Monday, January 18, 2010

A Member Of The Kingsmen (Finally!)

In 1972, I joined the Hamburg Kingsmen Drum & Bugle Corps. For years, in high school marching band, I had watched them at parades and marveled at them playing in impromptu concerts at the county fair. If only, I wished, I could belong. There was just no sound more exciting to me than that of of 50 bugles and a 20 man drum line playing right in your face.

The Beatles were cool enough, but the Kingsmen blew me away.

But given their, um, "bad" reputation for heavy partying and the fact that I lived a good hour from suburban Buffalo meant that I had to wait till I got to college to join up.

When I finally did, I found that their glory years were passing fast. The economy in Buffalo was turning down and the drum corps fad of the fifties and sixties was winding down. Nonetheless, I spent four of the best years of my life marching with Hamburg and the memories still remain with me.

I was elected Secretary of the corps in 1972 and the responsibility for maintaing the group's record book fell to me. I reproduce it here -- word for sometimes ungrammatical word -- for those of you who are interested. If you stumble across this blog, please comment and if you have pictures or stories you'd like to share, please email them to me. CraigWHoward at gmail dot com

I'll be sure to add them.


After a very successful season in 1961 which included 13 first and 2 second place finishes in 19 appearances, highlighted at Silver Creek, N.Y. on September 3, 1961 by capturing the coveted NY-Penn Championship and Flag, the Corps entered the winter “off” season which is dedicated to learning new music and drills for the coming year.

The Drum Corps banquet, always a highlight of the “off” season was held on November 26, 1961 at the Hamburg Hotel. Awards were given at this time to Kenneth Trask for best new member and Dick “Mac” McClain for Kingsmen of the year. As usual it was a gala affair and a good time was had by all.

Corps Officers for 1962 were as follows:
President Marlon Goodheart
Vice President Mike Trask
Secretary Ken Chopinski
Treasurer Sam Hitka
Senator Gene Forness
Commander Leroy Thompson
Business Manager Jack Keller
Bugle Sgt. Dick LaVesque
Drum Sgt. Bob Cline
Color Guard Sgt. Pete Brown
Field Director Dick “Mac” McClain
Drum Major Ira Chatley
Chaplain Jim Kessler
Custodians Ira Chatley
James Crawford
Harry Goddard
Publicity Agent James Kessler
Bugle and Arrangements Milt Shetler
Drums Doug Reynolds
M&M Dick “Mac” McClain

Competitions for 1962

Hamilton, Ont. 2nd place $600
Kitchener, Ont. 3rd place $250
Guelph, Ont. 2nd place $375
Falconer, NY 3rd place $400
Castile, NY 2nd place $200
Titusville, PA 3rd place $400
Salamanca, NY 1st place $200
Batavia, NY 1st place $125
Warren, PA 4th place $400
Geneva, NY 1st place $400

Total prize money including competitions and parades was $4,800 [About $20,000 in 2006 inflation-adjusted dollars]

Since entering M&M competition the Kingsmen 1962 season was their most successful year. They won first place in 11 of 13 parades and defeating corps in field competition that in previous years were considered beyond reach.

Some of the highlights of the 1962 season were:

July 14th, 1962 – third annual “Music in Motion” competition held at Howe Field, Hamburg, Ny. This show was a credit to the Corps’ hard work and we were rewarded by an overflow crowd. This was our most successful show, financially and musically. We made $1,800 [$6,600] on this show after distributing prize money to winning Corps and paying misc. expenses.

Other highlights included defeating the Appleknockers from Geneva at Salamanca and successfully defending our NY-Penn Championship at Batavia.

Shortly after our last appearance at Warren, Penna. on September 3rd, 1962 we entered our “off” season of rehearsals and preparation for the coming season.

J. Michael Trask, Vice Pres. 1962


Due to the corps’ success in the 1962 season we found ourselves in shows of a much higher caliber. This year the corps found itself competing against the so-called “top guns” which included the Interstatesmen and Brigadiers, and Baltimore Yankee Rebels.

The Drum Corps banquet for 1962 was held at the South Side Lanes. Recipients of awards were: Doug Huber for the best rookie of the year and Leroy Thompson as Kingsmen of the year. As is the case when the Kingsmen gather at any affair, a good time was had by all!!

