Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps

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Troopers
Drum and Bugle Corps
Index 03b1.jpg
Location Casper, WY
Division World Class
Founded 1957
Director Fred Morris
Championship titles VFW- 1966 & '70
Uniform Inspired by the
11th Ohio Cavalry.
Royal Blue jacket w/ brass buttons down the center,
crossed sabers on
right breast, brass
buttons & gold collar
White gauntlets w/gold
trim
White gloves (horns)
Black and White sash
Grey pants
w/black stripe
Black shoes & socks
Black Stetson hat
w/crossed-saber pin.

The Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps is a World Class (formerly Division I) competitive junior drum and bugle corps. Based in Casper, Wyoming, the Troopers was one of the thirteen founding member corps of Drum Corps International.[1] The only drum and bugle corps in Wyoming, the Troopers are often called "America's Corps", due at least in part to their U.S. Cavalry-inspired uniforms and their frequent use of music with a Western or patriotic American theme.[2]

History[edit]

The early years[edit]

James E. "Jim" Jones, a Casper, Wyoming building contractor and a veteran of the World War II United States Army Air Forces founded the Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps in 1957 as an activity for local youth. In his own youth, Jones had won the American Legion individual snare drum championship while a member of Casper's Sons of the American Legion drum and bugle corps, in which he had also been the corps manager from age fifteen. He decided to name the new corps the Troopers to honor the 11th Ohio Cavalry, a United States Army unit stationed at Fort Caspar, Wyoming Territory, to protect supply trains during the Indian Wars of the 19th Century. In order to fund the new corps, Jones took out a $4,000 loan to purchase drums and bugles.[3]

In its first season, the Troopers were sponsored by the Casper American Legion post, were strictly a parade corps, and made the corps' first appearance at the State American Legion Convention in Riverton, Wyoming. At that first performance, the corps played "Ghost Riders in the Sky," "Wagon Wheels," and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands", which would set the tone for Trooper musical programs for decades to come. In 1958, the corps entered its first field competitions, and, being the only corps in Wyoming and one of the few in the Great Plains region, it was necessary for the Troopers to travel extensively to compete in drum and bugle corps competitions. Jones chartered passenger buses to carry the Troopers across and around the country on trips that would last for several weeks, making the corps a "touring corps", a concept that was unusual at the time. Also rare for the time was the Troopers' willingness to allow girls into the brass and percussion sections of the corps. And, in order to help cover the expenses of their touring, the corps' buses were accompanied by the "Sheep Wagon", a trailer set up to look like a small covered wagon that sold souvenirs of the Troopers' visits to the contests in which they competed. Another Troopers innovation was the move away from strictly linear drill; they introduced a circular drill element, the "Sunburst" which still draws enthusiastic crown approval.[4]

The Troopers' "sheep wagon" souvenir stand.

The Troopers not only gained a wide-ranging fan base through their travels, but the corps was a successful competitor. Their first "national" contest was the 1961 American Legion Championships in Denver, where the corps finished fourth; they would finish in third place the following year in Las Vegas. The Troopers' first major victory was in the 1965 World Open in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In 1966, the Troopers won the VFW Nationals. The corps won the CYO Nationals three years in a row, 1968-70. 1970 was probably their most successful season, when they won their second VFW National Championship in Miami Beach, added their third CYO title in Boston, earned their third World Open crown in Lynn, Massachusetts, and appeared on national TV during the halftime of a Minnesota Vikings NFL game.[2][4] In 1971, the Troopers were the stars of a television special, "The Troopers Are Coming", narrated by actor Walter Brennan.[5]

The Troopers, 2008.

The DCI Era[edit]

In 1971, at the urging of Jim Jones and Cavaliers founder Don Warren, the Blue Stars, Cavaliers, Madison Scouts, Santa Clara Vanguard, and the Troopers formed the Midwest Combine. 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 Eastern corps, the United Organization of Junior Corps (also known as the "Alliance"), was formed by the 27th Lancers, Garfield Cadets, Boston Crusaders, Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, and Blue Rock.) The Combine members felt that the corps should be making their own rules, operating their own competitions and championships, and keeping the bulk of the monies that 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 Combine corps were not only booked into a number of shows together, but they found a host for a show of their own, which was a spectacular success despite fears of failure that lasted until a standing-room-only crowd arrived literally at the last moment.[6]

In 1972, the Troopers, along with the nine other corps from the Midwest Combine and the Alliance, 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. At the first DCI World Championships in Whitewater, Wisconsin, the Troopers finished in sixth place in a competition that featured thirty-nine corps from the East, the South, the West Coast, the Midwest and Great Plains, and Canada. For DCI's first four years, Troopers were an annual finalists, placing second in 1973. Then, through the mid-1980s the Troopers were in and out of DCI's Top Twelve Finalists.[4][7]

