Spirit of Atlanta


Other Names:Spirit; Spirit of Georgia; JSU Spirit

Atlanta, GA United States
Founded: 1976

Active Junior
World Class
YearTheme/Songs
1977 Carnival Overture * Music * Woman in the Moon * Love the Feeling  
1978 Walk Him Up the Stairs (from Purlie) * (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher * Let It Be Me * Geodesic Dances  
1979 Georgia on My Mind * Nutville * Sweet Georgia Brown * Let It Be Me * Geodesic Dances  
1980 Georgia on My Mind * Old Man River (from Show Boat) * Devil Went Down to Georgia * Sweet Georgia Brown * Let It Be Me  
1981 Georgia on My Mind * Old Man River (from Show Boat) * Devil Went Down to Georgia * You Are the Sunshine of My Life * Let It Be Me  
1982 You are My Sunshine * Oh Happy Day (from Li'l Abner) * You Are the Sunshine of My Life * Blue Rondo A La Turk * We Are the Reason  
1983 Los Hermanos De Bop * Blues in the Night * No One Together * We Are the Reason  
1984 Porgy and Bess Overture - There's a Boat That's Leavin' Soon for New York (from Porgy and Bess) * It Ain't Necessarily So (from Porgy and Bess) * Blues in the Night * No One Together * I Loves You, Porgy (from Porgy and Bess) * Bess, You Is My Woman Now (from Porgy and Bess)  
1985 Concerto in F  
1986 Dixie * That Cat is High * Sweet Georgia Brown * High on a Hill * Precious Lord, Take My Hand * God Must Be Tryin' To Tell You Something (from The Color Purple)  
1987 Are You From Dixie ('Cause I'm From Dixie Too) * Southern Medley * Basin Street Blues * Ragtime * Amazing Grace  
1988 Petrouchka - Petrouchka  
1989 Interstellar Suite  
1990 Selections from Gone with the Wind * Motherless Child Blues * African Drum Solo (from The Color Purple) * Precious Lord, Take My Hand * God Must Be Tryin' To Tell You Something (from The Color Purple)  
1991 Call to Arms (from Glory) * Variations on Dixie * Antietam (from Glory) * Glory (from Glory) * American Salute * Closing Credits (from Glory)  
1992 Songs of the New South - Old Man River (from Show Boat) * Can't Help Lovin' That Man (from Show Boat) * Miss Otis Regrets * For the Beauty of the Earth  
1993 A Soulful Celebration - Why do the Nations so Furiously Rage? * David and Goliath * Do Not Pass Me By * So Much 2 Say * Let the Words * Better Watch Your Behavior  
1995 All on a Southern Afternoon - Ghost Train (from Fried Green Tomatoes) * XMas in Hooverville (from Fried Green Tomatoes) * Didn't it Rain? * Georgia on My Mind  
1996 Bye George ... It's Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue  
1997 Southern Jazz - Spirit Style - Georgia on My Mind * Old Man River (from Show Boat) * Amazing Grace * Walk Him Up the Stairs (from Purlie) * Let It Be Me  
1998 My Friend (from The Life) * Swanee River * Precious Lord, Take My Hand * Sweet Georgia Brown * God Must Be Tryin' To Tell You Something (from The Color Purple)  
1999 Jump, Jive, Jazz and Wail - Since I Don't Have You * Nutville * Hollywood Nocturne * Jump Jive an' Wail  
2000 Southern Harmonies... Music for the New South - Jubilee * Movement 5 from Spiritual * Wonderous Love (from Southern Harmony) * The Glory and The Grandeur  
2001 Ghost Train - The Ride (from Ghost Train Triptych) * At the Station (from Ghost Train Triptych) * The Motive Revolution (from Ghost Train Triptych)  
2002 Darkness Into Light - Symphonia Resurrectus (from The Easter Symphony)  
2003 TIME - Time After Time * Time in a Bottle * Auld Lang Syne * Somewhere in Time * Whirr, Whirr, Whirr * October * Let It Be Me * Nutville * No Jive * Appalachian Morning  
2004 The Architecture of Life - Mindscape * Dreamscape: Sonoran Desert Holiday * Soundscape * Urbanscape: On the Town * Urbanscape: Bizarro  
2005 The Spirit of Broadway - Give My Regards to Broadway * New York, New York (from On the Town) * On Broadway * They're Playing Our Song * Entr'acte (from Sweeney Todd) * Not While I'm Around (from Sweeney Todd) * Pie Jesu (from Requiem) * Luck Be A Lady (from Guys and Dolls) * No One Mourns the Wicked (from Wicked) * Defying Gravity (from Wicked)  
2006 Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue - Old Man River (from Show Boat) * That Old Black Magic * The Notebook * Waltz of the Mushroom Hunters * Blues in the Night * Blue Shades  
2007 Genesis - Fluttering Maple Leaves * Hide and Seek * New Century Dawn  
2008 Per-if-4-ry - Equus * Corynorhinus (from Batman Begins) * Myotis (from Batman Begins) * Piano Concerto  
2009 Live…In Concert! - Song for America * Carry On Wayward Son * Dust In The Wind * Journey from Mariabronn  
2010 Forging an Icon - Piano Concerto No. 1 * Symphony No. 5 in Bb Major * Prelude (from Psycho) * Brooklyn Bridge * Serenada Schizophrana  
2011 ATL Confidential: A Tribute to Film Noir - Death at the Olympic (from The Black Dahlia) * Love Theme (from Chinatown) * Harlem Nocturne * Prelude (from On Dangerous Ground)  
2012 Sin City - Music from the film Bullitt * Luck Be A Lady (from Guys and Dolls) * Harvest:Concerto for Trombone * Poker Face * Music from the film Mr and Mrs Smith  
2013 Speakeasy - Concerto in F * Crazy World * Overture from Chicago * Solace * Songs for Simon * Sweet Georgia Brown * Symphony #2  
2014 Magnolia - Down to the River to Pray * Leaving For the Promised Land (from Porgy and Bess) * Jubal Step * Willow Weep for Me * I Need Thee Every Hour  
2015 Out of the Ashes - Tara's Theme (from Gone with the Wind) * Southern Harmony * Full Pull and Cage Match * Wild Nights (from Harmonium) * Original Music  
2016 Georgia - Rusty Air in Carolina * Brooklyn Babylon * Georgia on My Mind * Can't Help Falling in Love * Georgia * Sweet Georgia Brown  
Spirit Drum & Bugle Corps was founded in 1977 when Freddy Martin decided Atlanta, the capital of the New South, needed a drum and bugle corps. Since then, this corps at the heart of the New South has gone through many changes, but its identity and purposes have remained constant.

