Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps

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Phantom Regiment
PR Logo.png
Location Rockford, Illinois
Division World Class
Founded 1956
Director Rick Valenzuela
Championship titles 1996 (tie), 2008
Uniform

White jackets with black show logo on the chest, black chevrons on the sleeves, and black shoulder accents.

White pants.

Black gauntlets and gloves.

White pith helmets with black plumes.

The Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, founded in 1956, is a World Class (formerly referred to as Division I) drum and bugle corps based in Rockford, Illinois, USA, and is a member corps of Drum Corps International. Often referred to as just "Phantom" or "Regiment", the corps is a long-standing DCI member corps.

History [1][edit]

Drum and Bugle Corps is an original American art form. The beginning can be traced to veterans organizations such as the VFW and the American Legion, as well as organizations such as the Catholic Youth Organization. Soldiers returning from World War I celebrated Veterans Day and the Fourth of July by marching parades to the drum and the bugle, just as they had done during the war.

The first two corps in the area, the VFW Post 342 and the American Legion Post 62, were composed of veterans who were male and members of those particular posts. There have been many drum corps in the Rockford area since that time. By far the most prominent has been the Phantom Regiment.

Formed in 1956 by a group of VFW 342 members who wanted to see a competitive drum corps, it was named the Rockford Rangers, with an all-girl color guard to be called the Rangerettes.

Many of the members did not feel the name "Rangers" was appropriate for their corps. Some of the members had been listening to some Stetson D. Richmond records, and were impressed with a tune the Syracuse Brigadiers had played entitled "The Phantom Regiment." Thus, before the corps had made any public appearances, the corps name had been changed to the Phantom Regiment and the all-girl color guard was called the Phantomettes.

While the corps was in its development stages, a great emphasis was put on the competition guard aspect of the activity. Almost overnight, the Phantomettes became very successful on their own. An all-male comp guard made up of members of the Regiment horn line, called the Raiders, also had a brief success story.

The drum and bugle corps itself, however, struggled competitively. In 1962, the corps bought a set of high quality bugles from the Commonwealth Edison Drum and Bugle Corps. With quality instruments and the addition of a new brass arranger, the corps began to improve.

Also in 1962, the original Phantom Regiment Cadets were formed, using the old set of bugles. In 1963, the Regiment fielded an all-male corps, including the color guard, with mixed results. The all-girl guard returned in 1964 and, with the help of a very successful recruiting drive, the Phantom Regiment, sporting a new set of military uniforms, had its most successful year.

But, just as is looked like the Regiment was on its way to becoming a championship-caliber corps, a fire in the corps hall took away the corps home, along with the uniforms and the instruments. The Phantom Regiment tried to field a corps in 1965, but eventually was forced to cancel the season due to lack of finances.

A new Board of Directors, composed of former members and staff of the original corps, reorganized and incorporated the Phantom Regiment on Sept. 11, 1967, with the following mission statement:

"To organize, maintain, and operate a musical marching unit, band, color guard, and related activities, and in general, promote and encourage drum and bugle corps activities, parades, concerts, contests, and to further the musical talents and interests of young persons."

The original Board of Directors could not have imagined that 30 years later their corps would have a budget of well over half a million dollars, nor could they have imagined that the Phantom Regiment would one day be competing for the drum and bugle corps world championship.

The reorganized Phantom Regiment began its first season in three years with a small corps that signed the first roster Jan. 10, 1968. There were 28 charter members.

The first season for the corps included many parades and a few contests. The corps uniform included black pants with a red wind breaker. There was a black and white vertical stripe on the left side of the wind breaker. The guard wore the same wind breaker with black Bermuda shorts and an Aussie style hat. The equipment truck was a red step up van and was the only vehicle owned by the corps.

As the years passed, the number of contests grew, the distance covered in the tour increased, and the Phantom Regiment began to creep up the ladder of drum corps.

