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Everything posted by ironlips

  1. I saw them in Mc Cormick Place when they won the '65 VFW. One of my mentors was judging, and he found a perch for me and my friend, Tommy Howell, one row behind the GE judges, from which we watched the entire finals show. In my opinion, it would be futile to try to describe the Royal Airs. The audio recording exists, of course, and it's amazing, but even that pales by comparison to "being there". This must be considered in the context of drum corps in 1965, and I'm not sure that's possible anymore. A "big" horn line had 45 brass. There were no keyboards, timpani or other pit instruments. The Royal Airs didn't even feature contra basses that season and may have had only 2 of the newly-introduced mellophones. And then there was the drum line, and their marching design and skill. One would have to immerse oneself in the corps music and standards of the era to fully appreciate the Royal Airs. The late Gail Royer claimed they were the best corps he had ever seen. I'm with him. (Ok, not the "late" part.)
  2. My Favorite Things - Bridgemen La Fiesta - Muchachos Free Again - Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights Lucretia Mac Evil - Skyliners
  3. Indeed. His mark was everywhere. But even he had mentors. Bob Cardaneo (WDCHOF) informed me that his grandfather taught Bill to play the bugle, in the basement of the McKenzie American Legion Post in Bayonne.
  4. "... he was a giant. " Indeed. I just received several private emails from prominent instructors (Queensmen, Sunrisers, Skyliners, Wynn Center, George Washington Carver, Garfield...etc.) that used this very term to describe Bill Hayes.
  5. Posted 20 minutes ago The great Bill Hayes has passed. After serving as an Air Corps turret gunner in WWII and earning 4 bronze stars, he completed his music degree, became the first "Cherry Pink" soloist in the Caballeros, and taught both music and drill to dozens of the finest drum corps in the country. If you ever marched in this activity, you either learned from him, someone else who had, or one of their students. We all carry Bill's Drum Corps DNA to some degree. He was the personification of "The Greatest Generation", in every sense of the word. Details:
  6. The great Bill Hayes has passed. After serving as an Air Corps turret gunner in WWII and earning 4 bronze stars, he completed his music degree, became the first "Cherry Pink" soloist in the Caballeros, and taught both music and drill to dozens of the finest drum corps in the country. If you ever marched in this activity, you either learned from him, someone else who had, or one of their students. We all carry Bill's Drum Corps DNA to some degree. He was the personification of "The Greatest Generation", in every sense of the word. Details:
  7. Many alumni/alumnae will attest to joining drum corps because they "saw them in a parade". So it was with me. I was a Cub Scout, marching (stumbling) with my Pack 333 brothers in a church event to kick off the annual fund raising Parish Bazaar. Suddenly, I heard "that sound", and saw red and white flags swinging around the corner. I broke ranks and ran closer for a better look. The sight and intense music just blew my little mind. Drum thunder, silver horns. Loud as h#ll. I was captured forever.* The pastor had decided to add some spark to the parade by hiring a corps from the neighboring parish, and I was being gassed by the St. Catherine's Mariannettes. My initial elation was quickly followed by the (albeit temporary) notion that drum corps might be for GIRLS ONLY. Wonder Woman and Super Girl with horns and drums! My career path was an All-Girls Drum Corps. *They were playing a Bill Hayes arrangement of "Great Day". How appropriate. For the full story:
  8. His music was as beautiful and iconic as it was challenging. It's no surprise it spoke to the Drum Corps community.
  9. This question requires some parsing. All-Girl Corps, even at their peak, were still a super-minority of total number of organizations. From the Bon-Bons to the Gardner Guards to the ND-ettes to the Chatelaines they were unique jewels in the crown and always crowd favorites. I suppose their demise was due to most of the same factors that caused the overall decline of regional corps. Anyone reading this will be quite familiar with those. One thought persists: Those young women provided the spark for gender equity in all sections of corps. Rita Macey, Cherokee Merino, and others proved without a doubt that women were fully capable of any task in any section. Just ask Bonnie Ott, Gail DeAngelis, Barbara Maroney or any of the thousands who came after.
  10. I'm with these cats. They get it, and always have. Both have more street cred in this activity than 95% o the posters on DCP. As Pepe Notaro reportedly said, "I'll stop doing this when that first shovelful of dirt hits me in the face." Drum Corps (like hipness) is, what it is. It's whatever whoever is doing it says it is. It's the past, the present and the future. Negativity be d@mned. Full speed ahead. (But can we get rid of those obnoxious "duts"?)
