Empire Statesmen Open House And Banquet
Current members of the Rochester Empire Statesmen and new recruits will learn details about the 25th anniversary season field show for 2008 during open house on Thanksgiving weekend. The weekend events include practice sessions on November 24 and 25, and the annual banquet and awards ceremony the evening of November 24.
The Statesmen’s 2007 season officially ends after the Saturday evening banquet, with the Sunday session marking the start of the 2008 anniversary season. All those interested in participating in 2008 events are welcome to attend both practice sessions. All new recruits are also welcome to attend the dance and social session, beginning at about 9:30 pm Saturday evening, following the banquet and award presentations for 2007 members. Every member of the organization receives an award based on years of participation and contributions both on and off the contest field.
Practice sessions will be held at Our Lady of Mercy High School, 1437 Blossom Road, in Rochester, NY from 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday November 24, and from 9 am to 3 pm on Sunday, November 25. The banquet will begin at 6 pm in Rochester’s downtown Crowne Plaza Hotel, 70 State Street. The Crowne Plaza has also served as headquarters for the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship weekend organizers, and the site of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony on Labor Day weekend.
Corps members will celebrate the Statesmen’s 2007 tribute to the music of Maynard Ferguson at the banquet. Details of the 2008 music and field show concept will be announced during the open house sessions.
Since its founding in 1983 by the late Vince Bruni, the Empire Statesmen drum and bugle corps has aimed each year to produce a program that operates an octave above the ordinary, with a strong emphasis on audience entertainment.
The Empire Statesmen have won the DCA world title five times, the American Legion national championships four times, and the marching music world’s triple crown in 1998: the DCA, American Legion and World Show Band championships all in one year. The World Drum Corps Hall of Fame chose the Empire Statesmen as the 1990s all-age corps of the decade, in recognition of their success on the contest field, and the innovative scheduling of mid-summer concert tours outside North America to introduce drum corps entertainment to audiences in such countries as Mexico, England, Sweden, Denmark, Brazil, Bermuda, the Netherlands, and France.
The Empire Statesmen have also reached new audiences while performing in such events as the Ryder Cup golf tournament and the International Marine Tattoo in Rochester, the President’s inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., the Rochester Lilac Festival, a special concert for the Greater Rochester Visitors’ Association (GRVA), aboard ship during a World Drum Corps Hall of Fame winter cruise, during half time at Hamilton Tiger Cats and Buffalo Bills professional football games, in Memorial Day parades in neighboring Irondequoit and Pittsford, during a family festival in Geneva, New York and the Burlington (Ontario) Sound of Music Festival Grande Parade.
The Statesmen operate the Empire Cadets youth marching band as a community outreach program. The Empire Cadets’ first scheduled rehearsal for a new year of activity in 2008 is Saturday, January 5, from 11:15 am to 1 pm at Our Lady of Mercy High School.
The Statesmen have helped raise more than $300,000 for Rochester and area school music programs, by participating in benefit concerts over the past 20 years. Most of these concerts are held on winter weekends. The Empire Statesmen have also sponsored the DCA championship tournaments for the past two years. Each tournament on Labor Day weekend produces a local economic impact in excess of $10 million.
The Empire Statesmen organization offers many opportunities for involvement beyond participating as a performer or support staff volunteer. 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 open house or other activities, call (585) 266-2232 or visit the Empire Statesmen Web site at: www.statesmen.org