Hawthorne Victor At No. American Open
By Don J. Mountford and
Betty & Joe Waters
DCN 6-19-63 issue
ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 1 - Aquinas Stadium was the scene here tonight of the 5th Annual North American Open Contest, sponsored by the UDC. Some 10,000 spectators witnessed the spectacle, which saw the HAWTHORNE CABALLEROS, relatively uncontested, win first prize.
The National Anthem played by the AQUINAS BAND formally opened the show. Then came the PARDEE PACERS, the youngest of the U.D.C. units. This Corps is made of 10-14 year-olds doing their stuff like real professionals. They have been enlarged and with the addition of small congos, now have a pseudo-Latin effect. Such numbers as "My Country Tis Of Thee," "The Way You Look Tonight," and the "Limbo Rock" were outstanding. In the "Limbo Rock," they use flag poles as the limbo bar and members of the Color Guard do the bit.
The AQUINAS BAND was next with their complete drum corps style M&M show. With their satin blouses and drum corps color guard they have the look of a corps, but retain their band sound. Most impressive was their concert of the "Warsaw Concerto" and "Slaughter On Tenth Avenue."
Next, still in exhibition, were the ALPINE GIRLS from Rochester. Off the line with "El Cid" into "Bill Bailey," "Two Different Worlds," and "Begin The Beguine," were the featured numbers of this Corps. The drill was good throughout, but horns were a little off in some places and drumming was just par. With a lot of good, hard practice this Corps could be one of the most talked-about Corps around the Rochester area. Their new drum major is in much better control of the corps than other girls who have fronted this organization.
The next corps to hit the starting line was the dynamic STATESMEN. We feel that this is the UDC Corps of the 1963 season. A very well-balanced horn line, a well-planned and very well-executed drill, and the repertoire which includes an excellent arrangement of "King of Kings," their famous "Petticoats of Portugal," "1812 Overture," and "September Song." We especially liked their concert of "Camelot" and "If Ever I Should Leave You." They, too, have a new drum major, and he, too, has better control and more flash than other majors before him.
This was a Senior competition, believe it or not, and the first Corps off the line were the PITTSBURGH ROCKETS from Pittsburgh, Pa. A solid off the line to "Steel City Theme" into "Swan Lake" and "Warsaw Concerto," featuring a good clean wide-open drill and good execution. Colour presentation of "Victory At Sea," "No Other Love," and "Climb Every Mountain" appealed to everyone watching. Concert of "Riff Blues" and "Southern Scandal" brought a solid round of applause from the audience for the off-beat drum work backing the horns on the Stan Kenton arrangements. Exiting to "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "ThousandAnd One Nights," featuring a wide "V" formation and good company fronts. This Corps is going to be one of the top contenders this year.
With the appearance of the GENEVA APPLEKNOCKERS on the starting line we sat back and enjoyed one of the best and most colorful fifteen minutes in Drum Corps. The old master, Nick D'Angelo, is back with famed Appleknockers as Musical Arranger and Drum Major. Their off the line is a masterpiece of GE which would take two columns to fully explain.Suffice to say that it is one of the most unique and GE-packed entrancesthat we have seen in a long time. This type of thing is better seen than read.
Their music is typical Geneva; appealing to the crowd. "Tiger Rag" is a great warm-up and their arrangement of "Heart of My Heart" with Ken Petersen on solo soprano is out of this world. Their concert of "Meloncholy Rhapsody" from Young Man With A Horn shows you what the master Petersen can do; his tone and control is unbelievable as he paints one of the most beautiful pictures in Drum Corps. They still have their famous "Apple - Blossom Time." We firmly feel this will be Geneva's year once they hit their stride.
Third Corps of the evening and high spot of the show were there internationally famous HAWTHORNE CABALLEROS, fielding 48 horns and their gimmicked-up drum line with two drum majors plus the usual typical drill and music. They have practically a new routine music - wise including "Carmen Part II," "Johnny One Note," "Peanut Vendor," and "I'll Remember April," but the arrangements are so similar to Hawthorne's old music, it's hard to tell where the old leaves off and the new begins.
With 48 horns, the Cabs were very weak off the line up to concert, then seemed to regain some of the old spark. We have finally realized the effectiveness of the contrabass horn, especially when four of them are used and the music is arranged to feature them. But -- we were not at all impressed with Hawthorne's performance, whether it was what they might have felt as lack of competition or the long bus ride from Jersey, we wouldn't venture to say. However, it is our humble opinion that Hawthorne can no longer rest on their laurels and expect their previous championship flags to carry them through another undefeated season.
The Irondequoit CRUSADERS, senior member of the UDC, are a much-improved Corps G.E.-wise from the 1962 season and may be on the way back to their 1961 level. Their concert of the "Mambo" from West Side Story, a new arrangement of "Johnny" as a color pres and their arrangement of "South Rampart Street Parade" are outstanding. The Color Guard is used most effectively, but shouldn't the colors be guarded at attention rather than with a twirling saber???????
Scores were as follows:
1. Hawthorne ........................ 80.45
2. (Tie) Geneva and
Pitt. Rockets ......................... 73.60
As most of you probably know, the Skyliners were originally scheduled for this contest and the thought has entered our minds -
Would Hawthorne have been satisfied with a score of 80.45 had they been there? We wonder.
The 5th Annual North American Open was a success in all categories, and Vince Bruni is to be commended for running a good show for the UDC. An auspicious opening to the Drum Corps season in Drum Corps-happy Rochester!