Princeton, NJ United States
The catalyst for the formation of the Bushwackers was Mike Olszewski, the man who had the dream, money, and guts to get the corps started. He wanted the corps to be located in his hometown of Keyport, New Jersey, and he secured the Keyport American Legion Post 23 for rehearsals. An organizational meeting in late 1980 brought together Mike, the first show coordinator Mike Mercadante, future instructors Lee Romano and Russell Morris, and about 15 other interested people.
Although the corps had hopes of fielding a corps in 1981, there were not enough members to begin any drill, so the corps performed in parades, typically with about 35 members. By working as a parade corps, Bush made some money, got more exposure, kept in practice, and formed a nucleus for the following year.
Relocation to Harrison, New Jersey, allowed Bush to tap into members of the recently disbanded Royal Brigade. The new horn instructor, Al DiCroce, had been the horn instructor of Royal Brigade. Al got Larry Kerchner to arrange two numbers, "Clash of the Titans" and "Fishlegs,” both of which were performed at the Bushwackers’ debut in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, at the Archer-Epler standstill show on April 17, 1982.
The Bushwackers became used to working in the rain and putting in long hours of rehearsal. In fact the night before their first M&M field show they rehearsed from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. That first performance, in Ramsey, New Jersey, came off without any breakdowns in front of a small but considerate crowd. Bush finished last with a 52.55, which was very forgiving. Throughout the remainder of the season the new corps took their lumps and paid their dues, finally taking eighth place at the 1982 DCA Finals.
When you are a new corps and no threat, other corps pat you on the head and become your best friends. But once you improve and begin to beat them, you are no longer the cute little corps with the unusual name that they have come to know and beat. The Bushwackers learned this lesson in 1983.
Over the winter the corps pulled in some talented people from Garfield, Bayonne, and the Royal Brigade. Word of mouth helped the corps grow and make big strides from the '82 group. Bush probably gained two or three years of maturity in one calendar year.
At 1983 Finals Bush went on after a terrific show by the Buccaneers, an experience that was a turning point in Bush history. With a tie for fifth, the Bushwackers had jumped three spots in just one year and began to make a serious name for themselves.
As the 1984 season approached the Bushwackers found themselves in the unique position of fielding one of the best DCA corps of the year by passing the Skyliners, Westshoremen, and the '83 champs Sunrisers. Changes that propelled the Bushwackers forward included the addition of George Zingali as drill designer, the turnaround of the marching program and performance scores, the emergence of the color guard as a top contender, and the development of the drumline into a legitimate force.
Another factor in a successful year was a change in uniforms. Designed by Michael Cesario, the new uniforms were in two pieces, including high bib pants with a short jacket. The colors were changed to magenta/powder blue/white/black with a white fedora hat.
When the season was coming to an end, the competition appeared to be the Cabs and the Bucs, followed by Bush. This was the first time the Bushwackers had to perform with any real pressure to succeed. So for the first time in the corps’ history, DCA Finals was a major disappointment. Third place after just three years was an achievement to be proud of, but winning even one caption would have been nice too.
1985 should have been a great year for the Bushwackers. The corps had placed eighth, fifth, and third in DCA Finals over the first three years and had left 1984 in very strong shape. People expected the Bushwackers to vie for the championship in '85. Instead this would be a rebuilding year. Therefore it was all the more amazing when the corps finished in fourth place.
Just as 1984 took a toll on the corps, a similar drain sapped the group at the end of the '85 season. The drum corps rumor mill had the corps dead. They appeared at no winter standstills, and their first show would not be until July fifth. 1986’s final results was all the sweeter as a result.
New staff included Gary Oberwanowicz as show coordinator and head horn instructor, color guard instructor Steve Walsh, and Roy Chambers and Allen Chesnovitz to design drill. By June they had a corps that would make the field and do itself justice. On July fifth in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the corps performed well enough to come in third, but things got better still. Winning high horns and percussion at the DCA Finals, the Bushwackers, with a 92.45, edged Steel City and Hawthorne to win their first show of the year, which just happened to be the DCA Championship.
Looking back to 1986 and 1987, it becomes clear that it's easier to become a champion than it is to stay a champion. Retaining the DCA Championship proved to be another difficult adventure. Bush placed third in Prelims, but miserable weather forced the cancellation of Finals in 1987.
The corps kicked and screamed and scratched and clawed through the winter, and by the spring of '88 had turned another corner. The most challenging aspect of fielding a drum corps is getting enough bodies to start the show and work it up. The 1988 corps had two things going for it, however: 1) a small but very talented core of members, and 2) a difficult but organized show. It took awhile to get going, and it took imagination to visualize a show written for 44 horns to be performed with 19, but once it started to snowball, the show became an avalanche that roared straight through to Finals. A season-long battle with the Sunrisers, and on-field fisticuffs with a member of another corps, ended with a DCA Championship tie, at 96.36, on a cold, windy Monday afternoon.
