Statesmen At First DCA Contest In Wildwood, NJ

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Rochester’s Empire Statesmen are heading to the Atlantic shore at the southern tip of New Jersey this weekend, to dive into the opening contest of the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) season. The Cabs Beach Party, sponsored by Hawthorne Caballeros, will begin at 6:30 pm on Saturday, June 17 in the air-conditioned comfort of the Wildwood Convention Center. For ticket information, call (973) 709-0500, ext. 1501.

The contest features five of last season’s top seven DCA finalists: undefeated defending champion Reading Buccaneers, runners-up Empire Statesmen, fourth place Caballeros; sixth place Syracuse Brigadiers, and seventh place Connecticut Hurricanes.

Empire Statesmen are featuring the music of Maynard Ferguson this season, in a Statesmen-style tribute to one of last great trumpet players of the Big Band era. Ferguson passed away in late August, 2006 at age 78, of kidney and liver failure. The Statesmen’s field show includes a stirring version of The Last Post, the last song Ferguson played on his trumpet, to mark the death of his pet cat. Two days later, he died.

Other selections in the Statesmen’s tribute, 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 and Gonna Fly Now, the theme from the movie Rocky.

The Beach Party is the start of an exceptionally busy season for the Statesmen, who will sponsor the Vince Bruni Preview of Champions contest in Rochester on July7; act as host corps for a new DCA contest in Salem, Ohio on July 28, featuring corps from the northeast, deep south and Midwest, and for the second year in a row sponsor the DCA championship tournament weekend in Rochester on Labor Day weekend, with events on August 31, September 1 and 2.

The Beach Party gives the Statesmen and Buccaneers an early-season opportunity to renew their 2006 rivalry. The Bucs were the only corps to defeat the Statesmen last season.

Reading Buccaneers are celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2007 with a production titled Blue Era, in which the Bucs pay tribute to five decades of tradition with a program showcasing the corps’ versatility in handling a variety of musical styles, moods and textures within the classical and symphonic idiom.

During the 61 years of activity since being formed in 1946, Hawthorne Caballeros have earned more titles than any other all age drum and bugle corps: nine DCA championships, 16 national championships, more than 50 New Jersey state championships and hundreds of regional and local championships. For the 2007 season, Caballeros are presenting music from Carmen, with a Latin motif to accentuate the brilliance and passion of the opera. Each of five acts will take the audience through a different emotion, reaching a climax with the popular Toreador march.

Syracuse Brigadiers will premiere their 2007 Images in Time program in Wildwood.

With roots dating to 1938, the Brigadiers re-entered the contest field in 1991, after a nineteen-year absence from competition. The Brigadiers, who won DCA titles in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002, are the only drum and bugle corps to win four consecutive DCA titles.

Connecticut Hurricanes, three-time DCA champions from Derby, Connecticut, are performing the music of Leonard Bernstein this season, including songs from a movie, a Broadway musical and an opera. The show includes On The Waterfront, Mambo from West Side Story, and Make Our Garden Grow and other selections from Candide.

The Empire Statesmen organization offers opportunities for involvement beyond participation as a marching member, support staff or committee volunteer in one of North America’s most popular drum and bugle corps. The Statesmen, five-time DCA champions, also operate the Empire Cadets youth marching band for area boys and girls as a community outreach program. The corps is also currently undertaking a major capital fund-raising campaign to provide the long-term financial support required to maintain various programs of both the Statesmen and the Empire Cadets.

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 information about the Vince Bruni Preview of Champions, membership and volunteer opportunities, call (585) 266-2232 or visit the Empire Statesmen Web site at:

Posted by on Thursday, June 14th, 2007. Filed under DCA News.