When Jim Jones retired as the Troopers' director in 1987, he was succeeded by a string of directors who were all alumni of the corps. This, however, did not translate into competitive success; from 1987 through 2005, the corps finished in fourteenth place twice, but otherwise were ranked in nineteenth to twenty-fifth place. Then, in 2005, the DCI Board of Directors suspended the Troopers from competition for non-compliance with membership rules. The corps was inactive for the 2006 season, while they reorganized. The Troopers board named Wyoming businessman and Troopers alumnus Mike Ottoes as interim director. One of Ottoes' first actions was to announce the organization's commitment to compliance with DCI's rules and the intent to return to the field in 2007. In April 2006, DCI gave preliminary approval for the Troopers' return to Division I competition in 2007, and the corps soon after named Fred Morris, who has an extensive background in drum corps management, as Corps Director, with Ottoes becoming Executive Director of the organization. On October 3, 2006, the Troopers were reinstated as a DCI Division I corps.[5]

The Troopers returned to competition on June 19, 2007 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. At Clovis, California on August 5, the corps earned a score above 80 points for the first time since 1995. At the DCI Championships, held in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, the Troopers placed twentieth. In 2008, they would improve to sixteenth place, and in 2009, the Troopers' twelfth place finish would earn a spot in DCI's Top Twelve Finalists for the first time since 1986.[8]

In addition to being a competitive corps, the Troopers have made appearances at professional and collegiate sporting events over the years including games of the Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Phillies, and the United States Air Force Academy. The Troopers were the first competitive drum corps to participate in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. The corps represented the state of Wyoming at both the 1993 and the 2001 Presidential Inaugural Parades. The Troopers have also performed in concert before World's Fair attendees, NATO Defense College delegates, and Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.[9]

Sponsorship[edit]

The Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps is a 501 (c) (3) musical organization that has a Board of Directors, corps director, and staff assigned to carry out the organization's mission.[10] The Executive Director is Mike Ottoes, and the Corps Director is Fred Morris.[11] The Troopers organization also sponsors the EXSIGHT Winter Guard,[12] the TROOPERCUSSION Winter Drumline,[13] and the Wyoming All State Marching Band.[14]

The corps offices are located in the Troopers Center in Casper which is also home to the corps' fund-raising bingo operation and their fleet of buses, semi trailers and support vehicles.

Show Summary (1972-2015)[edit]

Source:[8][15]

