The Pacemakers Drum and Bugle Corps

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The Pacemakers Drum and Bugle Corps
Location St Mary Cray, Kent
Founded 1952
Director Ray Westbrook
Uniform See uniform section

The Pacemakers Drum and Bugle Corps is a Boys' and Girls' Brigade marching band in St Mary Cray (Kent) that currently competes in DCUK (Drum Corps United Kingdom).

History[edit]

(from The Pacemakers Official Website, see below)

The Band was originally formed in the early 1950s as the 13th Chislehurst and District Boys' Brigade Band, playing Bb bugles.

On 17 April 1952, band instructor Ron Eden agreed to commence bugle lessons for the Company members. By 2 July of that year, a drum class had also been started.

On 8 February 1953 the Company band made its first appearance at the monthly Church parade. 13 December saw the band lead the Boys' Brigade Battalion Church parade.

By the late 1950s and early 1960s the band had grown in numbers and standard, taking part in many local and London District BB Competitions. It was in 1965 that the name of The 13th Bromley Boys Brigade first appeared, when the Greater London Boroughs changed their names and the old Chislehurst District became the new Bromley Battalion.

Saturday 11 May 1968 saw the combined bands of both The 13th Bromley Boys Brigade and the 1st St Mary Cray Girls' Brigade play together for the first time at the BB London District Display at the Royal Albert Hall. The following year(1969) they were also asked to play again at the Girls' Brigade Annual Rally.

During the summer of 1971 the band entered its very first non-BB competition: "The Kent Band Championships" in Maidstone. This required a completely different concept of drill and music than the corps was used to. To everyone's surprise, however, the band won that first contest.

1975 saw the band take part in the Lord Mayor's Show in the City of London.

In 1977 the band participated in the Queen's Silver Jubilee display in Windsor Great Park and the Queen's Parade in Central London.

Between 1976 and 1980 the band was a regular competitor at the Boys' Brigade National Band Championships, winning the Webb Ivory Trophy for the best Bb band five years in a row.

In the '80s, some major changes were put in place. The traditional Bb bugles were switched for American 'G' valve bugles.

In 1980 the Pacemakers became one of the founding members of DCUK (Drum Corps UK) and to the present date are the only one of the original corps still performing. The first ever DCUK Finals saw the Pacemakers take 6th place.

During this period, the band also became members of BYBA (British Youth Band Association) and still continue that membership at the present date.

In 1990 the Pacemakers returned for the Royal Family's benefit once again, playing a fanfare for HRH, the Queen Mother at the re-opening of the Imperial War Museum in London.

Since 2000 the band has seen an increase in playing members and improving performances. This was demonstrated in promotion to BYBA Division 2, winning the Division 3 finalsand the Boys' Brigade National Championships for the third time, in 2003.

Every year since 2004 the band have performed for the Chelsea pensioners at the Royal Chelsea Hospital, as part of the BB London District Display.

By 2005 the Pacemakers had returned to the BB national Band Championships in Stoke-on-Trent and were competing in Division 2 of BYBA.

In 2007 the Pacemakers undertook some major fund raising, enabling it to refurbish the pit line and purchase a brand new brass line, in Bb once again.

2009 saw the corps compete not only in BYBA but also DCUK. This marked a significant decision for the band as it had not competed on the DCUK circuit for a number of years.

The 2010 season saw The Pacemakers make another significant decision by re-establishing its visual guard section. This section enabled the band to better compete with other similar marching bands across the country.

2011 has seen the corps take a step forward, by taking a step back. Performing a new rendition of the widely popular, with both band and spectators, Jewish Trilogy in their show 'Back to Classics'. This season saw the corps be very successful, they even managed to obtain the BYBA Division Two League Champions Title, and narrowly missed the BYBA Finals winning place.

In 2015 The Pacemakers came first in A Class at the DCUK Championship.

In late 2016 the percussion section of The Pacemakers were made into its own group called Project 13 which go to separate shows around the UK and also are the representatives for the Drumline battle at the DCUK Finals and also performed at the Soundsport in Essex alongside The Pacemakers.

Sections[edit]

This listing is of 2017

Horn Line
The current horn line consists of 9 members including 4 sopranos, 2 mellophones, 2 baritones, and 1 contrabass.

Battery Percussion
The current drum line consists of 3 snare drums, 1 tenor drum and 3 bass drums.

Pit Percussion
The current pit Line consists of 2 electronic keyboards, 2 xylophones, 2 Marimba 1 Timpani, 1Drum Kit.

Colour Guard
The colour guard currently has 5 girls dancing with various flags and other guard equipment.

Shows[edit]

  • 2007 - Moulin Rouge
  • 2008 - Bohemia
  • 2009 - Queen Phenomenon
  • 2010 - Take That - Back for Good
  • 2011 - Back to Classics
  • 2012 - Superheroes
  • 2013 - Spanish Suite
  • 2014 - Music of the Night
  • 2015 - Pirates of the Caribbean
  • 2016 - Back to School
  • 2017 - Continuum

2015 Tour[edit]

Date Event Location
Saturday 6 June Boys' and Girls' Brigade National Championships Stoke
Saturday 6 July Drum Corp UK Woking, Surrey
Sunday 6 September Drum Corp UK Thurrock, Essex
Saturday 19 September Drum Corp UK - British Championship Widnes, Cheshire

The Uniform[edit]

The current uniform consists of black shoes and socks followed by black trousers. The jacket/tunic is white, with black wavy stripes. The percussion and horn line wear gauntlets on the arms of their tunics.

The headgear consists of black stetson hats with purple plumes.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]