Racine Scouts

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The Racine Scouts

The Racine Scouts

Location Racine, WI
Division Open Class
Founded 1927
Director Anthony King
Championship Titles {{{titles}}}
Corps Uniform Red, White, and Blue jacket with white honor cord. White and red pin-stripped sash with explorer corps logo. White bibbers. "Chrome Dome". White gloves, socks, and shoes.

The Racine Scouts, based in Racine, Wisconsin, are the oldest continually competitive Drum Corps in North America. Beginning in November 1927 as the Boy Scout of America Troop 15 of the Lutheran Church of the Atonement, the Racine Scouts are the oldest musical scouting unit. The Scouts' purpose is to make available a superior performing ensemble with an emphasis on education as well as inspire work ethic and promise in today's youth. They currently are an active junior drum corps in Drum Corps International's Open Class. The corps is currently under the direction of Anthony King.


History

The Racine Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps was begun as an activity of Boy Scout Troop 15 of Racine's Lutheran Church of the Atonement in November 1927 by scoutmaster Elof Erickson who enlisted Earl Ray as drum instructor and William L. Peterson as bugle instructor and director. Initially, the corps had no instruments--- the drummers drummed on any available surface, and the buglers sang, hummed, or whistled the music. By 1928, they had become a valid drum and bugle corps, marching in Racine's 4th of July parade for the first time, and Norbert "Shorty" Zinnen had become an additional instructor. On October 5, 1929, the corps traveled to Madison, Wisconsin for Boy Scout Day at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where they led the parade preceding the football game between Wisconsin and Colgate University at Camp Randall Stadium, where all Boy Scouts were admitted free with their valid membership card.

In 1931, sponsorship of the corps was transferred from Troop 15 to the Racine County Council of the Boy Scouts. Although the corps membership now included Scouts from at least fourteen troops, Peterson, Ray, and Zinnen continued as the groups' leaders and instructors. During the 1930s, the corps was designated as the official musical unit of Boy Scout National Region Seven. It also became the oldest continuously operating corps in scouting, as many corps came and rapidly passed from the scene. From 1935 through 1940, the Racine Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps was undefeated in competition. In June and July 1937, the corps attended the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Washington, D.C. where they performed in concert before more than 25,000 Boy Scouts and led a parade of scouts to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, where they performed another concert during a pouring rain. Also in 1937, they were a part of the first appearance of drum corps at the Wisconsin American Legion State Convention, where they won the $25 first prize as best Scout drum and bugle corps in the parade and were first heard in a radio broadcast. In 1938, a group of Madison businessmen were inspired to start a local Boy Scout corps, and they asked for Racine's help with staff, music, and support for their start-up of the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. That same year, the corps performed on NBC's "Worldwide Round Up" national radio broadcast. Also in 1938, the corps performed at the Century of Progress World's Fair in Chicago where their buglers first performed on single piston bugles. 1939 saw the Racine Scouts playing the national anthems of the U.S. and Demnmark during the visit of the Danish Crown Prince to Racine and their first VFW appearance, when, although not competing in the field show, they led a section of the parade at the Wisconsin State VFW convention in Racine. In 1941, the Racine Scouts made their first appearance at a national competition, finishing seventh in the "Junior" competition at the American Legion National Championship held at Municipal Stadium in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; the corps would not return to any "National" competition until 1954.

World War II saw many alumni of the Racine Scouts serving in the U.S Armed Forces. Most returned from the war, but some did not. One who did not was United States Army Air Forces Major Jack Jerstad who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions while flying against the Nazi Germany controlled oil fields at Ploesti, Romania. While its alumni were off to war, the corps did its part for the war effort by performing in patriotic parades and doing concert exhibitions for War Bond drives.