New in 1970 was a cadet-style uniform, including black pants with a white stripe, a jacket with a diagonal sash of red dividing the black right side and the white left side. On the sleeve of each jacket there was a chevron. White bucks were worn on the feet and new shakos with 12-inch plumes decorated the head gear. The guard wore identical uniforms with the exception of Bermuda shorts and white 10-inch high boots.

The corps included 40 horns, 24 color guard, 14 drums, 10 rifles and 1 drum major for a total of 89 members.

During the fall and winter of the 1974 season individual marching and brass lessons were given to each member of the corps which had grown to the maximum 128 members. The Phantom Regiment made finals at the Drum Corps International World Championships for the first time in1974, finishing eighth in prelims and 11th in finals.

The years between 1967 and 1974 were some of the most exciting in the history of the corps. They were the formative years and defined the style of the Phantom Regiment. Those years saw the growth of the young nucleus of members to a mature world-class drum corps.

In the fall of 1974, a new uniform was conceived for the 1975 corps. It was a uniform that would give the Phantom Regiment its identity. Long white jackets with a black sash, a two-colored cape with red on the inside and black on the outside, black pants, and the one element that remains today: the pith helmet.

The remainder of the 1970s would be years of rapid advancement for the Regiment as the corps matured to become a contender for the DCI crown.

In 1975, the corps placed 10th. In 1976, it placed 4th. And in 1977, 1978 and 1979, the corps placed second, only a tenth or two from becoming World Champion.

During the early 1980s, the Regiment produced some of the most innovative programs ever to grace the field of competition. The corps was well ahead of its time with the 1981 and 1982 productions of the ballet Spartacus, a project two years in the making. Critically acclaimed and loved by audiences everywhere, the Regiment fame grew throughout the world.

The corps that is recognized today began in 1987.

After a difficult 10th-place finish in 1986, the corps took a fresh new approach. The corps made a dramatic change inspired by Michael Cesario, with new all-white uniforms more closely resembling costumes. This new look and approach led to three years of dramatic improvement, culminating in 1989 with a second-place finish and the second highest score ever, at the time, 98.4.

The 1990s have proved to be a time of continued success and evolution, when in 1995 the uniforms changed again. The same style was used, however the color became all black.

In 1996, the goal and dream of everyone involved with the organization over the past 30 years came true. The Phantom Regiment tied the Blue Devils of Concord, Calif., for its first DCI World Championship.

The corps took on a new look in 2000 with another Michael Cesario-inspired uniform. The all-black was replaced by tan jackets and white pants with a red baldric. The traditional Phantom Regiment helmets remained.

Now into the 21st century, the Phantom Regiment is ready to continue its past success and strive for future goals. In 2008, with their revamped performance entitled "Spartacus", the Regiment defeated the Blue Devils by a margin of 98.100 to 98.125 for their first undisputed DCI World Championship.

DCI Placement[edit]

Phantom Regiment has been the DCI World Class (Division I) World Champion two times; once in 1996 with 'A Defiant Heart' (a tie with the Concord Blue Devils) and in 2008 with their revamp of 'Spartacus'. In addition, the corps has placed second five times (1977, 1978, 1979, 1989, and 2006) and has placed third five times (1991, 1993, 1994, 2005, and 2012). Phantom Regiment's streak of 35 consecutive appearances in Drum Corps International World Championship Finals (a record shared with Blue Devils) is second only to the Santa Clara Vanguard. In 1989 the Phantom Regiment placed 2nd at DCI Finals after an intense season against SCV. Their score of 98.4, at the time, was the highest score not to win a Championship title, and it's also the record for the highest score ever awarded to the Phantom Regiment. SCV won that year with a 98.8, the set record for the high score ever given, only to be broken by the Cavaliers 13 years later with a 99.15.

Repertoire[edit]

Phantom Regiment has aggressively brought challenging classical music to the field, including the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Richard Wagner and Antonín Dvořák. One commentator noted that the corps is "drum corps' classical music identity." In addition, Regiment shows have included the music of Ludwig van Beethoven's Ode to Joy, Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian and the New World Symphony.