Corps Officers for 1963 were as follows:

President Marlin Goodheart
Vice President Gerald Miller
Secretary Bert Larson
Treasurer Sam Hutka
Senator Michael Trask
Commander Dick O’Dell
Business Manager Jack Keller
Bugle Sgt. Ricky Whalen
Drum Sgt. Ralph Trauser
Color Guard Sgt. Peter Brown
Field Director Dick “Mac” McClain
Drum Major Ira Chatley
Chaplain Dennis Bamberg
Custodians James Crawford
Ira Chatley
Publicity Agent James Kessler
Bugle & Musical Arrangements Milton Shettler
Drum Instructor Doug Reynolds
M&M Dick “Mac” McClain

Competitions for 1963

Hamilton, Ont tied for 3rd place $450
Rochester (Tournament of Drums) 5th place $400
Kingston, Ont. 1st place $500
Guelph, Ont. 3rd place $300
Warren, Pa. 3rd place $300
Titusville, Pa. 3rd place $400
Helmuth, NY 1st place $300
Gowanda, NY (NY-Penn) 2nd place $150
Erie, Pa. 2nd place $400

Total prize money including Competitions and Parades amounted to $5,600.

The season was comprised of 9 field shows and 17 other public appearances which included parades and field exhibitions.

Some of the highlights of the 1963 season were:

June 29, 1963 -- Kingston, Ontario
After spending an enjoyable day with the inhabitants, we completed the evening with a 1st place victory over our old rivals the Jesters. After the scores were tallied we found ourselves 7 full points ahead of them.

July 6, 1963 -- “Tournament of Drums” Rochester
The Kingsmen performed quite well in the show in many captions. The score sheets indicated that we equaled if not excelled the results of the other corps in many captions.

July 27, 1963 – Hamburg, NY Fourth Annual “Music in Motion”
The corps was again rewarded with an overflow crowd due to the fine effort of the corps as a whole.

After our final appearance on Sept. 8, 1963 at Erie, Pa., the corps entered the “off season” looking forward to a more successful 1964 season.

Gerald J. Miller, Vice Pres. 1963

1963 con’t.

Nov. 1963
The Annual Drum Corps Banquet was held at the K. of C. Hall in Lackawanna. “New member of the year” award was won by Leo Manley. “Kingsmen of the year” was won by Pete Brown. It was another wonderful evening “on the town” for the corps members, their wives & girlfriends and honored Guests.

Added by Gene Forness to complete the 1963 season.


With the holidays behind us and a new board of officers, a long hard winter practice session lay ahead to prepare for the” Big Year.” We knew we would have to work hard and long to meet the challenge of the new season.

Everyone in drum corps circles were talking about the progress the Kingsmen have made since their first M&M appearance in 1958 and we were, “the corps to watch,” as we set our goal to best the Gray Knight Drum Corps of Rochester, NY.

As we sunk our teeth into our work of learning the new songs and improving on the old ones, the winter turned to spring and we decided it was time for a little break in the routine and have a social gathering for the corps members and invited guests.

This was held as an Open House in April at the Lake St. fire hall. The wives, mothers, and girlfriends, along with corps members, decorated the hall and prepared a buffet luncheon. The Corps put on a demonstration for all guests which included an explanation of each type of horn, its sound quality, and how each part added to the over all sound of each musical arrangement.

After, the tables were cleared and moved, and Dick Levesque & his band played dance music until the wee hours of the morning. Needless, to say, it was a gala party and one of the most successful social affairs the corps ever put on.

May arrived and our M&M practice moved outside and the drill was practiced and practiced until we were ready for the “Big” season.

The new uniforms, which were started by the 1963 Board of Directors and continued and completed by this board arrived. The white Eisenhower jackets with the light blue lapel, black pants with blue & white striping down the outside seam, chrome decorated Shakos with light blue plumes, blue gloves, and black shoes gave us the new look to go with the new sound.

We also purchased 2 contra bass horns and with a truck to carry our uniforms, flags and other balky equipment we were ready for everyone.

