Bridgemen Celebrate Rich Legacy At 2012 “Tournament of Stars”

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Since its founding in 1965, few organizations in marching music have enjoyed the celebrated history of Bayonne, NJ’s legendary Bridgemen drum and bugle corps. This June, the celebration reaches an entirely new level as generations of Bridgemen members and loyal supporters reunite in this city by the bay to relive some of this world-famous performing group’s greatest achievements and to see a modern day World Class competing drum corps perform an homage to their spirit and legacy… all wrapped up in a great night of entertainment for the entire family.

Bridgemen director George Lavelle Jr. recently announced that at this year’s “Tournament of Stars” drum corps exhibition event will honor the 1972 St.Andrews Bridgemen & the Championship remarkable percussion sections of the 1980, 81 and 82 seasons. The annual event, scheduled for 6PM on Saturday June 23 at Don Ahern Veteran’s Memorial Stadium at Bayonne High School, will feature performances from nine groups along with the Bridgemen Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps. Tickets are in advance for adults $12 Senior citizens $10 children (6-13) $8. After May 31st and at the door Adults $15 Senuior Citizens & children (6-13) $10. Children 5 and under free.

“40 years ago, the St. Andrews Bridgemen of Bayonne became the first corps ever to advance to finalist status at the 1972 Drum Corps International (DCI) World Championships in Whitewater, WI, ultimately finishing eleventh in that history-making event,” said Lavelle. “We wanted to recognize the ‘72 corps as the first corps to take the field in the history of Drum Corps International finals competition, in this the 40th Anniversary Season for DCI, helping to blaze the trail for the tens of thousands of those who followed.

“Amazingly it has already been 30 years since the Bridgemen drum line won the world percussion title for an incomparable third year in a row at the 1982 DCI Championships. The nearly-flawless, standard-setting performances of these percussion sections continue to stand the test of time. We want to honor and pay respect to the dynasty they created during those three seasons” Lavelle added.

An added bonus to what will already be an undoubtedly emotionally-charged evening will be the debut performance of the 2012 Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps, New Jersey’s only remaining World Class competing unit performing in the Drum Corps International Tour. The group, which hails from Camden County, will perform a contemporary reinterpretation of Bridgemen classics, while adding their own special brand of performance style.

Additional groups scheduled to appear in exhibition include: Swing House (Penns Grove, NJ), Skyliners Alumni (Hasbrouck Heights, NJ), Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights (Nutley, NJ), Reilly Raiders (Willow Grove, PA), Park City Pride (Bridgeport, CT), Fusion Core (Dover, NJ), Raiders, (Wayne, NJ), Caballeros Alumni (Hawthorne, NJ).

To order tickets send a check or money order to BRIDGEMEN TOS P.O. Box 354 Bayonne 07002 or visit

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Posted by on Thursday, May 31st, 2012. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.