Drum Corps International
Favorite memories

Favorite memories

by Michael Boo

Got any favorite drum corps memories from your corps or others? Send them in to boomike@dci.org and I'll feature them in a future Fanfare column. Here are some favorite memories from two drum corps fans. Martin Kvasnak contributed the following about his favorite drum corps moments. My first vivid memory of drum corps was the exhibition that the General Butler Vagabonds did at my high school early in the 1975 season. Their repertoire that summer was off-the-line with "City of Brass," "American Patrol," concert of "Harry J" (which a was medley of Harry James songs) and a closer of "Lady Sings the Blues." The soloists throughout the show were fantastic. They performed their show twice and it was a thrill to hear the horn line close up. The performance was at my high school football field and I sat on the 50-yard line, probably no more than 30 feet from the front line. To this day I can still hear and feel the horn line. What made it even more special was a bunch of folks who marched that summer that attended my high school and were members of the band with me. It was great to see them out on the field and to hear their stories when they returned from finals in Philadelphia that August. The first finals show I attended was in 1976, which again was at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. It was the first time I ever saw the Bridgemen, and they were fantastic. While many were "shocked" by the Bridgemen's show, I thought it was great. That year also marked the first finals appearance by Guardsmen. I remember after their score was announced at prelims, I realized that they had made finals and I did not really know who they were. Over the years, there have been so many great memories, great shows, many people met and friends made all because of this activity. Among the shows that I have really enjoyed and that are special to me are: 1975 Muchachos, Madison, Santa Clara Vanguard, Phantom Regiment, Kilties, Etobicoke Oakland Crusaders and General Butler Vagabonds. Muchachos' show is probably my second all-time favorite, with great soprano solos. Madison had great soprano solos as well and an incredible drum solo. Santa Clara had a fantastic drum line and classic "Fiddler on the Roof" music. Phantom's show was the one that hooked me on drum corps. Kilties had a great soprano soloist. Etobicoke had one of the best drum lines ever and a great closer. I loved Vagabonds' "Harry J" in concert.
1979 Guardsmen: Great opener with "Fanfare for the New." 1980 Madison and Cavaliers: Loved the Madison guard and the piano flags. The Cavaliers had a great soprano solo off-the-line and the horn line step-over in "Softly as I Leave You" is a move for the ages. I loved the double rifle work in "Sambandrea Swing." 1984 Garfield Cadets, Troopers, Sky Ryders: My all time favorite is Garfield's "West Side Story" show. It has an incredible drill and horn line. A great "Battle Hymn" by the Troopers and a great Sky horn line. 1986 Spirit of Atlanta: One of my favorite brass books ever. 1988 Blue Devils, Empire Statesmen: BD's Incredible "Since I Fell for You" closer (re-entry) and Statesmen's "Moonlight Serenade." 1989 Velvet Knights: "Knights in Tunisia" was a great show. I really liked the horn book and the guard. 1990 Dutch Boy: Hot show. Beautiful guard and horn line. 1992 Cadets, Star, Cavaliers and Santa Clara: This may be the best year of all time. "To Tame the Perilous Skies" is a fantastic piece of music. Star's show was wonderfully patriotic. The Cavaliers were just awesome. And, a great "Fiddler" from SCV. 1994 Blue Devils: Love the "My Spanish Heart" music. 1996: Phantom tying for the title. 1999 Santa Clara Vanguard: Wonderful drill...incredibly complex and fast. 2000 Carolina Crown, Cadets: As you can tell, I love Spanish-based shows. This is my favorite Crown show. Cadets were awesome. 2002 Cavaliers: Awesome show. Incredible execution. 2003 Carolina Crown, Phantom and Boston Crusaders: Crown's best show, awesome Phantom horn line, and a great all-around show by Boston. Nancy Dingus contributed the following memories. I have 23 years of drum corps memories. The first one goes back to June, 1982 in Riverside, Calif., when I saw my first show, and I saw my son in a blue cadet uniform, which I later learned had been previously worn by percussion legend, Tom Float. Bo had been recruited to march with the resurrected Anaheim Kingsmen. A month later, I was in Boston, and I saw my first East Coast show and fell in love with the yellow-coated Bridgemen. I've still got the T-shirt that commemorates that CYO show. Over the seven years that Bo marched-—first with Kingsmen, then Freelancers, and finally, Blue Devils, I built up a lot of memories of other moments! First and foremost was the night in 1986 when he was a part of the Blue Devils that won the corps' sixth title. I was fortunate to participate in a support staff function during his years with the Freelancers and be around during his tenure with the Blue Devils. As a driver, cook and seamstress, I had many unforgettable experiences. There were sunrises and sunsets and lots of rainbows from those summer thunderstorms. I'll never forget the trash truck in Miami that bore a sign advertising, "snow removal and catering services." And even though I made three trips between Montreal and Boston, I still wonder what New England looks like in the daylight. I had no music lessons as a child, and my dancing lessons ended at the age of 10. So, I've always been awed by the performance of every single young person I've seen step onto the competition field. I'm a visual person, so most of my moments are of shapes and color. The Blue Devils' "Pegasus" swing flags are my most-outstanding visual memory. Not far behind are those huge red silks the Cavaliers used in "Pines of Rome." I'll always remember and admire the rifle line that Sky Ryders showcased in 1982 and 1983. My favorite drum line? It's a toss up between the night in St. Petersburg that Bridgemen pulled down those blindfolds and Phantom Regiment's 22 snares at the end of "1812." Horn line? Well, the Blue Devils' "Cal Chords" always give me a chill, and remembering the spontaneous "contra hype" that occurred one steamy night in Stillwater always brings on a smile. I remember cooking huge trays of "chocolate mess" with for Freelancers, and sewing Freelancer uniforms as "Marge and Alice." I remember the Blue Devils' director Mike Moxley trusting me to take a young man to the hospital and then get him to the show on time. I remember the first time I saw the Caballeros and the first time I saw the legendary Boston Crusaders. Mostly, I remember the dedication of so many marching and staff members. I admire you all and wish I could include the names of every person who has a place in my memories. I know there are thousands of other people who feel the same way! I love drum corps!


Fanfare archives Michael Boo has been involved with drum and bugle corps since 1975, when he marched his first of three seasons with the Cavaliers.

He has a bachelor's degree in music education and a master's degree in music theory and composition.
   
He has written about the drum corps activity for over a quarter century for publications such as Drum Corps World, and presently is involved in a variety of projects for Drum Corps International, including souvenir program books, CD liner notes, DCI Update and Web articles, and other endeavors. Michael currently writes music for a variety of idioms, is a church handbell and vocal choir director, an assistant director of a community band, and a licensed Realtor in the state of Indiana. His other writing projects are for numerous publications, and he has published an honors-winning book on the history of figure skating. His hobbies include TaeKwonDo and hiking the Indiana Dunes. But more than anything, Michael is proud to love drum corps and to be a part of the activity in some small way, chronicling various facets of each season for the enjoyment of others.

Related News

View all news

by Drum Corps International

6 things to know about Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Read more

by Drum Corps International

Corps news and announcements
Read more