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|History for Troopers||Casper, Wyoming|
|Active Junior Corps (World Class) founded in 1957||Did you march Troopers?|
|Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troopers_Drum_and_Bugle_Corps|
The Troopers, formed in 1957, is a junior marching and maneuvering corps based in Casper, Wyoming. The corps' first sponsor was the Casper American Legion, and its first cavalry uniforms, made from hand-me-down items and Boy Scout uniforms, cost $13 each. The corps has been sponsored as a community project by a number of other service organizations over the years, as well as by national enterprises.|
DCI Hall-of-Famer Jim Jones formed the Troopers in a veritable drum corps vacuum on the Great Plains; it took papers of incorporation and a $4000 loan to get the group onto the street. Early on Jones also established the policy that "if a kid wanted to be in it, he could," a policy that continues to the present. This open-door policy also encouraged girls to perform right alongside boys from the start, although the guard remained female for many years.
Wearing the uniform of the 11th Ohio Cavalry (which was based in Casper near the end of the 19th century), the Troopers were one of the best marching corps during the 1960s and early 1970s. M&M and GE were the 11th's forte as they pleased crowds everywhere they performed. Their shows featured a Western motif with bits of modern pop thrown in for good measure.
The Troopers, sometimes known as F Troop, were especially noted for a strong guard performing precision equipment tosses. The corps' signature maneuver has always been their sunburst, one of the most recognizable drills in the drum corps activity, and one of the first successful uses of arcs and curves in field drill.
The corps' first national competition came at the 1961 American Legion National Championships in Dallas, where the corps finished fourth. In 1965 the corps won their first major title, the World Open. The next year, they were VFW National Champions. The Troopers went on to win the World Open in 1969 and 1970, CYO in 1968, 69 and 70, and then VFW again in 1970. They also performed on national TV in 1970 during halftime of a Minnesota Vikings game.
The Troopers were a founding member of the Midwest Combine and a charter member of DCI in 1972, where they took fifth place in the Championships.
Because of their hometown's location, remote from most competition, the Troopers pioneered long-distance bus travel, an activity now central to the summer drum corps experience. Jim Jones literally wrote the book on drum corps travel, establishing principles and practices that thousands of corpsmen accept as standard today.
In 1985, the year of Jim Jones' induction in the DCI Hall of Fame, the Troopers shifted musically to a more sophisticated repertoire, especially that of Aaron Copland, and the color guard got new uniforms. The change helped propel the corps back into DCI finals, at ninth place, their highest finish since then. 1985 also saw the Troopers marching in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade.
Jim Jones stepped down as director in 1988, after 30 years at the helm of the Troopers. Trooper alumni who are also DCI Hall-of-Famers include Fred Sanford and Pete Emmons.
In the middle of the 1980s, the Wyoming legislature declared the Troopers the "Official Musical Ambassadors" of the state. And the corps spent a large part of 1990 traveling throughout the state to help it celebrate its hundredth anniversary.
The corps' musical theme has been unabashedly patriotic and celebratory of the Western tradition throughout the last decade. In recent years, the corps has continued to compete nationally, placing in the top twenty of DCI prelims. In 2003, the 93-member corps placed 22nd.
During their 2004 tour, the Troopers took time out to perform exhibitions at a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game. Their show, 'Here Come the Troopers,' placed the group in the 23rd spot in DCI Division I Quarterfinals.
Continuing their founder's philosophy, the Troopers of the 21st century, called "America's Corps" by many, carry on the long traditions of honor, loyalty, and dedication.
[Encyclopedia of Drum and Bugle Corps, 1966; http://www.troopersdrumcorps.org/history]
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