Toronto, ONT Canada
|1964||Hello, Dolly * You Do Something To Me * Softly As I Leave You * Night and Day * Black Bottom * Besame Mucho * Red White And Blue * Alone Together|
|1966||The Man I Love * I'm Gonna Live Till I Die * Hava Nagila * Washington Square * Alexander's Ragtime Band * Who Can I Turn To (from Roar of the Greasepaint)|
|1967||The Man I Love * I'm Gonna Live Till I Die * Milk & Honey * O Canada * Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair * Washington Square * Sam You Made The Pants Too Long * Fiddler On the Roof * Hava Nagila * Who Can I Turn To (from Roar of the Greasepaint)|
The newly formed Commanders, under the directorship of Bernie Beers, were founded on the principle that everyone would march, so that no one would miss out on the experience. The corps started rehearsals in several locations simultaneously in late 1963: in Toronto on Tuesday, in Hamilton on Thursday, and in Oakville on Sundays. Because of the split rehearsal locales, the corps was announced at contests as being from the different rehearsal towns on different nights: Canadian Commanders of Toronto one night, Canadian Commanders of Hamilton the next.
Because of the proviso that everyone marched, the Commanders fielded an unusually large corps right from the beginning. The very first public appearance was in an indoor arena in St. Catharines. The director decided to split all sections of the large corps in half and send them on separately. The first half marched in to thunderous applause, and lined up across the arena floor; they covered the floor from one side to the other and then some. Drum Major Don Chisholm brought the horns up and made as if to play, whereupon the doors opened again and the second half of the corps marched in, to the astonishment of the audience. The corps spread across the width of the arena three times. No one had ever seen a corps that big before. The crowd reaction left goose bumps on corps members for hours, and memories for a lifetime.
That first night the corps members had all the components of their uniform except for the bright orange tunics, so they went on in corps tee shirts. Designed by Drum Major Don Chisholm, the complete uniforms were so bright that they led to the corps nickname of Great Pumpkin. The corps also operated under the moniker of The Stop Light Cadets.
In 1964, the first competing season, the Commanders took second place at the Canadian Championships, being narrowly beaten out by the Guelph Royalaires. In following years, the corps competed in New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, acquitting itself fairly well. They had the honor of being invited to the American Legion Championship in Washington in 1966 where they performed at Prelims.
The Commanders’ sister corps during those years was the Rochester Crusaders. It was not uncommon for corps members to borrow each other’s instruments or play in each other’s lines during the retreat.
The Canadian Commanders became the Burlington Commanders when they gained the sponsorship of the city of Burlington, a name the corps retained until the end of its life in 1973.
Many of the old Commanders continue to perform with various alumni corps in the Burlington area.
[Ed Law; Bruce Lindsay]
Highest Score 82.050
Final show in DCX Archives September 12, 1964 Canadian National Championship Prelims Toronto ONT Canada placed 3 with a score of 80.720
Highest Score 85.000
Final show in DCX Archives September 11, 1965 Canadian Nationals Championship Toronto ONT Canada placed 3 with a score of 74.350
Highest Score 86.470
Final show in DCX Archives September 17, 1966 Canadian Nationals Championship Montreal QUE Canada placed 2 with a score of 83.450
Highest Score 83.660
Final show in DCX Archives September 9, 1967 Canadian Nationals Championship - Finals Ottawa ONT Canada placed 3 with a score of 72.283
Highest Score 68.250
Final show in DCX Archives September 7, 1968 Canadian National Championship - Prelims Kingston ONT Canada
Highest Score 68.200
Final show in DCX Archives September 12, 1970 Canadian Nationals Championship - Finals Toronto ONT Canada placed 4 with a score of 68.200
Highest Score 71.100
Final show in DCX Archives September 3, 1972 DCA Championships Prelims Jersey City NJ placed 11 with a score of 71.100
Highest Score 62.050
Final show in DCX Archives September 2, 1973 DCA Championships Prelims Rochester NY placed 14 with a score of 62.050
CORPS 2 items