From a Stafford Lancers press release: The Stafford Lancers of Stafford, England, are enjoing an "excellent return rate from last season," according to corps director Dave Milton, "and the winter program is going very well. We're working hard on the basics, as well as moving forward with learning the new music," Milton continued.

A December Stafford Lancers rehearsal
Under the leadership of brass caption head Emma Milton, percussion caption head Steve Hibbert and guard caption head Allecia Brown-Smith, the corps' 2004 program will be called "Images of Russia." The show will feature the arrangements of Chris Billington (brass), Steve Hibbert (percussion) and Jay Howard (front ensemble). Specifically, "Images of Russia" is made up of the musical selections "Spirit," "Meadowlands," "Troika" and "Russian Easter Overture (featuring "The Great Gate of Kiev"). According to Milton, "The composers were inspired by love of Russia and its tradition, regardless of enormous political change over two centuries. They all loved the Russia of huge open spaces, forests, wilderness, folk music of the hard-living people, and the music of the ancient church with its famous choirs and massive bells. "In 1812 and the 1940s Russia had been attacked, by Napoleon and later Hitler, and Russia had suffered terribly as a result -- hence the patriotic feelings. But whatever challenges they were faced with, the common people always had their traditions to help them rise above their hardships -- until they faced the next challenge!" You can find out more about Stafford Lancers and their 2004 program by visiting