The corps' name was the result of a contest to name the corps, won by one of the new group's percussionists.

In the corps' first year, they stampeded onto the national scene with a record high placement at the time, 23rd, for a first-year corps. That first repertoire included "Carnival Overture," "Music," "Woman in the Moon," and "Love the Feeling."

The corps jumped all the way to sixth place in DCI Finals in its second year of existence, and followed that up with a fourth-place finish in 1979. Known throughout its history for music framing its Southern roots, Spirit debuted its trademark “Georgia on my Mind” in 1979.

The fourth place finish in 1980, which missed winning DCI by only one point, is viewed by many as the corps’ best show ever, consisting of "Georgia on My Mind," "Ol' Man River," "Devil Went Down to Georgia," "Sweet Georgia Brown," and "Let It Be Me." The season was marred, however, by the untimely traffic death of legendary horn arranger Jim Ott.

Atlanta hosted DCI Finals in 1984, where the hometown favorites took sixth place with their program from "Porgy and Bess." An experiment in challenging new music, including "Petrouchka" and the darker "Interstellar Suite," took place in 1988 and 1989, and was followed by an imaginative repertoire featuring themes from movies about the South in 1990.

The 1987 edition of Spirit set an interesting record as the lowest ranked corps ever to defeat a DCI champion during the championship year. The southern corps overcame the Garfields Cadets in head-to-head competition during the season - three times - before finishing tenth in DCI Finals to Garfield's first-place finish.

