1972 Anaheim Kingsmen
With Drum Corps International's 40th anniversary season in full swing, and as the Grand Reunion — a party 40 years in the making — gets ever closer, in the meantime drum corps alumni and enthusiasts across the globe are already reuniting or celebrating milestone anniversaries. Alumni in Southern California, from the Ambassadors to the Vaqueros, will reunite this Saturday, June 30 for "Blast From the Past" — a reunion born out of the Velvet Knights alumni's gathering in 2011 — at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif. "When we started talking about a repeat in 2012, I had been in contact with some former members of the Lynwood Diplomats," said Garry Parker, a former drummer and staff member for the Velvet Knights in the 1970s and '80s. "They were talking about a reunion of their own, then it occurred to me that the Diplomats had merged with [Velvet Knights] back in the '70s, and that we were really one big family anyway. Why not combine our efforts?" Connie Kay Higgins from the Diplomats and Debby Bevins from the Velvet Knight Squires, Golden Statesmen, Velvet Knights and Anaheim Kingsmen took charge of organizing the event, launching a Facebook page. "We're not sure exactly how many people will make it," Parker said. "It's planned as a pot luck picnic in a park on the campus of Mt. San Antonio College, the site of the Corps at the Crest DCI event in Walnut, Calif. on June 30." Higgins and Bevins have heard interest from current southern California corps: Pacific Crest, Gold, City Sound, Impulse and the current Velvet Knights. They've also gotten responses from: Velvet Knights, the Diplomats, Golden Statesmen, Los Angeles Chinese Imperial Dragons, California Crusaders, Royal Guardsmen, Vaqueros, Third Generation, Koyasan Boy Scouts, Anaheim Scouts, Mary Knoll Girls, Monterey Park Girls, Senoritas, Lakewood Ambassadors and Anaheim Kingsmen.

The Grand Reunion: Aug. 9-11, Indianapolis

In 1972 the Anaheim Kingsmen became DCI's very first World Champions, and forty years later, more than 400 corps have participated in the World Championships with an estimated quarter-million alumni out in the world. Drum Corps International has invited these alumni along with all of the judges, volunteers and fans from DCI's 40-year history to come together at the Grand Reunion during the DCI World Championships Aug. 9 to 11 in Indianapolis. On Friday, Aug. 10 and Saturday, Aug. 11, the Grand Reunion festivities will include opportunities for special recognition and interaction for participants including an on-field VIP ceremony and an exclusive "after-party" on Friday night immediately following the Semifinals competition at Lucas Oil Stadium. Ticket, hotel and after-party packages are still available for those interested in taking part. Visit DCI.org/reunion to learn more. Learn more about the 2012 DCI World Championships.