“We didn’t have a style of our own when it came to music,” said George Bolig, former horn-line member and corps president. “We played a lot of standards and one of our more well-known tunes was “The Robert E. Lee” in the ’50s and “Fly Me to the Moon” in the ’60s.”
Bolig, who was 18 at the time of joining the corps as a baritone player, served nine years as the corps president and was in the activity for 20 years. Today he is the president of the Alumni Association.
Montandon resident Frank Pursell was introduced to the activity by a friend and worked his way up from cymbal player to being the corps drum major.
“Being involved in drum corps taught me about being able to lead and to relate to different kinds of people,” Pursell said.
Pursell is the secretary-treasurer of the Alumni Association.
In the past, the corps were not only judged on military-style maneuvers shows, but also on being clean cut and shaven.
“We had inspections before we went on to perform on the starting line,” Bolig said. “They would give you a tick (a tenth of a point deduction from the corps’ overall score) for any mistake you made.”
The Keystoners ran the Cavalcade back in the day and used the money from the shows to purchase uniforms and horns.
The corps, which started marching competitively in 1952, last marched in a competition in 1970.
“When we won the state title in 1953 we only had 21 horns then,” Bolig said. “We had some big horn lines in the ’60s.”
Over the years, the drum corps activity has had its fair share of controversy and members within each corps sometimes don’t see eye-to-eye. Yet, through all of the political and philosophical differences, the activity still proudly marches on.