April 9, 2008

The New Auburn Purple Lancers

My very good friend VKGARRY sent me an e-mail today to let me know that the Purple Lancers of Auburn, NY is being reborn. That's excellent news. For those of you not as well versed in your drum corps history ;) , the Purple Lancers started out as a senior corps in 1949 (as most corps of that era did), with the senior corps eventually folding in 1957. However, in 1960, the Purple Lancers were revived as a junior corps and became very prominent among the many, many New York State corps of the late 60s and early 70s, winning the state's American Legion championship in 1974 (which was a very big deal in those days) and placing tenth in the DCI Open Class finals that year. The Purple Lancers were and still are the only New York State drum corps to have ever placed in the 35 years of DCI's Open Class/Div. I finals. (Those were the days when making the DCI finals was truly an achievement, where you had 56 other corps to compete against in the 1974 prelims to make 12 spots, compared to the measly 22 corps competing in 2007 for the same 12 spots.) And then the corps collapsed that winter, and all of us in New York drum corps were stunned.

So I'm very happy to see one of the venerable names of drum corps revived, and I wish them all the best of luck. (Note to the Purple Lancer management: Don't worry so much about getting the corps onto the field so quickly, but do get yourself a guard and drum unit up and running in WGI competitions; this will help to get your name out and establish yourself as a serious, competitive unit. This is the Voice of Experience speaking; BTDT.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Purple Lancers the Next Generation

The Auburn Purple Lancers are off the ground and running. Finishing up a successful autumn recruitment campaign they are now rehearsing with twenty members in the battery section and a growing brass ensemble. The color guard and dance ensemble is rehearsing on a weekly basis with designs on developing a winter guard program. This is the next generation of the Purple Lancers from the seventies, the only New York state drum and bugle corps to make the DCI finals. The excitement continues and they are moving forward to become another upstate all age drum and bugle corps with very competitive qualities. The brass ensemble is instructed by Harold Evans and musical arrangements by John Arrientano both formally of the Long Island Sunrisers from the championship years. Percussion ensemble is instructed by Tom Norton of the Empire Statesman and Mike Vasco former Purple Lancer percussion member. They are still accepting membership in all captions. For membership and information go to www.auburnpurplelancers.com or call 315-258-9585.