Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps
|Uniform||Red cadet jacket
w/white & black trim
& silver buttons
White baldric & sash
& mirror centered on baldric
w/black trim & silver buttons
White gloves (horns)
Black shoes & socks
Red & black Shako
w/silver trim, chains & badge
Red, white, or black plume
The Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps is a World Class (formerly Division I) competitive junior drum and bugle corps. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the Boston Crusaders are a charter member of Drum Corps International.
The Boston Crusaders were founded in 1940 as the Most Precious Blood Crusaders, a youth activity of the Most Precious Blood Catholic parish in the Hyde Park section of Boston. The Corps and the parish parted ways in 1956, and the corps took a new name, the Hyde Park Crusaders. During this period, two ardent, if unofficial supporters of the corps were two of the Kennedy brothers, John F. and Ted. JFK was such a staunch supporter that he was made an honorary member of the corps; the then-Senator was responsible for acquiring West Point uniforms that the Crusaders converted to their own colors; in return, the corps honored the newly elected President Kennedy by being the first drum and bugle corps to march in a Presidential Inauguration Parade.
By 1959, the corps had become the Boston Crusaders, although they often were (and still are) referred to as "BAC" or the Boston Area Crusaders, and BAC was one of the East Coast powerhouse corps of the 1960s. They won the first CYO National Drum and Bugle Championship in 1964 and repeated as CYO champions in 1967 & '68. In 1966 and again in 1967 the Boston Crusaders were crowned World Open (class A) Champions. The corps was a finalist at VFW Nationals in 1969 & '70 and would have won the 1967 American Legion Junior Championship, if the powers-that-be had not voided the scores for the corps' inspection, allowing the Cavaliers to outscore them.
In 1971, the Boston Crusaders, along with the 27th Lancers, Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, Blue Rock, and Garfield Cadets formed the United Organization of Junior Corps (also known as the "Alliance"). This action was taken in reaction to the rigid, inflexible rules of the American Legion and VFW (the primary rule makers and sponsors of both corps and shows) and the low or nonexistent performance fees paid for appearing in the various competitions. The corps felt that not only were they having their creative potential as artistic performing groups stifled, but they were being financially starved. (A similar group of Midwestern corps, the Midwest Combine, was formed by the Blue Stars, Cavaliers, Madison Scouts, Santa Clara Vanguard, and the Troopers.) The Alliance members felt that the corps should be making their own rules, operating their own competitions and championships, and keeping the bulk of the monies those shows earned. For the 1971 season, the corps stuck together, offering show promoters the five corps as a package. Despite pressure on show sponsors, judges, and other drum corps, the corps were booked into a number of shows together.
In 1972, the Garfield Cadets, along with the nine other corps from the Alliance and the Midwest Combine, plus the Anaheim Kingsmen, Argonne Rebels, and De La Salle Oaklands were founding members of Drum Corps International, which remains as the sanctioning body for junior corps in North America. That summer, there was a fire in the corps hall that destroyed much of the corps' equipment. The corps was forced to withdraw from many of its scheduled contests, and at one point, could claim only nineteen active members. Rather than attending the first DCI World Championship in Whitewater, Wisconsin, BAC returned to the field to compete at CYO Nationals, where they finished ninth of thirteen corps and solidified their reputation as, "the corps that would not die." 
Disaster struck again a decade later when, while on a 1982 tour in the United Kingdom, the corps' funds were embezzled, leaving members and staff stranded and financially insolvent in England. The Corps made it back home with the assistance of the US State Department for members under the age of 18, and all others paid their own way or received assistance from a handful of very generous supporters. The airline involved filed a receivership action, and several alumni stepped in to negotiate the release of title to the Corps' assets. Once more, the corps refused to die, fielding a small unit in 1983 as the Boston Drum and Bugle Corps. The instructional staff produced a first class program, working tirelessly without compensation. During that year, the Corps marched in every parade possible within a day's drive of Boston, and repaid all of the Corps' debts, with the exception of the airline, which was never pursued. Three years later the Corps returned to the field as the Boston Crusaders.
Through the years, BAC had fostered a well-earned image of toughness. Prior to DCI Prelims in Miami in 1983, a gang of street thugs were harassing corps as they prepared to enter the Orange Bowl Stadium. The Boston Crusaders, "...as adept with fists as with bugles..." solved the problem by chasing the gang away. However, this attitude was not conducive to attracting sufficient numbers of talented members to be a truly competitive corps, and in combination with a reputation for being troublemakers, the corps was relegated to middling rankings within DCI through the 1980s and '90's.
Under corps director Jim Cronin from 1996 to 2000, the corps adopted a new philosophy of "professionalism, accountability, and responsibility" for its members. In 1999, the Boston Crusaders finally earned a place among DCI's Top Twelve Finalists. They have returned to Finals in every year since, placing as high as fifth in 2002.
