Amerigo "Riggie" Laus
Amerigo "Riggie" Laus served with the military in the Pacific theater during World War II. Not surpisingly, Riggie served as his ship's buglar. Upon returning, Riggie played in community bands and eventually joined the Pittsburgh RocketsDrum and Bugle Corps in 1948. Riggie developed a pioneering approach to playing the single valve bugle. He also wrote a series of exercises designed to improve technique. In 1964 Riggie would actually play the "Flight of the Bumblebee" on a single valve bugle and won the individuals contest in the process. The Steel City Alumni Corps has a link to a 1959 performance of Riggie as lead soprano with the Pittsburgh Rockets [Pittsburgh Rockets featuring Riggie Laus]
In 1956 he began an undefeated streak of wining individual bugle contests. All told, Riggie was a 14 time National champion buglar. He would retire in 1965 undefeated. Riggie would then go onto instruct many local Western Pennsylvania corps including the Tarentum Red Knights, who were three times VFW state parade champions;Meadville Thunderbirds; Quasars; [[Sharpsburg Cadets]; [Pittsburgh Rockets Juniors]] and the [Steel City Ambassadors]. Riggie was perhaps most influential as an instructor with the General Butler Vagabonds. He joined the Vagabond's staff in 1974 and has been there ever since. Riggie played a key role in the development of Pat Cavenaugh, who won the DCI French Horn Individual's contest in 1979.
Even at age 80, Riggie continues to perform as the featured soloist of the Steel City Alumni corps. He also plays the bugle for veteran's gatherings. In addition, he is a member of the Buglar's Hall of Fame. To cap an outstanding career, Riggie was elected to the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1986.