1972 Drum Corps International Championships released on DVD

by Steve Vickers, DCW Publisher

For drum corps fans who were there and those who weren’t, Drum Corps World has produced a new set of DVDs containing eight of the August 18, 1972 performances, a show by the Troopers from 1971 and a short documentary on the restoration of this historic video.

DCW Publisher Steve Vickers became aware that Troopers Director Jim Jones had an extensive collection of videos he had filmed when he stayed at Jones’ house in 1973. The weekend occurred after he was hired by Jones and Don Whiteley, owners of Drum Corps World, as the editor. He has been inquiring about the tapes for a number of years and finally tracked them down in an unlikely place.

They were in Haverhill, MA, at the home of DCW photographer Pat Chagnon, who is webmaster the Troopers where she marched. After receiving permission from current Corps Director Fred Morris and Executive Director Mike Ottoes, Vickers arranged for the collection to be shipped to video and film restorer Scott Gordon in California. Gordon has been recommended for this task by Frank Dorritie and had previously been doing audio work for DCI’s Webcasts and APDs. He also restores historic video, film and audio.

The reel-to-reel videotapes were not in great shape after being stored for more than three decades. Gordon was able to locate a like-new EIAJ tape deck and began the process of transferring the material to digital files. He has included a nine-minute documentary on how the task of preserving the priceless shows captured so long ago was accomplished.

The first DVD includes eight of the 12 finalists from the first DCI Championship, held at Wisconsin State University in Whitewater, WI, on that incredible night in 1972. The two-disc set includes: Anaheim Kingsmen (DCI Champion), First Federal Blue Stars (2nd), Santa Clara Vanguard (3rd), 27th Lancers (4th), Argonne Rebels (5th), Kilties (8th), St. Andrew’s Bridgemen (11th) and the Bleu Raeders (12th).

Through a special arrangement with the Troopers to make this material available to drum corps fans, Vickers agreed to include a performance of the Casper corps on each of the releases and, since four of the performances are missing (Troopers, Cavaliers, Des Plaines Vanguard and Muchachos), a performance of the Troopers has been included from the 1971 World Open, also restored from the same video collection.

Proceeds from this series will benefit the Troopers and DCI. All of the copyright clearance and video synchronization rights have been secured with the help of CopyCat Music Licensing LLC, the same service that works with DCI to acquire permission for corps appearing in their events each summer.

The quality of these black and white shows is excellent, as is the audio soundtrack. Gordon spent several hundred hours restoring the look and sound of the performances through the judicious use of a variety of vintage and modern hardware, as well as specialized computer software, as described in the documentary.

To place an order for the 1972 DCI Championships DVD set, visit the Drum Corps World Web site at www.drumcorpsworld.com (click on “Historic DVDs” among the store icons in the middle of the front page), download a PDF of the accompanying order blank or call Steve Vickers anytime between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM Central time, seven days a week, at 1-800-554-9630.

To purchasse a copy, click on “Historic DVDs” on the front page in the center. On the store page is more information about the DVD and show the new collection was made available.

The Drum Corps World Web site also includes historic CDs from 1950 to 1980, a previously-released DVD containing 18 junior and senior corps from the 1967 American Legion and CYO Nationals, both held in Boston, MA, as well as the 2002 432-page, hardcover book titled “A History of Drum & Bugle Corps,” volume 2, containing 1,400 photographs and profiles on 86 prominent and interesting junior and senior corps.