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Are you kidding? Vinnies was one of the best corps in the nation for many years. Blessed Sacrament, Holy Name/Garfield and St. Vincent's were close competitors throughout the 1950s. St. Vincent's was one of the winningest Jr. corps in history.

I think that they folded in 1962 or '63.

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1 hour ago, old vanguard said:

Are you kidding? Vinnies was one of the best corps in the nation for many years. Blessed Sacrament, Holy Name/Garfield and St. Vincent's were close competitors throughout the 1950s. St. Vincent's was one of the winningest Jr. corps in history.

I think that they folded in 1962 or '63.

St Vincents Cadets:

THE great grandfather of modern drum corps!!!!  Mickey Petrone, Jim Donnelly and Vinnie Cerbonne led the way into the 1950's with St Vincents Cadets and their modernazation of junior drum corps.  Many times State and National Champions of the VFW and American Legion  (Their last title was in 1956), they pretty well set the bar for the decade .

They held their own against Holy Name/Garfield, Blessed Sacrament, St Josephs and the Audubon Bon Bons when NJ was the epicenter of junior drum corps.

They have a history book which may still be available from the parish in Bayonne.  It was written by an alumni whom I believe is now a Catholic Priest.  They "Vinnies" were named "Junior Corps of the Decade/1950's" by DCA in 1989   

Corps was disbanded at the end of the 1961 season.  Their last appearance at a "Nationals" was at the VFW in Miami where they placed tenth.

All honors to the "Big Green Band"!!!!!!!!!!!!!        :guinesssmilie:

Elphaba   :flower:

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" Jim Donnelly "

That man showed me how to hold a G/D single piston soprano bugle and taught me "the scale". (There was only one.) It was 1960, and I had just joined my first drum corps, the Xavier High School Cadets in NYC, having only played Boy Scout bugle calls prior to that.

I had never seen St. Vincents, or any other competing corps. A couple of seasons later I began to appreciate that my first instructor was the finest of his generation. How very fortunate I was, along with the hundreds of other kids Jim taught.

He was also a masterful arranger, able to negotiate the vagaries of that convoluted horn to create iconic charts like "Conquest", "Oklahoma", "Mambo Jambo" and others. Collaborating with Caesar Lamonica, he "invented" the French Horn bugle.

No wonder St. Vinny's ruled the drum corps world in those days.

 

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I hadn't heard that Jim Donnelly was attributed with the invention of the French Horn bugle. Glad that the instrument was created. Always loved the sound.

Vinnies, from the mid-fifties, onward had a kick-a$$ FH section. I think that they fielded six of them. (as did BSGK I think)

Somewhere in my dimming past, I recall being told by an old-school Vanguard that St. Vincent's and a few other corps used specially made horns, which meant that they were not the Holton, Getzen, or other "standard-issue" instruments. Whatever the instruments that were used, they certainly projected, and were pretty well in tune. Unique sound.

 

 

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When I marched with the Crusaders from Manville, NJ our corps director was John Latko who marched with Vinnies. He had the best collection of old records (78s) of the corps I even had the privilege to listen to.

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2 hours ago, Tokensoul said:

When I marched with the Crusaders from Manville, NJ our corps director was John Latko who marched with Vinnies. He had the best collection of old records (78s) of the corps I even had the privilege to listen to.

If you marched in the Manville corps you must have performed my buddy John Arietano's  charts. We played together in the Sunrisers for many years.

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21 minutes ago, ironlips said:

If you marched in the Manville corps you must have performed my buddy John Arietano's  charts. We played together in the Sunrisers for many years.

Yes, I knew John Aritano. I marched with the Crusaders from 1959 through 1969. I knew that he was associated with the Sunrisers. In fact, after I left the corps some of the younger members went on later on to March with the Sunrisers as well.

I don't know which of the songs were John's but If Who Will Buy was one of them, I was the soloist at the start of the song. We used it off the line in those days.

 

Edited by Tokensoul

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Getting back to Vinny's, I believe Jim Donnelly was a WWI vet, making him one of the folks who actually started the veteran's organization drum corps movement in the US in the 1920s.

Fr. Edward F. Wojtycha (Wo-tech-a) was the first moderator of the corps, which was an activity of the parish's Boy Scout troop. St. Vincent's is the archtypical example of a neighborhood corps growing into a national power. It took coordination and cooperation of the Church, the Scouts and the VFW, all of which were powerful societal organizations in those days.

Fr. Gerald Marchand, a Vinny's alumnus, wrote a book, "All for One and One for All", a history of the corps and also contributed an excellent chapter devoted to his corps in Vol. 2 of "A History of Drum & Bugle Corps", published in 2003 by Steve Vickers.

Alumni from Vinny's fanned out across the country to provide the instruction and expertise that enabled the establishment of the activity nationally. These folks, having been taught by people like Donnelly, Petrone and Chapelle, constitute the very foundation of what came after, down to the present. They should be honored forever by all drum corps participants and supporters.

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I believe I met Micky Petrone when I was with the corps. He was talking to our director John Latko (deceased) and John introduced him to those who were standing nearby. It was probably at either the VFW or American Legion States in Wildwood.

 

On a side note, my wife is related to Msgr. Wojtycha. He was my wife's grandmother's cousin. He was always mentioned at family gatherings. My wife's maternal family name is Zablocki. I met him also at St. Vincent's church the day John and his wife Yolanda got married.

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