Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps

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Spirit of Atlanta
Drum and Bugle Corps
Spirit Logo 2010.jpg
Spirit of Atlanta stylized delta logo
Location Atlanta, GA
Division World Class
Founded 1976
Director JW Koester
Uniform Baby blue jacket
w/fade to black down right side
& modified logo on chest
White
gauntlets w/silver buttons
White gloves (horns)
Black pants
Black shoes & socks
White shako w/silver
bill, chains, badge
& white plume

Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps ( also known as "Spirit") is a World Class (formerly Division I) competitive junior drum and bugle corps. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Spirit of Atlanta is a member corps of Drum Corps International (DCI).[1]

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

In 1976, Freddy and Linda Martin and Bob Hoehn met with the management of an Atlanta area television station to discuss starting an Atlanta-area drum and bugle corps.(See:Note) After a series of successful meetings, Spirit of Atlanta was founded. The corps was originally named "Concourse"[citation needed]. A contest was held to find a new, more appropriate name, and "Spirit of Atlanta" was chosen. The corps was a DCI first in that it was sponsored by television station WXIA, making it the first corporate-sponsored drum corps. The founding director of the corps is Mr. Freddy Martin.

1970s[edit]

With Freddy Martin as corps director, members were recruited (including several from Jacksonville State University [JSU] in Alabama), a program with no particular musical style was worked up, and Spirit of Atlanta was introduced to the drum corps public at contests in at least nine states in the South and Midwest. At the 1977 DCI World Championships in Denver, Spirit finished twenty-third of forty-five corps.[2][3]

A first year finish of twenty-third was respectable, but Spirit of Atlanta wanted more and an effort was made to secure the finest instructional staff possible. Two new caption heads were hired; brass head Jim Ott from the DCI Champion Blue Devils and percussion head Tom Float from Toronto's Oakland Crusaders, a corps renowned for their drumming. With these two hires,[4] the core instructional group was in place which would take the corps to new heights. Adopting a style that has been referred to as "Southern Jazz", Spirit stunned the drum corps world in 1978, vaulting into eighth place at DCI Prelims in Denver; then at Finals, the corps rose even higher, finishing in sixth place and losing the High Brass title to the Phantom Regiment by one tenth of a point. Both the brass and percussion were among the best in the drum corps activity, and Spirit moved up into a fourth place finish at DCI in Birmingham, Alabama in 1979, featuring the song that would become the corps' trademark tune, "Georgia on my Mind."

1980s[edit]

Tragedy struck Spirit while the corps was on tour in 1980. When one of their vans was in a traffic accident on Interstate 55 near Grenada, Mississippi, brass arranger and caption head Jim Ott was killed. Spirit's members and staff were devastated, but the corps recovered to honor Ott's memory by repeating their fourth place finish at DCI Finals in Birmingham, AL.[2][3] In 1980, the percussion line had the high execution score at finals and tied for the overall high percussion title.

Prior to the 1981 season, the corps lost its corporate sponsorship from WXIA. Financial adjustments were made and the corps continued on. Following the loss of Jim Ott in the 1980 season new staff members were needed to fill the vacancies. For the summer of 1981, the drill designer was Steve Moore; horn caption heads included Gary Markham and Joel Schultz. Visual Designers were Freddy Martin and John Armstrong. The guard instructors brought in the varied talents of Julie Gilbert of the Crossmen, Cindy Anderson of the Guardsmen, and Robert S. Robinson of Jacksonville State University and Chapter V Winter Guard. Tom Float remained percussion caption head and Mike Back, who was a percussion instructor in 1980 returned to the staff. Spirit of Atlanta repeated the musical program of the 1980 season in 1981, with the exception of the concert number, hoping for higher levels of competitive success. This was not to be the case, as the corps finished in ninth place in 1981. The percussion was the highest scoring caption for the year, but Tom Float departed at the end of the 1981 season. At the end of 1982, the corps finished 12th place with the guard ranked 11th in their caption at DCI finals.

After two disappointing years competitively, in 1983 the corps rallied to a seventh-place finish behind the new visual staff of Sal Salas, Scott Chandler and Tam Easterwood along with long time marching instructor Brad Carraway.

In 1984 the Spirit drumline under Mike Back made a run at the high percussion title as they were the "host corps" for the 1984 World Championships.

The 1985 corps saw Tam Easterwood and Scott Chandler's colorguard win the guard trophy, a feat they would repeat in 1987.

In 1986, the tenth competitive season of the corps, the "throwback" show of Southern blues, jazz and gospel earned them a sixth place finish and an all-time high score for Spirit of Atlanta of 94.1 at the DCI Championships.

In 1988, after a disappointing competitive end to the 1987 season, a decision was made to turn away from jazz and blues to the classical idiom. Although the corps' competitive placement improved from tenth to ninth place and scored in the 92's just weeks prior to finals, the classical show based on Stravinsky's "Petrushka" was panned by drum corps fans used to the high-powered brass and exciting shows for which Spirit had become known.

