Drum and Bugle Corps searching for new playersOne of the oldest musical groups in Jamestown is facing dire straits unless an influx of new members can make things easier. The Jamestown Drum and Bugle Corps has provided patriotic music for the veterans, parades and the general public since 1960.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
One of the oldest musical groups in Jamestown is facing dire straits unless an influx of new members can make things easier.
The Jamestown Drum and Bugle Corps has provided patriotic music for the veterans, parades and the general public since 1960.
The problem now is most of the 12 people in the group have participated for more than a decade, and new blood is needed.
“We need bodies and we need performers. If not we might not be around another year,” said Warren Orr, group president and manager since 1989.
Having a lack of members makes it tough to assemble for performances because the group’s size means everyone has to be present to make any performance possible.
“The problem we’re having is we need more people,” Orr said. “And anyone out there that’s musically inclined (is welcome to join) …”
The group consists of horn and drum players. There is no cost to join and the corps even provides the instruments.
But more players and a director are needed if the group wants to continue.
“It’s not as much fun because we don’t have the numbers we’d like,” said Bruce Meikle, a member since 1970.
In years past the group performed anywhere from 20 to 30 times a year, now that number is down to 10 or 12. But the veterans they play for provide a source of pride for the group.
Theresa Haag recalls seeing veterans teary eyed from performances because the music meant so much to them. One man at the North Dakota Veterans Home in Lisbon, N.D., was so elated he got up and started waltzing with a nurse, she said.
“I think playing for the veterans — you get a good feeling from it,” Haag said.
The Drum and Bugle Corps used to be made up only of veterans. Now it’s comprised of musically inclined individuals who want to give back to the community and have a good time while doing it.
“You don’t have to be a veteran, you just have to know how to play music and enjoy it,” Orr said. “And we love playing for veterans, that’s our biggest honor.”
The 12 members are men and women, young and old. There’s even a high school student who plays with the group.
Orr learned how to drum on the fly and was marching in the Fourth of July parade in Sanborn, N.D., three days after he joined.
He’s been back ever since because of the camaraderie and the service it provides for the community.
“You can only play softball for so many years,” he joked.
For more information call 269-5811 or stop by for rehearsals at 8 p.m. Wednesdays at the All Vets Club.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com