The corps first entered field competition in 1963 as the St. Joseph Patron Cadets of Brooklyn, NY. Their instructors were drum corps greats Hy Dreitzer, Carman Cluna, Don Friesing, and Don Quinn.
In 1969, the corps moved to another parish in Brooklyn, St. Rita’s. The percussion instruction was turned over to another great, Eric Perriloux. They adopted a new look and name - St. Rita’s Brassmen. They quickly ascended to become an eastern powerhouse, compiling victories over most of the top corps in the country. The Brassmen were known for their precision marching and exemplary musicianship, playing, classical, pop, jazz and traditional music. Unfortunately, as with many other corps, due to attrition and lack of funding, the Brassmen’s final competing season was in 1973.
In 2006, after a 33-year absence, the Brassmen emerged onto the alumni scene. The corps philosophy is to honor its past, acknowledge the present and continue to innovate in the future. Though compact in size, they are not a mini corps; featuring a color guard, drum line and horn line (G-bugles, with some two valves). They are proud to be back in 2010 and honored to share with you their rich drum corps heritage.
The Corps’ staff includes – Director: Howie Jensen, Assistant Director: Hurdis Smith, Business Manager: Jim Wellinghoff, Administrator: Pat Beliveau, Guard Instructor: Adrienne Johnson, Percussion Arranger: Frank Nash, and Brass Arrangements by the immortal Hy Dreitzer and Ruben Ariola.
If you would like to be part of this wonderful organization, please contact Patb_brassmenalumni@yahoo.com. (No one is ever turned away because of their ability; you just have be a team player willing to work and party hard).
Sit back and brace yourselves for The Brassmen.
[submitted by Harold (HB) Barber - August 2010]