In 1989, Spirit dropped from finals for the first time since 1978.

1990s[edit]

In 1990 Spirit of Atlanta regained Finalist status, but their success would not last long. Financial and management challenges plagued the corps. From 1991 to 1993 the corps' competitive status declined. The financial problems culminated leading into the 1994 season, when the corps announced it would be inactive that summer.

The corps returned to the field in 1995, and began a long rebuilding process. These years would prove challenging, but saw some increased success as the corps progressed from 23rd place in 1996 to a regained semi-finalist status in 1997, and peaking at 14th place in 1998. The corps changed uniforms along the way to a navy blue top with cream pants.

Financial challenges would continue to hound the corps leading into the 2000 season, which saw a mid-summer management turnover and a difficult touring year. Nonetheless, the corps finished 15th, and a majority of the membership from that season would continue with the corps over the next 4 years.

2000s[edit]

In 2000, while the corps was rehearsing at JSU just prior to the start of tour, the corps director attempted to fold the drum corps. Due to a very strong response by corps alumni, parents, staff and other members of the drum corps community Spirit of Atlanta got through the season, finishing in fifteenth place at DCI Finals in College Park, Maryland. Following the management challenges of the 2000 season, Spirit of Atlanta re-organized in preparation for the summer of 2001. It officially relocated to Jacksonville, Alabama, and officially became known as "Spirit, from Jacksonville State University". This relationship with the university provided a foundation of stability the corps had not experienced for more than a decade. The 2001 season saw a significantly more competitive drum corps finishing in 13th place while wearing baby blue uniforms again. In 2002, Spirit regained finalist status for the first time since 1990 finishing 10th overall - the highest placement since 1988. Spirit of JSU would make DCI Finals again in 2003 and '05-07. Going into the 2008 season the association with Jacksonville State University was essentially dissolved, resulting in a simplification of the corps' name to "Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps from Jacksonville, AL". The corps continued to operate out of Jacksonville, AL for the 2009 season.

2010s and Return to Atlanta[edit]

In 2010, the corps surprised the drum corps community by announcing its return to Atlanta. After the 2010 season, it was announced by the corps' Board of Directors that for the 2011 season, the corps would once again be known as "Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps." Spirit of Atlanta surged back into finals again in 2011, jumping from 16th place the preceding season to 12th at DCI Finals.

Note: The television station management had the idea of starting new corps across the country, with a corps in every city where the Atlanta station had sister stations. Such was never to happen, and the station sponsored Spirit for only four years.

Sponsorship[edit]

The Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that has a Board of Directors, corps director, and staff assigned to carry out the organization's mission. The Executive Director is Mr. JW Koester.[5]

Show Summary (1977-2014)[edit]

Source:[6][7]

Gold background indicates DCI Championship; Pale shaded background indicates DCI Top 12 Finalist.