Moving to Peachtree City, Georgia, the corps rechristened itself the Spirit of Georgia in 1993. The natal name of Spirit of Atlanta was resumed, however, in 1995.

The 2001 repertoire of Whitacre’s modern concert work "Ghost Train Triptych" emblemized the corps’ move to Jacksonville, Alabama, connected to Atlanta for 100 years by 75 miles of Central of Georgia Railroad track. Jacksonville State University sponsors the newly named Spirit from JSU, where Spirit is a for-credit course. JSU director of bands Ken Bodiford has directed the corps since 2000.

Under the new sponsorship, Spirit moved back into DCI finals in 2002, finishing tenth, and becoming the first finalist corps to be sponsored by a university. The 129-member corps was 12th in 2003 with a program entitled 'Time.'

In 2004, Spirit captured 13th place in DCI Semifinals with their show 'The Architecture of Life.'

[www.spiritofatlanta.org, DCW, 3/90, p.5; DCW, 8/31/02, p.4; DCW, 3/03, p.6; DCW, 6/6/03, p.3; DCW, 6/11/04, p.3]

Members (107)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Abney, Jeff tenors 1980 to 1981
Akey, Josh Snare 1999
Anderson, Jim baritone 1978
Andujar, Colleen Colorguard 2007
Armstrong, Alan Soprano 1982 to 1985
Armstrong, Alan Member/Staff 1986
Armstrong, Alan Staff 1987 to 1997; 2000 to 2001
Armstrong, Craig Visual Tech 1999
Bailey, Derek Baritone 2002
Bailey, Derek Euphonium 2003
Bailey, Susan Cymbals 1977 to 1980
Bertram, Mark Visual Staff 1992
Bierce, Hal Percussion/Tenors 1977 to 1981
Blair, Patrick Contra Line 1993
Bornstein, Jack Roadie 1982
Bornstein, Jack Bass Drum 1983; 1985
Bornstein, Niel flugel horn 1982; 1984
Bough, Roland Front Ensemble 1999
Bough, Roland Contra Bass 2000
Coggin, Greg Soprano 2009 to 2010
Cook, Drogheda PIT 2002 to 2005
Coppola, Matt Mellophone 2008
Davidson, Brandon Mellophone 1995
Dawson, James Soprano Bugle 1983
Dawson, Willard Flugelhorn 1983
DeJournett, Bill French Horn 1986; 1988
Duncan, Kelly Contrabass 1992
Eden, Martha Contra 1999 to 2001
Ellender, Cindy Color Guard 1982 to 1985
Elrod, Brian French Horn 1984
Frederick, Benjamin Soprano 2004
Geraci, Billy Soprano 2002 to 2003
Golus, Gary Snare 1992
Greer, Brian Euphonium 1993
Guest, Michelle Mellophone 2006 to 2007
Hearn, Patrick Mellophone 1997 to 1998
Henshaw, Jen Guard/Flag 2001
Hill, Paul Bass Line 1997
Hopkins, Gary mellophone/drum major 1977 to 1979
Hopkins, Gary Color Guard Caption Head 1980
Hopkins, Gary Brass Staff 1991 to 1992
Howard, Julian Tuba 2001
Hughes, Jim Bass Drum 1998
Jenner, Bryan Management Team 1995 to 1997
Jenner, Bryan Management Team 1995 to 1997
Jones, Scott Soprano 1989 to 1990
Judice, Jesse Euphonium 2002
Kearney, Jimmy Contra 1979
Knapp, Vicki Color Guard 1997
Kunkel, Matthew Baritone 1995 to 1996
Lamb, Jason Soprano 2003
Lary, Ben pit 2000 to 2001
Lasley, Caryn Color Guard 2005
Leonard, Christian Baritone 1987
Litzsinger, Matt Euphonium 2015 to 2016
Long, Christopher Soprano 1993
Marshman, Scott Color Guard 1986 to 1987
McBrayer, John Contra Bass 1989 to 1992
McIntosh, Jason colorguard staff 1993
McLendon, Richard Pit Arranger 1985
Mercer, Amanda Guard 2000; 2002
Milano, Paul Corps Manager 1978 to 1980
Milano, Paul Vice Chairman of the Board 2001 to 2003
Morton, Drew Baritone 2005
Muncher, Mike Front Ensemble 1999
Muncher, Mike Percussion 1999
Nayman, Josh tenors 1999
Nelson, Jeff snare 1979 to 1981
Newman, James DIRECTOR 1994 to 1999
Nichols, David Soprano 2001 to 2002
Palmer, Steven contrabass 2002 to 2003
Poulan, Key Brass Arranger 1992 to 1993
Propes, Mark Drumline 1979
Quiram, Lea Trumpet 2004
Reed, Jim Snare 1996
Reichardt, Debbie Colorguard / Rifle 1978 to 1979
Ritchie, Andy Snare 1982
Roberts, Micky Soprano 1980
Robichaux, Josh Percussion/ Front Ensemble 2001 to 2002
Robichaux, Josh Pit tech 2003 to 2007
Ruiz, Maricelie Drumline 1997
Schmidt, Michael contra, soprano 1981 to 1982
Shreffler, Bob Snare 1980
Skinner, Jason Contra 1998 to 1999; 2001
Smelser, David Percussion 1989 to 1992
Smith, Jared Contra 2001 to 2003
Smith, Michael Mellophones 1998
Snell-Wisner, Deanna Front ensemble 1997
Stepson, Steven Baritone (soloist) 1993 to 1994
Stevens, Jesse Front Ensemble 2010 to 2012
Story, Scott Mellophone 1993
Taylor, Mario Cymbals 2003
Taylor, Sean bass/tenors 1994 to 1995
Tilley, Timothy Soprano 1988
Vasquez, Ramon Brass Staff 2006
Vasquez, Ramon Brass Caption Head 2008
Weidenthal, Weedy Soprano 2007
Weyer, Christopher Baritone/Drum Major 2000 to 2001
Weyer, Christopher Baritone/Drum Major 2000 to 2001
White, Matthew Trumpet 2008; 2010
Wolfford, Bryan Soprano 2002
gulliford, kassi euphonium 2001 to 2007
krempasky, matt caption head/music arranger 1997 to 2000
lopez, ryan colorguard 2010 to 2012
mckenzie, teresa color guard 1983
murphy, molly mellophone 2004
outz, jeff lead sop. 1978

