Steel City Ambassadors
Members have marched with many, many corps, especially those with roots in the Pittsburgh area. Some of these local corps were: Pittsburgh Rockets, Finleyville Royal Crusaders, General Butler Vagabonds, Westmoreland Esquires, Sharpsburg Cadets, Derry Patriots, Cambria Cadets, Silver Sabres, Trafford Black Knights, Vern Acklin Cavaliers, Duquesne Dukes, and Verona Cavaliers.
There are also members that have marched in other, non-local corps.
The corps is currently accepting members; it is not necessary to be an alumni of any corps to join.
A Brief History of the Corps
Before the spring of 1998, the Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps scene in Pittsburgh was represented by two groups, the Steel City Ambassadors and the Westmoreland Esquires. Both groups were having trouble recruiting and retaining members. Frank Cicco, Denny Graham, Bernie Halgas, Don Kretzer, and Dominic Mignogna sat down at the Italian Club in Pitcairn, PA and hatched a plan. They would combine the forces of the Steel City Ambassadors and the Westmoreland Esquires to form the West Penn Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps, to represent the alumni corps activity to the Pittsburgh, PA area.
The corps first performances were at July 4 parades in Ligonier, PA and Jeannette, PA on July 4, the Steel City Alumni marched in many more parades that summer, forming a nucleus of membership.
Following a successful inaugural summer, the Steel City Alumni built on their success and expanded their performances to local Drum Corps Midwest and Drum Corps International contests. The SCA performed exhibitions at the Butler, PA show in June, 1999 as well as the Bethel Park, PA show in August. Another significant activity in the summer of 1999 was performing the Firemen's state convention parade in Greensburg, PA. The corps marched with the "Washies" of the Washington Fire Department in Conshohocken, PA, and was able to help them to win the best of their class for marching with music.
The spring and summer of 1999 also saw the forging of a very very successful partnership with the Springdale Veteran's Association in Springdale, PA, who continue to very graciously provide the corps with a regular rehearsal facility.
After heavily recruiting members in both the horn line and the drum line in the "off-season", the Steel City Alumni stormed into the 2000 with their first performance at the Boardman, Ohio St. Patrick's Day parade. Their performance their earned them first place in the "Marching Band" category and the means to pay for the transporation to their first Alumni Drum Corps performance at the Archer-Epler Musketeers Brass Reunion in Upper Darby, PA. On the way to the performance, the corps was able to visit their new friends at the Washington Fire Department in Conshohocken, and give them a rousing preview of their show that evening.
After that successful start, the corps also performed exhibitions at two Drum Corps Associates shows, in Warren, PA and Cumberland, MD, both of which were very warmly received.
The season started with a return to Boardman, where they won "Grand Champion" of the parade, improving on the previous year. The spring season took the corps to the Dixie Stinger in Baltimore, MD, the Serenade in Brass at the fabled Forum in Harrisburg, PA and a return to the Brass Reunion in Upper Darby, PA.
Following the successful spring season, the corps marched in parades all over the western Pennsylvania region, with returns to many parades as well as all new crowds for the corps. The busy parade season led up to the two most important performances of the corps to date: the Pro Football Hall of Fame parade and the opening of Heinz Field.
Most of the members of the corps are huge Pittsburgh Steelers fans, so when the opportunity to represent Lynn Swann in the Pro Football Hall of Fame parade came along, the corps jumped at it. The corps marched directly in front of Lynn Swann and played the "Steeler Fight Song" down the parade route.
Following that opportunity, the Steelers called on the corps again. This time, it was for the inaugural game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The Steel City Alumni were one of the first musical groups to perform at the stadium.
2002 and beyond
As of May 7, 2002), the corps has already made it through it's spring season. A name change back to the "Ambassadors" moniker has brought the corps full circle.
Spring shows this year took the corps back to Upper Darby once again for the Brass Reunion, and to a completely new crowd for the corps at the Mighty St. Joe's Classic in Rochester, NY.
- Steel City Ambassadors Drum & Bugle Corps official site