by Frank Dioguardi
This year’s Great Alliance of Seniors reunion had the traditional four major events (the Friday evening social blast, the Saturday morning/afternoon individual & ensemble show, the Saturday evening cocktail party and banquet and the Sunday morning farewell breakfast) all under one roof, at the Hilton in East Brunswick, NJ, May 2-4.
There was little time spent going from one event to another since all official events were either on the second or third level, just an escalator (or elevator) ride away. Once you were there, you were there to stay until it was all over. On average, approximately 525 people attended each of the four major events.
Traditionally, the GAS is a three-day, two-night event, but more interest is being generated in arriving a day earlier, Thursday, to have an unofficial day to meet and greet old friends and to make new friends without the worry of getting ready to participate in the GAS events.
Functionally, the Great Alliance is just that — an alliance. They are there to join together to participate in the reunion and to entertain one another. The bonding between the various groups was phenomenal. There were chorus groups joining together to sing special features as part of the GAS program and as a tribute to New York. There were multi-organizational groups featuring tributes to the GAS, the Skyliners and the late Duke Terreri Sr.
Additionally, there was a lot of good old drum corps stuff happening at the Saturday I&E show. They showed the full spectrum of drum corps from ancient fife and drums, individuals, duets, brass and/or drum ensembles, rudimental drumming ensembles and the drum cops sounds of some of the leading alumni corps. Then, of course, there was the “super chorus” and the “all-corps jam session” where anyone who wanted to could become involved…
For the rest of this article, pick up a copy of the June 20, 2003, issue of Drum Corps World!