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All time shows: Pioneer

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Happy Thanksgiving! This week we are headed to Milwaukee for Pioneer. This group has been around a long time and had a lot of A60 and DII success.  Looks like their best WC/DI success was 16th.

What are your top 1-5 all time Pioneer shows?

(Optional) What are your 1-3 least favorites from them?

You can go into as much or little detail as you like but please please try to keep things positive.

For a quick recap in case you missed it and/or want to add your contributions:

Week 1- Cavies- 2006 the Machine is the favorite and 2012 15 min of fame is the least favorite.

Week 2- Jersey Surf- 2012 Bridgemania favorite

Week 3- Blue Knights-1994 Trittico for bras band favorite. least  2001Blue Toons

Week 4- Spirit of Atlanta- 1980 favorite

Week 5- Carolina Crown- Favorite: 2015 Inferno; Least Favorite: 2017 ...It is

Week 6- The Mandarins- 2017 inside the ink for favorite.

Week 7- Boston Crusaders- 2000 RED is the favorite.

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Those who know Pioneer only from recent history are missing out.  They are a previous World Champion that challenged for top 17 when they first broke into World Class (then Division I). 

Favorites -

Celtic Twilight (1996) - Pioneer felt like almost a D1 corps in all but name this year.  They roared through much of their schedule before getting upset at D2 finals by Les Etoiles (who themselves made serious noise at D1 Quarterfinals).   I saw them in mid-July that year, and had them above several familiar names.  The show was very nice - Celtic Twilight was kind of a new-age/Celtic-lite album, and Pioneer did it justice.

Riverdance (1997) - It was a pretty straightforward rendition of the soundtrack, if you're familiar with it, but the corps was mature and really strong across all sections.  They didn't improve as far as national standings, but it was definitely a more complex show than '96.  Another music book they did justice to, for sure.

Not so favorites -

The first one that stands out is Oliver (2002).  Bad show programming, that, especially considering how sophisticated the other corps were getting in those years.  The bottom also seemed to fall out of their recruiting, so they had a very small group that summer.  Good on them for getting out there, but I think management failed the members for this show.

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The first DCI Corps I saw was Pioneer. It was in Northern VA in1978 or79 and it rained so they did an exhibition in a gym.  They were small I think 4 snares and 25 horns or so.   I thought they were pretty good, However Madison, the Crossmen and BLues Stars came after them  then I realized they were not a top corps.  I have seen them 5 times since then And I liked last years show Les Mis. It was not overly complicated, had a good flow and the corps could handle it and concentrate on performing it.

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As a 5 year member of Pioneer I can say that my completely biased answer is 1996 and nothing else is remotely close. The 1996 corps was finalist caliber in all performance captions but struggled on the GE side.

Go look at some recaps from mid season of 1996 and you will be shocked to see where Pioneer's hornline was scoring.




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Thank you so much for your responses! 

1996 Celtic Twilight gets the win so far!

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