DCI.org met with Fred Morris at the Drum Corps International winter meetings in Atlanta this January. He is the new director of Troopers and is enthusiastic about the corps' return to competition and its long-term survival. As a member of the drum lines of Erie Thunderbirds and Reading Buccaneers, Morris continued on in the drum corps activity after "aging out." In 1987 be became a drum staff member for Bluecoats and in 1992 took over the corps' promotions and souvenirs operation, also serving on the corps' board of directors for 12 years. Morris' relationship with Troopers began in 2004 when he started helping the corps with its souvenir booth. Partially due to his experience running his own company and his degree is accounting, he was asked to become the corps' new director last May, responsible for bringing the corps out of inactivity.
Morris admits that when he moved to Casper, he was "hit by the mystique and history of the corps and the connection the corps has had to the City of Casper. The corps is an institution, a legacy to the city. I would run into people such as my neighbor and people at the grocery store and they all said we needed to get the corps back on the field." Morris has had quite a time going through the historical archive in the corps' new facility, where Troopers' entire 48-year history of scrapbooks, old uniforms, sponsorship flags and trophies are stored. He says that "going through that room was a step back in time. One looks at the pictures and wonders what path the Long Blue Line has taken." Recently, the corps purchased new horns and is looking at some new upgraded uniform designs that stay true to the look everyone knows and loves. Troopers' fans can also start salivating at the thought of owning a piece of corps history. This summer, corps memorabilia will be available at the corps' "Sheep Wagon," which for those who don't know, is an authentic covered wagon with original wood from the Wyoming 1800s. (Next time you see it, check out the plaque by the front door.) The items will be sold on a first-come, first-come basis; including actual show flags and uniform hats. "Troopers look forward to entertaining at a stadium near you. We're definitely back to stay for at least an additional 50 years," Morris said. Watch a video interview with Morris below.
Troopers take the field during the 2005 season in San Antonio.