After the War, the Racine Boy Scouts returned to the competition field. In 1947, they traveled to Dearborn, Michigan to perform at the funeral of Henry Ford. They also became the first "outside" organization to perform at the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan. Also in 1947, they were seen by scoutmaster Don Warren of Chicago's Troop 111, who then decided to start the drum and bugle corps that would become known as the Cavaliers. 1948 saw the Scouts win the first of many Wisconsin American Legion State Championship titles. In 1949 was begun the long rivalry between the Racine Scouts and the Racine YMCA Kilties (who had been active, but not very successful, since 1936), fanned by a barrage of letters to the editor in the pages of the Racine Journal-Times newspaper; when the two corps finally had the year's first meeting on July 12 at the State American Legion contest in Milwaukee, the Scouts repeated as champions, with the Kilties second. The Racine Boy Scouts corps attended the 1950 Boy Scouts National Jamboree at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, where they were named the "Champions of Scouting" by National Chief Scout Executive Arthur A. Schuck, a title they corps would bear through the 1950s. The Scouts traveled to New York City following the Jamboree, where the corps was recorded for the international broadcasts of Voice of America. While in New York, the corps managed to play where even corps from the city were forbidden; as permission was being sought for them to perform in a nearby park and despite efforts of the NYPD to halt them, the Boy Scouts played the National Anthem in Times Square and departed, leaving the police to deal with the resultant traffic jam. In 1952, the Scouts made their second appearance at a "National" contest, finishing seventh and missing the finals of the "Junior Division" of the VFW National Championships in Milwaukee by 1/2 of a point. That year the corps also attended the National Boy Scout Jamboree at Irvine Ranch, California, and, while there, also performed a concert in Los Angeles at Hollywood and Vine.

While the drum and bugle corps activity blossomed in America during the 1950s, the Racine Boy Scouts were widely criticized within that activity for resting on their laurels and playing in more exhibition concerts than contests. Although the organization started the Racine Jr. Boy Scouts drum and bugle corps as a "feeder" corps in 1956, by that time it was also putting out a younger, less experienced corps than in years past. While corps like the Kilties, the Madison Scouts, the Cavaliers, and other newer, younger corps were flourishing, the Racine Boy Scouts seemed to be going into decline. In 1957, the Scouts once more attended the National Scout Jamboree, again in Valley Forge, and also visited Niagara Falls, New York City, and Washington, D.C. Up until 1958, the corps had been performing with equipment that mostly was originally purchased in 1935 by the Drum Corps Mother's Club. In 1958, the corps replaced the old wool serge uniforms with new, official olive drab gabardine uniforms with white neckerchiefs. However, 1958 was the least successful competition season in the corps' history up to that time. This trend was to continue though the rest of the Fifties.

In 1960, the Racine Boy Scouts were once more a feature unit at the National Scout Jamboree, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. They appeared in the feature about the Jamboree on the national television broadcast of "World Wide 60". Despite the exposure, the corps still languished on the competition field in both 1960 and 1961. At this time, the winter "small corps" concept was a growing activity, with many corps putting out small units for indoor, standstill competitions during the winter months. (This would continue to be a popular activity until the birth of DCI in 1972, and has been experiencing a rebirth in recent years. In 1962, the Racine Scouts finished first in both prelims and finals of the Midwest States Small Corps Championship and finished no lower than third in any small corps competition. This resulted in a much improved 1962 summer season with both the Boy Scouts and the Junior Boy Scouts winning their divisions at the State VFW championships. The Scouts also finished twelfth of thirty-four corps at the VFW Nationals in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1963, the Racine Scouts traveled to Seattle, Washington for the VFW Nationals and took third place among seventeen corps.

