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|History for Lone Star||Commerce, TX|
|Inactive Junior Corps founded in 1991||Did you march Lone Star?|
Lone Star, a junior marching and maneuvering drum corps, was organized in 1991 by executive director Jeff Ashlock and corps director Robert Poulin. Poulin was a former member of Les Eclipses from Longueuil, Quebec, and the 1988 DCI Champion Madison Scouts. Ashlock was the owner of a small business in Wichita Falls, Texas. His daughter Amanda was married to Robert Poulin, so Lone Star was a family-run corps in the beginning. |
The corps began in 1991 as a summer parade band for kids in Wichita Falls. Since the DCI World Championships were going to be held in Dallas that year, they decided at the last minute to enter DCI competition as a Class A-60 corps. Using uniforms and instruments borrowed from Wichita Falls High School, Lone Star made its drum corps M&M debut on a rainy Monday morning, performing a program of patriotic tunes. They came in last with a score of 56.0.
Corps management decided that if they were serious about being a drum corps, they had better take 1992 off to recruit, raise funds, and prepare for the future. Talented staff members from Texas and Oklahoma were brought on board. Many instructors, such as brass caption head and arranger Archie Endley, were former members of the Sky Ryders. Marc Servantes was an important and well respected brass instructor and arranger for the corps in its later years.
The year of planning paid off with the 32-member 1993 edition of Lone Star who, performing the music from "Beauty and the Beast,“ placed ninth at DCI Division III Prelims and took second place in brass performance.
Lone Star was probably best known for its drumline, which made its first big impression in 1994 with their performance of “Little Shop of Horrors.” The drumline was continually out-scoring many Open Class corps drumlines. In view of the fine percussion line, product sponsors like Pro-Mark Percussion, Dynasty Drums and Lone Star Percussion were especially appropriate in the early years. Robert Lazenberry was a well-liked drumline tech during this period. The corps made DCI Division III Finals for the first time in 1994, coming in fifth with a score of 84.8.
The first guard caption head, John Corollo, designed a unique but very flexible and functional corps uniform, consisting of black trousers and shoes, black gloves and gauntlets, black Aussie-style hats, and white jackets with no accents. Every year overlays for the white jackets were specially created to enhance the theme of that year’s show.
In the local communities, the corps performed in neighborhood parades and standstill concerts. One particularly exciting performance was in the Fiesta Parade in San Antonio.
1996 was the year that Lone Star competed as a Division II corps, in which they finished in 11th place at Prelims. The corps’ last year of competition in 1998 was also their last year in DCI Division III Finals and their second highest finals score ever, 83.4. The night before at Prelims they had reached an 87.9, the highest score in the corps' history.
Lone Star never seemed to have a permanent home. Their original "official" home was Wichita Falls; however rehearsal sites and hometowns moved across the state from year to year. The corps’ many hometowns included Henrietta, Lorena, San Antonio, Seagoville, Commerce, and finally Deer Park, Texas.
Because of Robert Poulin's background with the Madison Scouts, Lone Star tended to follow some of the Scout philosophy. The goal of corps participation was to give corpsmen a positive, educational, and fun experience, and to entertain audiences. Leadership wanted to challenge the corps members to be the best they could be, as performers and as people, and not to worry so much about scores. Efforts rewarded by a great score were icing on the cake.
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