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!!!!