Hamburg Kingsmen Alumni

Hamburg, NY United States
Founded: 2014

Active Alumni

CORPS Photos

On January 19, 2012 the Hamburg Kingsmen Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps was created by former Kingsmen members specifically to participate in a parade commemorating the 200th birthday of the Town of Hamburg, NY. The corps motto for this mission was, “One and Done,” signifying that, unlike other alumni corps, they would only do this one parade then disband.

On June 16, 2012 the corps completed its “One and Done” mission by marching in the Town of Hamburg bicentennial parade. After their performance, corps members sadly realized this was probably the last time they would hear the phrase, “Ladies and Gentlemen, from Hamburg, New York … the Hamburg Kingsmen.”

But alas, later that year, a few of the past members realized that Drum Corps Associates (DCA) Championships were returning to Rochester in 2014. Since this was in celebration of DCA's 50th Anniversary, mention was made about another, “One and Done”… this time on the field for DCA's Alumni Spectacular over Labor Day Weekend. After all, the Hamburg Kingsmen were one of the top ten DCA Corps in the 60’s and 70’s.

After a few practices during the summer of 2013 and a performance in September at a charity concert in Batavia, NY, the Hamburg Kingsmen Alumni anxiously awaited over the winter for an invitation to the Spectacular. That special invitation arrived in January, 2014. This resulted with the announcement on August 31, 2014, "Hamburg Kingsmen Alumni, you may take the field in DCA Alumni Spectacular Exhibition!"

After the well-received performance at the 2014 DCA Alumni Spectacular, the Hamburg Kingsmen were revitalized and reorganized as an IRS Exempt Section 501.3c Organization. The Hamburg Kingsmen were once again invited and performed at the 2015 DCA Alumni Spectacular.

Over 100 past and present drum corps are represented by members of the Kingsmen Alumni who hail from Western New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Connecticut and Canada. Member’s ages ranges from 30 to over 80 years old, with the majority being former Kingsmen who are now over sixty years old and have marched in the 60’s and 70’s. The following is a small sample of the Kingsmen Alumni which consists of:

• An 82-year old Lead Soprano who is blind;
• A 70-year old Mellophone player whose daughter pushes him in his wheel chair so he can participate;
• A 68-year old Baritone player who is a stroke survivor;
• A 68-year old Contra Player who has a prosthesis foot; and,
• An 83-year old Drummer.

The Kingsmen opens their show with “Once Upon A Time” featuring soloist Gary Wood. Next was their classic rendition of “Billboard March”, followed by “Proud Mary” featuring an opening duet of Gary Wood and World Drum Corps Hall of Fame and Bugler Hall of Fame Member Steve Cooley. After this was a drum solo going into their Color Presentation of “Tipperary” followed by another drum solo honoring the memory of a dear friend of the Kingsmen’s drumline, Lee Buckley of the Guelph Royalaires.. The final song was the Kingsmen’s timeless version of “Sabre Dance” featuring the baritone quartet of Mike Rogers, Anthony Baker, Leann Rockwood-Guzzetta and Steve Cooley.

All music is arranged by Steve Cooley. Assisting with the horns is Drum Major Chuck Lute. Drum parts are written and arranged by Paul Neiss, Jr. with assistance provided by Terry Roof.

The Kingsmen Alumni are directed by President Paul Neiss, Jr.; Business Manager Rod Keppel; Corps Director Larry Keppel; Treasurer Don Ahrens; Secretary and Financial Advisor Greg Keppel; and Board Member Jennie Smith.

[Submitted by Greg Keppel, October 2015]

Members (4)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Ellis, Roger Soprano 2012
Harris, Catherine French Horn 2021 to 2022
Keppel, Gregory Mellophone 2012 to 2016
Keppel, Rod Mellophone 2012 to 2016
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