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

Year Theme Repertoire Score Placement
1972 (Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend by Stan Jones /
Battle Hymn of the Republic by William Steffe and Julia Ward Howe /Cincinnati Kid by Lalo Schifrin and Dorcas Cochran /
When Johnny Comes Marching Home by Louis Lambert (Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore) /
How the West Was Won by Alfred Newman
81.95 6th
1973 Ghost Riders in the Sky by Stan Jones / The Eagle Screams by Nelson Riddle / Black Saddle by Michael Hennagin /
Wedding Dance (from the Hassaneh Suite) by Jacques Press / Thanksgiving Hymn by Eduard Kremser /
Day By Day (from Godspell) by Stephen Schwartz /
Battle Hymn of the Republic by William Steffe and Julia Ward Howe
86.15 2nd
1974 Ghost Riders in the Sky by Stan Jones / Yankee Doodle (Traditional) and Richard Shuckburgh /
Yellow Rose of Texas (Traditional) / The Virginian by Percy Faith / Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield /
Thanksgiving Prayer by Eduard Kremser / Day By Day (from Godspell) by Stephen Schwartz /
Battle Hymn of the Republic by William Steffe and Julia Ward Howe
85.65 5th
1975 Introduction and Fantasia by Rex Mitchell / Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield / Gentle On My Mind by John Hartford /
Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky / The Virginian by Percy Faith /
No Goodbye (from How the West Was Won) by Alfred Newman /
Bound for the Promised Land (from How the West Was Won) by Ken Darby and Robert Emmett Dolan
76.20 12th
1976 Roundabout by Jon Anderson and Steve Howe (Yes) / Alabama Jubilee by George L. Cobb and Jack Yellen /
Land of Make Believe by Chuck Mangione / Looking for Space by John Denver / Jet by Paul & Linda McCartney (Wings)
82.75 13th
1977 Hang 'em High by Dominic Frontiere / When Johnny Comes Marching Home by Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore /
Rodeo by Aaron Copland / Drunken Cowboy (Unknown) /
Billy's Death (from Billy the Kid) & Hoedown (from Rodeo) by Aaron Copland / Farandole by Georges Bizet /
Bound for the Promised Land (from How the West Was Won) by Ken Darby and Robert Emmett Dolan /
Shenandoah (Traditional) / Wild Wild West by Richard Markowitz
78.80 20th
1978 Hang 'em High by Dominic Frontiere / American Salute by Morton Gould / Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin /
Rodeo & Hoedown (from Rodeo) by Aaron Copland / Farandole by Georges Bizet /
The Ballad of Billy the Kid by Billy Joel / The Ecstasy of Gold by Ennio Morricone
74.25 20th
1979 Variations on a Scene by Alan Broadbent /
Aquarius & Let The Sunshine In (from Hair) by Galt MacDermot, James Rado, and Gerome Ragni /
The Ballad of Billy the Kid by Billy Joel / The Ecstasy of Gold by Ennio Moricone / Ghost Riders in the Sky by Stan Jones
77.90 12th
1980 Theme from The Cowboys by John Williams / Shenandoah (Traditional) / Turkey in the Straw (Traditional) /
Central Park by Armando Anthony "Chick" Corea / The Ecstasy of Gold by Ennio Moricone /
Ghost Riders in the Sky by Stan Jones
76.65 14th
1981 The Cowboys by John Williams / Turkey in the Straw (Traditional) /
Central Park by Chick Corea / En Sueno by Albert Kunzelmann /
Shenandoah (Traditional) / Battle Hymn of the Republic by William Steffe and Julia Ward Howe
78.10 12th
1982 Hassena (Unknown) / Wabash Cannonball (Traditional) / En Sueno by Albert Kunzelmann / Shenandoah (Traditional) /
Battle Hymn of the Republic by William Steffe and Julia Ward Howe
77.60 14th
1983 Ghost Riders in the Sky by Stan Jones / Battle Hymn of the Republic by William Steffe and Julia Ward Howe /
Pops Hoedown by Richard Hayman / It Was a Very Good Year by Ervin Drake
76.85 15th
1984 Battle Hymn of the Republic by William Steffe and Julia Ward Howe / Ghost Riders in the Sky by Stan Jones /
High Noon by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington /
The Aggie Song (from the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas) by Carol Hall
85.20 13th
1985 Symphonic Dance No. 3 - Fiesta by Clifton Williams /
Third Symphony, Buckaroo Holiday (from Rodeo) & The Red Pony by Aaron Copland
86.70 9th
1986 American Salute by Morton Gould / Silverado by Bruce Broughton / Prayer of Thanksgiving (Traditional) /
The Red Pony by Aaron Copland / Battle Hymn of the Republic by William Steffe and Julia Ward Howe
83.50 11th
1987 He's Gone Away (Traditional) / American Overture by Morton Gould / Third Symphony by Aaron Copland /
When Johnny Comes Marching Home by Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore
81.00 17th
1988 Magnificent Seven by Elmer Bernstein / Corral Nocturne (from Rodeo) & Hoedown (from Rodeo) by Aaron Copland /
Silverado by Bruce Broughton
77.80 19th
1989 How the West was Won How the West Was Won, Cheyennes & No Goodbyes by Lionel Newman /
Bound for the Promised Land by Ken Darby and Robert Emmett Dolan
78.00 18th
1990 Music for the Centennial
of the State of Wyoming
How the West Was Won by Lionel Newman / Silverado by Bruce Broughton / Pop's Hoedown by Richard Hayman /
Shenandoah (Traditional) / America the Beautiful by Samuel A. Ward and Katharine Lee Bates
80.25 17th
1991 The Cowboys from Sunset (Unknown) / Lonesome Dove by Basil Poledouris / Oklahoma Crude by Henry Mancini /
Orange Blossom Special by Ervin T. Rouse / Music from Dances With Wolves by John Barry /
