As part of our year-long 50th Anniversary celebration, we are proud to share with our fans the story of Phantom Regiment, as told by the one person who has lived it all.
“My Corps” Chapter One = Introduction
For openers, this is not a history of the Phantom Regiment. If I were writing a history, I would have to do considerable research into dates, name spellings, time lines and all the other details that would be required for an accurate historical work. My intent here is to tell my story, as I was involved with the Phantom Regiment.
As of this writing, the fall of 2004, exactly 50 years have passed since I started my drum corps career with the St. Thomas Crusaders. I was with Phantom Regiment on the day it was formed, and am still on the Board of Directors. As far as I know, there is no one else who covers that span of time with the corps.
I am going to tell the story as I lived it. It will be my memories of the events that led up to the starting of the corps, it’s initial years, death and rebirth, and rise to be one of the great drum and bugle corps in history. My concentration will be on the early years, with only passing reference to the later years since there are others who were involved then and still have fresh memories and could probably tell the story better.
I will try to fill up the narrative with as much detail as I can remember, including the bad with the good. Possibly, indeed, there will be disagreement with my facts, descriptions and opinions. Yes, there will be plenty of my opinions. If my mind can be changed, or memory jogged, I will be happy to amend the story.
The Phantom Regiment is a wonderful organization. I cannot count how many young people have been members; who have benefited in one way or another as a result of being a part of the corps. Rockford and northern Illinois give all too little credit to the corps for the benefits the Phantom Regiment has brought to the area. Most of the time we thank Rockford for supporting the corps, but the real thanks should be given by the community to the corps for providing one of the few success stories in the area.
As you read on, you may wonder how the corps has survived all these years. In many ways it is an amazing story. There have been so many times when the corps could well have ceased operating, but continued on. Often it was the result of someone being in the right place at the right time, with the right judgment, with the right work ethic, with some financial support. During many of it’s years, the Phantom Regiment has been little more than a “house of cards” waiting to collapse on it’s own weight. That it didn’t makes it the number one “Wonder of the Drum Corps World”!
Click on link below for statistics covering 50 years of Phantom Regiment competitive placements.