OLC Ramblers

Brooklyn, NY United States

Inactive Junior

CORPS Photos

The OLC Ramblers were organized in 1958 as a junior fife, drum and bugle corps sponsored by Our Lady of Czenstochowa (OLC) Church in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn, New York.

After establishing themselves as a parade and standstill unit, the corps decided to advance into the world of marching and maneuvering. The fife section became the color guard, and Hy Dreitizer and Bill Mackay were hired as instructors. Dreitizer soon realized that the horn line needed more preliminary training and brought in Tom Martin
of Air Force and Skyliner fame to work with the corps.

The Ramblers made their first field appearance at the 1964 World Open in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and received a respectable score. They went on to win the Kings County American Legion contest that September.

1965 saw the Ramblers take to the field in the first full season of competition, joining the Long Island (LI) circuit and traveling out to Chicago for their first VFW Nationals. Always a crowd pleaser, they upheld their Kings County title that fall and placed third in the LI circuit.

The following year, a change in uniforms from white blouses to maroon cadet jackets gave the corps a more mature, military look, and they adopted the nickname “Maroon Platoon.” Absorbing an influx of new members from the defunct McFadden Shamrocks drum corps, the Ramblers once again took to the road and competed in the VFW Nationals in Jersey City, placing 24th overall. They also traveled to the New York State American Legion contest in Albany, came in 25th at the American Legion Nationals in Washington, D.C., and placed a close second in the LI Circuit Championship.

Nineteen sixty-seven was a pivotal year as the Ramblers hired Clark Williams to teach drill and went on to take a fifth place at the New York State American Legion in Buffalo. An almost complete change in repertoire to a Dixieland/jazz sound that year gave the corps an opportunity to highlight their best talent. Using the combined arrangements from Truman Crawford, Hy Drietzer and Don Angelica, the corps went on to compete regionally against such notables as Blessed Sacrament, Blue Rock, Audubon Bon Bons, Bridgeport PAL, Bronx Kingsmen, and St. Joseph Patron Cadets. Despite achieving an eight-point improvement from the year before, the Ramblers placed a disappointing 14th at the VFW Nationals in New Orleans, missing out on the longed-for opportunity to make the top twelve. OLC did, however, dominate the LI circuit that summer and easily won the championship. The end of the competition season saw the loss of key members going off to the military services and the retirement of some older members. Debts incurred from the breakdown of the corps’ buses during the New Orleans trip placed a serious monetary burden on the organization that winter.

A relatively early and slow start in 1968, coupled with a performance less successful than expected at the Legion state contest in Syracuse that July, brought a halt to the upward momentum of the corps. Amid a sense of discord over many issues, the Ramblers opted to pass on going to the VFW Nationals in Detroit, and the members then voted to disband the corps. That fall, a number of drummers and horn players joined the OLPH Ridgemen drum corps in Brooklyn and a few traveled across to New Jersey to join the Garfield Cadets. The remaining color guard members formed an indoor winter guard as the OLPH Ramblers.

Over the years, former Rambler members went on to march in the ranks of such prominent senior corps as the Sunrisers, Caballeros, Skyliners, and the Matadors.

The OLC Ramblers were one of the few, and at times the only, New York City drum corps to compete nationally in an era when many of the Eastern corps rarely ventured far from home.

[Frank Voltaggio]

Members (8)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Debski, Juliana color guard 1963 to 1965
Gough, Tom solo soprano 1961 to 1968
Karol, Skippy Feeder soprano 1967 to 1968
Matovick, Robert & Carol baritone 1960 to 1968
myszkowski, christine m color guard 1964 to 1968
Rice, David Feeder Drum Line 1965 to 1967
Tully, Patrick bugle 1962 to 1968
Voltaggio, Frank Horn 1965 to 1968

CORPS 2 items

OLC Ramblers

OLCRamblers,Brooklyn,NY,Patch1-CYO(RE-3.0)J_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection
OLC Ramblers

OLCRamblers,Brooklyn,NY,Pin1-Red&White(RE-3.5)J_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection


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