Empire Statesmen Organizing Three Contests This Season
Rochester’s Empire Statesmen will be marching in quick time all this summer, competing in 11 Drum Corps Associates (DCA) contests from mid-June to the end of August, sponsoring the 4th annual Vince Bruni Preview of Champions contest in Rochester, hosting the Champions of Sound contest in Salem, Ohio and sponsoring the DCA world championships in Rochester’s downtown PAETEC Park stadium on Labor Day weekend.
The Vince Bruni Preview of Champions, named in honor of the late founder of the Empire Statesmen who passed away in 2003, will take place Saturday, July 7 beginning at 7 pm in Growney Stadium at St. John Fisher College.
The competing corps will reflect championship traditions that stretch back for 60 years. Empire Statesmen and Syracuse Brigadiers are each five time DCA champions; Hawthorne Caballeros, celebrating their 60th season in 2007, have won the DCA title nine times and the American Legion national championship 16 times. Rochester Crusaders, also celebrating their 60th anniversary this season won the American Legion national title twice in the “Golden Era” in the late 1960s and early ‘70s.
White Sabers were organized in 1928 under the sponsorship of American Legion Daniel Goho Post 87 in Dansville, NY and became independent in 1957. In 2005, the White Sabers returned to the contest field as a competitive Class A drum corps and placed second in their first DCA world championships in 2006.
Tickets to the Preview of Champions are $18 for reserved center seating, and $15 for general seating. To order, or for more information, call (585) 266-2232 or check the Statesmen’s website at www.statesmen.org
On Saturday, July 18, corps from the East, Deep South and Midwest will converge in Salem, Ohio, to treat the audience to the first-ever Champions of Sound contest, beginning at 8 pm in Reilly Stadium. The Empire Statesmen are hosting the contest, which is being organized by the Salem Chamber of Commerce. The Empire Statesmen were the featured performers in Salem’s bicentennial celebrations last summer, marching in the Grand Parade and performing on the field in an evening show.
In addition to the Statesmen, the audience in Salem will hear the sounds of Minnesota Brass, Racine Kilties, Atlanta CorpsVets, and St. Peter Govenaires. The Erie Thunderbirds, six-time DCA mini-corps champions, and the Salem High School Band will perform in exhibition.
Salem is located in the rolling hills of northeastern Ohio, centrally located about 65 miles from both Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Founded and settled by the Friends, more commonly known as Quakers, religious group in 1806, the city was active in the early anti-slavery movement of the early-to-mid 1800s. Many of the homes with hidden rooms and secret passageways were connections in the famous Underground Railroad, used by those fleeing to freedom across Lake Erie in southern Ontario in Canada.
Ticket information about the Champions of Sound contest is available from the Salem Chamber of Commerce, at http://www.salemohiochamber.org/
For the second year in a row, the Statesmen will sponsor the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world championship tournament on Labor Day weekend. The weekend schedule includes the popular Individual and Ensemble competition on Friday evening, August 31 in downtown Rochester, the 32nd annual banquet and induction ceremony of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, also founded by the late Vince Bruni, the DCA Class A and Open Class preliminaries the afternoon and evening of Saturday, August 1, the Alumni Classic field show exhibition starting at 10 am on Sunday, September 2 and the DCA finals on Sunday evening to choose the 2007 DCA world champions.
Ten of the 43 DCA championships from 1965 to 2006 have been held in Rochester: four from 1968 to 1971; four from 1973 to 1976; in 1996 and 2006. Ticket information about the 2007 championship weekend is available through the DCA website, at http://www.dcacorps.org/
The Empire Statesmen organization offers opportunities for involvement beyond participating as a performer or support staff volunteer in one of North America’s most popular drum and bugle corps. The Statesmen also operate the Empire Cadets marching band for area boys and girls as a community outreach program. Both groups regularly perform in winter concerts, at no cost to organizers, to help support various school and community music programs.
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.
The organization kicked off a major capital fund raising campaign during the 2006 DCA tournament. Funds will be used to support the operations of the Empire Statesmen and Empire Cadets and other charitable and education activities.
For information, call (585) 266-2232 or visit the Empire Statesmen Web site at: www.statesmen.org