In 1964, the Racine Boy Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps was reorganized as Explorer Scout Post 200, a specialty Explorer post whose specialty was music, and they became the Racine Explorer Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. Upon adopting their new name, the corps also changed to the uniform style that continues in use to the present day. That first Explorers corp was quite competitive on the national scene; it finished eighth of seventeen corps at the New York World's Fair show, topping such corps as the Garfield Cadets, Madison Scouts, and Blue Rock. At the VFW Nationals in Cleveland, Ohio, the corps was assessed a two point penalty that dropped them from tenth place among the forty-three corps to a thirteenth place tie and out of the twelve corps finals. They also again attended the Boy Scouts' Jamboree, once more at Valley Forge. Although 1965 was somewhat down from 1964, the Explorer Scouts were one of the elite corps from the United States and Canada invited to appear at the "Symphony in Brass" in the sold-out Chicago Civic Opera House, an event that was hurrahed in the pages of Drum Corps World magazine as, "...the greatest drum corps spectacle ever to be staged in the Midwest." 1966 was the corps best season since the early '50's; the Explorer Scouts won both the Wisconsin American Legion and the Wisconsin VFW championships and claimed the Badgerland Drum Corps Association title among it victories. This was in a year that several other corps in Wisconsin, as well as some corps they regularly competed against from Illinois, were also being being highly competitive; Wisconsin placed four corps among the top eighteen corps at VFW Nationals and Illinois added another five. At those 1966 VFW Nationals, held in Jersey City, New Jersey, the Explorer Scouts finished thirteenth in prelims and twelfth in finals from a field of forty-eight corps. The 1967 corps was another strong one, with one of its highlights being the victory in the hometown Racine Boys of 76 senior corps's "Drum Corps Spectacular" on July 3, where the Explorer Scouts triumphed over the Chicago Royal Airs, the Des Plaines Vanguard, the Casper Troopers, the Millstadt Crusaders, and the local Racine YMCA Kilties, five corps that would join them seven weeks later in the VFW National Finals. Of the twenty-five corps at the VFW Championships, the Explorer Scouts finished eighth in prelims and moved up to sixth in finals. In honor of the Corps' 40th anniversary, Racine's Mayor William Beyer proclaimed Friday, August 4, 1967 as "Racine Scout Day". 1968 was another year of the corps being one of many very good corps from Wisconsin and Illinois; six corps from each state would finish in the top 20 of the forty-four corps in VFW prelims, with the Explorer Scouts coming in tenth in prelims and ninth in finals. They also finished 10th at the CYO Nationals in Lowell, Massachusetts.

In January 1969, the Racine Explorer Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps took a huge step; the corps went co-ed, admitting girls over fifteen years of age into the color guard. (This followed the trend that would see only three all-male North American junior corps remaining in 1972.) By March, the Explorer Scouts had thirty-five girls in the all-girl guard and over fifty more on a waiting list. The change did not bring about great success on the competition field, however. Although the corps won several Wisconsin contests, they missed finals at VFW Nationals in Philadelphia when they finished in a sixteenth place tie in the sixty-three corps prelims. The corps did make the eight corps finals at the American Legion Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia, finishing eighth of the twenty corps in attendance. In March 1970, it was officially announced that the corps had entered into a one year merger with the Kenosha Queensmen; both corps had suffered major personnel loses, and the merger was seen as a holding action. The resultant Racine Explorer Scouts corps was the largest in the history of either corps--- 115 marching members. The 1970 Explorer Scouts seemed to stagnate, winning only one minor show for the season--- a season in which the corps attended no "national" contests. In 1971, with the merger ended and the Queensmen defunct, the pre-season anticipation was high, as the corps routinely had over a hundred members at winter practices and showed extremely well at a pre-season exhibition. The early season saw the corps' first victory over the Kilties in four years, but, while the Kilties improved throughout the season, the Explorer Scouts' season went about like the previous one. At the North American Open, they finished seventh of twenty-one corps in prelims and fourth in finals; at the Mid-America Open in Overland Park, Kansas, the corps finished eighth in a bevy of good corps on their way to VFW Nationals in Dallas. But at Dallas, the Explorer Scouts once more missed finals, with a fourteenth place finish among the thirty-five prelims corps. 1972 was another up and down season. The corps won two shows, including the VFW State Championship. missed finals at the North American Open, but finished in eleventh at the U.S. Open and fifth of forty-two corps at the VFW Nationals in Minneapolis. The Racine Explorer Scouts chose not to be among the thirty-nine corps that met in Whitewater, Wisconsin on August 17 & 18 of 1972 for the first Drum Corps International World Championships, and the corps would continue to boycott DCI for many years.

