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KeithHall

Upstate NY Corps History

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Many of you know some or all of corps history so lets hear about them

 

ROYAL COACHMEN...North Tonawanda, NY

Started off as the Aristocrats in the early 60's with the Rescue Hose #5 Fire Company and changed the name to the Royal Coachmen. They took their colors (Gold and Black) from the fire company. The corps was a parade corps until 1970 when they did their first competition. As I recall, they surprised everyone with a finalist position at The Penn-York Championships in 1970. The next year the legend, Bill McGrath, wrote the drill and the corps participated in the new season with a brand new director. From 1972 to 75 the corps was always "rebuilding." Staff changes were made and Steve Cooley was with the corps as music arranger for 3 years. Corky Fabrizio wrote the show in 1972. 1976 saw the corps bring in Ted Key (music arranger) and Bob Stone( drill designer) as well as Bill Decker, Doug Kleinhans and Larry Darch on percussion. The year was a successful one with the winning of the NT Open "A" Class title. Sadly, the director resigned the morning the corps left for DCI Champiuonships in Philadelphia. Hotel accomodations were messed up and the corps didn't get to sleep until late. After  a couple of hours of sleep and a short rehearsal the corps performed a lackluster performance and failed to make the top 10 of A Class. Returning home, the director came back to the corps and after a winter rehearsal to get ready for the 1977 season he resigned again prior to Memorial Day. The new director decided to merge with another local corps and instead of taking the Royal Coachmen name we took their name of the Frontiersmen. Many senior members left for other corps and the Royal Coachmen were gone! Although corps in NY were dying by then more were to follow...actually ALL of them!

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The Alberta All Girls Drum & Bugle Band, largest of its kind in the world, has represented Canada in many international events since its conception in February, 1970 by Band Director, Bob Nagel and his wife, Pat. The bright white and orange uniforms, the dazzling gleam of the horns and percussion and the colourful flags have been seen at festival events in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Europe.

The band had so many firsts in its initial years of existence that the pace was staggering even for the youthful 14-21 year-olds. They were the first Canadian band to perform at the half-time show during the National Football League games in the United States, the first to play for a Bullfight audience in Mexico, the first to play at Caesar's Palace and the Circus Circus, a family entertainment casino in Las Vegas.

In the fall of 1970, Bob and Pat had four marching bands in the Edmonton area, all with over 100 member and all touring the province. The four bands included the Alberta All Girls Senior (14-21), the Alberta All Girls Junior Band (10-14), the Alberta All Boys (11-21) and the Hobbema Girls Marching Band. A convoy of 24 vehicles was needed to take the four groups to the Kelowna Regatta that year!

Their first overseas performance tour was highlighted with an invitation to perform for the traditional lighting of the flame that signifies the start of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. International performances included the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland in 1972 and 1973 and the Rose of Tralee Festival in Ireland in 1973 and 1977.

In 1974 the Alberta Girls were seen by an estimated one third of the world's population when they were the official entertainment for the final game of the World Cup Soccer Championships held in the Olympic Stadium in Munich. The National Film Board of Canada produced a movie on location. 

In 1977 the Alberta Girls made a performance tour that took them away from Canada for two and a half months and included performances in 13 different countries. A highlight of this tour included performances in commemoration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee and a performance for Pope Paul VI at his summer residence home, Castel Gandolfo, Italy.

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Looking for other Upstate NY corps....Greece Cadets, Black Knights, Tri Town Cadets, St. Joe's, Marauders, 76er's, Magnificent Yankees, Alpine Girls, Mello Dears, Appalachin Grenadiers, Lakeview Shoreliners, Imperial Regiment, Mighty Liberators, Geneva Appleknockers, Gauchos, Patriots, Firebirds, Avant Garde, Squires, Mark Twain Cadets, Empire State Express, Barons of Stuben, etc

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