Valley Sound

Warrington, Cheshire United Kingdom

Inactive International
1986 The Man I Love * Love for Sale * Catching the Sun * Razulli * Teach Me Tonight  
1987 Artistry in Rhythm * Good News * Blue Rondo A La Turk * Teach Me Tonight  
1988 Concerto in F * Rocky Point Holiday * Autumn Leaves * Everybody Loves the Blues  
Position 200+ indicates Division II, Position 300+ indicates Division III, Position 400+ indicates Mini Corps.

CORPS Photos

In much the same way that Racine was the drum corps capital of the world in the 1950s and '60s, Warrington was the drum corps capital of the United Kingdom in the 1980s. At one point there were seven corps registered with DCUK, all in a town with a population of fewer than 120,000 people.

At the end of the 1985 season, that number was reduced by one, with the merger of The Sentinels and The Purple Phantoms, both spectacularly unsuccessful in the preceding years. The new corps was to be called Valley Sound, and nobody suspected the impact this new organisation would have on drum corps in Britain.

From the very first competition, VS made a loud and clear statement that they were there to rattle a few cages. With a horn line that combined sublime quality and roof-lifting power, they did just that. In their first year, VS
took the eighth and last Finals spot, after running ninth for the whole season, a remarkable achievement for a new corps. Controversially, the horn line, which had remained unbeaten all season (including Prelims), was pushed back into sixth place, even after taking all but one sub-caption with their Finals performance.

The following year, the corps took third place, and looked destined for greatness. Disappointment followed 12 months later, however, when a very poor Prelims show left VS floundering in sixth place. Although they picked up a position in Finals, it was just too little too late. Once again, a controversial judging performance left the horn line out of first place, despite being universally acknowledged as the best that DCUK had ever seen.

After three excellent years, the corps didn't make it out for the 1989 season, and folded just a matter of weeks before the opening day of the season. Those who were there that fateful April night look back with regret that the corps didn't have one last shot at a championship, with a show that was already looking like it could take it all.

Even now, debate still rages as to the quality of the VS horn line of 1988, but all those who were there will tell you that they've heard nothing like it before or since.


Members (1)

Member Name Section Years Involved
bradley, paul percussion 1988
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