In 2005, Phantom Regiment took a step away from classic music repertoire and explored George Gershwin's symphonic Classical/Jazz work, Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris (although this is not the first time the corps has had success with this approach, as evident with "I Pagliacci", 1991, and "Goin' Home (Largo from New World)", 1989). The jazzy 2005 show won the Spirit of Disney Award and took third place at DCI Finals.

Phantom Regiment's 1989 show, based on Dvořák's New World Symphony, was voted the top show in the 2006 DCI Classic Countdown, a movie-theater showing of the most popular DCI shows in its second year.

In 2008, Phantom Regiment would put together its third version of Spartacus. Spartacus was a big hit, placing 5th in 1981, and then 4th in 1982. However, the corps' design team felt it was time to bring Spartacus back in an all new, totally different form. The 2008 show spent most of the summer in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place. The high-intensity show placed 3rd in the DCI quarterfinals in Bloomington, Ind., 2nd in semifinals and, finally, edged the Blue Devils for the championship at finals.

50th anniversary[edit]

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the organization's founding in 1956, the 2006 show, "Faust", took the corps back to its true classical heritage and included works such as: Scythian Suite by Sergei Prokofiev, Ave Maria by Franz Biebl, Piano Concerto by John Corigliano, and Symphony No. 2 ("Resurrection") by Gustav Mahler. The 2006 Phantom Regiment took second place with a score of 96.850 at the Drum Corps International World Championships in Madison, Wisconsin, Regiment's highest finish since 1996. The corps also received its first Fred E. Sanford High Percussion Award, led by percussion caption head Paul Rennick. As a humorous side note, a judge described this show as "touching my very soul" and then proceeded to announce "I need a cigarette, and I don't even smoke" thus proving the 2006 "Faust" production to be one of Phantom Regiment's most emotional productions yet.

Show summary (1972–2014)[edit]

Sources: [2][3]

