Reading Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps

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The Reading Buccaneers
Bucs logo.png
LocationReading, Pennsylvania
DivisionOpen Class
DirectorLou Tierno
Championship titlesVFW: 1960, 1961, 1962; DCA: 1965, 1968, 1979, 1980, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019
UniformRoyal blue jackets, black and blue striped sash, black pants, shoes, blue 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.

Mission Statement[edit]

The mission of the Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps is to provide men and women of all ages a unique and enriching educational experience in the performing arts in which they develop as individuals and as performers.


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 fourteen times, in 1968, 1979, 1980, 2005, 2006, 2007 (the corps' 50th anniversary), 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 (the corps' 60th anniversary), and most recently in 2018. 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 three times.


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. 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 Corps 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 then-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.


On August 31, 2014, at the DCA World Championships in Rochester, New York, the Buccaneers received first place with a score of 97.550 with their program "Break on Through." This come-from-behind victory occurred after placing 3rd in the previous day's preliminary competition.


The Bucs won their 14th DCA World Championship with their show "Twist It" and a score of 97.580. They had an undefeated season.


2017 was the Buccaneers' 60th Anniversary. Their show was called "Behind the Suit." They had another undefeated season with reaching the 3rd highest DCA score in history with a 98.930.

Show Summary (1965-2018)[edit]

Gold background indicates DCA Championship; Pale blue background indicates DCA Finalist.

