Princeton, NJ United States
Founded: 1981

Active All Age
1982 8 70.550 Clash of the Titans * Fish Legs * Mickey Mouse * That Cat is High * Snowbird Fantasy * Chariots of Fire  
1983 5 82.650 Cleopatra's Asp * Emerald Eyes * Egyptian Danza * Quensabe Los Suertas de Los Tontos (from Cuban Fire Suite) * La Suerte de Los Tontos (from Cuban Fire Suite) * Chariots of Fire  
1984 3 89.000 Santos * Quensabe Los Suertas de Los Tontos (from Cuban Fire Suite) * La Suerte de Los Tontos (from Cuban Fire Suite) * Egyptian Danza * I'll Be There * Thriller  
1985 4 86.550 The Epic * The First Circle * Supertonic Suite  
1986 1 92.450 Santos * Quensabe Los Suertas de Los Tontos (from Cuban Fire Suite) * La Suerte de Los Tontos (from Cuban Fire Suite) * Egyptian Danza * Ayres Eyes  
1987 3 92.960 Pellet Suite * Marguerite * Corner Pocket * Ayres Eyes  
1988 1 96.360 Pellet Suite * Inner Crisis * Mira, Mira * Out of Africa (from Congo)  
1989 1 95.100 Time Check * In Her Family * No Pasaran * Mira, Mira  
1990 1 96.900 "Prototype - Steve Melillo" - (Repertoire not available)  
1991 3 94.000 Original Music  
1992 1 96.700 "Sweeny Todd" - The Ballad of Sweeney Todd) * My Friends (from Sweeney Todd) * Worst Pies in London (from Sweeney Todd) * History of the World * Epiphany (from Sweeney Todd) * Nothin's Gonna Harm You (from Sweeney Todd)  
1993 1 96.600 "Sunday in the Park with George" - Putting It Together (from Sunday in the Park with George) * Color and Light (from Sunday in the Park with George) * Sunday in the Park (from Sunday in the Park with George) * Sunday  
1994 3 94.200 "Nightmare Before Christmas" - What's This? (from Nightmare before Christmas) * This is Halloween (from Nightmare before Christmas) * Making Christmas (from Nightmare Before Christmas) * Kidnap the Sandy Claws (from Nightmare Before Christmas) * Sally's Song (from Nightmare Before Christmas) * What's This? Reprise (from Nightmare before Christmas)  
1995 4 93.600 "A Symphony For Drum Corps" - Mathis der Maler * Age of Anxiety  
1996 4 91.500 "Sunset Boulevard" - As If We Never Said Goodbye (from Sunset Boulevard) * Let's Have Lunch (from Sunset Boulevard) * The Car Chase (from Sunset Boulevard) * With One Look (from Sunset Boulevard)  
1997 5 89.600 El Congo Valiente (from Cuban Fire Suite) * Verde Luz * Festival de Ritmo * A Mis Abuelos  
1998 8 85.200 "Jeckyll & Hyde" - This is the Moment (from Jekyll and Hyde) * Façade (from Jekyll and Hyde) * Murder, Murder (from Jekyll and Hyde) * Transformation (from Jekyll and Hyde) * Alive (from Jekyll and Hyde) * Take Me As I Am (from Jekyll and Hyde)  
1999 7 87.800 Sondheim Snapshots - Overture (from Merrily We Roll Along) * Next (from Pacific Overtures) * Pretty Women (from Sweeney Todd) * Putting It Together (from Sunday in the Park with George)  
2000 10 82.100 "Music From The Dark Side" - The Duelk Of The Fates (from Phantom Menace) * The Battle (from A New Hope) * Battle In The Snow (from The Empire Strikes Back) * The Crash (from The Return Of The Jedi) * The War, Ewok Battle (from The Return Of The Jedi) * The End (from The Phantom Menace)  
