Scholarship To Be Awarded At Vince Bruni Preview Of Champions

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There will be two winners at the Vince Bruni Preview of Champions drum and bugle corps contest in Rochester on July 1: the corps that takes top spot in the contest, and the college student who wins a $1,000 scholarship to be awarded by the family of the late Harvey Martin. The scholarship winner will be announced during the contest, to be hosted for the second year in a row by the Empire Statesmen in Wegmans Stadium at Aquinas Institute.

The Preview features the second meeting of the season between the top two corps from last year’s Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship. At Wildwood, NJ on June 17, the defending champion Buccaneers, of Reading, PA, won with a score of 76.788, with Rochester’s Empire Statesmen right behind in second place with 76.000.

Empire Statesmen had the high visual composite and music effect scores in Wildwood. Bucs were tops in percussion, music composite, visual effect and overall effect. Empire Statesmen prepared for the second of five meetings with Buccaneers this season with a nine-hour practice last Saturday, and a six-hour session on Sunday.

The third annual Preview of Champions is named in honor of Vince Bruni, who founded the Empire Statesmen in 1983 and the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1976 and served as director of both until his passing in 2003.

Five-time DCA champion Syracuse Brigadiers, Rochester Crusaders and the White Sabers of Dansville, NY, are all making their 2006 contest season debut in the Preview of Champions, which will include exhibition performances by Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni Corps, of Leroy, NY, and the Empire Cadets, the youth marching band operated as a community outreach project by the Empire Statesmen. More than 15,000 youngsters have participated in the youth program since it was founded by Vince Bruni in 1975. In addition to operating the Empire Cadets, the Statesmen support area school music programs by participating in benefit concerts that have raised more than $300,000 over the past 20 years.

A $1,000 college scholarship will be presented during the Preview of Champions contest by the Martin family, to the student who writes the best essay explaining “How Drum Corps Has Touched My Life.” Harvey David Martin Jr., who passed away January 10, 2006 at age 78, had a long association with drum and bugle corps in the Rochester area. He is a member of the Rochester Crusaders Hall of Fame. A celebration of his life will be held during the DCA world championships in Rochester, on Friday September 1 between 4 -7 pm. Donations to The Harvey Martin Drum Corps Scholarship Fund can be sent to 66 Old Stone Lane, Rochester, NY, 14615.

The Empire Statesmen, also five-time DCA champions, are sponsoring the three-day DCA Labor Day weekend championship tournament. The schedule of weekend events includes Individual and Ensemble contests, a Mini-Corps contest, an old-fashioned outdoor drum corps party, induction of seven new members into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, a concert by nine top U.S. and Canadian alumni corps, and prelims and finals for the competing corps in PAETEC Park Stadium. More than 40 units will participate in events over the weekend.

Empire Statesmen will also host the 2007 DCA tournament. Nine of the 42 DCA championships from 1965 to 2005 have been held in Rochester: four from 1968 to 1971; four from 1973 to 1976 and one in 1996.

The Empire Statesmen drum and bugle corps is a self-supporting independent group that represents the city of Rochester across the United States and Canada and as far abroad as Europe, the Caribbean and South America.

For ticket information about the Vince Bruni Preview of Champions and the DCA championships, call (585) 266-2232 or visit the Empire Statesmen Web site at:

Posted by on Monday, June 26th, 2006. Filed under DCA News.