The 1973 Explorer Scouts would win another State VFW crown and traveled to California, where the played at Disneyland and finished second in two contests to a Blue Devils corps that would only finish in twenty-fourth place at DCI. In 1974, the corps had difficulty recruiting members and competed in Class B contests as the Racine-Kenosha Scout Drum and Bugle Corps. The corps not only failed to win any contests, no evidence has been found that they finished ahead of any other corps in any contest. After discussions about another merger in 1975, the corps went on its own way, withdrawing from the field of competition and becoming exclusively a parade unit for that season. In 1976, the Racine Scouts returned to the field, marching in shows in the Illinois-All American circuit of small, locally-oriented corps. From 1981 on, the corps sometimes also competed in Class A60/Division III of Drum Corps Midwest (DCM), sometimes attending the DCM Championships in DeKalb, Illinois, sometimes not; from 1989, though, the corps attended every DCM Championship until the circuit suspended operations after the 2005 season. In 1992, the Scouts attended DCI shows for the first time, attending the Division III prelims of the U.S. Open in Marion, Ohio and the DCI Division III World Championship prelims at Whitewater. The Scouts have attended DCI World Championships every year since 1994, although they have never made finals in their division. In 2010, the corps attended the Boy Scouts' National Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill near Bowling Green, Virginia where they performed in concert before over 43,000 Scouts.

The 2011 season saw an important change to the Racine Scouts hornline. During the early off-season, the staff of the corps decided it would be important to switch the corps to perform on horns in the key of B-flat, rather than in the key of G, which the corps has performed on during the preceding few decades. After a few tribulations with attempts early on in the pre-season to get the corps new horns, an agreement was made with a DCA corps to lease their B-flat horns for the summer. The 2011 season then became the first summer the Racine Scouts performed on B-flat horns. The Racine Scouts are one of the last corps in DCI to switch from horns keyed in G to B-flat. In 2011, with a new format at the championships, the Racine Scouts competed as a top-level (now known as World Class) corps for the first time since 1974, finishing thirty-ninth of forty-one corps. The Racine Scouts 85th anniversary season in 2012 was cut short when the corps administration decided to end the summer tour early after facing insurmountable challenges. The corps did however attend competitions, both DCI sanctioned and SDCA, allowing the corps to keep its title of being continuously competitive.

Mission

"The Racine Scouts' purpose is to provide a quality performing ensemble with an emphasis on education as well as instill work ethic and promise in today's youth. The goals and ambitions of the Racine Scouts are to create a performing unit that accepts nothing less than a member's best effort and a strong willingness to improve every day, leading to a unit that is competitive with the top corps in our class. As the ensemble prospers it will be a driving force for the marching arts in Wisconsin and the world. We will create a positive environment for youth to evolve, grow and mature as musicians, performers and young adults." -[1]

Shows by year

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

1936

  • Repertoire:(Incomplete)
    • Onward, Christian Soldiers
    • On Wisconsin
    • Lullaby on Broadway

1954

  • Repertoire:(Incomplete)
    • Onward, Christian Soldiers

1955

  • Repertoire:
    • Time On My Hands
    • Springtime
    • Tara's Theme
    • Notre Dame Victory March
    • Apple Blossom Time
    • Red Sails In The Sunset
    • Onward, Christian Soldiers

1962

  • Repertoire:
    • Sherrif Dupius
    • Sweet Georgia Brown
    • Maria (from West Side Story)
    • Brazil
    • America
    • Rat Race
    • La Virgen de la Macarena
    • Out Of This World

1964

  • Repertoire: (Incomplete)
    • La Virgen de la Macarena

1965

  • Repertoire:
    • The Minstrel Boy
    • March of the Olympians
    • La Virgen de la Macarena
    • Bye Bye Birdie
    • High School Cadets

1968

  • Repertoire:
    • Columbia, The Gem Of The Ocean
    • La Virgen De La Macarena
    • Who Can I Turn To? (from Roar of the Greasepaint)
    • Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me

1969

  • Repertoire:
    • Get A Horse
    • Swanny
    • Sweet Georgia Brown
    • Onward, Christian Soldiers

1970

  • Repertoire:
    • Ode To Joy
    • More And More
    • You've Lost That Loving Feeling
    • (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay
    • Dream A Little Dream Of Me