  11. From the DCX web site, quoting the c. 1966 Encyclopedia of Drum and Bugle Corps, edited by David Ross-Robertson and A.P. Samuels: " The Chicago Spartans, formed in 1964 from a merger of the Morton Grove Cougars and St. Michael's Chi-Angels, was a junior marching and maneuvering corps based in Morton Grove, Illinois. They were sponsored by the Morton Grove American Legion Post 134, Forest Park VFW Post 7181, St. Michael Parish of Chicago, and the Catholic War Veterans of Chicago. The corps’ colors were red, black, and white. After the corps’ disbandment in 1965, many members migrated to the Chicago Royal Airs. [Encyclopedia of Drum and Bugle Corps, 1966]" It looks like the Royal Airs may have been the main beneficiaries in this process. So it looks like it was the Royal Airs who my have benefited most
  12. " the future of dci is wgi. " A viable premise. I think it's already materialized to a great extent. As for arrangers, I wouldn't sell the current crop short. In addition to those luminaries already mentioned, there are a few others with very heavy pens, like Jay Bocook, JD Shaw and Chuck Naffier. Beyond that, it would not surprise me if there were a couple in the woodwork about to break loose. What better way to make your bones than a Chick Corea chart. Hint: No one has yet maximized synth/electric piano in our beloved activity. Chick's "Antidote" charts with their horn, keyboard and percussion mix just about scream contemporary drum corps.
  13. Chick Corea, former soprano for the St. Rose Scarlet Lancers and recent inductee to the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, picked up the Grammy last week for "Best Latin Jazz Recording", for his double album "Antidote". Maybe some hipster program designer will take notice when planning for 2021. Chick being an avid fan of the activity, I think licensing and arranging permission deals would be very favorable in that case.
  14. " Casper Troopers Stockton Commodores. Marching style, Jim Jones worked with them early 1970's " This gets really deep. The Troopers were modeled after Garfield in terms of emphasis on execution, repertoire (show themes and marches) and a kind of infrastructure that could provide touring. This is not surprising when you consider that Donald Angelica was a prime arranger (along with Mike Duffy), and an advisor to Jim Jones. A little later, that gospel got spread to Gail Royer and SCV. Some of those apostles were the aforementioned Donald A, and Trooper alums Pete Emmons and Fred Sanford. This is "how the west was won", so to speak. The Troopers really did spark a new era. No one who saw them in Bridgeport at '64 World Open prelims could ever forget the pandemonium their performance caused. They finished 11th, missing finals. As the story goes, Donald A convinced the show sponsors to permit them an exhibition at the night show, partly because they had "traveled so far", but mainly because the audience was ready to burn down the town. After their evening performance it was clear to most that their prelims score was suspect...highly suspect. Regardless, they made their mark that day and established a rabid fan base a couple of thousand miles from home.
  15. " How come I don't know this!? Who? " Blue Rock(s) Image, deportment, musical style, uniform...etc. If you ever compared Blue Rock's major, Vicki Drummond, and Kingsmen's guard captain, Linda Rieke, you might think they were the same person. It's uncanny when you consider things like bearing, posture, stage presence...etc. Maybe they are the same person. I don't recall ever seeing both at the same time and place.
  16. Agree, of course! You should know. Here's another one in your wheelhouse, I think: What prominent Eastern corps was (were) one of Anaheim's prime inspirations? I refer to the post-Scouts version of the Kingsmen, the one with which folks are most familiar.
  17. Way to go, Elphaba! And here I thought your expertise was East Coast centered. Clearly, you are hip to the history of the whole national scene.
  18. Just a guess...McHenry Viscounts? BHOF brother Dave Hill would know for sure. I think he was in both corps.
  19. ...and a Bingo for the "Voice of Drum Corps", the incomparable Fran Haring. Esq.
  20. OK, perhaps this riddle is a bit arcane. Suppose the question becomes: "What present corps show clear influences from corps of the past?" e.g. Present Past Commonalities Blue Devils Anaheim Kingsmen staff, musical style, original uniforms SCV Chicago Royalaires emphasis on technique, (Royalaires were Royer's favorite corps.)
  21. Well, it does require a little reflection, but "roots" could mean staff, city, or corps that morphed via mergers...etc. In the last case, I am thinking of one from among the current DCI finalists whose "godfathers" included 3 smaller units. The "staff" link isn't so hard to decode. Think of 2 other finalists, the greater portion of whose "original" staffs came from 2 others in the general area, both finalists in their own right, and no longer with us. Of course, a given present day corps could have many godparents, for any number of the reasons stated above. "City" is the easiest category, "Style" the most difficult, since today's groups can turn on a dime in that regard so that connection is tougher to make unless you go back a few years. In a sense, there are no "wrong" answers here since everybody was influenced by everyone else, at least to some degree.
  22. So, we've been enumerating corps "of the past" lately, and as interesting as that is, it's starting to feel like reading the obituary section to me. I am as big a nostalgia fan as there is, but it's a bit sad to see all those names, and we know there are hundreds more. I'd like to suggest we flip this to the positive just a bit. After all, many of these corps were quite influential and left legacies. Name a contemporary corps whose roots and/or style can be traced to an earlier organization, its "Godfather", so to speak. For example: PRESENT CORPS GODFATHER Jersey Surf Bayonne Bridgemen Carolina Crown Suncoast Sound
  23. This is definitely worth a listen, irrespective of one's position regarding amplification and electronic enhancement in drum corps. There are informed, intelligent people seeking to establish "best practices", and this is a positive direction for the activity. This is not to say the arms race will disappear anytime soon, given that it began when the valve was soldered to the G bugle, but there is at least the notion that music education plays a role here. There are professional standards for sound reinforcement just as there are for brass and percussion performance. The process has become holistic. All of these things, whether officially or not, are evaluated in toto during the show, and not solely by the adjudicators.