Rochester Preview Of Champions Report

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Empire Statesmen opened their contest season July 5 in Rochester, placing a close second to Hawthorne in a penalty-filled 5th annual Vince Bruni Preview of Champions. Hawthorne scored 76.425, including a 0.6 point penalty. Statesmen scored 76.063, including a 0.9 penalty. Syracuse Brigadiers, scoring 70.363, were hit with a whopping 2.4 in penalties. Rochester Crusaders finished fourth with 69.438, including 0.6 in penalties. White Sabers were the only unpenalized corps, scoring 60.575.

Empire Statesmen and Caballeros shared the captions. Hawthorne was tops in visual, percussion and brass totals. Empire Statesmen were tops in ensemble brass, visual effect, music effect and effect total. The Preview was a huge hit with the audience, attracting a capacity crowd to Growney Stadium at St. John Fisher College with people still waiting in line after all the tickets had been sold. The program included a performance by the Statesmen All Stars Alumni and the Empire Cadets, to help mark the 25th anniversary season.

The Statesmen are performing the music that has defined the corps, with a strong emphasis on audience appeal, ever since it was founded by the late Vince Bruni in 1983: Big Band, Broadway and a patriotic finale, featuring a huge graphic of “Mr. B’ backfield during the closing number.

The field show for 2008 features an opening fanfare of Moonlight Serenade, followed by Take The A Train and Sing, Sing, Sing. The arrangement of My Way includes snippets of Broadway hits Sun and Moon, the love ballad from Miss Saigon, and With Every Breath I Take, the lover’s lament from City of Angels. Music from West Side story leads into the percussion section feature, The Rumble. The show comes to a conclusion with a patriotic medley.

The Statesmen are competing on nine weekends in a row in five different states this summer: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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.

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:

Posted by on Tuesday, July 15th, 2008. Filed under DCA News.