1972

  • Repertoire:
    • Hand Bags And Glad Rags
    • Hud
    • Get It On
    • The Homage March

1975

  • Repertoire:
    • 25 or 6 to 4
    • Waltzing Matelda

1981

  • Repertoire
    • Crown Imperial March
    • Dawn
    • Bridge over Troubled Waters
    • Once upon a Time

1982

  • DCI A Class
  • Repertoire
    • Melody from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
  • Placement: 43rd
  • Score: 12.50

1992

  • DCI Division III
  • Repertoire Unknown
  • Placement: 29th
  • Score: 34.70

1994

  • DCI Division III
  • Repertoire Unknown
  • Placement: 25th
  • Score: 54.90

1995

  • DCI Division III
  • Repertoire:
    • Music of Respighi
  • Placement: 27th
  • Score: 60.70

1996

  • DCI Division III
  • Repertoire:
    • Dream, Dream, Dream
    • Day Of The Dreamer, Part 1
    • Let There Be Praise
    • Beetlejuice
  • Placment: 27th
  • Score: 48.40

1997

  • DCI Division III
  • Repertoire:
    • Big Noise From Winnetka
    • You Always Hurt The One You Love
    • Time After Time
    • Patriotic Medley
  • Placement: 29th
  • Score: 54.30

1998

  • DCI Divisoin III
  • Repertoire:
    • Western Chrome
    • Tumbleweed
    • The Big Country
    • Wagon Train
    • Western Omelet
    • Magnificent Seven
    • Happy Trails

1999

  • DCI Division III
  • Repertoire:
    • Gunsmoke
    • Wild, Wild West
    • Magnificent Seven
  • Placement: 25th
  • Score: 63.80

2000

  • DCI Division III
  • Repertoire:
    • Nautical Fantasy
      • McHale's Navy
      • Flipper
      • Gilligan's Island
      • Blow The Man Down
      • Popeye The Sailor Man
      • Columbia, The Gem Of The Ocean
      • Shenandoah
  • Placement: 27th
  • Score: 55.85

2001

  • DCI Division III
  • Repertoire:
    • Selections of George Gershwin
      • An American In Paris
      • Strike Up the Band
      • Summertime (from Porgy and Bess)
      • You Can't Take That Away From Me
      • Rhapsody In Blue
      • I Got Rhythm (from Girl Crazy)
  • Placement: 15th
  • Score: 71.10

2002

  • DCI Division III
  • Repertoire:
    • Moonlight Serenade
    • Bye Bye Blues
    • The Best Is Yet To Come
    • American Patrol
    • You're A Grand Old Flag
  • Placement: 22nd
  • Score: 57.75

2003

  • DCI Division III
  • Repertoire:
    • Shaken, Not Stirred
      • James Bond Theme
      • Goldeneye
      • The Man With The Golden Gun
      • Goldfinger
      • Live And Let Die
      • Moonraker
  • Placement: 18th
  • Score: 68.35

2004

  • DCI Division III
  • Repertoire:
    • Funk 'N Chrome
      • Another Star
      • Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing
      • Stayin' Alive
      • Salsation
      • How Deep Is Your Love?
      • Boogie Wonderland
      • I Will Survive
  • Placement: 16th
  • Score: 56.400

2005

  • DCI Division III
  • Repertoire Unknown
  • Placement: 16th
  • Score: 64.775

2006

  • DCI Division III
  • Repertoire Unknown
  • Placement: 13th
  • Score: 59.475

2007

  • DCI Division III
  • Repertoire:
    • Portraits in Chrome: Idols, Icons, and Images
      • Old Man River (from Showboat)
      • Blue Skies
      • Someone to Watch Over Me
      • Caravan
      • "Birthday Suite" which included:
        • Sweet Georgia Brown
        • Take Me Out to the Ball Game
        • Those Magnificent Men and their Flying Machines
        • Hooray For Hollywood
        • Happy Birthday
  • Placement: 13th
  • Score: 66.175