Year Theme Repertoire Score Placement
1977 Carnival Overture by Antonín Dvořák / Unidentified music by Chuck Mangione /
Woman in the Moon by Kenny Ascher and Paul Williams / Love the Feeling by Lee Hutson
76.35 23rd
1978 Walk Him Up the Stairs (from Purlie) by Gary Geld and Peter Udell /
(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher by Billy Davis and Raynard Miner with Gary Jackson and Carl Smith /
Geodesic Dances by Wendy Carlos / Let It Be Me by Gilbert Bécaud, Mann Curtis, and Pierre Delanoë
86.50 6th
1979 Georgia on My Mind by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell / Nutville by Horace Silver /
Geodesic Dances by Wendy Carlos / Sweet Georgia Brown by Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard, and Kenneth Casey /
Let It Be Me by Gilbert Bécaud, Mann Curtis, and Pierre Delanoë
89.90 4th
1980 Georgia on My Mind by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell /
Ol' Man River (from Showboat) by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II /
Devil Went Down to Georgia by Vassar Clements, Charlie Daniels,
Tom Crain, "Taz" DiGregorio, Fred Edwards, Charles Hayward, and James W. Marshall /
Sweet Georgia Brown by Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard, and Kenneth Casey /
Let It Be Me by Gilbert Bécaud, Mann Curtis, and Pierre Delanoë
89.80 4th
1981 Georgia on My Mind by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell /
Ol' Man River (from Showboat) by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II /
Devil Went Down to Georgia by Vassar Clements, Charlie Daniels,
Tom Crain, "Taz" DiGregorio, Fred Edwards, Charles Hayward, and James W. Marshall /
You Are the Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder / Let It Be Me by Gilbert Bécaud, Mann Curtis, and Pierre Delanoë
83.85 9th
1982 You are My Sunshine © by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell, probably written by Oliver Hood /
Oh Happy Day (from L'il Abner) by Gene De Paul and Johnny Mercer / You Are the Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder /
Blue Rondo A La Turk by Dave Brubeck / We Are the Reason by David Meece
81.65 12th
1983 Los Hermanos De Bop by Mark Taylor / Blues in the Night by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer /
No One Together by Kerry Livgren / We Are the Reason by David Meece
83.60 7th
1984 Porgy and Bess Overture There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York & It Ain't Necessarily So (from Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin /
Blues in the Night by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer / No One Together by Kerry Livgren /
I Loves You Porgy & Bess, You Is My Woman Now (from Porgy and Bess) by George Gershwin
93.1 6th
1985 Piano Concerto in F by George Gershwin 91.00 7th
1986 Dixie © by Daniel Decatur Emmett / That Cat is High by J. Mayo Williams /
Sweet Georgia Brown by Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard, and Kenneth Casey /
Variations on Amazing Grace by Anthony Plog /
Precious Lord, Take My Hand by George Nelson Allen and Thomas A. Dorsey /
Maybe God Is Tryin' To Tell You Somethin' (from The Color Purple) by Andraé Crouch and Quincy Jones
94.10 6th
1987 Are You From Dixie by George L. Cobb and Jack Yellen /
Southern Medley including Dixie copyright by Daniel Decatur Emmett, Old Folks at Home by Stephen Foster,
& When the Saints Go Marching In by Virgil Oliver Stamps and Luther G. Presley /
Basin Street Blues by Spencer Williams / Ragtime (Unknown) / Amazing Grace William Walker and John Newton
87.60 10th
1988 Petrouchka Petrouchka by Igor Stravinsky 89.30 9th
1989 Interstellar Suite by Amin Bhatia 82.20 14th
1990 Selections from Gone with the Wind by Max Steiner / Motherless Child Blues by Robert "Barbecue Bob" Hicks /
African Drum Solo (from The Color Purple) by Quincy Jones /
Precious Lord, Take My Hand by George Nelson Allen and Thomas A. Dorsey /
Maybe God Is Tryin' to Tell You Somethin' (from The Color Purple) by Andraé Crouch and Quincy Jones
83.40 11th
1991 Call to Arms (from Glory) by James Horner / Variations on Dixie by Morton Gould /
Antietam & Glory (from Glory) by James Horner /
American Salute by Morton Gould / Closing Credits (from Glory) by James Horner
82.35 15th
1992 Songs of the New South Ol' Man River & Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man (From Showboat) by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II /
Miss Otis Regrets by Cole Porter / For the Beauty of the Earth by Folliott Sandford Pierpoint
78.80 16th
1993 A Soulful Celebration Why do the Nations so Furiously Rage? by George Frederick Handel / David and Goliath (Traditional) /
Do Not Pass Me By by William H. Doane and Frances J. Crosby / So Much 2 Say by Cedric Dent and Mervyn Warren /
Let the Words (Traditional) / Better Watch Your Behavior by Gary Hines
77.90 17th
1994 Corps Inactive --- ---
1995 All on a Southern Afternoon Ghost Train & XMas in Hooverville (from Fried Green Tomatoes) by Thomas Newman / Didn't it Rain? (Traditional) /
Georgia on My Mind by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell
72.10 20th
1996 Bye George ... It's Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin 68.00 23rd
1997 Southern Jazz - Spirit Style Georgia on My Mind by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell / Ol' Man River (From Showboat) by Jerome Kern /
Amazing Grace by William Walker and John Newton / Walk Him Up the Stairs (from Purlie) by Gary Geld and Peter Udell /