In 1988 the corps had the unusual sponsorship of Super Trucking and Rigging of Harrison, New Jersey.
Every championship the Bushwackers ever won has had its own identity. 1986 was a shocker as the corps sneaked up and won like its namesake bushwacker. 1988 featured a dogfight through the last four shows of the season with an anticlimactic tie. And now 1989 was a year in which the Bushwackers became the front runner with the Sunrisers snapping at their heels. The hunter became the hunted.
Finals resulted in yet another tie between the Bushwackers and the Sunrisers. However, a new tie-breaking rule used the total GE score as an additional plus 0.1 to whoever won total GE. With the strength of the Bushwacker color guard, who won best guard again, this put the extra 0.1 on the Bushwackers' card. The Bushwackers found another way to win. They were known as "the senior corps with a difference," "where the unusual is usual."
In the 1990s, the Bushwackers continued their championship ways, going on to take DCA’s top spot again in 1990, 1992, and 1993. The corps has remained in the top ten of DCA corps ever since. In 2002 and 2003, the corps finished seventh in DCA Championship competition. The 2004 finish was eighth, when they played a classically themed show called 'Early American Landscapes.'
The corps colors in 2001 were black, white, and blue, with a long white plume.
A more complete history of the Bushwackers’ first ten years can be found at
[http://www.bushwackers.org/history/; John Gough; DCW, 1/88, p.4]
Highest Score 74.050
Final show in DCX Archives September 5, 1982 DCA Championships Prelims Allentown PA placed 8 with a score of 74.050
Highest Score 82.750
Final show in DCX Archives September 4, 1983 DCA Championships Prelims Allentown PA placed 5 with a score of 82.750
Highest Score 89.000
Final show in DCX Archives September 3, 1984 DCA Championships Allentown PA placed 3 with a score of 89.000
Highest Score 86.550
Final show in DCX Archives September 1, 1985 DCA Championships Prelims Allentown PA placed 4 with a score of 84.350
Highest Score 92.450
Final show in DCX Archives August 31, 1986 DCA Championships Prelims Allentown PA placed 3 with a score of 88.700
Highest Score 92.960
Final show in DCX Archives September 6, 1987 DCA Championships Prelims Allentown PA placed 3 with a score of 92.960
Highest Score 96.360
Final show in DCX Archives September 5, 1988 DCA Championships Prelims Hershey PA placed 2 with a score of 93.440
Highest Score 95.900
Final show in DCX Archives September 3, 1989 DCA Championships Prelims Allentown PA placed 1 with a score of 95.900
Highest Score 96.900
Final show in DCX Archives September 2, 1990 DCA Championships Prelims Allentown PA placed 1 with a score of 96.300
Highest Score 94.000
Final show in DCX Archives September 1, 1991 DCA Championships Prelims Scranton PA placed 3 with a score of 90.700
Highest Score 96.900
Final show in DCX Archives September 6, 1992 DCA Championships Prelims Scranton PA placed 1 with a score of 96.900
Highest Score 96.600
Final show in DCX Archives September 6, 1993 DCA Championships Prelims Scranton PA placed 1 with a score of 95.400
Highest Score 94.200
Final show in DCX Archives September 3, 1994 DCA Championships Prelims Scranton PA placed 3 with a score of 92.900
Highest Score 93.600
Final show in DCX Archives September 3, 1995 DCA Championships Scranton PA placed 4 with a score of 93.600
Highest Score 91.500
Final show in DCX Archives September 1, 1996 DCA Championships Rochester NY placed 4 with a score of 91.500
Highest Score 91.500
Final show in DCX Archives August 31, 1997 DCA Championships Allentown PA placed 5 with a score of 89.600
Highest Score 85.200
Final show in DCX Archives September 6, 1998 DCA Championships Allentown PA placed 8 with a score of 85.200
Highest Score 87.800
Final show in DCX Archives September 5, 1999 DCA Championships Allentown PA placed 7 with a score of 87.800
Highest Score 82.700
Final show in DCX Archives September 3, 2000 DCA Championships Syracuse NY placed 10 with a score of 82.100
Highest Score 92.400
Final show in DCX Archives September 2, 2001 DCA Championships - Open Class Finals Syracuse NY placed 5 with a score of 92.400
Highest Score 91.100
Final show in DCX Archives September 1, 2002 DCA Class A & Open Class Finals Scranton PA placed 7 with a score of 91.100
