Friday, May 19, 2006

Skyliners Score Hit At Ontario Show

By Don J. Mountford
DCN June 5, 1963 issue

St. Catherines, Ontario, May 11 - The Garden City Arena tonight was the setting for the Internationally famous SKYLINERS of New York City first appearance in this part of the country. Although the audience was dissappointingly small, everyone came away from the show with a feeling of wonder at what a Corps could do with 32 horns (12 short from their field show), 9 percussion and 17 Colour Guard with 2 Drum Majors. TORONTO OPTIMISTS were the guest Corps from Canada and made a very good showing of themselves also.

Although the Skyliners did two standstill shows and only played a total of 7 different numbers, they had the audience eating right out of their hands. The 4-note soprano solo on the line by Tommy Martin, formerly of the U.S.A.F. Drum and Bugle Corps from Washington, was second only to the original fanfare by Hy Dreitzer. Then the Corps stepped off the line with "Little Old New York" from the Broadway play "Tenderloin" and went into "New York Fantasy", a medley of "Tenement Symphony" featuring Tommy Martin, and "Sounds Of The City". Next number was "Melancholy Rhapsody" with solo work by Tom Swan and "Down By The Station", featuring Tom Martin and Tom Swan.

Back by popular request and being included in their '63 field show is "I'll Walk With God", a moving, inspirational number with beautiful expression and accent in just the right places. Fanfare from "Way Down Yonder In New Orleans" into "Alabama Jubilee" brought the house down.

What amazed this writer most was the fact that the Skyliners could go on through a number without being directed by either of the Drum Majors, Walter Winkleman or Jack Marns. This fascinated many of the people sitting around me. When a Corps has reached this calibre, they are really at the top.

Many individual numbers were included throughout the show, and I would be remiss if I did not mention them. Tom Swan's soprano playing "Desifinado" was a magnificent handling of the horn. Bob McKeown of Richmond, N.Y., gave a twirling exhibition, Blindfolded yet!!!!!!

The Rifle drill by Francis Stoebling and Raymond Dandridge was most impressive. Jack Marns, 2nd D.M. and Corps jester, in a comedy skit had the audience just roaring.

Walter Winkleman not directing and over talking to the Corps the biggest part of the time gave off a very relaxed atmosphere. Almost too relaxed!!!!!

The real surprise of the evening was the TORONTO OPTIMISTS doing their 1963 field show. Much of their '62 music is being retained but certainly not their drill, and we cannot see another Corps touching them this year up here in Canada.

Jim McConkey the talk of the night with 3 uniform changes throughout the show. A real showman!!!

I hope that the Merriton "Buccaneers", the sponsors of the show, made out well, and we certainly all hope that someday soon some of the contest managers will invite the SKYLINERS back up to Canada to a field competition. We would love to have you, SKYLINERS!!!!

Hurricanes Dream Corps On Parade

DCN June 5, 1963 issue

Mass. C.Y.O. Music Circuit

DCN June 5, 1963 issue

Crusaders Cap Top Lineup For Mission Drums

By Michael J. Pisani
DCN June 5, 1963 issue

With the disbanding of the famed Reilly Raiders, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith's MISSION DRUMS contest has found it necessary to replace that corps with another of equal stature -- the Crusaders from Rochester, New York. This sixth annual MISSION DRUMS Senior Drum & Bugle Corps Competition will again be held at the Boston College Stadium. The contest beginning at 8:00, will include the Hawthorne Caballeros, the Lt. Norman Prince Princemen, the Crusaders, the Conn. Hurricanes, the Interstatesmen, the New York Skyliners, the Yankee Rebels, and the Archer-Epler Musketeers. The date -- Saturday night, June 22.

For people unfamiliar with the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, it is a world-wide, pontical society which gives missionary societies the "authority to preach, labor, build and evangelize." Although missionary societies may suggest where they would like to work they must be sent or authorized by the Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith. The mission societies take over until the mission territory is "ready to be turned over to the native clergy."

Currently, about 300 missionary societies and 200,000 missioners are working in 700 mission territories.

MISSION DRUMS is a main gear in the money-making machine employed by the Society. This contest, which boasts probably the finest potpourri of senior drum corps in the drum corps world, has enjoyed many large crowds in past contests. This year should be no exception, for the roster is to be "the finest ever."

Skyliners, Garfield Finish 2nd Before 8,000 Chilled Fans

DCN June 5, 1963 issue

JERSEY CITY, N.J., May 26 - Silence descended over the more than 8,000 fans in attendance at the 7th Annual Preview of Champions held here today as the scores were announced for a real squeaker of a contest that promises a "hot" competitive season ahead for the East. When it was all over, the Hawthorne Caballeros emerged victorious over New York's Skyliners by .3 of a point in the Senior Division, while Blessed Sacrament captured the Junior trophy by .6 of a point over the Garfield Cadets.

The contest, sponsored by St. Patrick's Cadets, appeared headed for postponement due to showers and cold weather throughout the morning. However, the weather brightened slightly and the first Junior corps, the Shawnigan Quebec Grenadiers stepped off the line. They were followed by the perennial favorites of the Junior World, the Golden Knights and the Garfield Cadets, both exhibiting fine early-season form with their new repertoires and drills.

A new face at the Preview was the up-and-coming St. Joseph's Cadets of Batavia, N.Y., who proved to be very popular with the crowd. They have a fine drum section, which is featured in the Vinnie Ratford-tutored drill, and exciting horn arrangements. Last Corps to appear were the Canadian Jr. Champion Optimists, previewing their new arrangements of such popular songs as "St. Louis Blues" and the theme from "El Cid" with fabulous solo work by horn man Joe Gianna.

The Seniors were started off by the Archer-Epler Musketeers who have a somewhat smaller but much cleaner-sounding Corps. The crowd gave a big hand to the Reading Buccaneers in their new uniforms with super-sparkly blue sash and also to the Les Diplomates from Quebec who had probably the most G.E. packed show of the day, climaxed by the unfolding of a huge maypole of yellow crepe paper streamers and merry-go-round Syracuse style.

Hawthorne next revealed to their eager fans what they will look and sound like for '63. The crowd applauded them almost constantly, especially the fine solo work by Harry Hazelwood and George Delmonte and the renewed appeal of "Peanut Vendor", but the general feeling was that they were just a bit "off" their usual par.

The Skyliners, too, were cheered almost constantly throughout their new routine and looked very polished for so early in the season. Their drill, a weak spot in the past, was much improved, and they have many new crowd-appealing songs, such as "Alabama Jubilee", "Down By The Station" and "Miserlou" to add to their popular repertoire.

The formal retreat ceremony was not held because of the inclement weather, so the drum majors marched out on the field to receive their awards. Special mention should be made of the huge rotating trophy given to the top Senior Corps, is a donation of the Skyliners in memory of the late George R. Nabor, who did so much for Drum Corps in the New Jersey area.

After a brief pause for commentary, the crowd sat with bated breath as the scores were announced.

1. Blessed Sacrament .............. 82.883
2. Garfield Cadets .................. 82.258
3. St. Joseph's ........................ 78.516
4. Toronto Optimists .............. 74.500
5. Les Grenadiers ................... 57.050

1. Hawthorne Cabs ................ 85.82
2. Skyliners ............................ 85.566
3. Reading Bucs ..................... 83.233
4. Archer-Epler ...................... 81.333
5. Les Diplomates .................. 73.28


DCN June 5, 1963 issue