Historically, the Boston Crusaders have often been drum corps innovators. They were the first corps to march double tenor drums in 1967; the first to march tympani in 1969; the first with slides on their horns to allow playing a chromatic scale; and, although they were penalized for it in every show, the first to use a synthesizer in 1985.
The Boston Crusaders Drum and Bugle Corps is sponsored by Inspire Arts & Music, a 501 (c) (3) musical organization that has a Board of Directors, corps director, and staff assigned to carry out the organization's mission. The board president is James Cronin, Thompson Vou is administrative director, and the corps director is Andy Waldukat.
The Boston Crusaders first performed Alfred Newman's "Conquest" from the 1947 swashbuckling motion picture, Captain From Castille in 1969 and repeated it in 1970. The corps brought the tune back in 1973 & '74, then performed it as a part of their show in every year from 1976 through 1990. Since then, BAC's shows have included a two measure quote from the piece; called the "conquest shots," these six notes appear in various form throughout the show, though most noticeably when the entire corps plays in unison at a high dynamic level. Fans of the corps take this as their cue to fill in the two rests by screaming "HUH!"
The Boston Crusader's symbol is King Richard's split-tailed lion. Affectionately known as "Waldo", the lion can be seen on all of the corps' vehicles, on the corps members' jackets, on corps merchandise, and as tattoos on many members and alumni of the Crusaders.
Fans and alumni of the Boston Crusaders often scream "Eat 'em up, Boston!" before start of a show.
The Crusaders' corps song, sung before they go onto the field, is based on the main theme from the 1956 movie, Giant. In past years the song has also been used as an on-field warm-up tune.
The corps is commonly referred to as "BAC," which stands for "Boston Area Crusaders."
Burt Lancaster on BAC
"Before he lost it, Peckinpah made me go see this drum and bugle corps from Boston, the Boston Crusaders. Sam thought I would only really understand the power beneath despair by watching these guys. Yeah, he was right. In '73 and '83, the corps went out with just handfuls of guys on the horns and, @#!*% , those man-gods could melt the gates of @#!*% . Every single film I made after 'Valdez Is Coming' is an allegory on the Boston Crusaders." ...Burt Lancaster in Daily Variety interview, December 9, 1991.
Show Summary (1972–2013)
|1972||Opening Scene from Boris Gudonov / Yankee Doodle / Zorba The Greek / Beginnings / Make Me Smile / Persian Market||---||---|
|1973||El Capitan / Yankee Doodle / Man of La Mancha / War March And Battle Hymn Of The Vikings / Cast A Giant Shadow / Hava Nagila / Meat And Metal Shoes / California Dreamin' /
Conquest (from Captain From Castile)
|1974||Oklahoma Gold / Pop Goes the Weasel / Tubular Bells / Hatikvah (Israeli National Anthem) / California Dreamin' / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)||62.60||37th|
|1975||Lohengrin / Exorcist / Cast a Giant Shadow / Sader Stomp / Captain from Castile / Eberhard / Love Theme||67.20||27th|
|1976||Coronation March / Love's Theme / Simple Song / Kyrie (from Bernstein's Mass) / Hatikvah (Israeli National Anthem) / Hava Nagila / When Will I See You Again /
Conquest (from Captain From Castile)
|1977||Fifth Symphony / Coronation March / Threshold / The Mass / Hava Nagila / Sabre Dance / California Dreamin' / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)||81.15||17th|
|1978||Finale from the Fifth Symphony in E Flat / Festive Overture / Hatikvah (Israeli National Anthem) / Hava Nagila / Spanish Fantasy / Threshold / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)||78.50||15th|
|1979||Coronation of Boris Gudonov / Ninth Symphony (Ode to Joy) / Threshold / Birdland / Fantasy / Time for a Change / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)||74.75||19th|
|1980||The Aristophanic Wasp / Kid Charlemange / And on the Sixth Day / Ninth Symphony (Ode to Joy) / Time for a Change / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)||63.90||25th|
|1981||Coronation of Boris Gudonov / Best Coast / Flamenco / Wacky Dust / And on the Sixth Day / Threshold / Lady Beside Me / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)||66.55||25th|
|1982||Samson and Delilah / Threshold / Kitty's Back / Spain / While My Guitar Gently Weeps / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)||65.30||26th|
|1983||Mexicali Nose / Billie Jean / Ninth Symphony (Ode to Joy) / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)||63.75||21st|
|1984||Mexicali Nose / Rainmaker / Moments in Japan / California Dreamin' / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)||76.20||19th|
