Queensmen (Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Queensmen)

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The Queensmen of Kenosha, Wisconsin were an important American Midwestern drum corps power into 1970.


Formed on the evening of Friday, January 10, 1964, the Queensmen developed rapidly, first appeared publically in May in the Kenosha Memorial Day Parade. The Queensmen began touring on July 4th, and were invited to perform at the opener of a Milwaukee Braves baseball game that August. The corps entered field competition in 1965.

The royal blue/white-uniformed Queensmen became known for their brash, powerful style and for pioneering a number of various innovations including G-F-F# bugles, tuned bass drums and unusual instrumentation in many national and regional contests throughout eighteen states in the corps' six seasons on the road, including Top Ten finishes in the first US Open Championships of 1968 and 1969. The Queensmen's massive collection of hundreds of trophies, plaques, certificates and awards was on permanent display in a rented storefront at 2106 44th Place in Kenosha.

The Queensmen also competed with two color guard units (the Queensmen and the Regents in Midwest Color Guard Circuit competitions, winning several MCGC championship titles and celebrating one undefeated season (1967).

By the summer of 1969, a combination of increasing operational costs, the "aging-out" of a number of members within the bugle sections (though the drumline remained intact) and internal strife within the council of the sponsoring Holy Rosary Church parish made it obvious that the 1970 Queensmen would be competitively weaker.

And so to salvage the 1970 season, a mutual agreement was forged with the neighboring Racine Explorer Scouts, with whom the Queensmen had always enjoyed rapport. The Racine Scouts agreed to transport and accomodate any Queensmen who wished to participate for their 1970 season, and to re-release any at seasons-end who wished to rejoin the Queensmen's rebuilding efforts for the 1971 season. About twenty Queensmen chose to participate in the 1970 combined program, and all returned to the Queensmen that autumn, but equipment replacement was still to be an insurmountable obstacle and by early 1971 the decision to become inactive, though painful, was unavoidable.

On January 10th, 1984, the twentieth anniversary of the Queensmen, a hundred alumni gathered at "Scotty's Bar" (owned by an alumnus) to reminisce. As the evening wore on, the concept of making a comeback appearance was proposed, which was finally realized on the hot Sunday afternoon of July 6, 1986 as the Queensmen and Queensmen Squires alumni marched together at a well-publicized hometown reunion in the Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade.

Today, the Queensmen are remembered by the recordings and photos made over their six-season (or seven, if the 1986 alumni reunion can be counted) history.



Dignity - Excellence - Responsibility - Fellowship.


Available in 2006: The Beat Goes On - The 1968 U.S. Open Championship Finals, Volume 1 (#6804) (August 17, 1968)

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