Year Theme Repertoire Score Placement
1972 March (from the Damnation of Faust) by Hector Berlioz / America the Beautiful by Katherine Lee Bates and Samuel A. Ward /
Funeral March of a Marionette by Charles Gounod / Poet & Peasant Overture by Franz von Suppé / Shot in the Dark by Henry Mancini /
Spellbound Concerto by Miklós Rózsa
64.400 23rd
1973 Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky / The Lord's Prayer (from King of Kings) by Miklós Rózsa / Mac Arthur Park by Jimmy Webb /
Poet and Peasant Overture & Light Cavalry Overture by Franz von Suppé / Jubilance by James Swearingen
74.700 14th
1974 Festive Overture & Fifth Symphony by Dmitri Shostakovich / Poet and Peasant Overture by Franz von Suppé /
Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky / Romeo and Juliet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky / Les Preludes by Franz Liszt
76.250 11th
1975 American Overture by Joseph Willcox Jenkins / Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Johannes Brahms / Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini /
An American in Paris by George Gershwin / Pilgrim's Chorus (from Tannhäuser) by Richard Wagner
81.30 10th
1976 Finale from Seventh Symphony by Gustav Mahler / Sixth Symphony by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky /
Tocatta and Fugue in D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach / An American in Paris by George Gershwin /
Pilgrim's Chorus (from Tannhäuser) by Richard Wagner
87.75 4th
1977 New World Symphony by Antonín Dvořák / Piano Concerto No. 1 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky / Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo /
Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov / Ode to Joy (from Symphony No. 9) by Ludwig van Beethoven
90.300 2nd
1978 Firebird, Rite Of Spring, Petrouchka, Dance Infernale & Sherzo A La Russe by Igor Stravinsky / Piano Concerto in A minor by Edvard Grieg /
Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov / Ode to Joy (from Symphony No. 9) by Ludwig van Beethoven
91.450 2nd
1979 Third Symphony by Camille Saint-Saëns / Malambo (Finale from Estancia) by Alberto Ginastera /
Morning Mood (from Peer Gynt Suite #1), Piano Concerto in A minor, Hall of the Mountain King (from Peer Gynt Suite #1)
& March of the Dwarfs (from Lyric Suite) by Edvard Grieg / Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (from Lohengrin) by Richard Wagner
92.750 2nd
1980 Russian Easter Overture by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov / Romany Life (from The Fortune Teller) by Victor Herbert /
Polovetsian Dances (from Prince Igor) by Alexander Borodin / Masquerade Suite by Carl Nielsen /
Carmen Suite by Georges Bizet, adapted by Ernest Guiraud
88.450 5th
1981 Spartacus Triumph of Rome, Gladiator Fight, Dance of the Rebels, Prelude to Battle, Battle, Sunrise and Apotheosis (not the original titles)
All from Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian
90.850 5th
1982 Spartacus Triumph of Rome, Slave Dance, Gladiator Fight, Mourning and Uprising, Prelude to Battle, Battle, Sunrise and Apotheosis (not the original titles)
All from Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian
92.150 4th
1983 Serenade for Strings, Cossack Dance, Dance Neapolitan & 1812 Overture
All by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
91.450 4th
1984 Scythian Suite by Sergei Prokofiev / Armenian Dances by Alfred Reed / Trypitch by Anthony Cirone / 1812 Overture by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 95.600 4th
1985 Symphony Fantastique Symphony Fantastique by Hector Berlioz 90.100 8th
1986 Carnival Overture by Antonín Dvořák / Alborada Del Gracioso by Maurice Ravel /
Sir Lancelot and the Black Knight & Merlin The Magician by Rick Wakeman / Resurrection Symphony by Gustav Mahler
85.000 10th
1987 Songs from
the Winter Palace
Selections from Swan Lake & The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 94.300 5th
1988 Romeo And Juliet Romeo and Juliet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 93.500 6th
1989 New World Symphony 1st Movement & 2nd Movement (from Symphony No. 9) / Slavonic Dances No. 1 / 4th Movement (from Symphony No. 9)
All by Antonin Dvořák
98.400 2nd
1990 Dreams of Desire 4th Movement (from Symphony No. 3) / The Elephant & Finale (from Carnival of the Animals) / Bacchanale (from Samson and Delilah)
All by Camille Saint-Saëns
95.300 4th
1991 Phantom Voices Nessun Dorma (from Turandot) by Giacomo Puccini / Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo /
Bacchanale (from Samson and Delilah) by Camille Saint-Saëns
95.400 3rd
1992 War and Peace Marche Slav by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky / La Marseillaise by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle / 1812 Overture by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 91.500 8th