Corps officers for 1964 were:
President Richard Dougherty
V. President Eugene Forness
Secretary William Edgar
Treasurer Sam Hutka
Senator Gerald Miller
Corps Commander Leroy Thompson
Business Manager Jack Keller
Bugle Sgt. Donald Ahrens
Drum Sgt. Ralph Trauser
Color Guard Sgt. Peter Brown
Field Director & Drum Major Richard McClain
Asst. Drum Major David Betz
Chaplain Ira Chatley
Custodian Marlin Goodheart
Asst. Custodian James Crawford
Publicity James Kessler
Richard Dougherty

Bugle Instructor & Musical Arranger Milt Shettler
Drum Instructor Douglas Reynolds
M&M Instructor & Drill Arranger Richard McClain

Field Competitions 1964

Endicott, N.Y. June 6 2nd Place $400
Rochester, N.Y. June 20 3rd Place $600
Union City, PA. June 27 1st Place $500
Dunkirk, N.Y. July 4 2nd Place $400
Guelph, Ont. July 11 1st Place $500
Rome, N.Y. July 18 4th Place $300
Toronto, Ont. Aug 15 1st Place $500
Titusville, PA. Aug 22 3rd Place $450
Helmuth, N.Y. Aug 23 1st Place $300
Buffalo, N.Y. Aug 29 3rd Place $1,000
Lock Haven, PA. Sept 5 3rd Place $400
NyPenn-Buffalo Sept 6 1st Place $225
Hamilton, Ont. Sept 19 3rd Place $500

Total Prize money for the above 13 Field Competitions $6,075
Parades & Exhibitions 625
Total Winnings $6,700

We made a total of 21 full dress public appearances including the 13 field competitions.

Highlights of the 1964 Season

Among the number of great shows we participated in, the outstanding one was the show in Rome, N.Y., when we competed against the Syracuse Brigadiers, N.Y. State Champions and also the National Champion Hawthorne Caballeros. Although we ended up 4th, we put on a commendable show, made many new friends, and our name was spread along the East Coast where people had never heard of us before.

The July 25, 1964 5th Annual Music in Motion show was won by the Crusaders of Irondequoit, N.Y. before another sell-out crowd. 2nd Canadian Commanders, 3rd Gray Knights of Rochester, 4th Marching Ambassadors from Port Credit, Ontario, 5th Gauchos from Fulton, N.Y.

We won first place at the Southwestern Firemen’s Convention parade and the NY-Penn contest.

On Sept. 19th we competed in the International Pageant in Hamilton, Ont. We stopped the show when Elmer Morgan’s little boy Billie, walked across the field, dressed like the comic strip “Little King.” His costume was designed and made by Elmer’s wife Louise. The “Little King” was incorporated as our corps emblem on our bass drums.

A long-play recording was being pressed with the Kingsmen on one side and the Conn. Hurricanes on the other. This should be on sale before Christmas.

Eastern Review rated us Number 10 in the Eastern United States.

Donald Symington and members of the board formulated plans to have a standstill contest in Kleinhan’s Music Hall in April 1965.

On Sat., Nov. 26th the annual Drum Corps banquet was held in the Lake St. Fire Hall. The delicious dinner was catered by the West End and Music by the High Lites. After the usual after dinner speeches and thank-you’s from the guests of honor and officers, President Dougherty awarded the New-Member-Of-The-Year Award to Bill Miller and Gene Forness presented the Kingmen-Of-The-Year award to Richard Dougherty. This was one of the best banquets ever held, and a grand time was had by all.

Eugene Forness – V. Pres 1964


On the strength of a very good showing in 64, the Kingsmen moved into the winter season with great anxiety. Minor changes were made in the music as it was a year to perfect what we had and rise even higher in 1965 and this the Corps did to say the least.

Open house was held in November with great success as far as acquiring new members and also for promoting drum corps in the area. Movies were shown and demonstrations put on by the various sections of the Corps. This was followed by an informal party which was enjoyed by everyone in attendance.

A new venture was taken on this winter as the Color Guard started competing in Guard Contests and doing a very commendable job in their first year of competition.

Once again the time arrived for The Annual Banquet and it was held on December 3, 1965 at the Fire Hall on Lake Street. With Jack Keller as chairman the plans were formulated and carried out with a tremendous turn out.

Kingsman of the year – Tom Zimmerman
New Member “ “ – Bob LaDuca

With the first of the year the Corps moved into high gear. The drum line increased to 5 snares, 5 tenors, 3 bass drums, 3 cymbals and 2 rudimental bass drums. Another contra-bass was obtained and the horn line became a solid 36 men.

Early in March drill rehearsal was started in Hamburg High School Gymnasium which carried us right into outdoor practice while some snow remained on the ground. Snow and cold weather did not hamper the spirit it only gained momentum as we prepared for our summer contests.

