2008 Empire Statesmen Grand Prix Report
It’s crowded at the top of the track in early-season Drum Corps Associates (DCA) contests.
Rochester’s Empire Statesmen moved up more than three points on the scoresheets at the Drum Corps Grand Prix compared to a week earlier, but not enough to catch the front running Reading Buccaneers, Hawthorne Caballeros and Connecticut Hurricanes.
Statesmen, competing for just the second time this season scored 79.55 to finish fourth at the contest in Clifton, New Jersey on July 12.
The Bucs, winning for the fourth straight week, topped the field with a score of 84.975. Caballeros, also on the field for the fourth time this season, scored 81.788. Connecticut Hurricanes, competing for the third time in 2008, finished third with a score of 80.388. The Bushwackers, who finished fourth in last year’s DCA finals, were fifth in the Grand Prix, with 76.388, including a 0.2 penalty. Fusion Core scored 68.625.
The Statesmen, Bushwackers, Caballeros and Buccaneers will compete head to head in the Cavalcade of Champions on July 19 in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. The lineup also includes Preston Scout House Alumni Band, Caballeros Alumni and The Commandant’s Own United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.
In their first contest of the season, the 5th annual Vince Bruni Preview of Champions in Rochester on July 5, the Empire Statesmen placed a close second to Hawthorne Caballeros. Statesmen and Caballeros shared the top caption scores: Hawthorne was tops in visual, percussion and brass totals. Empire Statesmen were tops in ensemble brass, visual effect, music effect and effect total.
During this 25th anniversary season, the Statesmen are performing the music that has defined the corps, with a strong emphasis on audience appeal, since it was founded in 1983 by the late Vince Bruni: popular Big Band numbers, songs from Broadway hits and a patriotic finale, this season featuring a huge graphic of “Mr. B’ backfield during the closing number.
The Statesmen are competing for the next seven weekends in a row in five different states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Connecticut, leading up the DCA championship tournament in Rochester on Labor Day weekend.
Since first hitting the contest field in 1983, the Empire Statesmen have won five DCA world championships, four American Legion national titles, and the triple crown: the DCA and American Legion titles and the World Show Band championship in London, England 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 Statesmen are sponsoring the DCA championships for the third year in a row, with events in several downtown Rochester locations and at PAETEC Park stadium.
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 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