2001 5 92.400 "The Raging River" - Into The Raging River * On The Waterfront  
2002 7 91.100 "The Myths of Fire" - Inferno (from Divine Comedy) * Vesuvius * Firebird Suite  
2003 7 91.038 "Journey To The Moon" - Twelve Seconds To The Moon * Star Trek: First Contact * To Tame The Perilous Skies  
2004 8 88.638 "Early American Landscapes" - Symphony #9 (from The New World) * Amber Waves * William Tell Overture  
2005 3 94.738 "Russian Winter Portraits" - Russlan and Ludmilla * Dance of the Tumblers * Romeo and Juliet * 1812 Overture  
2006 3 95.638 "Stages: A 25th Anniversary Celebration" - Fanfare for the New * The Perfect Year (from Sunset Boulevard) * Rocky Point Holiday  
2007 4 94.575 Around The Town - Lonely Town (from On the Town) * Galop (from Fancy Free) * Ain't Got No Tears Left (from On the Town) * The Great Lover (from On the Town) * Times Square (from On the Town)  
2008 6 93.425 "Gypsodic!" - (Repertoire not available)  
2009 9 88.963 "Scenes From A Physchotic Circus" - Parade of Characters (from Scenes of a Psychotic Circus) * Circus Normalus (from Scenes of a Psychotic Circus) * Death Defying Feats (from Scenes of a Psychotic Circus) * Freak Show (from Scenes of a Psychotic Circus) * Three Ring Psychotic Circus (from Scenes of a Psychotic Circus)  
2010 9 86.763 Voodoo - Origins (from Voodoo) * Rituals (from Voodoo) * Gris-gris (from Voodoo) * Black Magic (from Voodoo)  
2011 11 79.800 A New Beginning - First Climb (From Everest) * Rest at High Camp (From Everest * Second Climb and Avalanche (From Everest * To the Summit (From Everest)  
2012 11 80.200 Amercian Roots - Scarborough Fair * Chester * Shenandoah  
2013 8 87.430 WE ARE - Intro * I Am The Doctor (from Doctor Who) * Some Nights * Tonight Tonight  
2014 7 89.800 The Resistants - Supremecy * Blowin' In The Wind * Knights of Cydonia * Symphonic Metamorphosis  
2015 12 82.300 Industrial (r)Evolution - Industrial Evolution * The Factory * Wild Ride * Tempered Steel * Enigma Variations  
2016 9 85.280 Piano Forte - Piano Concerto No. 1 * Selection * Selection  
2017 8 89.830 Where We All Belong - Creep * Orawa * Blue Shades  
2018 5 92.725 Pablo - The Canyon * Nature Boy * Cubism * Genius  
2019 5 91.625 Diverge - Adagio for Strings * Fearful Symmetries * Us and Them * Land of Make Believe * Libertango  
2021 3 90.300 Reminiscor: An Introspective Piece - Children's Dance (from Merry Mount Suite) * Man In The Mirror * Reflections of My Life  
2022 3 94.600 "Canyon" - Fanfare For The Common Man * Horse With No Name * Hallelujah * Original Composition * Short Ride in a Fast Machine  
2023 3 92.200 Hollywood - A walk in their shoes: Tales of Tinseltown - Dedicated To The One I Love * Hooray for Hollywood * Paparazzi * The Car Chase (from Sunset Boulevard) * Original Music * Make Your Own Kind of Music  
2024 The Ride - (Repertoire not available)  
Position 200+ indicates Division II, Position 300+ indicates Division III, Position 400+ indicates Mini Corps.
The Bushwackers (“Bush”) is a senior marching and maneuvering corps based in Harrison, New Jersey.

