Mighty Liberators Drum and Bugle Corps

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Mighty Liberators
Drum and Bugle Corps
LocationRochester, New York
DivisionClass A
UniformRed, black, and green

Green jumpsuit

Red on black sash
Black pants w/red on black stripe

White shoes
Black "Aussie" hat w/silver badge
& red sequined band
The Mighty Liberators on the Steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC with U.S. Congressman Frank Horton in 1976.

The Mighty Liberators Drum and Bugle Corps were a Class A (now Open Class) competitive junior drum and bugle corps. Based in Rochester, New York, the Mighty Liberators performed in Drum Corps International (DCI) competitions.[1]


The Mighty Liberators competing during 1977 summer tour.

Source: [2][3]

In 1972, a long-time Rochester-area parade corps, Scott's Sabers, folded after a long history under Lewis A. "Scotty" Scott. One-time Sabers' member, Emmet Porter, who credited Scotty and the corps with changing his life for the better, held an executive position in Rochester's federally funded anti-poverty program, Action for a Better Community (ABC). Mr. Porter was able to create the Mighty Liberators under the umbrella of ABC as a replacement for Scott's Sabers and as a program to involve young people in a program that would provide positive influences and help to keep them away from the negative ones.

With the sponsorship of ABC, the new corps gained support from families, friends, and community organizations. New drums and bugles were purchased, as were new uniforms. The corps obtained buses for travel and, eventually, its own corps hall. At the time, Rochester was one of the hotbeds of drum corps activity, with several junior corps and at least two senior corps active, and many of the city's top arrangers and instructors stepped forward to aid the new corps. With top instructors, new instruments, tailored uniforms, a renovated practice facility, and a small fleet of buses and trucks, The Mighty Liberators began a multi-year process to grow from a previously low key parade group into a competitive DCI field corps.

Initially, the corps restricted its competition performances to the New York-Pennsylvania-Northeast region. In 1975, the Mighty Liberators traveled to Marion, Ohio for the U.S. Open Class A competition, placing 35th of 42 corps from the Northeast, Midwest, South, and Canada. In 1976, the corps ventured to its first DCI World Championships in Philadelphia; they finished 17th of 25 corps in the Class A and All-Girl prelims.

In 1977, the Mighty Liberators carried out its most ambitious tour, traveling to Ohio, Nebraska, Wyoming, and the DCI Class A World Championships in Boulder, Colorado.. In the preliminary competition, the Mighty Liberators were 6th of 26 corps from throughout the United States and Canada and advanced to Finals, where they maintained their 6th place standing.

The Mighty Liberators never returned to the DCI Championships after 1977. They remained strictly a local corps until, in 1982, cutbacks in funding caused ABC to terminate its sponsorship, and the corps folded.


The Mighty Liberators were sponsored by Action for a Better Community, one of nearly 1,000 nationally recognized Community Action Agencies (CAAs), established under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to fight America's War on Poverty.

Show Summary(1972–1982)[edit]

Gold background indicates DCI Championship; pale blue background indicates DCI Class Finalist; pale green background indicates DCI semifinalis.t

Year Theme Repertoire Score Result
1972-1975 No information available
1976 Repertoire unavailable 56.400 17th Class A
1977 Firebird by Igor Stravinsky / Journey to the Center of the Earth by Rick Wakeman / Chico and the Man by José Feliciano /
Land of Make Believe by Chuck Mangione / African Symphony by Henry Mancini / You are the Sunshine of my Life by Stevie Wonder
59.650 6th Class A
1979-1982 No information available

The 1977 show in Boulder Colorado was the culminating big performance for the corps. The Liberators placed 6th in these world championships.

1977 DCI Championships Class A Finals
1 Bengal Lancers 74.200
2 Renaissance 71.050
3 Sky Ryders 66.350
4 Imperial Regiment 65.400
5 Northern Aurora 63.550
6 Mighty Liberators 59.650
7 Black Watch 54.400



Left to right–1975 Mighty Liberators / Mr. Emmet Porter (right side), founder of The Mighty Liberators. Picture taken circa 1975./ Mr. Lewis "Scotty" Scott, founder of Scotts Sabers Drum Corps, the precursor corps to The Mighty Liberators. Picture taken circa 1976 / The Mighty Liberators Drum and Bugle Corps of Rochester, New York. Picture taken circa 1977 / The Mighty Liberators Drum and Bugle Corps featured on Rochester, New York tourism brochure from 1976-1977


External links[edit]