Empire Statesmen Third In Mission Drums
Following their one-week layoff, Rochester’s Empire Statesmen jumped up to 80.188 on the score sheets at the Mission Drums contest in Lawrence, Massachusetts, to finish third behind Connecticut Hurricanes and Hawthorne Caballeros. Hurricanes won the contest with a score of 82.663 with Caballeros close behind at 82.313.
Kingston Grenadiers were fourth, with 67.013, followed by Rochester Crusaders with 66.363. The Mission Drums contest on July 18 was sponsored by Drum Corps Associates (DCA).
In their first contest of the season on July 4, Empire Statesmen won every caption. At Mission Drums, Hurricanes were tops in the visual and music composite captions and tied with Caballeros for top score in visual effect. Four different corps have finished on top in the seven DCA contests so far this season. Reading Buccaneers are, again this year, undefeated, winning all three of their contests. Hurricanes have two top place finishes, and Empire Statesmen and Syracuse Brigadiers one each.
The eight-hour bus trip to Massachusetts for the Mission Drums appearance was the longest road trip of the summer for Empire Statesmen. The Statesmen buses left Rochester about 11:30 pm Friday and arrived about 7:30 am Saturday in West Newbury, where corps members had a few hours to sleep on the gym floor at Pentucket Regional High School before rehearsal began at 9:30 am. Buses left immediately after the evening contest, to arrive back in Rochester about 7 am Sunday.
On July 25, Empire Statesmen will travel in the other direction, to the western edge of New York state to compete in the Buglers Holiday contest in Jamestown. Other competing corps will be Syracuse Brigadiers, Rochester Crusaders, White Sabers of Dansville, New York and Excelsior, representing the greater capital district of New York and Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Statesmen will compete every weekend throughout July and August, winding up the regular competition schedule with another long road trip. On August 29, Statesmen will travel to Bridgeport, Connecticut to compete in Fanfare 2009 in John F. Kennedy Stadium against Syracuse Brigadiers, Bushwackers, of Harrison, New Jersey and the Hurricanes.
The following weekend, Empire Statesmen will, for the fourth year in a row, be the local host for the DCA weekend tournament to determine the 2009 champion. Events begin the Friday evening of Labor Day weekend, September 4, with individual and ensemble competitions and mini-corps contest in downtown Rochester, with free admission to all events, including an outdoor street party. Events on Saturday, September 5 include the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame induction ceremony during a noon luncheon at downtown Rochester Plaza Hotel (formerly the Crowne Plaza) and class A and open class preliminaries beginning at Rhinos Stadium (formerly Paetec Park stadium) at 2 pm.
Sunday events include the Alumni Spectacular field show at 10 a.m., featuring nine of North America’s most popular alumni corps: three from Canada and six from the United States, with the DCA class A and open class finals beginning at 5:30 pm.
The DCA championship tournament will be held in Rochester again in 2010 and 2011, with DCA acting as the host organization.
The Statesmen are five-time DCA world champions and have also won four American Legion national titles, and the triple crown: the DCA and American Legion titles and the World Show Band championship in London, England in 1998. Empire Statesmen have finished in the top four during DCA championship tournaments for 21 consecutive years. In addition to winning five championships, the Statesmen have finished in second place six times; in third place six times and in fourth place four times. The World Drum Corps Hall of Fame chose the Empire Statesmen as the senior (all age) corps of the decade for the 1990s.
Formed in 1983, the Statesmen won the International Corps Associates (ICA) championship before joining the ranks of Drum Corps Associates (DCA) in 1986. ICA was founded by the late Vince Bruni to provide performance and competition opportunities for small drum and bugle corps.
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, Mexico and South America. The corps also sponsors the Empire Cadets marching band for city and area youngsters, as a community outreach program.
For more information about the Empire Statesmen organization, visit the website at: www.statesmen.org