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]

Members (85)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Bauer, Matthew Front Ensemble 2008
Bermudez, Jessica Colorguard 2005
Bermudez, Jessica Color Guard 2005
CHEZ, ALAN soprano / soloist 1985
CHEZ, ALAN drill design 1986
CHEZ, ALAN brass staff 2002
Clevenger, Michael Contra 2017; 2019
Cohen, Joshua Baritone and Soprano 2000 to 2005
Cooper, Ruth Ann Color Guard 1983
Daley, Clyde soprano 2002 to 2004
DiDato, Stephen Baritone 2002
Dougherty, Karen Mellophones 1982
Esposito, Vincent Mellophone 1997 to 2006
Esposito, Vincent Webmster 2011
Falcon, Eddy melophone 2004
Fallon, Carol Ann Lead Soprano 1992 to 1994
Ferraro, Doug Quads 2009
Ferraro, Doug Mellophone 2010
Francis, Ed Baritone 2005
Givens, Fred drums 1986
Glennon, Sean Contra 1994
Gonzalez, Alfredo Hornline 1999
Harris, Jonathan Contra 1996 to 1997
Hayhurst, Dan Cymbals 2014
Healion, Carol guard 1996 to 1999
Hedden, Gene Snare Line 1983 to 1989
Heimbecker, Justin Lead Baritone 2002
Hemerick, Dorian Mellophone 2018
Hemerick, Dorian Visual Staff 2019
Hemerick, Dorian Brass Staff 2023 to 2024
Jones, Doug pit 1984; 1986 to 1990
Karol, Skippy Soprano 1982 to 1983; 1988
Kelley, Josh Cymbals 2000
Kelley, Josh Snare 2001 to 2003
Kilian, Chris Assistant Drum Major 1996
Kilian, Chris Baritone 1997
Kilian, Chris Soprano 1998
Kilian, Chris Drum Major 1999 to 2003
Kilian, Chris Brass Staff 2004
Kilian, Chris Brass Staff / Drum Major 2005
Kochan, Ted Tenors/Pit 2000
Koeberl-Trackim, Kate Colorguard 1998 to 2007
Kozol, Jeff Percussion 1990 to 1991
Kozol, Jeff Staff 1992
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 percussion 1998
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 Cymbals 1996
McReady, Sean Bush Bass 1997; 1999
McReady, Sean Bush Bass, Percussion Staff 2000 to 2002
McReady, Sean Cymbals, Percussion Staff 2003; 2006
McReady, Sean Tuba 2005
Mello, Jason Snare 2000 to 2003
Meyette, Chuck Contra 1994; 2000 to 2002
Mignemi, Chris Baritone 2005
O'Shea, Trish Color Guard/Staff 1996 to 1999
Park, Bo Public Relations/Social Media 2013
Peterman, Eric Color Guard 1994 to 1995; 1997; 2022
Phillips, John Bass Line 1995
Phillips, Phil (Papa John) Bass Line 1995
Ramsey, Kevin Euphonium 2022
Ramsey, Kevin Head Drum Major 2023
Robinson, Robbie Instructor/Snare 1991 to 1994
Robinson, Robbie Percussion Arranger 2004
Robinson, Robbie Instructor/Consultant 2013
Roland, Christopher Guard 2006
Sagurton, Jeff Quads 2014
Santalucia, David Percussion 1994 to 1997
Sgammato, Judy Color Guard 1983
Shannon, Dyan pit 2002
Short, Jim Mellophone 1996
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 19 items


Bushwackers from the Bill Ives Collection

Bushwackers Shirt from the Bill Ives Collection

Bushwackers from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Dominic Tierno
Bushwackers History
Bushwackers History from the Diceman Radio Collection Contributed by Ron Allard

Bushwackers,Harrison,NJ,Patch1(RE-3.0x1.0)AA_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection Contributed by Richard Elmquist

Bushwackers,Harrison,NJ,Patch2-2006-25thAnn(RE-3.0x2.25)AA_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection Contributed by Richard Elmquist

Bushwackers,Harrison,NJ,Patch3-1988-DCAChamps(Site)AA_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection Contributed by UNKNOWN

Bushwackers,Harrison,NJ,Pin1-Yellow(RE-3.0)AA_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection

Bushwackers,Harrison,NJ,Pin2-B&B(GBA)AA_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection

Bushwackers,Harrison,NJ,Pin3-CorpsMember(RCR)AA_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection

Bushwackers,Harrison,NJ,Pin4-BlackHat(RCR)AA_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection

Bushwackers,Harrison,NJ,Pin5-Blue&PinkKeyboard(RCR)AA_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection

Bushwackers,Harrison,NJ,Pin6-BlackKeyboardOnPink(RCR)AA_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection
PDF Document

198-199, Bushwackers from the Steve Vickers Collection

Bushwackers 1 from the Wayne Hiller Collection

Bushwackers 2 from the Wayne Hiller Collection

Bushwackers 3 from the Wayne Hiller Collection

Bushwackers 4 from the Wayne Hiller Collection

Bushwackers 5 from the Wayne Hiller Collection