caballeros and Cardinals even though the judges thought otherwise...and especially proud of the Belles of St. Mary of Hull for their national drill tean championship win.

Ever hear of the case of the man who bit off more than he could chew -- well, yours truly belongs in this class. For the second summer in a row, I have been engaged in a publicity-promotional capacity for two stock car racing tracks and though the actual racing nights don't conflict with drum corps contest dates, I have found it exceptionally hard to cover competitions on the weekends (using the time instead to develop new ideas and follow-thru in my temporary stock car assignment). Thus, if no detailed descriptions of competitions are contained in this column, it is not a lack of interest but a lack of time.

I hope that this situation will not occur next season for there's reams of copy to write about such fine units as the Cambridge Caballeros, Immaculate Conception Reveries, Boston Crusaders, St. Mary Cardinals, Majestic Knights of Columbus of Charlestown and the rest of the impressive Class A-1 division... and ditto for the Immaculate Conception Queensmen, Holy Family Defenders, Our Lady of Lourdes, Peabody Musketeers, Assumption Cadets et all in A-2.

Certainly, there's plenty of good words that can be penned about St. Anthony's Blue Diamonds, St. Patrick's Shamrocks, Belles of St. Mary, St. Rose Scarlet Lancerettes, Immaculate Conception Queens Cadets and Coronerts and other excellent groups the Drill Teams... and without a doubt, endless paragraphs could be typed about Sir Thomas More, the Braintree Braves, I.C. Reveries Jrs., St. Mary Crusaders and the remaining young fellows and gals in Class C. But we'll have to wait until '63. And if I left any name out of the above listing, it was not intentional, for quite frankly (and I feel very strongly about this point) every unit is as important as the next one and none should be cast down purposely.

Thunderbirds, Hurricanes Washington Legion Champs
By John Broderick & Lea I. Langabeer
DCN Sept. 12, 1962

BELLINGHAM, Wash., Aug. 10 - Upsets in both the junior and senior divisions marked the annual American Legion Convention competition held here tonight. In the junior division, the Seattle Thunderbirds upset the perrenial champion Pasco Columbians, 88.05 to 87.34.

The University Hurricanes of Seattle captured the senior show.

The women's drill team competition was won by the 11th District Auxiliary, with the Wenatchee Auxiliary second.

The show was the first held at the new Bellingham Civic Stadium.

Ron Stockton of the Blue Knights was the best Drum Major of the Seniors and Jerry Logan of the Thunderbirds for the Juniors.

In the parade in the afternoon, Wenatchee won first place and the Pasco Columbians won the junior trophy.

The University Hurricanes won several honors in additional to the corps championship. They received the Color Squad trophy, Bass bugle, Majorette, Bugle Emsemble, and much applause from the crowd.

Jack Stockton of the Blue Knights was best bass drummer, and Earl Bishop won the best soprano bugler trophy.

First on were the juniors. The first corps off the line was the Columbians from Pasco, Washington. Last years champions, they did their usual fine job. They were well disciplined with good horns and drums and good M&M. This corps was the smallest on the field and didn't have the horn power that some of the others showed. The Columbians had never lost the State Championship until this year.

Next corps off the line was the Shamrocks of Seattle, Washington. This corps has come a long way in the last 3 months. There was improvement in every category, however their M&M was off, 3 full points below the winner. A better repertoire will help this corps next year. The two girl drum majors looked very good (flip wrist also).

Third corps off the line was the Thunderbirds. This was definitely the best show they have done so far this year. "Angels Sing" is their best number. Not bad for a first year corps. In one corps has entered all competition, bought a bus, new uniforms and equipment. Their manager is a real promoter. This corps shows promise of being "Big Time" next year.

Next came the Hurricanes from Seattle: Many thought this corps would not be a contender but they surprised everyone by taking first place and the title of American Legion Senior State Champion. They received big applause before stepping off the starting line. "Battle Hymn" and concert of "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby" received standing ovation. Concert solos by Jack Avery and Gary Bryan were really on that night. It was apparent the audience was for them.

