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Alumni show delights fans despite soggy weather

by Vince Lamb, DCW staff

Toronto Signals (Toronto, Canada)
Photo by David Rice

September 1, 2002 — Scranton, PA . . . What would you think if you read a show line-up that included Preston Scout House, Mighty St. Joe’s, Chicago Royal Airs, Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, Boston Crusaders, Syracuse Brigadiers, Hawthorne Caballeros, New York Skyliners, Yankee Rebels and the Toronto Signals? You might think it was from a National Dream contest from the early 1960s and that, if you were under 50, you were too young to ever see some of these corps. You’d be wrong on both counts. The lineup above was for the 2002 Alumni Spectacular held as part of DCA Championships, a show where legendary corps that had been off the field of competition for decades performed and made drum corps history from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s come alive!

Fans of old-school drum corps filled every covered area within Lackawanna County Stadium, the home of the Scranton Red Barons, to listen and watch the performances as a steady drizzle fell throughout the show. Despite the precipitation, neither the corps’ performances nor the enthusiasm of the crowd were dampened. If anything, the rain energized the participants and helped the sound carry in this acoustically wonderful venue.

First on were the Syracuse Brigadiers Alumni…

The Toronto Signals produced a very powerful sound from their…

The New York Skyliners Alumni announced their entry onto the field with a soprano soloist screeching the…

The time machine really began to operate when the Preston Scout House Alumni Bugle Band stepped onto the starting line…

Despite cutting their field presentation over the past few years from a full field show down to a show where the corps merely marches into and out of a concert formation, the Yankee Rebels Alumni are still going strong. The highlight of their performance occurred when…

While the other corps were sending the audience through the “way-back” machine to the 1950s and 1960s, the Boston Crusaders Seniors set the dial on their trip for the…

One of the members from the Caballeros competitive corps played the solo soprano bullfight call from Espana Cani as the Caballeros Alumni swaggered onto the starting line, showing the tight bonds within the Caballeros…

Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights Alumni did their best to blow the stands down from deep in the outfield, almost 50 yards on the other side of the back sideline — and that was only their warm-up…

Mighty St. Joe’s declined to travel through time. Instead, they presented a full field show that was unlike anything they played either as an alumni corps or in their previous incarnation as…

The Chicago Royal Airs Alumni did the Preston Scout House Alumni one better in sending the fans back to the 1950s and 1960s by having someone imitate a timing and penalties judge, complete with firing a starters pistol at the beginning of the show and then again at the “end of execution” mark just before the big finale. In a press release, the corps boasted that it had 3,000 years of drum corps experience in its members…

Hawthorne Caballeros Alumni (Hawthorne, NJ)
Photo by David Rice

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Drum Corps World is published as an on-line electronic magazine by Sights & Sounds, Inc., Madison, WI. It is supported by advertising from manufacturers, service providers, corps, circuits and show sponsors. The publication began in October 1971 at the same time Drum Corps International was formed and has been produced continuously as a tabloid newspaper until April 2011 and on the Internet since May 2011. It is released monthly, as well as six additional e-mail blasts, one in late June, three during July and two in August.

The worldwide staff of writers and photographers provide show reviews during the season and interviews, feature articles, news and human interest stories during the off-season. The photographs that appear in the magazine are provided by 27 staff members who are scattered around the world. The publication covers World and Open Class Drum Corps International corps, Open and Class A Drum Corps Associates corps, alumni, mini-, parade and standstill units, as well as the growing activity in Europe, the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Philippines and South Africa.