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ironlips last won the day on March 21 2016

ironlips had the most liked content!

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About ironlips

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  1. Best slow solo ever?

    If you're old, I'm a fossil. "Ever" is a long time, even in drum corps. Bonnie Ott and Barbara Maroney have a lock on the "modern" era for me, but if you've never heard Tommy Martin on "I loves You Porgy" with the '62 Air Force Corps or on "Street Scene" with the Skyliners thereafter, you'd be rewarded for doing the research.
  2. John Sasso

    Knowing he didn't use the internet, I called John's first bugle instructor this morning to tell him of his student's passing. Bill Hayes was one of the most prominent soloists, instructors and arrangers in drum corps in the 1950's. Many of us remember Frank Ponzo playing the "Cherry Pink" solo in the Cab's Alumni, as a kind of tribute to fellow Buglers Hall of Fame member, Jimmy D'Amico. Both of them nailed it in their turn. But it was Hayes who introduced it with Hawthorne in the '50s. He also taught and performed with the Skyliners, and arranged for St. Catherine's Queensmen and the Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights among many others. "Johnny Sasso", he said, "he was a great kid and a wonderfully talented horn player. I always knew he'd amount to something." "You have no idea", I replied.
  3. Pathetic!

    I hereby challenge everyone who feels so strongly about the lack of "community" drum corps on Long Island, or anywhere else for that matter, to quit kvetching and start one.
  4. John Sasso

    From the East Hampton Star, Thursday, August 17th: A funeral Mass will be said by the Rev. Tom Murray at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church in Montauk tomorrow at 11 a.m. The family has suggested memorial donations to the Montauk Community Food Pantry, care of St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church, 67 South Essex Street, Montauk 11954. John Sasso was a member of the Buglers Hall of Fame and the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.
  5. John Sasso

    Most here may never have heard of John Sasso, but if you watched last night's DCI Finals, you witnessed his legacy. John taught the great Wayne Downey in the late '60s, and his DNA is all over countless drum corps today. His students went on to teach the Cadets, St. Lucy's, The Queensmen, Anaheim Kingsmen, Skyliners, Hurricanes, Bridgemen, Crossmen, Bushwackers, Sunrisers, Wanderers, Carver, Bluecoats, Santa Clara, Blue Devils, 27th Lancers, Westshoremen, Madison, Cavaliers, Freelancers, Reading Buccaneers, Hawthorne Caballeros, Colts, LI Kingsmen, Boston Crusaders, Mandarins,... and countless others. John may be the only instructor to win 2 National Championships on the same day, when the Sunrisers and St. Lucy's Cadets took home first place in the Senior and Junior divisions in New Orleans in 1968. He was the first to bring truly "professional" standards to drum corps brass playing when he studied with Joe Singer, Principal Horn of the NY Philharmonic in the '60s, applying those techniques directly to the horn lines he was instructing, long before anyone else had those insights. It's no co-incidence that today's finest brass instructors emulate that approach. Many of them were either taught by John or played his music. Still more received instruction from his students. Virtually all of them were touched by his talents in some way. When Isaac Newton was praised for his great accomplishments, he said, "I stood on the shoulders of giants." John Sasso was a giant and, even if you didn't know him, you owe him great respect.
  6. My hat's off to the '77 Crusaders. All of us on the Garfield staff were certain it would be one or the other of us who made finals, and we just squeaked in on the strength of our horn line. I remember thinking as I watched them in Prelims from the back sideline, "Jeez. If our two corps merged we'd win Nationals by 5 points." That was a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. That drum line absolutely blew my doors off, and when I listen to the recording today, it still does. Those cats wailed.
  7. Thank You!!!!

    Soundsport is the hippest thing DCI has put together since the Tour of Champions concept. It promotes drum corps at it's roots level and shows the organization's commitment to the future. I had the good fortune to judge the Soundsport show at Indy last year. It was an absolute blast. If you have not enjoyed this, put it on your "must see list".
  8. My Dear Medford Grenadier Friend, I have fond memories of your corps and even wrote some charts for them a few years after you marched. Mr. Ellis and the rest of the parents were a great bunch who ran the team like a big family. Before you write the obituary for drum corps with that approach I think you should go to and click on "corps", then note how many there are in the Open Class Division, like Music City, Legends, Les Stentors 7th Regiment, Louisiana al. Go to their websites and you will find units that are local, community-based and of a scale quite similar to the corps in which you marched. They would welcome your support, I'm certain.
  9. "Give me the sound of the Blessed Sacrament hornline any day." There are a number of active Alumni Corps that approximate that today, including Sac's. The Alumni Spectacular at DCA Championships is always entertaining, and there are several indoor shows like the Hanover Lancers event in York that feature a solid lineup of corps who perform in that style. "
  10. No, but it's really a question about people connected to drum corps who contributed significantly "off the field". They may or may not have had a high profile during their corps days, or were known by only a few, like the mom who sewed all the flags for 10 years, or the tenor drummer who became a Supreme Court judge.
  11. Who would you put in your "Personal" Hall of Fame, and why?
  12. Question: Who's in your "Personal" Hall of Fame, and why?
  13. Many of us have a "personal" Hall of Fame. I'd be very interested in who is a member of yours, and why.
  14. I think we can all agree that drum corps, for the most part, serves a different population today from the one that supplied most of the participants in, say, 1961 when I first found the field. The demographic has changed, certainly, at least among the high achievers. But today's "local" youth are actually afforded a better marching music opportunity, and just as much of it, as we were. There are far more and far better school marching bands, drum lines and guards than ever existed in the '60s. We can debate the reasons for the decline in the number of drum corps over the years, but the reality is that the average High School band now provides every bit as much positive social glue as the old American Legion drum corps did for us. Ironically, these groups learned how to do this from observing drum corps, and they have become the "feeder corps" for the touring groups. And don't forget, there are still folks who are willing to devote their time and energy towards fostering drum corps at a local level. The Columbus Saints are a case in point. If they can persevere, they will continue to improve, and will have a very positive impact within the community as well. I will confess nostalgia for what once was, but, even though my scholastic major was history, when I put on the uniform, I certainly felt every bit the "performance major". Things really haven't changed that much, in my view.
  15. Hipster DCI

    Ahhh, the age-old question: "What is Hip?" It's been asked in Drum Corps before, by some very hip teams like The Freelancers, Doc Crosser's Osage Precisionnaires (who nailed it to death) and the aforementioned Devils. And it's been dissected throughout the ages by other artistes like the Beat poets, the Greek poets and the Meat Puppets. Lord Buckley addressed the "hipsters, flipsters and finger-poppin' daddies" in his nightclub audience, among whom sat Sinatra, Martin, al. But what IS it? In 1973, it was this: Note the prophetic lyrics: "What's Hip today might become passe" "Hipness is...what it is" "Sometimes Hipness is what it ain't" The defense rests. Let the jurors deliberate.