The Everett Blue Knights seemed to be the corps to beat. They came off the line strong, played their numbers well and marched well. The audience doesn't go for their concert of "Grandfather's Clock". They should realize this and if they listen to a recording of the competition they would notice the lack of audience reaction. Tenor drum line was not together they worked hard this year and it showed.

Last corps off was the Bellingham Falcons. Drums and Bugles not up to par with other corps. Their numbers are outdated. Years back this corps was unbeatable and once placed in a national American Legion Convention.

This report would not be complete if there was no mention of the MC. The announcing was pathetic. First of all a junior corps was awarded 1st place. The major accepted the trophy and took it back to his corps. Ten minutes later he had to return it to the judges stand to be presented to another corps. Then the senior awards were given. First place was given to a corps and when the drum major was half way up to accept, a mistake was announced and first place was given to another corps.

The Junior Scores:
Thunderbirds, Seattle ...................... 88.05
Columbians, Pasco ......................... 87.34
Shamrocks, Seattle ......................... 74.27

The Senior Scores:
University Hurricanes, Seattle .......... 85.01
Blue Knights, Everett ...................... 82.03
Pippins, Wenachee ......................... 78.98
Falcons, Bellingham ........................ 78.68

Opti Recaptures Exhibition Title
By Ed Nanni
DCN Sept. 12, 1962

TORONTO, Ont., Aug. 25 - Canada's "Wonder Corps", the Toronto Optimists, re-captured a lost prize tonight at the Canadian National Exhibition's annual Drum Corps Contest.

The year previous, the De La Salle Oaklands stole the title from the Optimists who had retained it since the Exhibition dignitaries originated the contest in 1958.

There was little doubt in the minds of the on-lookers that the Optimists would win, and the crowd seemed more interested in the finishings of the corps from second place on down.

The reason for this interest is two-fold. One - that Canadians had seen all of the competing corps that night many times before -- all but the St. Patrick's Cadets from Jersey City and the Statesmen from Irondequoit, New York. . . . and we may add they were treated to something new. Secondly - both St. Pat's and the Statesmen performed admirably - performed so well, that home-brew Canadian counter-parts were a trifle nervous come retreat time!

And well they might be. The Statesmen brought forth a smart wide-open drill and talented bass soloist. St. Pat's displayed that true Jersey Drum Corps Style that made the crowds sit up. Their drill and music was well executed and played, their drumming sharp and clean - their arrangements well written.

The Optimists turned in a sterling performance. What more may be said. Their more-than-eight-point lead on the second place corps indicates that all reports heard so far on their greatness this season are well-founded. Truly this is the finest junior drum and bugle corps Canada ever produced.

The De La Salle Oaklands gave a spirited but usual performance. We might advise the mentors of Del - Why not try to spend some money on new musical arrangements next season? Perhaps some exciting and interesting horn parts will pull the corps up come next summer. Musically, we'd say Del was out-classed by everyone except the St. John's Girls Corps. Could be the score sheets prove us wrong.... but not that wrong.

Scout House put on a much improved show. It seems the general consensus of drum corps opinion that many would like to see Scout House back up near the top. One thing is certain - with these short-short-clad gentlemen.... you can't beat them for class and precision in drill.

St. John's Girls made a game try - but were really competing way out of their class.

The final tally read like this...
1. Optimists .................... 88.05
2. St. Pat's ..................... 80.40
3. De La Salle ................. 79.65
4. Scout House ............... 77.70
5. Statesmen .................. 77.30
6. St. John's Girls ............ 69.5

THE LAST WORD: Besides the ONE trophy, the Optimists were awarded a $25 deposit on any music they might wish to obtain from Chappel & Company... this firm deals with Concert and Marching Bands... think they'll get much business from the Optimists.... St. Pat's had trouble getting accommodations for the night... seems previous arrangements with the Brothers of De La Salle College went awry.... St. Pat's drill instructor is a female and what a creditable job she does... and the respect she enjoys is well deserved.