America the Beautiful by Samuel A. Ward and Katharine Lee Bates
74.90 21st
1992 A Western Odyssey Flag of Stars by Gordon Jacob / Cool, Clear Water by Bob Nolan / Unsquare Dance by Dave Brubeck /
The Ecstasy of Gold by Ennio Moricone / Ghost Riders in the Sky by Stan Jones
76.10 19th
1993 The Last Crossing -
East Moves West
Ashokan Farewell by Jay Ungar / Cheyennes (from How The West Was Won) by Alfred Newman /
Western Overture by Thom Ritter George / Charles County Overture by Joseph Willcox Jenkins /
Battle Hymn of the Republic by William Steffe and Julia Ward Howe
77.10 19th
1994 Southwestern Sketches Sunrise by Fred Taylor / Scherzo by John Cheetham / Santa Fe Saga by Morton Gould /
Symphonic Dance No. 3 - Fiesta by Clifton Williams
81.60 14th
1995 A Copland Canvas Third Symphony, Fourth Movement, Fanfare for the Common Man & Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland 80.70 14th
1996 American Jubilee The Wind and The Lion by Jerry Goldsmith / Shenandoah (Traditional) / Outdoor Overture by Aaron Copland /
Camptown Races by Stephen Foster
74.40 19th
1997 American Salute by Morton Gould / The Way West by Bronisław Kaper / Magnificent Seven by Elmer Bernstein /
America The Beautiful by Samuel A. Ward and Katharine Lee Bates
68.00 20th
1998 Forging a Frontier The Getaway (from Silverado), Tombstone - The Family & McKendrick Attack (from Silverado) by Bruce Broughton /
Ghost Riders in the Sky by Stan Jones
68.60 24th
1999 Billy the Kid Billy the Kid by Aaron Copland 73.80 21st
2000 Symphony of Freedom America The Beautiful by Samuel A. Ward and Katharine Lee Bates / America's Struggle (Original) /
America (from West Side Story) by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim /
Amazing Grace by William Walker and John Newton / Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa
73.65 19th
2001 Tribute to An Uncommon Man Copland Medley/Intro 2001, Outdoor Overture, El Salon Mexico & Down a Country Lane by Aaron Copland /
Chorale and Shaker Dance by John Zdechlik
76.20 19th
2002 Red, White and Blue Javelin by Michael Torke / American Elegy by Frank Ticheli / Into the Storm (from Stormworks) by Stephen Melillo 75.55 21st
2003 Reflections of the
Blue and Gray
The Great Locomotive Chase by Robert W. Smith / Gently Flows the Amber Grain by Brian Scott /
Battle Music by David Holsinger / Masque by Kenneth Hesketh
75.45 22nd
2004 The Troopers Are Coming Carriage of the Spirits & The Chase (from The Good, the Bad & the Ugly) by Ennio Morricone /
America The Beautiful by Samuel A. Ward and Katharine Lee Bates / Shenandoah (Traditional) /
Finishing It by Bruce Broughton / Down in the Valley (Traditional) / Rodeo by Paul Hart / Houston by David Benoit /
Ghost Riders in the Sky by Stan Jones / Magnificent Seven by Elmer Bernstein / Taps by Daniel Butterfield
74.925 23rd
2005 Gold Rush The Gates of Gold (for Violin and Orchestra) by Joseph Curiale / Death by Triple Fiddle by Sam Bush and Mike Marshall /
She'll Be Comin' Round The Mountain (Traditional)
71.675 22nd
2006 Corps Inactive
2007 Awakening Joy (from Awakening) by Joseph Curiale / Unsquare Dance by Dave Brubeck /
Ever Braver, Ever Stronger by Gordon Goodwin / American Faces by David Holsinger
77.55 20th
2008 Iron Horse Express Ghost Riders in the Sky by Stan Jones / Canyon of Heroes by Sean O'Loughlin /
The Ghost Train Triptych by Eric Whitacre / Sasparilla by John Mackey /
Song of the Gandy Dancers by Richard Saucedo / The Great Revival by William Gordon
81.10 16th
2009 Western Side Story The Cave (Original) / Maria & Somewhere (from West Side Story) by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim /
Adelina de Maya by Joseph Curiale /
America (from West Side Story) by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim / Spaghetti Western (Original) /
One Hand, One Heart (from West Side Story) by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim /
Pentium (Original) / West Side Story Reprise by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim
85.10 12th
2010 Wanted Wanted Dead or Alive by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora / Trittico by Václav Nelhýbel /
Proven Lands (from There Will Be Blood) by Jonny Greenwood /
Suite from Our Town by Aaron Copland / Borinage by Michael Gordon /
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Peter Graham / Night Flight (from Swing Shift) by Kenji Bunch
83.35 15th
2011 The Road Home The Old Church by Stephen Paulus / China Gates by John Adams /
Memory (from Nepomuk's Dances, 3rd mvt.) by Marcelo Zarvos /
Muted and Sensuous, (from Four Piano Blues, 3rd mvt.) by Aaron Copland / Mama by Edgar Meyer
83.20 14th
2012 This Was the Future Galop from Souvenirs, Op. 28 by Samuel Barber / Music for Theater & The Heiress by Aaron Copland 77.65 18th
2013 Magnificent 11 Magnificent Seven by Elmer Bernstein / The Theme "John Dunbar" from Dances With Wolves by John Barry /
Battle Hymn of the Republic by William Steffe and Julia Ward Howe / Original music by Robert W. Smith and Paul Rennick
86.05 13th
2014 A People's House A People's House by Robert W. Smith / The Ramparts by Clifton Williams /
Distant Images by Sandi and Paul Rennick / Lincoln by Robert W, Smith /
Oh Shenandoah (Traditional) / America The Beautiful by Samuel A. Ward and Katharine Lee Bates
84.775 14th
2015 Wild Horses Musical selections TBA TBD TBD

References[edit]

External links[edit]