Reading Buccaneers Announce 2009 Program

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The four-time defending Drum Corps Associates world champion Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps today unveiled its 2009 program, “DEMONS & ANGELS” to a large and enthusiastic crowd assembled for the corps’ annual Membership Day open house at Twin Valley High School, Elverson, PA.

“All of us in the Buccaneers organization are very exited about this program,” said program coordinator, percussion arranger and caption head Rich Hammond. “This year, we’re going to raise the bar in terms of effect – not just great individual moments pieced together but layered on top of one another to really entertain the fans. With this show we’re going to explore the contrasting emotions inherent in the different pieces. The music progresses from dark to light, from fear to joy, and from despair to triumph. The show – musically and visually – is about that contrast.” 

“Our exceptional color guard, led by Steve Vincent, will have a prominent role throughout and will bring our concept for the show to life,” said Hammond. Fans can expect another ‘total team’ production in which every section of the corps shines in every caption.

The program will open with “Dies Irae” (“Days of Wrath”) from Giuseppe Verdi’s epic Requiem. “We’re going to open the show with a right hook to the jaw of the audience,” said Hammond. “It will be extremely loud, bombastic, intense, and emotionally powerful. Look for some great percussion moments as well as a searing display from the hornline. Over the years, the corps has developed a really good approach to subtlety and nuance. It’s safe to say these skills will not be on display here!” The piece is also a tribute to the Buccaneers of the early 1970s, who performed it to great acclaim in 1973 and 1974.

The show continues with a unique twist on Manuel de Falla’s famed Ritual Fire Dance, from his ballet, El Amor, Brujo (“Love, the Magician”). The number will feature the expressive movements of the color guard and the rhythmic creativity and style of the percussion section. “This is a dark, intense, driving piece of music that fans will love,” said Hammond.

The corps will continue its tradition of presenting great ballads with a unique turn this year, featuring Leonard Bernstein’s A Simple Song, from his MASS, commissioned by former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy for the opening of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1971. “On its face, it’s a rather simple and peaceful melody, but the harmonies and textures are quite unique and unexpected,” said Hammond. “The hornline and color guard will produce a lyrical and beautiful moment with this number.”

The program will come to a rousing close with Movement III (“Symphonia Resurrectus”) from Easter Symphony, by celebrated contemporary wind band composer David R. Holsinger. “The corps had such great success in 2008 with Abram’s Pursuit, that we wanted to explore more of Holsinger’s music,” said Hammond. “There will be something for every drum corps fan in this great piece: speed, volume, color, intensity, movement and lots of great layering of different voices.” Every section of the drum corps will shine as the piece and the show come to a triumphant conclusion.

The Buccaneers’ next rehearsal camp will take place on Saturday, December 6 (brass and percussion) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, December 7 (brass and percussion) from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., at Twin Valley High School, Elverson, PA. Persons interested in learning more about membership in the Buccaneers for 2009 should visit the corps’ web site at or contact membership manager Elizabeth Miller at membership [dot] manager [at] readingbuccaneers [dot] org.

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, 2007 and 2008 – all four undefeated championship seasons.

The Buccaneers are sponsored in part by Ray A. Master American Legion Post 217, Topton, Pennsylvania

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Posted by on Monday, December 1st, 2008. Filed under DCA News.