Rochester Phoenix

Rochester, NY United States
Founded: 1975

Inactive Senior
1975 5 85.200 Firebird (from Firebird Suite) * Light My Fire * Land of Make Believe * Stars and Swing * Love's Theme  
1976 9 73.050 Pines of Rome * Stars and Swing * Legend of the One-Eyed Sailor * Ritual Fire Dance (from El Amor Brujo) * Firebird Suite * Light My Fire  
Position 200+ indicates Division II, Position 300+ indicates Division III, Position 400+ indicates Mini Corps.

CORPS Photos

Phoenix was a senior marching and maneuvering corps based in Rochester, New York. Started in 1974 as a parade corps (and as a congenial occasion to drink some beer) by Harvey Martin, Dave Kausch, and Bill McGrath Sr, the corps named Jim Lennon as director. Many of the corps’ members hailed from the still-active Crusaders as well as from such defunct area junior corps as St. Joe's, Purple Lancers, Geneva Appleknockers, and Magnificent Yankees. That first summer the corps performed standups and parades attired in T-shirts and jeans.

As the corps developed, the horn line was taught by David Martin, who, along with Donny Allen, contributed charts. The drum line was taught by Bill McGrath Jr., and Corky Fabrizio became the brass arranger. As more people joined, the corps began to consider competition. The corps just got better and better, and the talent level was absurd.

The first season was spent mostly in Red Carpet Association (RCA) shows, of which Phoenix only lost the first one, with 25 horns, to Hanover Lancers. The rest of the season the corps smashed the competition and continued to improve. By DCA they were ready to compete with the big boys, the horn line having grown to 46 horns. They took fourth in Prelims, fifth in Finals after being soaked by a downpour. That finish, however, still stood as a record for a first-year senior corps in 2002.

1976 started out as an even better year. Boasting a horn line of 76 with a monster drum line, the corps performed a book that included “Pines of Rome,“ “Legend of the One-Eyed Sailor,“ and “Ritual Fire Dance.“ But just as fast as Phoenix grew, it began to decline. Members felt that political considerations were preventing them from getting the scores they deserved from DCA. They were losing to corps whom they were soundly beating in such non-DCA shows as New York State American Legion Championships. As members started to leave and management problems surfaced, the corps knew that the writing was on the wall. Phoenix folded at the end of the 1976 season after finishing ninth in DCA competition. Its equipment went toward the formation of a new junior corps, the Firebirds.

[Benny Wilt and Donny, RAMD, 6/5/02]

Members (11)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Clements, Jim Snare 1974
Cody, Ray Horn Line 1974
Cody, Ray Drum Line 1975 to 1977
Cooley, Stephen Brass Instructor 1976 to 1977
Reese, Ed Drum Major 1974 to 1977
Rightmyer, Bob Mellophone 1975 to 1976
Rightmyer, Bob Mellophone 1975 to 1976
Vivenzio, Jim Lead Soprano 1975 to 1976
Wahl, Thomas Percussion 1974 to 1975
Wilt, Ben lead baritone 1974 to 1976
Wnuk, John drumline 1976
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