By Jim “Mac” McKenzie
By 1968 Jack Whelan was already known nationwide as a potential Drum Corps Hall of Fame member. His years marching with the Lt Norman Prince “Princeman,” being a local and nationally known judge, M&M instructor of award-winning drill teams and drum corps, and owner of one of the most friendly personalities in the drum corps world, he was certainly a person I have been proud to know. I was fortunate to have Jack as my M&M instructor when I marched with St. Mary’s Cardinals in Beverly, MA.
By Phil Dennesen with Jeff Sacktig
Can you remember seeing a Drum and Bugle Corps for the very first time? What are the visual images you can recall? Just think about it for a minute……….Can you remember where, when and how you were impressed by a Drum Corps and what you were thinking? I believe most of us can, it is one of those things you don’t ever forget, it leaves such a lasting impression.
For me, it was in 1959 in front of my childhood home across the street from the Central Cemetery in Beverly, MA. It was the Memorial Day Parade, and marching down the street were the St Mary’s Cardinals Drum & Bugle Corps.
By Phil Dennesen with Jeff Sacktig
In Part One we covered Visuals in the “Golden Era” of Drum Corps
Part Two: Evolution from “The Golden Era” to Drum Corps today
In 1977, when Arthur Sacktig’s son Jeff was a boy of nine, he also joined his local parish corps. It was the same parish as his dad Arthur’s, St. Matthias in Ridgewood, Queens / Brooklyn, NYC. The Corps had been reformed in 1972 and named St. Matthias “Blue Max”. Jeff was one of the seven siblings in his family, all of whom marched in Drum & Bugle Corps. From his father Arthur to all seven children, it was the “total” Drum Corps family. It must have been one very busy household.
by Phil Dennesen with Jeff Sacktig
In Part One we covered Visuals in the “Golden Era” of Drum Corps.
In Part Two we covered Visual Evolution from “The Golden Era” to Drum Corps today.
Part Three – Visual Evolution of the “What, How and Why” of Today’s Drum & Bugle Corps
How did props come into the visual picture in current day Drum & Bugle Corps? When, where, how and why did they come into existence?
Back when the VFW had control of the activity, there were no props, There were no non-military type uniforms. This was not allowed! The first props and dramatic uniform changes towards costuming appeared to my knowledge in the 1971 season.
by Jim Hager
In order to talk about the meteoric rise of the 27th Lancers in 1975, first we must step back and look at the 1974 season.
At the end of the 1973 season, the corps had graduated many members and the last of the true “original members” from 1968. Along with the age-outs and their experience, the departure of staff members Richard “Ike” Ianessa (RIP) in M&M and Jim Buckley in percussion left gaping holes. Veteran brass arranger Jim Wedge would be kept and he would be the glue to help solidify the new staff members. The corps would bring in two experienced drum corps people, both with a long history with 27th, but neither had written at the DCI level
Francis G. Noonan
23 November 1958 – 24 September 2020
29 September 2020
St. Raphael Church, Medford, Massachusetts
By John Oppedisano
Lorrie, Sean, Sammy. Michael, Patty, and Judy, other members of Jerry’s family, colleagues, friends and acquaintances:
Thank you all for coming, and as is the norm today, for watching. Your presence here today reminds us of the scripture’s counsel, “…that those who mourn are blessed for they shall be comforted;” and we are comforted by the knowledge that, somewhere up above, God is getting an earful of trumpet solos and double C’s.
How do you honor a legend? Let’s start with the basics.
A Tribute to Ralph Randall Pace
By Joe Marrella
We remember vividly those in our beloved drum corps activity who share their unique talent, dedication, creativity, and life philosophy, toward catapulting the activity and its performers to greater heights. Their greatness stands out in the manner with which they leave their mark and influence on each person who crossed their path. Ralph Pace is one such giant.
By Neal Smith
I always wanted to reproduce this ever since I got involved in designing visual shows. With the aid of the Pyware software that I use and having Ken Wheeler send me the audio from the 1967 Crusaders I was able to put this together.
I believe the Crusaders performed the Cross Through in various parts of their show from 1962 to 1968. I can remember marching this and hearing the crowd respond to the visual and thought——-“How Cool is This?”
The brass line drill in the video is the exact of the design that we used and I have tweaked the guard to add to the visual effect. Maybe the only good to come out of my design business being dormant due to Covid is that it allowed me to finally get this done.
Hope you enjoy————1967 with a bit of a twist!!
by Tom Lizotte
Where would drum corps be if Don Angelica were still alive?
I think Don would applaud the progress we have made in improving performance levels (he NEVER accepted substandard performance), but would be disappointed in the direction the activity has taken creatively and in terms of the state of judging.
He stood for great music. In the early ’80s the Cadets were doing things such as “Rocky Point Holiday” and Bernstein’s “Mass.” He supported that tack, and George Zingali’s work, because although in the formative stages, this approach was a major improvement and the activity’s future direction. If the visuals were a bit messy, the activity could not afford to lose the genius.
by James Hager, Jr.
I have been through my share of misfortune the past several years. Family members passing away, including my Dad this past March, close friends losing their loved ones, and life in general not being that rosy picture I had foreseen when I hit my 40s. Periods of anxiety and frustration that I never dreamed of, a lack of enthusiasm or passion that I had always found deep within, were trading forces around me. My friends were all experiencing similar doldrums.
Point – What’s Right with Drum Corps in 1996?
by Tom Lizotte
To hear some say it, there isn’t a lot that’s right with drum corps in 1996. But while some would want to bring us back to the days of valve-rotor bugles, company front opening sets, and every other corps playing “National Emblem,” the fact is that there is more right than wrong with drum corps today.
It’s easy to fixate on the old days, in which (it seems) every local community had a corps and, of course, almost every corps was wonderful. The old days, however, weren’t necessarily better. They were just different.