A Brief History of Mighty St. Joe's Alumni Corps
St. