- Drum corps is a here-and-now activity. Not many people who are actively involved in it at the present time have any interest in how we got to where we are, least of all the young people currently marching who seem to think drum corps activity began when they discovered it. To a large degree they are right.
That was when it did begin . . . for them at least!
At this very moment -- this upcoming season -- drum corps is “beginning” for young men and women across the world who, know it or not, will be tomorrow's history.
That in a way is a shame, because the history of drum corps is so rich and varied. It is absolutely fascinating. Over the years various individuals have strived mightily to keep this history alive, most notably among them Steve Vickers. Fortunately, to a very large degree, he has been more successful in doing so than anyone who preceded him.
I remember the very first DCI museum exhibit Steve organized at the first DCI Championships held in Madison back in 1985. It was packed with people hungry to become acquainted with “their” story of the “creation.” Since then various people have emerged, some with altruistic motives, others with economic motives and some with ego motivation.
Currently there is a devotee to the pursuit of what was, where we came from, the various periods of development, the inter-geographical rivalries, the dichotomy between senior corps and junior corps, the veteran-related connections and anything else drum corps related. There is an alumnus of the famous Archer-Epler Musketeers senior corps in Upper Darby, PA, is an inspirational force behind Jersey Surf and who has taken it upon himself to collect various artifacts of drum corps history. It is my understanding he now has over 200 uniforms of corps no longer active and corps still active whose long history has provided a treasure trove of information and artifacts.
This hopefully will be a new beginning to the study of drum corps as a sociological force which has a long and storied past. As the next step in this direction, Steve, in cooperation with DCI, is in the process of establishing the “DCX - The Drum Corps Xperience” project that will be the focus of the “virtual” museum Web site currently under construction.
There will also be a blog connection where people can comment about the archive material and submit material of their own, in addition to connecting with others to provide additional information. This is not only overdue, it is an extremely exciting idea that will perhaps, to some degree at least, bring us together as a community .
Former member of the Holy Name Cadets
Fair Lawn, NJ