1993 The Modern Imagination The Landworkers, The Wheat Dance & Danza Final (From Estancia Ballet) by Alberto Ginastera /
The Fire of Eternal Glory (aka Novorossik Chimes) by Dmitri Shostakovich / Death Hunt (from On Dangerous Ground) by Bernard Herrmann
96.200 3rd
1994 Songs for a
Summer Night
Ritual Fire Dance (from El Amor Brujo) by Manuel de Falla / Claire De Lune (from Suite bergamasque) by Claude Debussy /
Talking Drums (from White Witch Doctor), Theme from North by Northwest & Death Hunt (from On Dangerous Ground) by Bernard Herrman
96.200 3rd
1995 Adventures Under a
Darkened Sky
Symphonic Dances / Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (variation 18) / Piano Concerto No. 2 / Capriccio Bohemian
All by Sergei Rachmaninoff
94.100 5th
1996 A Defiant Heart:
The Music of
Dmitri Shostakovich
Fourth Ballet Suite / First Symphony, Second Movement / Fifth Symphony, Fourth Movement
All by Dmitri Shostakovich
97.40 1st (tie)
1997 The Ring Hagen's Call to the Clan (from Götterdämmerung) / Magic Fire Music (from Die Walküre) /
Hammering of the Ring (from Das Rheingold) / Die Götterdämmerung (from Götterdämmerung)
All from Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner
94.200 4th
1998 Songs from
the Eternal City -
The Music of Rome
Roman Carnival Overture by Hector Berlioz / Un Bel Di (from Madame Butterfly} by Giacomo Puccini /
Pines of the Villa Borghese (Pines of Rome mvt I) & Pines of the Appian Way (Pines of Rome mvt IV) by Ottorino Respighi
90.400 8th
1999 Tragedy and Triumph Fourth Symphony / Fifth Symphony (2nd Movement) / Sixth Symphony
All by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
91.200 8th
2000 The Masters of Mystique-
The Dawn of
Modern Music
Jeux by Claude Debussy / Petrouchka by Igor Stravinsky / Transfigured Night by Arnold Schoenberg / Rite Of Spring by Igor Stravinsky 90.650 7th
2001 Virtuoso Finale (5th Movement) & Game of Pairs (2nd Movement) (from Concerto For Orchestra) by Béla Bartók / Festive Overture by Dmitri Shostakovich 91.900 6th
2002 Heroic Sketches:
The Passion of
Shostakovich
Tenth Symphony, Second Movement / Piano Concerto No. 2, Second Movement / Piano Concerto No. 2, First Movement / Seventh Symphony, Fourth Movement
All by Dmitri Shostakovich
92.400 5th
2003 Harmonic Journey Sanctus (Canon in D) by Johann Pachelbel / Wild Nights (from Harmonium} by John Adams /
The Lord's Prayer (from King of Kings) by Miklós Rózsa / Ostinato (from Mikrokosmos) by Béla Bartók
94.750 4th
2004 Apasionada 874 Buenos Aires Hora Cero / La Muerte del Angel / Oblivion / Imagenes 676 / Adios Nonino / Tres Minutos con la Realidad
All by Ástor Piazzolla
93.575 5th
2005 Rhapsody An American in Paris & Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin 96.825 3rd
2006 Faust Scythian Suite by Sergei Prokofiev / Ave Maria by Franz Biebl / Piano Concerto by John Corigliano / Resurrection Symphony by Gustav Mahler 96.850 2nd
2007 On Air Vespertine Formations by Christopher Deane / 1000 Airplanes on the Roof by Philip Glass / Flower Duet (from Lakme) by Léo Delibes /
Suggestion Diabolique by Sergei Prokofiev / Finale (from Firebird Suite) by Igor Stravinsky
94.850 4th
2008 Spartacus Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian / Ein Heldenleben by Richard Strauss / Battlefield {from KÀ) by René Dupéré /
Dance of Ecstasy from (Danses Fantastiques) by Loris Tjeknavorian / Toccata (from Piano Concerto No. 1) by Alberto Ginastera
98.125 1st
2009 The Red Violin Theme from The Red Violin by John Corigliano / Fantasy Variations on a theme by Paganini by James Barnes / Paganini Variations by Witold Lutoslawski /
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninoff / Caprice XXIV by Niccolò Paganini / Paganini Variations by Philip Wilby
89.900 9th
2010 Into the Light The New Moon in the Old Moon's Arms by Michael Kamen 93.150 6th
2011 Juliet East of Eden by Lee Holdridge / Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi /
Lacrimosa dies illa & Confutatis maledictis (from The Requiem Mass in D minor) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart /
Love Theme from Romeo & Juliet by Nino Rota / Romeo & Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev / Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (from Lohengrin) by Richard Wagner
95.050 5th
2012 Turandot Popolo Di Pekino!…Indietro, Cani / Gira La Cote!...Perche Tarda La Luna? / O Mondo, O Mondo…O Tigre, O Tigre! / Gravi, Enormi Ed Imponenti /
Gloria, Gloria / Tre Enigmi M'Hai / Nessun Dorma!
All from Turandot by Giacomo Puccini
96.550 3rd
2013 Triumphant Journey Music from Elizabeth: The Golden Age by A. R. Rahman and Craig Armstrong / Cape Fear by Bernard Herrmann /
Four Sea Interludes by Benjamin Britten / Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar / Symphony No. 11 by Dmitri Shostakovich
93.250 6th
2014 Swan Lake TBA TBD TBD

References[edit]

External links[edit]