Empire Statesmen 25th Anniversary Season Alumni Activities
Everyone who has marched with Rochester’s Empire Statesmen since 1983 is invited to help celebrate the corps’ 25th anniversary season in 2008, by attending a special Alumni Party in April, marching in several early-season parades, attending a July 4 contest in Rochester, then winding up the year dancing the night away during a special 25th anniversary ball in late November.
Any former members interested in participating in this year’s special events should send an e-mail to the Empire Statesmen office with current contact information, so their names can be added to the alumni roster. Over the years, Empire Statesmen corps members have come not just from Rochester and western New York, but such far-off locations as Ontario, Quebec, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, California, Texas and the Netherlands. The e-mail address is: esmen [at] rochester [dot] rr [dot] com
Since the corps was founded in 1983 by the late Vince Bruni, the Empire Statesmen have become one of the most popular drum and bugle corps in North America, winning local, regional, national and world titles in the United States and Canada, while also entertaining audiences in such countries as Mexico, England, Sweden, Denmark, Brazil, the Bahamas, the Netherlands, and France.
The events offered to all former members will begin with a special Alumni Party on Saturday, April 5. When the parade season begins, all alumni will be welcome to march alongside current members of the corps in several of the most popular parades in western New York, including the Rochester Lilac Festival Parade, Saturday, May 10; Irondequoit Memorial Day Parade, Sunday, May 25; Pittsford Memorial Day Parade, Monday, May 26; Irondequoit 4th of July Parade, Friday, July 4.
All alumni are particularly encouraged to attend the DCA contest sponsored by the Empire Statesmen in Rochester on Saturday, July 5. The season of celebration will wind up with the Empire Statesmen’s 25th Anniversary Ball, to be held in Rochester on Thanksgiving weekend, Saturday, November 29.
The title of the 2008 anniversary season field show production is “Our Way,” which will highlight the three main musical themes that have defined the corps’ contest routines since 1983: songs from the Big Band era, selections from some of the most popular shows to every appear on Broadway, and patriotic salutes to the men and women of the armed services.
Rochester-area fans will get a preview of the new routine during two benefit concerts later this winter to support area high school music programs. The Statesmen will perform at Marcus Whitman High School in Rushville, about 33 miles southeast of Rochester, on March 1 and in Jordan Elbridge High School in Jordan, between Rochester and Syracuse, on April 19. The Statesmen have helped raise more than $300,000 for Rochester and area schools and music programs across a wide area, by participating in benefit concerts over the past 20 years. These benefit performances have taken place not just in the Rochester area but throughout western New York and across the border in southern Ontario, Canada.
In addition to winning five Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world championships, the Empire Statesmen have won four American Legion national titles, and the triple crown: the DCA and American Legion titles and the World Show Band championship all in the same year in 1998, when the field show featured music from West Side Story. Empire Statesmen have finished in the top four during DCA championship tournaments for 20 consecutive years.
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 new.
The Statesmen operate the Empire Cadets youth marching band as a community outreach program. 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.
Rehearsal sessions in February and March will be held at Our Lady of Mercy High School, 1437 Blossom Road in Rochester. Saturday and Sunday rehearsals will be held every other week until the end of April, with outdoor training for the field show to begin in May.
For more information about any aspect of the Empire Statesmen organization, call (585) 266-2232 or visit the Empire Statesmen Web site at: www.statesmen.org