CORPS 16 items

Spirit of Atlanta

Spirit of Atlanta Bumper Sticker from the Bill Ives Collection
Spirit of Atlanta

Spirit of Atlanta Hat from the Bill Ives Collection
Spirit of Atlanta

SpiritOfAtlanta Atlanta GA-10 from the Bill Ives Collection
Spirit of Atlanta

SpiritOfAtlanta Atlanta GA-11 from the Bill Ives Collection
Spirit of Atlanta

SpiritOfAtlanta Atlanta GA-3 from the Bill Ives Collection
Spirit of Atlanta

SpiritOfAtlanta Atlanta GA-4 from the Bill Ives Collection
Spirit of Atlanta

SpiritOfAtlanta Atlanta GA-5 from the Bill Ives Collection
Spirit of Atlanta

SpiritOfAtlanta Atlanta GA-7 from the Bill Ives Collection
Spirit of Atlanta

Spirit of Atlanta Bobblehead from the Chris Maher Collection
Spirit of Atlanta

Spirit of Atlanta Key Chain from the Chris Maher Collection
Spirit of Atlanta
PDF Document
362-363, Spirit of Atlanta from the Steve Vickers Collection
Spirit of Atlanta

Spirit of Atlanta 1 from the Wayne Hiller Collection
Spirit of Atlanta

Spirit of Atlanta 2 from the Wayne Hiller Collection
Spirit of Atlanta

Spirit of Atlanta 3 from the Wayne Hiller Collection
Spirit of Atlanta

Spirit of Atlanta 4 from the Wayne Hiller Collection
Spirit of Atlanta

Spirit of Atlanta 5 from the Wayne Hiller Collection

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