Year Theme Repertoire Score Result
1965 Burke's Law / From This Moment On (from Kiss Me Kate) by Cole Porter / Portrait of my Love by Cyril Ornadel and Norman Newell / Maria (from West Side Story) by Leonard Bernstein / This Had Better Be The Night / El Cid by Miklos Rosza / After You've Gone by Turner Layton and Henry Creamer / Beyond the Sea by Charles Trent and Jack Lawrence 84.5 1st
1984 Wind Machine * Central Park * The Captain's Journey * The Rainmaker 91.950 2nd
1985 Wind Machine * Jeannine * The Ancient * The Rainmaker * After You 91.900 2nd
1986 87.550 4th
1987 92.300 5th
1988 A Russian Celebration 79.940 10th
1989 78.700 10th
1990 Batman Batman - Batman Theme (from Batman) * Rooftop (from Batman) * Descent into Mystery (from Batman) * Return of the Rainmaker * Pie Jesu (from Requiem) * Batman Theme Reprise (from Batman) 92.200 7th
1991 Marche Slav * Firewatch * Dr. Macumba * Anything but Lonely (from Apects of Love) * Russian Easter Overture 82.300 8th
1992 Cherokee * Englishman in New York * Moondance * Sambandrea Swing * You Can't Fall Up (You Just Fall Down) 86.600 9th
1993 You're Still A Young Man * What is Hip * The Skunk, The Goose, And The Fly * You Can't Fall Up (You Just Fall Down) 84.800 11th
1994 The Music of Hook Remembering Childhood (from Hook); Prologue (from Hook); Banning Back Home (from Hook); You Are the Pan (from Hook); The Ultimate War (from Hook) all by John Williams 79.600 11th
1995 Balance in Blue En Sueno * Canto del Viento * Navy Hymn * Russian Sailor's Dance (from The Red Poppy) 77.500 11th
1996 Russian Hymn * Hook * Jurassic Park * Asteroid Belt * E. T. Theme (from E.T.) 82.400 10th
1997 Hunt for Red October * Meadowland * Polovetsian Dances * Firebird Suite 83.400 9th
1998 A Russian Celebration Festive Overture * Gopak * Russian Christmas Music 93.500 4th
1999 Winter Dreams Russian Christmas Music * 4th Movement (from Symphony No. 1) * The Pine Forest (from The Nutcracker) 95.800 2nd
2000 Holst: The Planets Jupiter (from The Planets) / Venus (from The Planets) / Mercury (from The Planets) / Mars (from The Planets) / Jupiter (from The Planets) all by Gustav Holst 97.850 2nd
2001 Portraits of Bernstein On The Waterfront / Slava / Make Our Garden grow (from Candide) / Overture (from Candide) all by Leonard Berstein 97.850 2nd
2002 Anthems of Freedom Star Spangled Overture; Appalachian Spring; Flag of Stars 95.550 3rd
2003 The Sea: Beauty, Power, Serenity, and War Songer of Sailor and Sea; Navy Hymn; Drunken Sailor; Blow the Man Down; The Sea Treaders 92.150 5th
2004 Innovations! The Passions of Shostakovich Festive Overture; Fire of Eternal Glory; Symphony No. 10; Symphony No. 5 95.450 3rd
2005 Variations in B Farandole (from L'Arlesienne); Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber / String Quartet No. 4 by Bela Bartok / A Young Persons's Guide to the Orchestra 98.450 1st
2006 Exotic Impressions Bolero; Capriccio Espangnol; Clair de Lune (from Suite Bergamasque); Schehereezade 97.238 1st
2007 Blue Era New Era Dance; The Promise of Living (from The Tender Land); Danza Final (Malambo from Estancia); Rhapsody in Blue 98.313 1st
2008 The Pursuit of Joy Canon in D; Abram's Pursuit; Nessun Dorma (from Turandot); Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 (from Ode to Joy) 97.913 1st
2009 Demons and Angels Dies Irae (from Days of Wrath); Ritual Fire Dance; A Simple Song (from Berstein's Mass); Symphonia Resurrectus (from Easter Symphony) 99.025 1st
2010 Rome MMX Pines of the Appian Way (from Pines of Rome); Games at the Circus Maximus (Mvt. 1 from Roman Festivals); Adagio from Spartacus; The Epiphany (Mvt. 4 from Roman Festivals) 98.263 1st
2011 A Dancer's Dream The Chairman Dances; Danzon No.2; Swan lake by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky / Mambo (from West Side Story) by Leonard Bernstein 97.450 2nd
2012 The Black Symphony Warm Colors by Mark Lortz / The Four Sections for Orchestra, Mvt. 4 by Stever Reich /
New World (from Dancer in the Dark) by Björk Guömundsdóttir / 1812 Overture by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
99.030 1st
2013 Higher, Faster, Stronger Symphony No.11, Mvt. 4 / Original Composition by Mark Lortz, Johnny Trujillo, and Greg Tsalikis /
Chesvaliers de Sangreal (from DaVinci Code) / Danse Bacchanale (from Samson and Delilah)
98.430 1st
2014 Break On Through Break on Through by Jim Morrison / Fourth Ballet Suite by Dmitri Shostakovich / Orawa for Orchestra by Wojciech Kilar / Heat of the Day by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays / Original Composition by Mark Lortz, Johnny Trujillo, and Greg Tsalikis 97.550 1st
2015 Twist-It Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo / Palladio by Karl Jenkins / Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven /
Going the Distance (from Rocky) by Bill Conti / William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini
97.580 1st
2016 ConZENtric - Mind, Body, Soul Equus by Eric Whitacre / Impressions of Japan by James Barnes / Gabriel's Oboe by Ennio Morricone / Cycle Song by Imogen Heap 97.250 2nd
2017 Behind the Suit Man of Steel by Hans Zimmer / Metropolis Symphony Mvmnt 1 (Lex) by Michael Daugherty / Andante Tranquillo; Symphony No. 1 by Samuel Barber / Into the New by Mark Peter Revell / Einleitung, oder Sonnenaufgang from Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss 98.930 1st
2018 Here to There Hummingbird by Steven Bryant / Hunting Wabbits by Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band / La Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens / So Far Away by Carole King / Symphony No. 4 by David Maslanka / Original Music by Buccaneers designers Mark Lortz, Johnny Trujillo and Mike Lalli 98.000 1st
2019 Dans Ma Chambre Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture by Mikhail Glinka / What a Feeling by Irene Cara / Bohemian Rhapsody by Freddie Mercury / Benedictus (from The Armed Man) by Karl Jenkins / Original Music by Buccaneers designers Johnny Trujillo, Grant Butters, and Mark Lortz 98.225 1st

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.[7]


  • 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. Archived from the original on July 10, 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-04.
  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. ^
  7. ^ "Corps Sponsorship". 2007-12-04. Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2007-09-02.

External links[edit]