Let It Be Me by Gilbert Bécaud, Mann Curtis, and Pierre Delanoë
76.50 17th
1998 My Friend (from The Life) by Cy Coleman and Ira Gasman / Swanee River by Stephen Collins Foster /
Precious Lord, Take My Hand by George Nelson Allen and Thomas A. Dorsey /
Sweet Georgia Brown by Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard, and Kenneth Casey /
Maybe God Is Tryin' to Tell You Somethin, (from The Color Purple) by Andraé Crouch and Quincy Jones
83.10 14th
1999 Jump, Jive, Jazz and Wail Since I Don't Have You by Jackie Taylor, James Beaumont, Janet Vogel, Joe VanScharnen, Wally Lester,
Joseph Rock, and Lennie Martin /
Nutville by Horace Silver / Hollywood Nocturne by Brian Setzer / Jump, Jive an' Wail by Louie Prima
76.90 16th
2000 Southern Harmonies...
Music for the New South
Jubilee & Movement 5 (from Spiritual) by Morton Gould /
Wonderous Love (from Southern Harmony) by Donald Grantham /
The Glory and The Grandeur by Russell Peck
80.65 15th
2001 Ghost Train The Ride, At the Station & The Motive Revolution (The Ghost Train Triptych) by Eric Whitacre 84.05 13th
2002 Darkness Into Light Symphonia Resurrectus (from Easter Symphony) by David Holsinger 85.45 10th
2003 TIME Time After Time by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne / Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce /
Auld Lang Syne by (Traditional) and Robert Burns / Somewhere in Time by John Barry /
Whirr, Whirr, Whirr by Ralph Hultgren / October by Eric Whitacre /
Let It Be Me by Gilbert Bécaud, Mann Curtis, and Pierre Delanoë / Nutville by Horace Silver /
No Jive by Bob Mintzer / Appalachian Morning by Paul Halley
84.40 12th
2004 The Architecture of Life Mindscape by Richard Saucedo / Dreamscape: Sonoran Desert Holiday by Ron Nelson /
Soundscape (Original) / Urbanscape: On the Town by Leonard Bernstein / Urbanscape: Bizarro by Michael Daugherty
86.30 13th
2005 The Spirit of Broadway Give My Regards to Broadway (from Yankee Doodle Dandy) by George M. Cohan /
New York, New York (from On the Town) by Leonard Bernstein /
On Broadway by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller /
They're Playing Our Song by Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager /
Entre Act & Not While I'm Around (from Sweeney Todd) by Stephen Sondheim /
Pie Jesu (from Requiem) by Andrew Lloyd Webber / Luck Be A Lady (from Guys and Dolls) by Frank Loesser /
No One Mourns the Wicked & Defying Gravity (from Wicked) by Stephen Schwartz
86.075 12th
2006 Old, New, Borrowed,
and Blue
Old Man River (From Showboat) by Jerome Kern / That Old Black Magic by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer /
The Notebook by Aaron Zigman / Waltz of the Mushroom Hunters by Greg Hopkins /
Blues in the Night by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer / Blue Shades by Frank Ticheli
84.825 12th
2007 Genesis Fluttering Maple Leaves by Jun Nagao / Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap / New Century Dawn by David Gillingham 84.50 12th
2008 Per-if-4-ry Equus by Eric Whitacre / Corynorhinus & Myotis (from Batman Begins) by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer /
The Sacrifice & The Heart Asks Pleasure First (from The Piano) by Michael Nyman
83.175 15th
2009 Live…In Concert! Song for America, Carry On Wayward Son & Dust In The Wind by Kerry Livgren /
Journey from Mariabronn by Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh
80.45 17th
2010 Forging an Icon Piano Concerto No. 1 by Keith Emerson / Symphony No. 5 in Bb Major by Sergei Prokofiev /
Prelude (from Psycho) by Bernard Herrmann / Brooklyn Bridge by Michael Daugherty /
Serenada Schizophrana by Danny Elfman
81.45 16th
2011 ATL Confidential:
A Tribute to Film Noir
Death at the Olympic (from The Black Dahlia) by Mark Isham / Love Theme (from Chinatown) by Jerry Goldsmith /
Harlem Nocturne by Earle Hagen and Dick Rogers / Prelude (from On Dangerous Ground) by Bernard Herrmann
85.35 12th
2012 Sin City Music from the film Bullitt by Lalo Schifrin /Luck Be A Lady (from Guys and Dolls) by Frank Loesser /
Harvest Concerto for Trombone by John Mackey / Poker Face by Stefani Germanotta (Lady Gaga) and Nadir Khayat /
Music from the film Mr. and Mrs. Smith by John Powell
84.40 11th
2013 Speakeasy Concerto in F by George Gershwin / Crazy World by Henry Mancini / Overture (from Chicago) by John Kander /
Solace by Scott Joplin / Songs for Simon by John Psathas /
Sweet Georgia Brown by Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard, and Kenneth Casey / Symphony #1 by Paul Creston
86.40 11th
2014 Magnolia Down to the River to Pray (Traditional) / Promised Land (from Porgy and Bess) by George Gershwin /
Willow Weep for Me by Ann Ronell / Jubal Step (from Blood on the Fields) by Wynton Marsalis /
I Need Thee Every Hour by Annie S. Hawks and Robert Lowry
81.550 17th

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www,dci.org
  2. ^ a b A History of Drum & Bugle Corps Vol. 2; Steve Vickers, ed.; Drum Corps World, pub.; 2003
  3. ^ a b http://corpsreps.com/corpsreps.cfm?view=corpshist&corps=26&corpstype=Junior
  4. ^ along With Dave Bandy writing the drill,Russell Stanton teaching marching technique and cleaning, Patty Williams teaching flags and Margaret Ott teaching rifles
  5. ^ http://www.spiritdrumcorps.org/about/staff
  6. ^ http://corpsreps.com/corpsreps.cfm?view=corpsdet&corps=26&corpstype=Junior
  7. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/

External links[edit]