The Brigadiers

Other Names:PLAV Post #14, AL Post #1677, Syracuse Brigadiers

Syracuse, NY United States
Founded: 1947

Inactive Senior
Return to
Repertoire for 1960
Everything's Coming Up Roses (from Gypsy) by Jule Styne | Stephen Sondheim Gypsy - Original Broadway Cast
Black Saddle by Jerry Goldsmith
Victory at Sea by Richard Rodgers Rodgers: Victory at Sea / Robert Russell Bennett
Shangri-La by Carl Sigman | Matty Malneck | Robert Maxwell Forever Plaid - Off-Off Broadway Cast
The Syracuse Brigadiers Drum and Bugle Corps is a precision musical/marching organization that is historically significant to the City of Syracuse and the Central New York region.

The corps began life in 1938 as a junior corps organized by the Polish Legion of American Veterans (PLAV) Post 14 in Syracuse. After World War II the original corps was reorganized as a senior drum and bugle corps. In field competition, this new senior corps captured the title of PLAV National Champions every year that the contest was held.

In 1954, The Boys from Syracuse, The Cortland Moose, and The Sons of American Legion Post 41 drum corps all merged under the name The Syracuse Brigadiers. This was the first step in their climb to international fame.

The Syracuse Brigadiers won the coveted title of New York State American Legion Champions from 1955 through 1960 and then again in 1964 and 1967. Under the sponsorship of PLAV Post 14 and American Legion Post 1677, the Syracuse Brigadiers were finalists in the American Legion National Championships every time they entered, were runners-up three times, and were international champions in 1957 and 1958.

During the 1968 season, although the Brigs membership was devastated by the tragic deaths of two of their members in an automobile accident after a rehearsal, the corps still came within a few tenths of a point from being crowned DCA World Champions.

The quality of the Brigadiers’ performances diminished during the following years. The corps was inactive in 1972, but made a sterling comeback attempt in 1973. Although other corps had the luxury of eleven months of preparation for the DCA World Championships, the Brigadiers had to endure an intense five-week rehearsal schedule before entering field competition only a few weeks before the 1973 DCA World Championships. A judging penalty for undersized flags at the preliminary competition caused the Brigs to miss DCA Finals by five hundredths of a point, a blow from which the corps was unable to recover. The Syracuse Brigadiers folded, for 17 years.

On August 11, 1990, the Rochester Crusaders sponsored the Pageant of Drums competition in Syracuse, featuring many of the top senior drum corps in the country. The Crusaders had decided to name the first-place trophy that year in honor of the late Charlie Ragonese, one of the Syracuse Brigadiers’ directors.

At the awards ceremony, about fifty former Brigadiers were invited from the grandstand and marched around the stadium to the strains of familiar Brigadier music of the past. The crowd rose to their feet and cheered. The rebirth of the Syracuse Brigadiers was under way.

Inspired by that night, a small group of former Brigadiers and fans met in October, 1990, to discuss resurrecting the Brigadiers. This dauntless group of organizers had to beg, borrow and almost steal equipment before they were able to put a parade corps on the street in 1991.

Since then, membership in the corps has grown greatly. Personal loans, second mortgages on homes, and membership fees have helped to finance the corps. The Syracuse Brigadiers once again entered field competition in 1992.

The corps immediately began to recapture past glories as well as establish new standards of excellence. With audience entertainment being the traditional priority for the Brigs, standing ovations greeted their every performance. Show sponsors began competing to have the Syracuse Brigadiers in their shows. The 1992 season ended in Scranton where the Brigadiers garnered an eleventh place finish at the DCA World Championships and earned Associate DCA membership. They improved their status in 1993 to a ninth-place finish and full DCA membership.

Heading into the 1994 season, the Syracuse Brigadiers had come full circle, combining the elements of the new Brigadiers with traditions of their illustrious past. Mr. Brigadier himself joined the instructional staff: Al “Corkey” Fabrizio, former soloist, drum major, and music arranger from the 1950s, 60s, and the 70s, along with several other former Brigs. Steadily growing in consistency and organizational structure, the Brigs placed seventh in 1995 and fifth in 1996.

With the establishment of Brigadier Hall, a reorganization, a rededication to a sound organizational structure, and a stronger commitment to their tradition of quality performance, the Brigadiers’ success continued to grow. In 1997, the corps shared the 1997 DCA World Championship. They finished second 1998, but 1999 brought them the undisputed World Championship by one of the largest margins of victory in history, 1.7 points. They then claimed the championship for a third time in 2000, and with the 2001 championship accomplished the coveted three-peat.

The 2002 season brought new challenges in musical and visual performance, with the hope and expectation of quality performances throughout the summer, and a fourth consecutive World Championship, with a score of 98.6. In 2003, the Brigadiers fell just short of winnng "one for the thumb" by finishing second to the Hawthorne Caballeros, and the 2004 finish was also second. The Brigadiers through 2004 has finished first or second for eight consecutive years.

The Brigadiers formed an alumni corps in 1998, still active in 2002 as a standstill group. As many Brig alumni now live in Florida, Roy Grant created a southern branch of the corps in 2002, called the Florida Brass. This group joins with the Brigadier Alumni corps at DCA.