|1985||Romantic Symphony #2 / Turquoise / Exception to the Rule / Axel F (from Beverly Hills Cops) / Rainmaker / California Dreamin' / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)||74.40||20th|
|1986||Fifth Symphony / Coronation March / Smooth Operator / Bluesette / Conga / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)||79.90||16th|
|1987||Music for Wind and Percussion / Havalah / Hava Nagila / Unsquare Dance / Hello Again / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)||82.80||14th|
|1988||Music for Wind and Percussion / At the End of the Day (from Les Misérables) / Attack on Rue Plumet (from Les Misérables) / One Day More (from Les Misérables) /
Do You Hear the People Sing? (from Les Misérables) / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)
|1989||Man of La Mancha / A Whiter Shade of Pale / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)||78.80||17th|
|1990||Coronation of Boris Gudonov / Captain from Castile / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)||84.05||15th|
|1991||Selections from Rocky||War / Conquest / Training Montage (All from Rocky)||81.00||16th|
|1992||Pictures at an Exhibition||Promenade / Hut of Baba-Yaga / Tuileries / Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks / The Old Castle / Market Place at Limoges / Great Gate of Kiev (All from Pictures at an Exhibition)||82.20||14th|
|1993||Russian Easter Overture / Sheherazade: The Prince and the Princess / Sheherazade: Festival in Baghdad||82.40||14th|
|1994||Russian Cameos||Russian Easter Overture / Troika & Romance (from Lieutenant Kije Suite) / Russian Sailor's Dance (from The Red Poppy)||82.60||13th|
|1995||Pat Metheny Music||Are We There Yet? / Beat 70 / Cathredral in a Suitcase / First Circle||74.40||16th|
|1996||Portraits of Our
Homeland- The East
|God Save the Queen / America The Beautiful / Festival Overture on the Star Spangled Banner / Grover's Corner (from Our Town) / Children's Dance (from Merry Mount Suite) /
Times Square (from On the Town)
|1997||Portraits of Our
|Original Fanfare / Chester Overture / Lincoln Portrait / Eternal Father / Navy Hymn / Victory at Sea||80.50||15th|
From the Big Screen
|The Sea Hawk / Captain from Castile / Conquest (from Captain From Castile)||81.20||15th|
of Symphonic Dances
|Armenian Dances / Allegro Risoluto (from English Dances) / Allegretto (from Scottish Dances) / Symphonic Dance No. 3 - Fiesta||88.60||9th|
|2000||RED||Bolero / Intensity / Time To Say Goodbye / Day Danse / Symphonic Dance No. 3 - Fiesta||92.35||5th|
|2001||Harmonium||Wild Nights from Harmonium / Marimba Spiritual / Brothers (from the Mission) / Gabriel's Oboe (from the Mission) / Dance of the New World /
Shakata: Singing the World into Existence / Original Music
|2002||You Are My Star||Intro to Appalachian Spring / The American President / Allegro (from Appalachian Spring) / America / Clarinet Concerto / You Are My Star / Simple Gifts (from Appalachian Spring)||92.40||5th|
|2003||BRAVO!||Bolero / Pavana (from Tres Versiones Sinfonica) / The Prayer / Concierto de Aranjuez / Spanish Fantasy / Malaguena||90.95||6th|
|2004||The Composition of Color||Introduction / Colored Rhythms / Colored Harmonies / Colored Dynamics / Colored Combinations / Closing||90.525||9th|
|2005||Ode to Joy||Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring / Overture to Candide / The Promise of Living (from Tender Land) / Sing Sang Sung / Ninth Symphony (Ode to Joy)||88.40||9th|
|2006||Cathedrals of the Mind||blue cathedral / Concerto for Orchestra / The Windmills of Your Mind / Original||87.325||10th|
|2007||A Picasso Suite||In Pace / Cruzados / Oblivion / La Fiesta||89.10||9th|
|2008||Neocosmos||Also Spracht Zarathustra (from 2001: A Space Odyssey) / Kingfishers Catch Fire / Moondance / August Rhapsody / Burly Brawl (from the Matrix)||87.275||10th|
|2009||The Core of Temptation||Bacchanale (from Samson and Delilah) / Salome * Belkis, Queen of Sheba / Dance of the Maenads / Myst / Oceana||90.70||7th|
|2010||Thy Kingdom Come||Throne Procession and Fanfare / Tenth Symphony, Second Movement / Power Shift / Planet Damnation / Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (variation 18) / The Quest for Glory||89.35||9th|
|2011||Revolution||Do You Hear the People Sing / I Dreamed a Dream / The Attack on Rue Plumet / On My Own / Bring Him Home / One Day More (All from Les Misérables) / 1812 Overture||90.65||8th|
|2012||The Titans||Pines of Rome / War Dance (from Belkis, Queen of Sheba) / Evey Reborn (from V for Vendetta) / Symphony No 1 (Titan)||89.10||7th|
|2013||Rise||Sit Down, Stand Up by Thom Yorke / Water Night by Eric Whitacre / Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard / Lean on Me by Bill Withers /
Test Drive (from How to Train Your Dragon) by John Powell / Time (from Inception) by Hans Zimmer /Original Music by Ryan George
- A History of Drum & Bugle Corps, Vol. 2; Steve Vickers, ed.; Drum Corps World, pu.; 2003
- Daily Variety, 12/9/91, p. E7