Royal Emperors

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Briefly Milwaukee's finest corps, the Royal Emperors were formed from a factional split within the Milwaukee Starlite in early 1961. Starlite founder Florian Wicinski was the RE director throughout the corps' brief existence. In the summer of 1961 the RE was already established as a solid parade corps wearing the royal blue/white uniforms of the former Alamo Rangers of Chicago By the spring of 1962, the RE was wearing the former solid royal-blue with white trimmed uniforms of the Chicago Royal-Airs (which had just purchased their new white-jacket uniforms) and which had previously been worn by the Chicago Austin Grenadiers until their disbanding after 1956. (These were first worn by the RE at a compact corps standstill in Kenosha WI in April, 1962.)

1962 and 1963 were the RE's best seasons; they made respectable showings at the South Milwaukee Spectacle of Music and the VFW Nationals in St. Paul MN and elsewhere. Though not large with 24 bugles, audiences found RE to be powerful and impressive and reminiscent of the early years of the Royal-Airs.

By the summer of 1964, financial problems and worn equipment were holding back the corps, and that was the last season for the Royal Emperors, what had been one of Milwaukee's most promising drum corps.

Director Florian Wicinski died four years later, in December of 1968.



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