Reading Buccaneers Capture Seventh World Championship
The Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps captured its seventh Drum Corps Associates (“DCA”) world championship Sunday night at the 43d Annual DCA World Championships at Paetec Park, Rochester NY. The win is also the Buccaneers’ third consecutive DCA championship and completes the corps’ third consecutive undefeated season. With wins in Saturday’s preliminary round and Sunday’s finals round of competition, the Buccaneers’ consecutive win streak now stands at 29 contests over three years.
The Buccaneers placed first with a score of 98.313, out of a possible 100. The Caballeros, from Hawthorne, NJ, were second with a score of 96.650, and the host Empire Statesmen of Rochester, NY were third with 95.650 points. The Buccaneers took top honors in percussion, visual, music effect, visual effect and tied the Empire Statesmen for first in brass. The corps also received a perfect score in ensemble percussion.
The win comes as the corps celebrates the culmination of its 50th anniversary season. For Corps Director James C. Gruber, the win was a perfect end to a special year. “All year long we’ve been reminded about the great history of this organization and the thousands of men and women who’ve been part of it over the years. Our administrative and teaching staffs, and especially our members, worked very hard to put together a season worthy of our legacy. We’ve done that. Our members delivered a spectacular performance on Sunday night. I couldn’t be prouder of everyone involved.”
Members of the corps were aware all season long that they were part of a unique moment in the long history of the storied organization. For mellophone player and Reading area native Krissy McMullen, 43, the corps’ anniversary was a motivating factor in her decision to return to the corps after last competing in 1983 through 1986. “The Buccaneers hold a special place in my heart,” McMullen said. “I met my husband Mike here and we have two great kids. In 2004, after living in Western New York for many years, we returned to live in the area. I saw the corps in 2005 and just knew I had the itch to perform again. After all these years, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it was also one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The tears started flowing the minute my horn came down at the end of the show. It’s an honor to be a part of this great corps in its 50th anniversary.”
Eric Bentz, 22, a 2003 graduate of Conrad Weiser High School, described the experience as “magical.” “Everything clicked for our performance on Sunday,” he said. “I got chills as the scores were announced and I realized we had won. But regardless of the score, it was a great experience to be a part of this drum corps and to participate in its anniversary. At our home show last week, it was just amazing to stand on the field with 50 years of alumni and sing our corps song. I knew I was part of something much larger than myself. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.”
The Buccaneers will officially close the books on the 2007 anniversary season with the corps’ annual banquet on Saturday, November 24, at the Sheraton Reading hotel. The Bucs will kick off the 2008 season with Membership Day 2008, to be held on Sunday, November 25 at Twin Valley High School, Elverson, PA. Anyone interested in membership in the Buccaneers for 2008 is welcome to attend and learn more. To receive additional information, visit www.readingbuccaneers.org and click on “Membership Area.”
Founded in 1957, the Buccaneers are a non-profit, education-oriented musical organization. The Buccaneers are a charter member of Drum Corps Associates and won the first-ever DCA world championships in 1965. Additional titles followed in 1968, 1979, 1980 and, most recently, in 2005, 2006 and 2007, the last three all undefeated championship seasons.
The Buccaneers are sponsored in part by Behler-Hein American Legion Post 637, Hamburg, Pennsylvania, and Roy A. Master American Legion Post 217, Topton, Pennsylvania
For more information, visit the corps’ web site at www.readingbuccaneers.org.