Highest Score 92.863
Final show in DCX Archives August 31, 2003 DCA Class A & Open Class Finals Scranton PA placed 7 with a score of 91.038
Highest Score 89.688
Final show in DCX Archives September 5, 2004 DCA Class A & Open Class Finals Scranton PA placed 8 with a score of 88.638
Highest Score 95.000
Final show in DCX Archives September 4, 2005 DCA Class A & Open Class Finals Scranton PA placed 3 with a score of 94.738
Highest Score 95.638
Final show in DCX Archives September 3, 2006 Open Class & Class A Finals Rochester NY placed 3 with a score of 95.638
Highest Score 94.575
Final show in DCX Archives September 2, 2007 DCA World Championships - Finals Rochester NY placed 4 with a score of 94.575
Highest Score 93.788
Final show in DCX Archives August 31, 2008 Finals Rochester NY placed 6 with a score of 93.425
Highest Score 89.050
Final show in DCX Archives September 6, 2009 DCA Class A & Open Class Championships Rochester NY placed 9 with a score of 88.963
Highest Score 86.763
Final show in DCX Archives September 5, 2010 DCA Finals Rochester NY placed 9 with a score of 86.763
Highest Score 79.800
Final show in DCX Archives September 4, 2011 DCA World Championship Finals Rochester NY
Highest Score 80.750
Final show in DCX Archives September 1, 2012 DCA Championship Preliminaries Annapolis MD placed 11 with a score of 80.200
Highest Score 87.750
Final show in DCX Archives September 1, 2013 DCA World Championship Finals Annapolis MD placed 8 with a score of 87.430
Highest Score 90.100
Final show in DCX Archives August 31, 2014 DCA World Championship Finals Rochester NY placed 7 with a score of 89.800
Highest Score 82.300
Final show in DCX Archives September 5, 2015 DCA Championship Preliminaries Rochester NY placed 12 with a score of 82.300
Highest Score 86.080
Final show in DCX Archives September 4, 2016 DCA Championship Finals Rochester NY placed 9 with a score of 85.280
Highest Score 89.830
Final show in DCX Archives September 3, 2017 DCA Championship Finals Rochester NY placed 8 with a score of 89.830
Highest Score 0.000
Final show in DCX Archives September 1, 2018 DCA Prelims Williamsport PA United States
|Member Name||Section||Years Involved|
|Bauer, Matthew||Front Ensemble||2008|
|Bermudez, Jessica||Color Guard||2005|
|CHEZ, ALAN||soprano / soloist||1985|
|CHEZ, ALAN||drill design||1986|
|CHEZ, ALAN||brass staff||2002|
|Cohen, Joshua||Baritone and Soprano||2000 to 2005|
|Cooper, Ruth Ann||Color Guard||1983|
|Daley, Clyde||soprano||2002 to 2004|
|Esposito, Vincent||Mellophone||1997 to 2006|
|Fallon, Carol Ann||Lead Soprano||1992 to 1994|
|Harris, Jonathan||Contra||1996 to 1997|
|Healion, Carol||guard||1996 to 1999|
|Hedden, Gene||Snare Line||1983 to 1989|
|Heimbecker, Justin||Lead Baritone||2002|
|Jones, Doug||pit||1984; 1986 to 1990|
|Karol, Skippy||Soprano||1982 to 1983; 1988|
|Kelley, Josh||Snare||2001 to 2003|
|Kilian, Chris||Assistant Drum Major||1996|
|Kilian, Chris||Drum Major||1999 to 2003|
|Kilian, Chris||Brass Staff||2004|
|Kilian, Chris||Brass Staff / Drum Major||2005|
|Kozol, Jeff||Percussion||1990 to 1991|
|Krywinski, Bruce||Trumpet||2007 to 2009|
|Lewis, Derrick||snare||1998 to 2004; 2006|
|Linton, David||brass||1986 to 1988; 1990 to 1994|
|Linton, David||staff||1995 to 1997|
|Linton, David||asst. drum major||1999|
|Mac Vicar, Simon||snare||2001 to 2002|
|Manfra, Hank||Baritone||1993 to 1994; 1996 to 1997; 1999 to 2000; 2002|
|Manfra, Hank||Contra/Visual Staff||2001|
|Marshman, Scott||Color Guard||1982 to 1983; 1986; 1988; 1993 to 1997; 2003 to 2005|
|McPherson, Jay||Contra||1994 to 1995|
|McReady, Sean||Bush Bass||1997; 1999|
|McReady, Sean||Bush Bass, Percussion Staff||2000 to 2002|
|McReady, Sean||Cymbals, Percussion Staff||2003; 2006|
|Mello, Jason||Snare||2000 to 2003|
|Meyette, Chuck||Contra||1994; 2000 to 2002|
|O'Shea, Trish||Color Guard/Staff||1996 to 1999|
|Park, Bo||Public Relations/Social Media||2013|
|Phillips, John||Bass Line||1995|
|Phillips, Phil (Papa John)||Bass Line||1995|
|Sgammato, Judy||Color Guard||1983|
|Sowinski, Jean||Front Ensemble||2008|
|Thatcher, Rob||Tenors||1993 to 1995; 2005|
|Thatcher, Rob||Percussion Staff||2006 to 2007|
|Willms, Tom||Drum Major||1993 to 1994; 2004|
|Woskolub, Craig||color guard||1995 to 1996|
|runde, jonathan||baritone||1992 to 1993; 1995 to 2001|
CORPS 9 items