Drum Corps International
Sunrisers, Sundowners to hold reunions

Sunrisers, Sundowners to hold reunions

by Drum Corps International

The Sunrisers will kick off their 50th anniversary celebration with a corps reunion and Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Nov. 29, 2003, at the Massapequa American Legion Post 166 in Massapequa, N.Y. The ceremony will last from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Directions can be found on the corps' Web site. The cost is $30 and payments can be mailed to the Sunrisers at 157 Ocean Ave., Massapequa, NY, 11758. RSVP to Joe Cappola. Meanwhile, a reunion of alumni from three corps that were once based in Eau Claire, Wis. (including the Sundowners), is being planned for the weekend of June 18-20, 2004. Eau Claire is a western Wisconsin community that had a strong local drum corps presence from 1953 through 1985. Boy Scout leader Walter E. Brown founded the corps in 1953 as an extension of Scout Troop 150. Doing primarily parades and Scout events in its early years, the corps adopted a competitive angle and in 1959 renamed themselves the Eau Claire Boys. For the next 10 years, the Eau Claire Boys competed throughout the upper Midwest. Known for their distinct black and white uniforms consisting of shorts, knee-high socks and black felt aussie hats, many seasons saw them field over 70 members (large for that era). In 1970 they added 35 girls to the color guard and took the name Eau Claire A Corps, and the next year adopted the name Sundowners and acquired blue and gray West Point-style uniforms. The Sundowners competed through the 1985 season, having notable seasons in 1974 when they made VFW finals with nearly 100 members, and again in 1980 when they earned a DCI Class A finals spot with a large corps and an exceptional brass line. The Sundowners stopped competing as a drum corps in fall of 1985, but a winter guard remained active for several more years, earning a WGI Open Class bronze medal and a WGI World Class finalist spot before going inactive. This first ever reunion is for all Eau Cliare drum corps alumni, from 1953 on through the winter guard years. The event will include a Friday evening social, a Saturday picnic and memorabilia display (both events in Eau Claire). On Sunday June 20, in conjunction with Drums Along the Red Cedar in Menomonie, Wis., an afternoon tailgate party and block seating at the DCI Central Division event is planned. Eau Claire drum corps alumni will present the national colors at the start of the show. The reunion committee includes Michael Bluem (1974-1975), chairman and president; Jim Young (1974-1975), vice president; Shelly Vig (1973-1981), reunion co-director; Marge Anderson (1976-1979), treasurer; Mike Allen (1973-1975), Webmaster; Dawn Heller Card (1975-1979), secretary; and Jeanine Anderson Webb (1976-1981), publicity. For more information visit ECDRUMCORPS.org or
e-mail Mike Bluem. For information regarding Drums Along the Red Cedar,
visit darc.us .

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