On April 24th we sponsored a standstill contest at Kleinhan’s Music Hall before 1,100 spellbound people. In competition were The Crusaders from Rochester; The Commanders from Hamilton, Ont.; The Ambassadors from Toronto and The Gauchos from Fulton, N.Y. [Syracuse Brigadiers is added in the margin] The Crusaders scored an impressive victory but every Corps was sensational.

Corps Appearance Schedule 1965

Batavia, N.Y. 6-5-65 2nd place $400
Hamilton, Ont. 6-12-65 4th place $400
Warren, Pa. 6-19-65 2nd place $500
Rochester, N.Y. 6-26-65 1st place $1,200
Oswego, N.Y. 7-4-65 3rd place $500
Dunkirk, N.Y. 7-10-65 2nd place $500
Buffalo, N.Y. 7-17-65 4th place $250 (State Legion)
Syracuse, N.Y. 7-24-65 2nd place $900
Rome, N.Y. 7-31-65 3rd place $500
Buffalo, N.Y. 8-14-65 1st place $1,300
Utica, N.Y. 8-21-65 1st place $1,000
Helmuth, N.Y. 8-22-65 1st place $300
Falconer, N.Y. 8-28-65 2nd place $600
Salamanca, N.Y. 9-4-65 1st place $250 (NY-Penn)
Endicott, N.Y. 9-11-65 2nd place $275 (NY-Canadian)

Total $8,875

Record: 5 victories, 6 seconds, 2 thirds, 2 fourths

Total from competitions $8,875
Parades & Exhibitions $1,200
Total $10,075

Highlights of the Year “1965”

The M&M execution held our corps back in the first three contests but the Drums and Bugles were working beautifully.

On June 2 at “The Tournament of Drums” the Corps scored a tremendous upset and captured 1st place by beating the Interstatesmen by .5 tenths of a point, our score 81.55.

The following week on the 4th of July we took a long ride to Oswego, N.Y. and placed 3rd behind The Crusaders & Syracuse.

On the 17th of July at our first State Competition we did not produce the goods after a fine showing the week before in Dunkirk and the result was a disappointing 4th.

A determined Corps practiced hard because on the next Sat. we had a very big contest in Syracuse, N.Y. competing against Hawthorne, Princemen, Marksmen and Reilly. What an unbelievable show we put on. Hawthorne stood on the sidelines amazed as was everyone in the stands.

The Kingsmen received the biggest ovation of the evening as most of the crowd and many of the Cabs thought we were winners. Cabs scored 83.9, Kingsmen 81.10 and the closest other Corps, the Princemen, 75.6.

Right on to Rome, N.Y. and once again great. Within 3 points of first and our first victory over Syracuse and by 1.5 pts.

Improving with each performance the Corps won at both Buffalo and Utica, N.Y. beating The Brigadiers both times.

Our only losses the rest of the season were to The Crusaders who went to Seattle Oregon [sic] to become National Champs and guess to pushed them to the top.


Don Ahrens – Pres.
Tom Zimmerman – V. Pres
Sam Hutka – Treas.
Jack Keller – Bus. Mgr.
Dick O’Dell Corps Comm.


Milt Shettler – Bugles
Doug Reynolds – Drums
Mac McClain – M&M

Drum Majors – Mac and Dave Betts
Guard Capt. – Pete Brown

Respectfully submitted,
Jack Keller


The outlook for ‘66 had to be the most promising ever in the long history of the Kingsmen Drum and Bugle Corps.

The instruction staff was named with the following:
Tom Heanle – Bugles
Doug Reynolds – Drums
Pete Brown – M&M


Don Fleming – President
Elmer Morgan – Secretary
Sam Hutka – Treasurer
Senator – Skip Johnston
Corps Commander – Dick O’Dell
Business Mgr. – Jack Keller

Following open house which was held at the fire hall the Kingsmen had 48 horns on the roster with an average attendance of about 40. Once again a tremendous drum line was being put together which was becoming a Kingsmen trademark.

In November another fantastic banquet was staged at the fire hall with Jack Keller as chairman assisted by Dick Levesque. A delicious meal, a fine orchestra and a wonderful party until the early hours of dawn. Kingsmen of the Year – Tom Zimmerman. Rookie of the Year – Rick Olson.

