Reading Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps

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The Reading Buccaneers
Bucs logo.png
Location Reading, Pennsylvania
Division Open Class
Founded 1957
Director Bill Snook
Championship titles VFW: 1960, 1961, 1962; DCA: 1965, 1968, 1979, 1980, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014
Uniform Royal blue jackets with faux black satin cummerbund, black sequined sash, black pants, shoes, gauntlets, and aussie hats with Black plume

The Reading Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps is an all-age or senior drum and bugle corps based in Reading, Pennsylvania. The Buccaneers, also known by the nickname The Bucs, are charter members of Drum Corps Associates.


Pre-DCA (VFW/American Legion)[edit]

The Reading Buccaneers were formed in 1957 as a parade corps for WWII veterans. A field corps was formed in 1958 competing in the VFW circuit. The Reading Buccaneers captured the VFW championship in 1960, 1961, and 1962. The Reading Buccaneers were the last drum and bugle corps to win the VFW championship as the award was retired in 1962.

Modern Years (DCA)[edit]

In 1965, the Reading Buccaneers became a charter member of Drum Corps Associates. The Buccaneers won the first DCA Open Class World Champions in 1965. They have since repeated twelve times, in 1968, 1979, 1980, 2005, 2006, 2007 (the corps' 50th anniversary), 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, and most recently in 2014. The corps has also placed second eight times (1973, 1974, 1976, 1984, 1985, 1999, 2001, and 2011) and third seven times (1972, 1975, 1977, 1981, 2000, 2002, and 2004). They have missed being a DCA finalist only twice.


The Reading Buccaneers on retreat in the 2005 DCA World Finals in Scranton, Pennsylvania
  • The official corps nickname is The Balance in Blue because of the variety of musical styles they have presented over the years, although the corps has programmed mostly classical choices since the late 1990s.[1]
  • The official corps symbol is a ship's wheel in blue with a falchion laid horizontal with the name of the corps.[2]
  • The official corps song is sung to the theme of An Affair to Remember. Beyond the Sea is also an unofficial corps song.[3]
  • The Buccaneers' newest tradition is to bestow a gift on its members on retreat at DCA Finals. Since 2001, this gift has been a dog tag. Each new dog tag usually has the corps' logo etched on one side and the title of that year's production on the other. Many members of the corps proudly display their dog tags, and new members always look forward to receiving their first.

DCA Championships[edit]


The corps won the very first DCA championship with a score of 84.50.


The corps won their second DCA championship, becoming the first DCA corps to win a second DCA title.


Led by future World Drum Corp Hall of Fame drum major George N. Parks,[4] the Bucs captured the last DCA title of the 1970s with a score of 90.5


The Bucs pulled off a repeat with a score of 91.3.


With new uniforms, new instruments in all sections, and a full hornline playing on instruments in the key of B-flat, the Buccaneers finished their first undefeated season, cruising to victory with the second-highest score in DCA history, 98.45. The show, entitled Variations in B, featured Georges Bizet's Farandole, Béla Bartók's String Quartet No. 4 - Movement 5, Benjamin Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, and Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings.


After coming off an undefeated season, the corps emerged victorious with another undefeated season with Exotic Impressions including the Ravel's Boléro, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol, Claude Debussy's Clair de Lune and Scheherazade, with a score of 97.238.


Celebrating the corps' 50th anniversary,[5] the Buccaneers again finished another undefeated to capture their third consecutive DCA title. The show, entitled Blue Era, also gave the Bucs the third-highest score in DCA history, a 98.313. The show consisted of Aaron Jay Kernis' New Era Dance, Aaron Copland's The Promise of Living, Alberto Ginastera's Malambo, and George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.


At the 2008 DCA Championships, the Buccaneers tied the Brigadiers' record by winning their fourth consecutive championship with a fourth consecutive undefeated season, and earned the Buccaneers the highest prelims score in history, a 98.138, and a final score of 97.913. The show, entitled The Pursuit of Joy, consisted of Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D, David Holsinger's Abram's Pursuit, Giacomo Puccini's Nessun Dorma, and Ludwig von Beethoven's Ode to Joy.


At the 2009 DCA Championships, the Buccaneers became the first DCA corps to win five consecutive championships with a fifth consecutive undefeated season. The show earned the Buccaneers the highest score in DCA history, a 99.025. The show, entitled Demons & Angels, consisted of Giuseppe Verdi's Dies Irae, Manuel de Falla's Ritual Fire Dance, Leonard Bernstein's A Simple Song, and David Holsinger's Symphonia Resurrectus.


At the 2010 DCA Championships, the Buccaneers added another notch to their streak with their sixth consecutive undefeated season finishing with a score of 98.263. The show, entitled ROME, consisted of Ottorino Respighi's Pines of the Appian Way from Pines of Rome, Ottorino Respighi's Circuses from Feste Romane, Aram Khachaturian's Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia from the ballet Spartacus, and Ottorino Respighi's Epiphany from Feste Romane.


At the 2012 DCA Championships in Annapolis, Maryland the Buccaneers captured their 11th DCA championship and their 7th in 8 years with an undefeated season. In July, the Bucs became the first DCA corps to ever break 90 before August. During championships weekend, the Buccaneers earned the highest ever prelims score with a 98.5, and the highest score in DCA history at finals with a 99.03. Their show, The Black Symphony takes its audience on a journey through colors to black, exploring a variety of moods and textures associated with color as we celebrate the color black for what it is: powerful, elegant, formal, classic, bold and regal. The Black Symphony consists of Warm Colors, an original composition from arranger Mark Lortz. Cool Colors from The Four Sections for Orchestra, Mvt. IV by contemporary American composer Steve Reich. Shadows, based off New World by Björk Guömundsdóttir from the movie Dancer in the Dark. The program closes with Black, a composition of 1812 from Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.


The 2013 program was titled "Higher, Faster, Stronger". In Annapolis, Maryland, at DCA World Finals the corps received first place with a score of 98.43. Yet again, the Buccaneers had an undefeated season.

Notable alumni[edit]


The Buccaneers are currently sponsored in part by the American Legion Post # 537 of Morgantown, the Buccaneer Alumni Association and devoted fans.[6]


  • The Buccaneers hold the DCA record and tie the DCI record for the longest winning streak at 64 consecutive wins. The winning streak began with the first show of the 2005 season, and finally ended September 3 2011 when the Buccaneers placed 2nd to Minnesota Brass Inc.
  • The Buccaneers' 6 consecutive championships and undefeated seasons, from 2005 through 2010, is both a DCI and a DCA record.
  • The Buccaneers hold the DCA record for highest score in competition before August, scoring a 90.4 on July 28, 2012 in Robbinsville, NJ.


  1. ^ "Corps Nickname". 2007-12-04. Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  2. ^ "Corps Symbol". 2007-12-04. Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  3. ^ "Corps Song". 2007-12-04. Retrieved 2007-12-04. [dead link]
  4. ^ "World Drum Corp Hall of Fame Biographies". 2010-10-21. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  5. ^ "50th Anniversary Article". 2007-06-17. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  6. ^ "Corps Sponsorship". 2007-12-04. Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 

External links[edit]