By Herb Cole
DCN June 12, 1963
It is encouraging to note that drum corps expansion is not a thing of fancy but one of vivid reality. Latest evidence of this constant growth is the efforts of the Arlington, Mass., Veteran Firemen's Association to organize a junior Class-A unit along the lines of Hawthorne and Cambridge Caballeros.
One thing, if nothing else, is being missed even at this early point in the season, and that is the Latin strains and gaucho-style uniforms of the Caballeros. Sufficient comment on the disbandment of the Cabs in Cambridge was carried in a previous column. Hence, no further remarks in this direction. But the feeling still persists on the part of many to hear "Malaguena," "Brave Bull" etc., once more.
Joe Damery, 1 Bridge St., Bedford Phone (275-1289--eves.)is an instrumental force in trying to assemble an adequate roster of youngsters interested in a corps of this type. Whether he is successful or not remains to be seen, but suffice it to say that he is to be complimented for his well directed intentions.
Another "bouquet of roses" can be dispatched to John Fusco, 195 Eastern Ave., Fall River, Mass. and the committee responsible for the formation of the SILVER KNIGHTS corps in that city. Starting as a parade group, the Knights are available for assignments of this type with plans calling for field contest participation near year. Forty horns, eight percussion and a 12-girl color guard make this unit one of the more potent to arrive on the Bay State scene in recent years.
Some of the more prominent names in local circles include Barbara Malewicz of the Holy Family DEFENDERS of Rockland and her drum majoring talent, as witnessed in the several outings this South Shore organization has made to date... a coincidence (or maybe an error in my notes) in DM ranks find two Walsh boys known corps in this area--- ST. KEVIN'S Emerald Knights and MAJESTIC KNIGHTS of Columbus in Charlestown.... Richard A. Jennings, son of Princemen business manager Bob Jennings, is now serving a four-year hitch with the Marine Corps, having left his drum corps affiliation May 31.
A solemn note concerns the untimely death of Prince's French Hornman Robert C. Madonia of Fitchburg. This 26-year old man was returning from the Carnegie Hall engagement of the corps when he was involved in a traffic accident on the Merritt Parkway in Conn. Accompanying him was a fellow Fitchburg-ite, Richard W. Barrett. Both were rushed to the Backus Hospital in Norwich, Conn. with Madonia passing away and Barrett in critical condition. Both were former members of the now defunct Kingsmen seniors.
Paying respect to the two, LT. NORMAN PRINCE issued black arm-bands in their first field contest appearance in Braintree May 25. Every member, prior to the exhibition, stood rigidly at attention as the BLUE ROCK corps of Willmington, Deleware played "Taps."
Those in attendance at this junior competition were deeply moved by this tribute and were later impressed with the inspired performance of the 100-plus Princemen. Especially proud of this showing and the entire contest were 50 Kiwanian sponsors. These men were exposed to their first drum corps indoctrination and, to a man, became life-long supporters of the hobby---another and often little-referred-to attribute of independently-hosted field events.
It has been a firm conviction of this writer that drum corps can grow only as fast as more people become familiar with the workings of the activity. The 50 Braintree Kiwanians have joined the ranks of supporters and this developement should make the task of Braintree junior corps that much lighter in approaching these business people for monetary contributions to ad books and in the sale of tickets to their respective contests.
At the Kiwanis competition, the BOSTON CRUSADERS posted their first major win of the year in decisive fashion with a near four point spread over runner-up REVERIES and third place Pittsfield CAVALIERS. Registering high mark in drumming which formerly was their "bugaboo", the Crusaders also took top score in M&M. Revere swept the bugle caption, but it took the CAVALIERS to pull the upset of the evening in not only attaining the number one rating in G.E. but in what many observers felt was one of the finest showings by a seldom-seen junior corps in the greater Boston area.
So much so did the Cavies win acclaim that they were signed on the spot for another contest in the Metropolitan Boston district. Unfortunately, I was unable to view them at the Braintree meet, but am hopeful of seeing them in this other fray. It's a most favorable commentary, indeed, to have an unheralded group like the Cavaliers come into town and give the hometown crowd something to talk about. Incidentally, they sustained a one-point penalty that would have placed them second.
Revere and Pittsfield divided drum majoring honors with the latter also winning the best color guard citation. Deleware came in fourth followed by PEABODY MUSKETEERS, and BRAINTREE WARRIORS.
A short note from William Janes of Cambridge reveals the availability of the newly-grouped ST. MARY'S QUEENSMEN of Boston's North End section and the QUEENMAIDS drill team for parades and exhibitions. He can be contacted for details at 160 Norfolk Street.. ASSUMPTION CADETS of East Boston to field a considerably enlarged unit over last year according to Manager Tom Powers -- 36 horns, 14 in the drum section and a 26-girl color guard... best wishes to five new CYO units in their competitive ambitions this year -- ST. JOSEPH'S SENORITAS Drill Team of Wakefield, SACRED HEART Church corps in Middleboro, ST. VINCENT'S corps in South Boston, ST. JOSEPH'S Band in Medway and ST. THOMAS AQUINAS Band in Jamaica Plain.
A note of recognition of the Shawinian publicity touch concerning the mailing of GARFIELD'S hectic schedule for 1963. The Jerseyites will make no less than 48 appearances with a good possibility of stretching it to beyond the 50 mark ... quite an active group one would have to admit .... while on the subject of publicity coverage, allow me to compliment Frank Ochs of ST. KEVIN'S Emerald Knights for the thoroughness with which he carries out his assignments. Thanks to his foresight, I'll be able to know where and when the Knights will be appearing this summer. If more corps would follow the practice of Messrs. Shaw and Ochs, there would be less complaints filed as to the lack of publicity extended this corps and that one.
NOTING THE CALENDAR... ST. PATRICK'S sponsors an EMass circuit contest in Recreation Field, Stoneham, June 30 at 1 p.m. ... MAJESTIC KNIGHTS in an EMass competition sponsoring role, July 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the Chelsea Stadium... NORWOOD DEBONNAIRES will stage an EMass meet at Norwood High School stadium, July 20 at 6 p.m. ... ST. ANTHONY'S of Allston at Brookline Town Field, July 23 at 6:30 p.m. ... Crusaders at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy, July 27 at 6 p.m.
In CYO circles, mark down these dates -- July 6 at Gloucester (St. Ann's) ... July 7, Miller Field, Winthrop (St. John's) .. July 13, Hollis Field, Braintree (Sir Thomas More) ... July 14, Rockland High School Field (Holy Family) ... July 21, East Boston Stadium, (St. Peter's) .. July 28, Our Lady of Lourdes, Jamaica Plain.