New music was arranged and the Corps worked hard throughout the winter. Spring arrived and the corps took to the cold outdoors.

An indoor standstill contest took place in Syracuse, N.Y. in April. Although many members felt we were not ready we went and played a very good show placing 2nd just 2 ½ points behind the Crusaders and ahead of the Marksmen and Les Mets.

On Sat. April 23, 1966 the 2nd Annual Preview of Champions became history at Kleinhan’s Music Hall. Crusaders went home with the victory but the Canadian Commanders have notice they would be a Corps to contend with throughout ’66. Albion and Meadville also competed in a very successful affair.

With indoor shows out of the way the big push was to master our M&M drill and polish the drum and horn line.

June 4th and the first show were upon the Kingsmen only too fast. A 3rd place was the best we could manage as we went out with a fantastic G.E. Drill but the emphasis for the season was obviously going to be on execution for the season.
June 18th – Hershey, Pa.

The furthest trip ever taken by the Kingsmen. A tremendous send off from our friend Gene, from the ditch, as he put on a luncheon for the Corps and we departed at 1:30 A.M. Sat. morn. A fine rehearsal and a fantastic show in this new area for the Corps. Result was 3rd place but a penalty placed us there. Bucs 1st, Westshoremen 2nd, Archie 4th, Reilly 5th.

June 25th & July 2nd

Fine performances at both Lackawanna and Medina but the Commanders outscored us by 1 ½ pts in contests.

Kingmen present “Music in Motion” July 16

Another jam-packed crowd at Howe field in Hamburg. Everyone went home happy and excited except The Syracuse Brigadiers who, because of a penalty, came in 2nd behind the Commanders.

Aug 7th Drum Corps Picnic

What can be said about them that has not already been. Fun and good times were had by everyone in attendance.

The annual football game as usual and the annual bruises and sore muscles afterwards. Food and drinks a-plenty. Wow!!

We wrapped up the marching with 3 parade victories at the Fairgrounds and a fine 2nd place performance in Titusville, Pa.

1967 - 1971

Unfortunately, the keeping of this record was not maintained between 1967 and 1971. I say unfortunately because these were the years that saw the Hamburg Kingsmen burst upon the national scene and were the years of greatest success for the corps.

In 1968, through a misunderstanding, the Hamburg Volunteer Firemen terminated their sponsorship of the corps. The group stayed together, improved and went on to become a member at the end of the summer of Drum Corps Associates. 1969, 1970, and 1971 were years of great growth and progress for the corps.

Under the instruction of Collin Campbell on percussion and “Coz” on bugles the Kingsmen developed one of the very best senior drum lines in the country and the largest horn line in D.C.A. With the addition of Fred “Gebby” Gephardt to this excellent staff in 1971 the corps continued its excellent record.

The most remembered song ever played by the Kingsmen was “It’s A Long Way To Tipperary.” This WWI song was color-pre for the corps in 1970 and 1971 and was twice voted the best color-pre in DCA.


OTL – “Camelot”
Prod – “Proud Mary”
Concert – “The Look of Love”
Color Pre – “The Great Race”
Exit – “Shuffle Off to Buffalo”, “Delphi Bureau”

Drums – Collin Campbell
Horns – Ed Cozzolino
M&M – Fred Gebhardt

1972 was a year of great change. For the first time in its history, females marched in the Kingsmen.

Through the persuasion of Fred Gebhardt, the show was centered around a “theme.” During the opening number “Camelot,” the king and his court were featured. The court consisted of four girls with sabers who, though the rest of the show, were featured dancing and doing sabre spins. Though rather controversial, the girls were generally well received and probably contributed to our maintaining ninth place in D.C.A. despite a drastic decline in the size of the corps from the preceding year.

The Kingsmen put a corps of approximately 33 horns, 20 drums, and 12 flash flags on the field.

D.C.A. shows included:

Hershey, Pa.
Carlisle, Pa.
Mt. Carmel, Pa.
Ithaca, N.Y. (exh)
Jamestown, N.Y.
Dunkirk, N.Y.
Jamestown, N.Y.
D.C.A. championships – Jersey City, N.J.

Craig Howard



Drums – Collin Campbell
Horns – Ed Cozzolino (David Smalley)
M&M – Bill McGrath

OTL – “Eli’s Coming”
Prod – “Proud Mary”
Concert – “The Look of Love”
Color-Pre – “Chester”
Exit – “Shaft”

DCA Shows

D.C.A. Championships Rochester

42 Horns
25 Drums
12 Flash Flags

The Kingsmen performed very well in 1973. A larger corps and a new show helped move the corps up a notch to take eighth place in D.C.A., knocking the Sunrisers down one place.

