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
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. (more…)
“2020, the Movie.” Once upon a time, this would have been the title of a sequel to the film 2010, or a graphically esthetic date of a science fiction novel. More fantastically, it might have been a possible calendar date reality in which we got around town in our own, fits-in-the garage, gravity defying, auto-maneuvering Ford Skyliner, darting between multicolored, spiraling glass edifices, and on our way to Indianapolis for the DCI Championships. It might have been…but it is not. Had that been so, it’s title would not be, “2020 The Season That Wasn’t.”
Rather, we find ourselves house-bound, quarantined, isolated, sequestered, involuntarily (but not necessarily religiously cloistered), domestically quartered, and in most cases, imprisoned in a fairly comfortable, and familiar, solitary confinement. And, no, this has nothing to do with your prankster, police officer cousin, who forgot the password that would allow you to be legally freed from the ankle bracelet that he just wanted to, “Let me show you how it works.” Again, it is not. (more…)
How do you feel about all the changes that have happened in our lives regarding computers changing the way you write, etc.? I have seen a few of your old hand-written charts and I love the personality of them. Now everyone uses music-writing programs like Finale and they all look the same. Who knows who writes what?
Top DCI competitors these days regularly leverage their wealth of resources to put out excellent shows. Over the last 10 years, six corps: Blue Devils, Santa Clara Vanguard, Carolina Crown, Bluecoats, Cadets, and Cavaliers have been at or near the top of the rankings, with Boston making a dramatic surge of late. They all have strong organizations and are teeming with talent in their design teams, instructional staffs, and performers. And, most of the time, the shows they put on the field ‘hit a home run’. There are also instances where, despite all that talent, there have been ‘swings and misses’. (more…)
In today’s column we will cover alumni drum corps action. Or shall we say inaction? The last time the United States experienced this low level (zero) of drum corps activity was during World War 1! When the war was over, American Legion posts across the country formed drum & bugle corps using military surplus bugles and drums to keep patriotism at a high level. Esprit de Corps! Drum corps has been running strong for the last 100 years and hopes are that it will all come back soon!
But first: Welcome to the new and improved Masters of the Marching Arts. By way of introduction, several years ago the Drum Corps Czar was appointed by the powers that be, granting the Czar the authority to change rules as he sees fit for the betterment of drum corps activity. Decisions made by the Czar are implemented swiftly so that fans in the stands can enjoy the experience to a greater degree. Readers unanimously responded in the affirmative! (more…)
A Conversation between Rick Wygant and Tad Faccini
Rick spent six years in the hornline of the Garfield Cadets. We all know his distinctive tone quality, as he was the soprano soloist from 1984 through 1988. We became acquainted through social media, and I have asked him an insufferable amount of questions about his drum corps experiences.
TF: Let’s start with your musical training. RW: I grew up in New Jersey and am a 1984 graduate of Waldwick High School. I attended William Paterson University where I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education in 1988. I did some graduate study in Trumpet Performance at Montclair State University in the early 1990s.
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.
Having been involved in drum corps, band, and winter guard for over half a century, I’m usually pretty good at following orders, but I’ll readily admit to finally having to run laps and do push ups. You see, Rick (bless him for being back in full swing as we’ve all missed you, my dear friend) specifically charged me with writing one of two articles for this issue of MMA, both of which were meritorious in their own right, and both of which you’ll be able to read at a later date. One fascinates me and my research is still a work in progress. The other was “meh”. I just couldn’t seem to dig into the storyline…yet. Sorry Rick, I give you permission to slap me silly and make me run laps when I see you! At my age, though, it’ll take a while. (Have 911 on speed dial!)
All I could think about recently was how much I’ve missed drum corps after nearly six decades, and how many drum corps friends have passed silently, without taps, or tributes, or gatherings since this blasted pandemic took the music away.