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 a 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 sixteen times, in 1968, 1979, 1980, 2005, 2006, 2007 (the corps' 50th anniversary), 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 (the corps' 60th anniversary), 2018, and most recently in 2019. The corps has also placed second nine times (1973, 1974, 1976, 1984, 1985, 1999, 2001, 2011, and 2016) 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]

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 Pachelbel's Canon, David Holsinger's Abram's Pursuit, Giacomo Puccini's Nessun dorma, and Ludwig van 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.


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.


The corps' 2018 program, "Here to There" won with a score of 98.0. The corps wore a radically different uniform for this show, beginning a trend of costuming specifically for each year's design.


The corps won their third consecutive DCA championship, and seventeenth overall, with a score of 98.225. The show was titled "Dans Ma Chambre" which loosely translates to "in my room", and was an abstract journey into fantasy and daydreams.

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]


  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]