Sunrisers Drum and Bugle Corps

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The Sunrisers
Location Long Island, NY
Division Open Class
Founded 1953
Director Larry Visconti
Championship titles Open Class 1977, 1978, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1988 Class A 2007
Uniform Black and white jacket with a silver button and an orange and blue sash, black pants, black shoes, and a black shako with a white plume

The Sunrisers Drum and Bugle Corps is an All-Age Corps, or Senior Corps, that performs in the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) circuit. The Sunrisers was started as the Marine Memorial Drum Corps of Nassau County in 1950 by a man named John Hodge. It was originally a junior corps until 1953, when Hodge announced the corps would become a Senior Corps. Many veteran players expressed interest in joining the new senior corps.

The name was originated when Hodge, while listening to the radio, heard the song, "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise" by Les Paul and Mary Ford. Immediately, Hodge called Ray Nicholas, the bugle instructor, and told him of his idea to change the name of the corps to the "Sunrisers"

From 1954–57, the Sunrisers became one of the foremost corps in the Tri-State area, performing in parades, exhibitions, and standstill competitions.

They went on to march in field competitions, and joined DCA in 1966. That year, the corps placed second to the Hawthorne Caballeros Drum and Bugle Corps, of Hawthorne, NJ, by 1.10 points. With continued improvement, the Sunrisers won the American Legion National Championship in 1968, and proved to be a steady contender in the DCA circuit.

The Sunrisers improved their standing in DCA. In 1977, they were "neck-and-neck" with the Caballeros all season, neither corps losing a competition until DCA preliminary competition. At the prelims, the Sunrisers displayed one of their finest performances all season, defeating the Cabs by three points. The next day at finals, held at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown, PA, the championship came down to the final two corps, the Caballeros and the Sunrisers. The Sunrisers were awarded first place over the Cabs by only five-hundredths of a point, giving the corps their first DCA World Championship.

The following season began slowly but finished with the Sunrisers slipping past the Cabs by .05 at prelims and by three points at the championship finals. The 1978 Sunrisers became the first DCA corps to earn a perfect score in the Brass GE (general effect) category.

The corps couldn't win the "three-peat" in 1979, placing 3rd. They did not win another championship until 1982 but then won back-to-back in 1983, giving Sun their third and fourth championships.

In 1985, the Sunrisers moved to New Jersey after their long history on Long Island. The 1987 season was known as the "rain-out" year because the DCA Championship finals were canceled due to the weather. The Sunrisers had won the preliminary competition by two points. With the field being covered in wet mud, making marching conditions poor, the decision was made to cancel the finals competition and award the championship based on the prelims scores. This gave Sun its fifth championship. In 1988, they tied the Bushwackers Drum and Bugle Corps of New Jersey for the championship, the first such tie in DCA history. In 1989, although tying the Bushwackers again at the championships, the official title was awarded to the Bushwackers under a new tie-breaking rule which used the overall general effect score for the final decision.

After that year, Sun started to set. In 1991 the corps missed participating in the ten corps finals for the first time, by slipping to eleventh place. The corps was declared inactive in 1993, but remained in stand-still competition as a "mini-corps". In 1994 the corps again returned to field competition, where they enjoyed a resurgence, finishing among the top ten corps for the next six years. The Sunrisers placed 4th in 1997, their highest finish since the '80s. They also won two best color guard titles during this time, in 1996 and 1999. They went back to an inactive state for two seasons beginning in 2001. Having again returning to field competition, the corps has been continually improving. In 2007 the Sunrisers won the DCA Class A World Championship. The corps recorded a record high Class A score of 83.988 in the finals competition, and also captured Best Percussion, Brass, Visual, and Overall Effect awards.

The Sunrisers returned to Long Island in late 2008, after an almost 25 year absence. The corps 2011 repertoire is Les Miserables, marking the 15th anniversary of the corps performance of Les Mis in 1996, a season which began their return to prominence. In the 2011–12 season the sunrisers performed the opera of Carmen including: overture, habanera, intermezzo, and toreador. The sunrisers performed in the new stadium which was the navy memorial stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. The sunrisers sadly came in 5th with a score of 75.05 to 76.25. Now, this upcoming season with a brand new staff and some vendetta, are planning on taking back what they lost in 2007. "The sun will soon rise again"

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