IC Reveries

Revere, MA United States
Founded: 1957

Inactive Junior

CORPS Photos

The Immaculate Conception (IC) Reveries were founded in 1957 as a Class C drum corps by the IC parish of Revere, Massachusetts. The founding parish priest was Father Lawrence Sullivan, the corps director John Brown. After winning their first show and their division in the first year, the corps ascended to Class B in 1958, where they won that division as well. In 1959 the corps jumped to Class A; there they continued to compete throughout the 1960s. Their first appearance at the VFW Nationals was in Detroit in 1960. That year, the corps' average age was only 13, yet they finished 11th out of 23 competing corps.

Sporting blue and gold cadet-style uniforms, the corps had an instructional staff made up of Ted Mcnaught on marching and maneuvering, his brother Joe Mcnaught on brass, and Cliff Fisher heading up the percussion staff. The corps competed in both the Eastern Massachusetts and Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) circuits against such Massachusetts drum corps heavies as the Boston Crusaders, St. Kevin’s Emerald Knights, and St. Mary's Cardinals.

Father Sullivan and director John Brown retired in 1964. Father Gallagher and George Bonfiglio, both historically important personalities, took their places.

At the conclusion of the 1964 season, the IC Reveries was a respectable local corps but lacked the size to have a significant impact upon the national scene. When the Malden Cavaliers disbanded after the 1964 season many of its members joined up with the Reveries. The Reveries almost doubled in size for the 1965 season and remained so for the following fateful 1966 season.

The Reveries achieved some of its greatest success during the 1966 season. As it headed into the VFW Nationals competition in Jersey City, the corps was coming off a week of victories that had elevated the corps to the top spot in the state. As baritone player Jerry Foley remembers, "We didn't do our best job in the Prelims at VFW, but it should have been good enough to make Finals."

It wasn’t. The corps placed 14th in Prelims, two positions out of the Finals and right behind the Racine Scouts. Many tenths in penalties were keeping both corps out of the Finals.

But politics played an influential role in pre-DCI drum corps competitions. As the drama unfolded, apparently someone from the Scouts convinced one of the show's sponsors to overlook their corps’ penalties. When Reveries staff protested that if the Scouts penalties were going to be overlooked, so should the Reveries', their protests were dismissed and ignored. This infuriated the Reveries, and they determined not to take this unfair judgment lying down. Against the protests of people like horn instructor Jim Wedge, who cautioned that rash behavior might bring long-term consequences, the directors instructed drum major Richard "Guss" Provist and color guard captain Sandy Mcleevey to march the entire corps up to the entrance gate for Finals competition.

But in doing so, the Reveries had to get past St. Joe's of Batavia, New York, a finalist corps with a fierce reputation. When St. Joe's drum major Joe Eduardo discovered why the Reveries were pursuing this course of action, he offered his corps’ services and did not stand in their way. As the corps reached the large metal entrance gate to the stadium, a voice from inside asked who they were, and when Provist answered "St. Kevin's," a corps that had made Finals, the gate went up and the corps marched onto the field and into the drum corps history books. The entire corps sat down on the starting line and refused to leave until show officials allowed them to perform.

Legend recalls that Reveries quartermaster Frank Grayson held up the gate for the corps to enter and wouldn't allow anyone else to close it. After a tense fifteen-minute standoff during which police were summoned, the show sponsors reluctantly allowed the corps to march, but they would not allow them to be judged or counted in the final results. The initially hostile crowd began to swing to the corps’ side after word circulated that the Reveries was not treated fairly by show sponsors.

This historic sit-down strike may be unprecedented in drum corps history. The evening would be talked about for years and, as Wedge and others had feared, the dramatic event would come back to haunt them in a big way.

Back at the Eastern Massachusetts and CYO circuit championships, the Reveries' scores suddenly dropped significantly, and they found themselves scoring well behind competitors they had beaten soundly just two weeks earlier. The action also displeased the Immaculate Conception parish pastor Father Gallagher, and tension between him and the corps directors began to mount. The tensions were exacerbated by the fact that the corps had begun accepting members from outside the parish, a policy the priest disapproved of.

The Reveries suffered through a disappointing 1967 season. It was obvious that the infamous sit-down strike had been their undoing, as they found themselves blackballed by many show sponsors. And at the end of the season, Father Gallagher informed the corps that the parish would no longer support them.

Corps director George Bonfiglio could not accept the parish's decision to disband the corps. He approached the remaining members with the idea of starting a new independent unit with a whole new identity. And they would take their heroic name and image from Tennyson’s epic poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade.” The members liked the idea and on Columbus Day, 1967, the 27th Lancers exploded on the drum corps scene. There is no small irony that the IC parish, in cutting the lifeline of the Reveries, had set the stage for the birth of one of the most successful corps in drum corps history.

[http://www.thefog.com/reveries/seniors.html; DCW, 2/04, p.3]

Members (5)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Chisholm, Kenneth 1st Soprano Bugle 1957 to 1966
Grelle, Frank Instructor 1972
McMahon, Steve Brass 1962 to 1966
Moschella, Danny Soprano (Jr. Corps). 1964 to 1970
Solombrino, Stephen soprano 1966 to 1974

CORPS 6 items

IC Reveries

ICReveries,Revere,MA,BS1-ISupport(SSB)J_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection
IC Reveries

ICReveries,Revere,MA,DH1-ImmaculateConception(SSB)J_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection
IC Reveries

ICReveries,Revere,MA,Patch1-MemberOnCloud(Site)J_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection Contributed by UNKNOWN
IC Reveries

ICReveries,Revere,MA,Pin1-RedTallShip(RE-3.5)J_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection
IC Reveries

ICReveries,Revere,MA,Pin2-ImmaculateConception(Site)J_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection
IC Reveries

ICReveries,Revere,MA,ST1-1966-Booster(Site)J_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection