Empire Statesmen, Empire Cadets In Concert
Rochester’s Empire Statesmen and the Empire Cadets will hit the road together on the first weekend of spring, for a benefit concert at Arkport High School in western New York. Arkport is located southwest of Rochester, near Corning, NY.
Not only does the concert on March 24 feature both groups in the Statesmen family, it was arranged by the mother of an alumnus of the Empire Statesmen who is now a member of the President’s United States Marines Drum and Bugle Corps.
The Arkport concert will also include school groups, with all proceeds from ticket sales going to support the school’s music program. The Statesmen’s first benefit concert of the winter season drew a capacity crowd in Dundee NY recently and earned about $3,000 for the Dundee High School music program. Dundee High School band director Patrick Dunham marched in the Statesmen’s melophone section last season.
Statesmen will feature more of their high level tribute to the music of Maynard Ferguson, one of last great trumpet players of the Big Band era. The Statesmen’s 2007 field show will be a tribute to Ferguson. Selections, arranged by World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Jerry Kelsey, include Maria, the familiar love ballad from West Side Story; Palliacci, a lament for the opera world’s lovelorn clown; Birdland, a standard from the Big Band era, and New York, New York.
One of the highlights of the Arkport concert will be a percussion section feature. Audience members will also enjoy a number of favorite Statesmen songs, including Elks Parade, I Go To Rio, and a rousing rendition of Yankee Doodle Dandy, the traditional show-closer.
Canadian-born Ferguson regularly electrified the audience and even his own band members by playing lead trumpet parts an octave or two above the band.
He was noted for his exceptional power, endurance and lip-splitting high-note command. He recorded 60 albums during a career that lasted for more than 60 years, including movies, television shows and live performances on bandstands and concert stages across North American and Europe. Ferguson passed away in late August 2006 at age 78, of kidney and liver failure.
The Statesmen crew will leave Rochester at 8:30 am and begin rehearsal in Arkport about 11 am. The Arkport High School Boosters will provide dinner about 5 pm, with the curtain going up on the concert at 7 pm. The Statesmen and Cadets will return to Rochester immediately after the concert, so members of the Statesmen can practice on Sunday.
Performing in winter concerts is part of the Empire Statesmen tradition of supporting various community groups across western New York and southern Ontario.
The Statesmen, five time Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world champions, operate the Empire Cadets youth marching band for area boys and girls as a community outreach program. A major capital fund-raising campaign now underway aims to provide the long-term financial support required to maintain various programs of both the Statesmen and the Empire Cadets.
The Statesmen will be sponsoring the DCA world championship tournament on Labor Day weekend for the second year in a row. The three-day schedule includes individual and ensemble contests in several downtown locations, the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame induction ceremony, an alumni corps field show and preliminaries and finals to determine the 2007 DCA champion. The field events will all be held in PAETEC Park Stadium.
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.
To contribute to the Empire Statesmen’s capital campaign, or to obtain information about performances, membership, volunteer opportunities, call (585) 266-2232 or visit the Empire Statesmen Web site at: www.statesmen.org