|History for Royal Coachmen
||North Tonawanda, NY
Began in the early 1960's by the Rescue Fire Co. #5, the original name is unknown at this writing but the name was changed to the Royal Coachmen around 1967. The corps performed at many parades and standstills until 1970 when they competed in their first field show and making finals in the old Penn-York Circuit, surprising many other corps. 1971-1976 saw the corps slowly ascend throught the drum corps ranks in New York State. The corps competed at the U.S. Open as well as competitions throughout Ontario, NY, PA, OH, and IL. Such notable instructors were Steve Cooley, Corky Fabrizio, Bill Decker, Ted Key, Bob Stone, and Ron Bowks.|
The best season was certainly the 1976 summer season. The corps purchased the Seneca Princemen's uniforms and the change in the corps was dramatic. The corps defeated its neighbor, the Imperial Regiment at Hammondsport, NY and went to the NT Open and defeated the Simplex Minutemen and Kinsmen Krescendos to take the "A" Class Trophy. The next night the corps took 10th in the Open class division, which was one by Marquis. The next morning the corps met with the corps director who announced his resignation prior to boarding buses for their first trip to DCI in Philadelphia, PA. The hotel reservations were messed up and the interim director did not arrive till very late. The next morning the corps competed in "A" Class prelims but the fire was doused the morning before.
The director returned 2 weeks later, set up a winning program during the winter but May came and he resigned for good forcing the corps to merge with a small corps called the Frontiersmen. The corps became known as the Frontiersmen and the season the corps should have had never was. This was the beginning of the demise of drum corps in Western NY as the Imperial Regiment folded the next year and the Frontiersmen barely held out until 1984 and then folded as well.
[submitted by Keith J. Hall]
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