[; DCW, 6/28/02, p.14]

Members (90)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Ainsworth, Shane Euphonium 2005
Anno, Jim Soprano 1968
Bauer, Matthew Bass Line 2003
Bauer, Matthew Bassline 2003 to 2005
Beaulieu, Patrick Soprano 1999
Benz, Ryan Benz Soprano/Drum Major 1998 to 2002
Bertrand, Derrick Mellophone 2003
Bill, Christopher Baritone 2008
Bough, Roland Drum Major 2001
Bough, Roland Contra Bass 2003
Burch, Colleen Honor Guard 2003 to 2004
Burnell, James Baritone 2002
Campagnola, Carl Lead Soprano 1992 to 1998
Caraccilo, Chris Guard Caption Head 1997 to 2003
Carpenter, Shawn Contrabass 2001 to 2004
Cooley, Stephen Brass Arranger/Instructor 1991 to 1993
Cullen, Paul Soprano 2001 to 2004
Cullen, Paul Comittee Member 2005
Cullen, Paul Brass Instructor 2006 to 2009
D'EREDITA, MICHELE Guard 1991 to 1993
Dailey, Gary Soprano bugle-solo 1967 to 1969
Drouin, Alex soprano 1998 to 2004
Fine, Dale Baritone 2003
Fine, Mar-Jean Baritone 2003
Fleck, David French Horn 1967 to 1968
Fleck, David Mellophone 1969; 1973; 1991 to 1992; 1994 to 2002
Forest, Mike Bass drum 2001 to 2002
GRANT, ROY soprano 1953 to 1972
Gamble, Jackie Colour guard 2000 to 2001
Hamilton, David Contra 1998
Hamilton, David Contra, Brass Instructor 1999
Hamilton, David Brass Caption Head 2000
Healion, Carol guard 2000
Heer, Scott Baritone 2000 to 2002
Hernandez, Gregorio Baritone 1997 to 2000
Hingray, Christine Contra 1999 to 2005
Johnson, Carlos Front Ensemble (Pit) 2004
Jones, Geoff Baritone 1999 to 2001; 2003
Keck, David Lead sop 1991 to 2002
Kent, David Soprano 2002
LaValle, Brian Snare line 2003 to 2005
Lass, Mary Soprano 2000
Lass, Mary Soprano 2000; 2002 to 2005
Lévis, André Soprano 1998 to 2003
Lévis, André Soprano 1998 to 2003; 2005; 2007
Mackiewicz, Dawn Marie Baritone 2000
Mackiewicz, Dawn Marie Soprano 2001
Meyer, Jr., John Mellophone 1999 to 2000; 2003 to 2004
Meyer, Jr., John Brass Instructor 2005 to 2006; 2009
Miller, Michael Mellophone 2001 to 2005
Miller, Michael Mellophone 2001 to 2005
Min, April Mellophone 2002 to 2003
Mitchell, Jonas Baritone 2000; 2002 to 2004
Nauck, Nikki mellophone 2002
Nauck, Nikki Asst Drum Major 2003
O'Shea, Trish Color Guard 2001 to 2003
Orser, Chad Contra Line 2003
Peashey, Ed Soprano 1959 to 1961
Peashey, Tom Brass 1966 to 1971
Predmore, Mike Contra 2002 to 2003
Prentice, David Baritone 1997
Presley, Nick Baritone 2004
Presley, Nick Contra 2005 to 2006
Proulx, Maxime Bass line 2004
Reese, Eddie Drumline 1973
Rose, Jason Contrabass 2002
Savage, Vickie Colorguard 1995 to 1998
Scarchilli, Joseph Mellophone 1973
Sevigny ( spike ), Erik tenorline 2000 to 2002
Sigona, John Contra 2000 to 2003
Smardon, Steve baritone 1991 to 1992
Smardon, Steve brass staff 2007 to 2009
Stansfield, Scott soprano 2001 to 2002
Steiner, Fred Lead Baritone 2001
Stinson, Connie Rifle line 1991
Suckar, Rob Baritone/Honor Guard 2003
Surace, Santo Soprano 1973
Tobin, Andrea Color Guard 1997
Vassar, Richard Guard/drum line 1962 to 1971; 1991 to 2006
Vaughn, Steve Baritone 2008 to 2009
Vivenzio, Jim Lead Soprano 1991 to 1992
Wildrick, Erin Guard 2000 to 2001
Wildrick, Melody guard 1993 to 2003
Wiseman, Alan Bari/Euph 1999 to 2002
Wnuk, John drumline 1967 to 1973
Zoni, Stephen Baritone 1966 to 1968
Zoss, Angela Brass (Mellophone) 2006 to 2008
lalonde, anne brass 1992 to 1993
mitchell, joe PIT 2003
owen, ivan colrguard 1994 to 1996

CORPS 4 items

The Brigadiers

Syracuse Brigadiers Pennant from the Bill Ives Collection
The Brigadiers

Brigadiers Bumper Sticker from the Bill Ives Collection
The Brigadiers

Syracuse Brigadiers from the Bill Ives Collection
The Brigadiers
PDF Document
406-407, Syracuse Brigadiers from the Steve Vickers Collection