Rally ‘Round The Flags!
As anyone who has been through the experience can attest, staging a drum corps event in one’s local community is not always an easy sell. While our own hearts and energies are directed toward promoting the marching arts, one of our greatest challenges is to convince our neighbors this really is a big deal, and worthy of their attention.
Many support components, including everything from local volunteers, willing facility managers, corporate sponsors, local media, and help from political leaders must come together for any event to prosper. The community’s previous experience with our product is also key.
Planning to host the DCA World Championships requires all the same. This year, DCA’s championship host, the Empire Statesmen, is benefiting from decades of good will generated by their founder, the late Vince Bruni, and those who have continued his works to deliver a positive drum corps experience to the Greater Rochester, NY Area .
As someone involved with the marketing of our next championship event, both locally and nationally, I have been pleasantly surprised by the environment I see in Rochester. Local interest there is much greater than I expected.
Roy Wilson, a Canadian resident and long time friend of Mr. Bruni, serves as publicist for both the Empire Statesmen and the 2006 championship host committee.
I am including here, Roy’s latest information release to the Upstate New York media.
If ever a city can be called a real “drum corps town,” Rochester is surely such a place.
Rochester knows drum corps, and you and DCA are about to benefit. Enjoy!
Recently-elected Rochester mayor puts stamp of approval on planning for 2006 DCA drum corps championships
By Roy Wilson
Newly-appointed members of the local committee planning the 2006 Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championships in Rochester, NY reflect strong interest in the event by recently-elected Mayor Robert Duffy and his administration. Duffy began a four-year term of office in January.
The DCA tournament is expected to produce $15 million in local spending, with rooms in more than 40 hotels and motels in Rochester and Monroe County expected to be occupied by drum corps members and spectators. The tournament events include individual and ensemble competitions on Friday evening of Labor Day weekend, more than 30 drum and bugle corps competing in a preliminary contest on Saturday, an Alumni Classic concert by groups from the United States and Canada Sunday morning, and the finals to determine the 2006 DCA champions on Sunday evening.
Mayor Duffy’s representatives on the committee are Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Human Services Charles Reaves, and Deputy Commissioner Judielynn McAvinney. As commissioner, Reaves handles cultural, leisure, and community service programs, including managing facilities such as the city’s downtown public market and Mt. Hope Cemetery.
Previous mayor William A. Johnson, Jr had also shown strong interested in drum and bugle corps activity in Rochester, particularly the Empire Cadets marching band program operated as a community outreach program by the Empire Statesmen. He also provided city support for the bid to have Rochester’s Empire Statesmen host the contest. Empire Statesmen business manager Allen Buell is chair of the local planning committee, which has been meeting every six weeks since last November.
Matthew Ford, the new representative for PAETEC Park, attended his first planning committee meeting earlier this month. PAETEC Park is the privately owned $27 million stadium now nearing completion, which will be the site of the 2006 DCA championships. PAETEC Park stadium will be the new home of Rochester’s Raging Rhinos soccer team. The stadium is considered an excellent facility for drum and bugle corps contests because the field is the right shape for contests and sight lines from the stands are excellent. DCA corps directors toured the new facility during their meeting in Rochester in October.
The basic facilities are already in place at the stadium. The artificial playing surface was laid down in November. The lighting system has been installed and tested. Permanent concession stands and bathrooms are complete. The concrete concourse at the stadium will be poured as weather conditions permit.
A second phase of construction, which depends partly on government funding, will include a video scoreboard, luxury suites, a press box and permanent team locker rooms. New York State Senate recently approved $4 million to support the costs of the final phase of construction.
Duties of the local planning committee include arranging accommodation and practice facilities for more than 20 drum and bugle corps from Canada, the United States and Japan expected to take part in the tournament; arranging downtown facilities for individual and ensemble competitions on Friday evening, the preliminary field show contest on Saturday, the Alumni Classic exhibition on Sunday morning and the final competition on Sunday evening.
A joint meeting of the local planning committee and DCA representatives will take place in Rochester on May 20, 2006.
The DCA championship was last held in Rochester in 1996, in downtown Frontier Field stadium, the home of the Rochester Red Wings baseball team. PAETEC Park stadiium is located about half a mile from Frontier Field, just north of downtown Rochester. The first DCA championship contest was held in Rochester, in 1965. The defending 2005 champions are the Reading Buccaneers, who also won the first DCA championship in 1965.
Rochester’s Empire Statesmen, five time DCA champions since 1991, will be the host corps for the 2006 event. Both the Statesmen and the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame were founded and headed by Rochester’s Vince Bruni, until his passing in 2003.