Craig Howard



Pres. – Russel Valvo
V.P. – Dan Oldenburg
Sec’y – Steve Bell
Treas.- Steve Miller
Corps Comm –
Bus. Mgr. – Larry Soos


Drums – Collin Campbell, Doug Kleinhans
Horns – Steve Cooley, Bob LaDuca
M&M – Brady Rouse

OTL – “English Folk Song Suite”
Prod – “South Ramparts Street Parade”
Concert – “The Yards Went On Forever”
Prod – “What Can a Friend Say?”
Exit – “Ghost Riders In the Sky”

An entire new Board of Directors was elected for the 1974 season. The new board planned a year of vigorous change and restructuring. The main idea was to model the Kingsmen after the most successful junior corps, with more member participation and through the hiring of the best instructors in the country. The Kingsmen went heavily into debt through the winter in an effort to equip and train itself to the degree necessary to become a champion.

But the beginning of the summer season saw us, as of yet, unprepared for competition. The instructors had other loyalties and, although a large influx of new members had come to Hamburg from North Tonawanda, many of the older members had left.

We only managed to put 19 or 20 horns on the field for many shows which was just not enough to make up for a very advanced book and skillful playing and performing.

The summer was dismal. Last place at almost every show, the Kingsmen were beat by the Thunderbirds and the Royalaires for the first time ever. The final blow came on Labor Day Weekend when, for the first time since 1968, the Kingsmen were no longer in D.C.A. 13th place left us out by one spot.

Much to the credit of the Kingsmen, however the corps did not die. That afternoon, nominations were held for the next year’s board. The following day the corps had a commitment to a parade in Canada. Almost to a man, the entire corps showed up and the parade was followed by a great party back in the States. Everyone (perhaps out of desperation) had a great time and realized, I think, that although there is no substitute for winning, there is a lot more than that to being a Kingsmen.

Craig Howard



Pres. – Larry Keppel
V.P. – Craig Howard
Sec’y – Sue Piotrowski, Jim Ellison
Treas. – Tom Zimmerman
Corps Comm. – Bob Peterson
Bus. Mgr. – Larry Soos


Drums – Steve Bell, Charlie Houseman
Horns – Bob LaDuca
M&M – Mike Linton


OTL – “English Folk Song Suite”
Prod – “South Ramparts Street Parade”
Prod – “What Can a Friend Say?”
Concert – “Trumpet Blues”
Exit – “Ghost Riders In the Sky”, “King of Kings”


[Editor’s note]

The journal ends there.

I evidently didn’t have the heart to update it at the end of the ’75 season. While the corps had actually grown slightly from ’74 to ’75, we were still tiny; the 20 man (person?) horn-line that might have wowed ‘em in the fifties didn’t cut it anymore.

And although we’d been “reduced” to competing in RCA, we were sure (and we “were” a rather musically-sophisticated bunch) that we could make up in quality what we lacked in numbers. We couldn’t.

My ever-dimmer memories of that summer include an inspired performance at the RCA finals in Hamilton that resulted in our losing, not only to the Royalaires, but to the Dunkirk Patriots as well. It probably didn’t help us that we didn’t make a secret of the fact that competing in RCA was, to us, “slumming.”

Payback’s a bitch.

As might be expected, what grumbling there had been in the ranks, only grew. By the following spring, after rehearsals for the Patriots’ indoor show proved us completely unprepared for public performance, it got ugly. And that night, after the show (at the Aquavia Post), I quit.

I don’t mean to make it sound as if my quitting were some fatal blow to the corps; it certainly wasn’t. It’s just that I’d finished college, had a decent job in Jamestown and I was tired of trying to rescue a legend – year after year after year.

With steel mills closing down all around us, who could afford to run around the country marching in a “band.” And with anti-war sentiment so high, why would anyone, new rules allowing beards notwithstanding, want to belong to a para-military group?

The rest of the corps, of course, carried on -- as it always had -- and worked hard to turn things around. But it wasn’t to be. In 1976, the Hamburg Kingsmen Drum and Bugle Corps disbanded.

Craig Howard, 2006