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2014 Troopers corps will pay tribute to Lincoln

Published December 24, 2013 6:09 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Casper, Wyo. • The Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps was founded on the Civil War principles of the 11th Ohio Cavalry, whose soldiers protected what is now Fort Caspar. Since its inception in 1957, the corps has worn uniforms with strong Cavalry touches, down to the "11" on the gold buttons.

In 2014, the Troopers are going all out to remind their fans from coast to coast and judges in Drum Corps International of that heritage with a show that pays tribute to Abraham Lincoln.

"A People's House" moved corps director Fred Morris to tears the first time he heard it — and that was on a computer.

"Staff was all crouching over this computer, and every one there teared up," Morris recalled. "I tear up just thinking about that."

Morris said the show is "very crowd-responsive, very interactive."

The season begins for the Troopers with the official Indianapolis 500 parade followed by the opening show in a competitive season of 30 in Indianapolis on June 18.

"We have 30 shows and we could have had more," Morris said. "Everybody wants us. Places we haven't been in more than 20 years want us."

The return to national popularity of the Troopers is based on the corps' bittersweet 13th-place finish at the DCI World Championships in August — just out of the top 12 corps that qualify for the final round.

The 2013 finish was meteoric in DCI terms from the Troopers' 18th-place finish in 2012. Morris believes that the judge panels just could not fathom a jump that large in one season.

"This is a top-10 show," Morris said of the 2014 Lincoln show.

Among dozens of returnees are drum major Justin Anderson, Color Guard commander Alyson Downs of Cheyenne, who is in her seventh year as a Trooper, and talented snare drummer John Ling.

"This group has become a destination corps instead of a stepping stone," Morris said. "Kids from literally throughout the country want to march Troopers before they age-out, whether they started with us or not."

By January, the call-back camp in Cheyenne will include only the cream of the crop of hundreds of musicians who have auditioned at weekend camps throughout the country this month, along with returning veterans.

The music for "A People's House" includes a brief, haunting solo from "The People's House"; "The Ramparts," which was written for the Air Force Academy Band; Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," which includes narration from James Earl Jones; "American Symphonic Overture," a medley of Civil War tunes with a main thread of "Shenandoah"; and "America the Beautiful."

Because of construction at both Natrona County and Kelly Walsh high schools, the only Wyoming performance for the Troopers will be July 11, at South High School in Cheyenne, when they will be joined by the Madison Scouts; Boston Crusaders; Pacific Crest from Diamond Bar, Calif.; Cascades from Seattle, and The Academy from Phoenix.




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