by H. Worth Ake
The Senior World Championship circuit, Drum Corps Associates, has had an illustrious history of 32 consecutive years of international competitions, although no title show has yet been held outside the continental USA.
DCA was organized in 1962 at Scranton, Pennsylvania under the guidance of the late, great, Henry A. Mayer, and motivated continuously down through the years by many-time DCA president, Vince Bruni. Current circuit president Michael Petrone has inspired the continuing success of the circuit.
Ed Denon’s eulogy as delivered by George Oliviero, St. Paul’s Church of Hingham,
Monday, July 24, 1995
“Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and the muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.” *
It is a devastating and very sad time for us. Our long time and dear friend, Ed Denon, passed away, peacefully, Thursday, July 20. When he retired a year ago, he took even more pride in his lawn and garden area. That day, after some time doing the cutting and trimming, he came into his home, sat down and his very warm, big heart stopped.
by John Fitzgerald
Recently a contributor to the Netscape Drum Corps Newsgroup on the World Wide Web raised an interesting issue. She inquired as to what people thought was fundamentally more important in the activity, the music or the marching? This is a question I have been pondering since the end of the season, and it is, I believe, a question that merits some serious scrutiny.
As I formulate it, the question is: what is primary, the sound or the sight, music or marching? My response, as a thirty year observer of the activity, is that sound, in particular brass, is primary today. Now, before all you M & M freaks hit the ceiling, let me defend my position. To do so, it is necessary to examine a bit of drum corps history.
Hi Aunt Millie,
I love reading your different letters in this fine magazine. I do have one complaint though.
Your editor, Rick Connor, sent this message to me with his latest issue, “Send your check or I’ll kill you.”
Could you please tell Rick his tactics are a little harsh? I hope other subscribers were not forced to subscribe as I was.
DUBUQUE, IA – Pork magnate Harry Hamm, Director of the Moon of lowa Drum and Bugle Corps, has announced that his unit will suspend competition for 1997 and will instead take part in a series of unconventional artistic ventures. Hamm, whose corps won the National Championship at last year’s Daughters of the American Revolution convention, believes that the Moon has reached the pinnacle of drum corps excellence and is ready to enter the world of avant-garde entertainment.
by Eric Reasoner
Film Scoring: the “art” of creating music for motion pictures – music that will “underscore” the dramatic moments on screen.
Drum Corps: the “art” of creating a musical and visual entertainment experience … (well, you fill in your own definition if you like).
Film scoring and Drum Corps, an interesting pair – different worlds, yet some familiar ground…opposite methods used in development, yet alike in overall intent.
Musical form and visual form, which comes first? The scene or the score, the drill or the arrangement, which one is the primary element? Good question. The answer is … it depends. Let’s see.
The Ever-Changing Face of “Excellence”
by George Oliviero
“Have We Abandoned Excellence?” was a question asked of American society and workers, in general, more than ten years ago, in an essay by Lance Morrow in Time magazine. The question is still relevant in society and is heard more and more in our activity. The story is that we are no longer as “clean” as we used to be. There is a longing for the good old days when we say precision and we knew, and the audience knew, that there were very few mistakes. How beautiful, how nostalgic: why did we ever get rid of the tick, which was the preeminent force to foster such precision?
by Jack Weir
The result was the same for all of us. The circumstances leading up to it differed in many cases but the effect never varied. We were stricken by the “Drum Corps Virus,” i.e. chills, goose bumps, and an insatiable thirst to be a part of the group.
The following is an excerpt from “The March on Massachusetts,” a history of Massachusetts Drum Corps from the mid 1920s to the present. It will be available in early ’97.
In the Beginning There Was a King
*In the beginning, there was a king and this king ruled over a young band of crusaders. They all went off to a great war and returned victorious, but not without having paid a great price. The king gathered his troops and they collectively became known as “Prince.”
The king was Arthur “Scotty” Chappell. His vision, creativity, compassion, inventiveness, and oh yes, talent, had the most profound impact on the direction that drum corps was to take, not just in Boston and Massachusetts, but indeed the entire world of the marching arts!
On Saturday evening, August 31, 1996, Mr. Al Saia was inducted into The World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, founded in 1976. This is a most prestigious honor, as Al joins fellow New England corpsmen Scotty Chapell, Dom Bianculli, Earl Sturtze, Vinnie Ratford, Pepe Notaro, Alan Smyth, Tom Long, Darcy Davis, Dominic Del Ra, Joe McNaught, Ray Samora, Jack Whelan, Duke Ducharme, Ed Trainer, Cliff Fisher, Jim Pinette, Gerry Shellmer, and Gil Silva.
Al’s drum corps career had its start with the Sacred Heart Crusaders of Malden in 1937 and a life-long relationship began with Arthur “Scotty” Chappell, and the corps’ spiritual director, Father Sheehan. He started out in the horn line, but early on the powers-to-be spotted something special and he was promoted to drum major.
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.
Observations of a Drum and Bugle Corps Drummer
in the World of Fife and Drum
by Michael J. Cahill
As I grow older, I am truly amazed that I continue to learn a great deal – a fact that is astonishing considering that I was quite certain that I knew it all some 35 years ago. One of these revelations is that almost nothing is what it is for no reason. If you trace anything backwards in time, there is almost always a person or an event that starts, alters, or puts something on a path where permanence is established. Although we are told that drumming is as old as man, the adoption of the drum by the military is one of those momentous events.