2008

  • DCI Open Class
  • Repertoire:
    • Frankly, Sinatra
      • All The Way
      • The Way You Look Tonight (from Swing Time)
      • Come Fly With Me
      • I've Got You Under My Skin (from Night and Day)
      • Luck Be A Lady (from Guys and Dolls)
      • The Lady Is A Tramp (from Babes in Arms)
      • That's Life
  • Placement: 19th
  • Score: 74.30

2009

  • DCI Open Class
  • Repertoire:
    • New York Scenes Under Chrome Lights
      • New York State of Mind
      • Give My Regards to Broadway
      • 42nd Street
      • Harlem Nocturne
      • Sing, Sang, Sung
      • New York, New York
  • Placement: 16th
  • Score: 74.30

2010

  • DCI Open Class
  • Repertoire:
    • Fascinating Rhythms: The Music of George Gershwin
      • Summertime
      • Rhapsody in Blue
      • An American in Paris
      • Strike Up The Band
      • I Loves You Porgy
      • Bess, You Is My Woman Now
      • I Got Rhythm
  • Placement: 13th
  • Score: 74.50

2011

  • DCI Open Class
  • Repertoire:
    • Resurrection
      • Lux Aeterna (Rutter)
      • Requiem: Dies Irae (Verdi)
      • Ave Maria (Gounod)
      • The Divine Comedy III: The Ascension
      • Onward, Christian Soldiers
  • Open Class Prelims
    • Placement: 14th
    • Score: 69.55
  • World Class Quarterfinals
    • Placement: 39th
    • Score: 48.50

2012

  • DCI Open Class
  • Repertoire: TBA
  • Score:
  • Placement:

Traditions

Uniform

  • The corps uniform up until 1964 were boy scout uniforms; The scout uniforms undergoing various changes through out the years.
  • The corps has maintained their uniform look since its debut in 1964, making only slight modifications since then.
    • Blue coat with a white and red pin-stripped sash and a white honor cord. The white sash containing the explorer corps logo.
    • White bibbers, some years having a red stripe down the legs.
    • White gloves, white socks, white shoes.
    • The chrome dome. A 3lbs brass platted helmet with a red fox-tail plume.

Scouting Heritage

  • The corps has maintained a part of their scouting heritage with symbols taken directly from the Boy Scouts of America organization.
    • The corps' symbol was 2 horns with a drum and a set of bells behind them - based off of the musical merit badge.
    • The corps song is the melody to You'll Never Walk Alone.
      • The Racine Scouts have different lyrics that go with the melody.
      • The instrumental version played by the Racine Scouts is a different arrangement than that of the Madison Scouts.

Trivia

Chrome Dome
  • Their nickname is the "Chrome Domes" for the 3lbs brass platted helmet that are worn as a part of their uniforms.
  • The Racine Scouts are 1 of 4 drum and bugle corps left that are based out of Racine, WI. Though they are the only one that competes in DCI.
  • The Racine Scouts have had a direct and powerful influence in the formation of the Cavaliers and the Madison Scouts.
  • The Racine Scouts have made numerous performance appearances at the Boy Scout National Jamborees, the latest being the 2010 Centennial Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, VA.
  • Their baritone/euphonium soloist in 2010 and 2011, Conner Heinle, competed and won DCI's I&E competition with a score of 98 (the highest brass score that year in both World and Open class) and 95 respectively. In 2010 he re-performed his solo on the field in Lucas Oil Stadium during the World Class Semi-finals.
    2010 I&E Winner, Conner Heinle
  • The Racine Scouts traveled to Detroit, MI in 1947 to honor and perform for Henry Fords' funeral.
  • The Racine Scouts were the first "outside" musical unit to perform at the National Music Camps at Interlochen, MI.
  • The Racine Scouts have been the oldest musical scouting unit since the 1930's.
  • True to their scouting origins, the Racine Scouts required every member to be at least a First Class scout until the late 1950s.
  • In 1959 the Scouts undertook a power tour, making 32 performances through Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin in just five days.
  • The Racine Scouts went undefeated for 6 straight years in competition (1935-1940), a feat that no other corps has come close to since.
  • The Racine Scouts have been in every Fourth of July Parade in Racine since 1928.

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