The Reading Buccaneers, formed in 1957, is a senior marching and maneuvering corps based in Reading, Pennsylvania. In their early years they were sponsored by the Greater Reading VFW Post 179, and are currently sponsored in part by the Ray A. Master American Legion Post 217 of Topton, Pennsylvania. The Bucs are also supported by many businesses in the Reading and Berks County area, and from the Buccaneer Alumni Association.
The corps’ colors were light blue, black, and silver.
In their earlier years, beginning in only their third year of existence, the corps won three VFW national titles and retired that crown in 1962. The Bucs then won the first DCA Championship ever held (1965) and have been DCA Champions three other times (1968, 1979 and 1980). They ascended the ladder of success faster than anyone in senior drum corps history, including an amazing leap from seventh in 1978 to first in 1979. The Buccaneers have finished in the top three at DCA Finals 20 times through 2003.
The Bucs are fondly known as "Balance in Blue" because of the wide range of musical selections they have presented over the years. A popular theory is that the name came from the hornline which set a tradition of marching with instrumentation mixed together, thus producing a much richer, fuller, more balanced sound. This nickname, however, predates this innovative practice.
Choosing classical music as their medium, the Buccaneers stand out among the DCA community for their uniquely dark, full, embodying sound, characteristic of symphonic music.
World Drum Corps Hall of Famer Tony Yaklich joined the Buccaneers on soprano in 1970, and was still associated with the corps in his election year, 2002.
The corps continues to be active in DCA into the 21st century, despite a potentially tragic bus accident in 1997. In 2003, the Buccaneers finished fifth in DCA Championship competition, but they rebounded to finish third in 2004 with a show called 'Innovations! The Passions of Shostakovich.'
[Encyclopedia of Drum and Bugle Corps, 1966; rec.arts.marching.drumcorps 7/20/1997; www.buccaneers.berkscounty.com/; DCW 6/28/02, p.9; DCW, 4/04, p.3; A History of Drum and Bugle Corps, 2002]