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Susquehanna Life

Drum Corps Returns to Williamsport August 13th

Jul 11, 2016 09:52AM ● By Erica Shames

By John Shableski

The Williamsport Marching Millionaires DCA Invitational is actually a successor to the drum corps show that used to be hosted every summer at Bucknell University.  The groups come from all over the Mid-Atlantic region and sometimes as far away as Canada.  This is marching band competition for adults who live for music and all that drum corps can entail.

What’s on tap?

One of the many highlights is the rivalry between the Reading Buccaneers and the Hawthorne Caballeros.  Each has won numerous world titles and they face off at least once a month during the summer tour.  The “Bucs” have pretty much owned the title for the past few years much to the chagrin of the “Cabs,” and this year the level of competitiveness between these two will be just as intense.

The show will also include an appearance by the fan-favorite Caballeros Alumni Corps.  These musicians have been performing together for several decades and are still one of the major highlights on the tour. 

Along with the Cabs Alumni will be a special performance by the EPIC Percussion All-Stars.  This performance will feature student musicians from the region led by Marc Garside.  Marc also happens to be the Percussion Tech for the Hawthorne Caballeros and for the Williamsport MarchingMillionaires.  He is also the owner of EPIC Percussion (studio) in Williamsport.

There are quite a few benefits to the region when a drum corps show comes to town, including the opportunity for students in the local school districts to take part in clinics.  Visiting corps are placed with high schools in local districts for rehearsals and the corps provide workshops for the kids, which is a fantastic exchange.


Up close and in person

If you wish to see any of the groups rehearsing ahead of the show on Saturday August 13th, here’s a few of the locations where those corps will be placed:

Hawthorne Caballeros: WAHS Stadium

Reading Buccaneers: Loyalsock High School

Skyliners: Central Mountain (Lock Haven)

Bushwackers: Hughesville High School

Hurricanes: Montgomery JR/SR High School

Sunrisers: Jersey Shore Area High School

Rehearsal times generally begin at 8 am and wrap up around 3 pm before they head up “the hill” to Williamsport Area High School.  It’s a great way to see just how hard these athlete musicians work to put on the show.

Another great aspect of this particular show is that we get to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Williamsport Black Eagles drum corps championship.  Drum Corps Hall of Famer John Bosworth, along with Phil Preziosi (yes, the former mayor of Williamsport!), were both members of that championship season.  They, along with several other members, will be celebrated during the opening ceremonies.


The details

Reserved seating tickets and general admission tickets can be purchased online at  We are also providing festival seating for families with small kids.  Bring a blanket or your own beach chairs and enjoy the show for only $5.00 per person!

See you on Saturday August 13th!   Gates open at 4 pm and the show starts at 6.


One final note

As I read and re read the title of this article it dawns on me that we have been working on this event for almost two years now.  While there are a lot of elements that come into play when you plan a major event (Where will each of the groups practice?  How much space to they need?  How do you manage parking?  How many port-o-potties do you need and where should they be placed?) the real focus is on the talent showcased at the event. I hope you’ll join us! 


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