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History for Selden Cadets Selden, NY
Inactive Junior Corps founded in 1956 Did you march Selden Cadets?
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Other names: Selden Golden Lancers
The Selden Cadets were organized in 1954 as a junior parade drum and bugle corps, although their ancestor group, the Selden Fire Department Band, had begun life in 1949. Formed as a youth organization for children in Selden, Long Island, New York, under the sponsorship of a parent organization and the Selden Fire Department, the corps extended its membership base to towns throughout Suffolk County. The corps performed initially in local firemen's parades in Suffolk County, and in the annual Puerto Rican and Steuben Parades in New York City.

Selden entered the field as a marching and maneuvering corps in 1956. As their skills in the world of competitive drum corps developed in the fifties and sixties, the corps traveled throughout the East Coast and competed in the Penn-Jersey Circuit. They developed a reputation for two things: being "iron men" (never fainting after a performance), and always traveling in Elmer Fogity’s infamous yellow school buses.

The Cadets built a reputation for playing people-oriented music, with an emphasis on Spanish-accented jazz. Performing an off-the-line of “The Cisco Kid” to “La Palmo” to "Artistry in Rhythm” and “Poinciana," the corps won its share of competitions and was always a crowd favorite. The corps won the Penn-Jersey Championship in 1961 and finished ninth in the 1964 World Open in competition with the best drum corps in the country.

The corps was directed by George Caliguri, Joe Calisto, Robert Allen, and Tony Aloe, Sr. Joe Calisto, Bob Bunce, or Hy Drietzer wrote and taught musical arrangements. Joe Calisto, famous for his "come as soon as you hear me whistle," was also corps director and was a great mentor to all the members. Joe introduced, wrote, and taught many of the corps’ favorite tunes including “Mack the Knife," “West Point March,” and “You Belong to My Heart." His opening fanfare to “The Cisco Kid” with a solo by Frankie Buscemi was a fan favorite.

When Joe retired in 1961, Bob Bunce took over the hornline and continued the tradition of playing music that people could relate to. His arrangements were an important reason for advance into the top ten corps in the country and for the corps' popularity with the crowds. “Poinciana," “A Foggy Day in London Town," “Nightingale,” and “Mardi Gras” were but a few of his charts.

The marching and maneuvering portion of Selden’s shows was created by people like Bill Rudden, Ralph Shur, and Carman Cluna. Percussion was managed by Eric Perrilloux, the man responsible for most of the percussionists marching in senior corps in the New York area during the 1970s and '80s.

The Cadets' best results in national competiton were second place in the 1959 National Dream Contest, and ninth in the 1964 World Open. They also won a number of circuit championships.

Selden sent members on to many of the New York area senior corps, including the New York Skyliners and Long Island Sunrisers. The Cadets disbanded after the 1965 season.

The Selden Cadets alumni plan a reunion for the spring of 2004.

[Bud Perry; DCW, 10/03, p.3; DCW, 4/04, p/10]

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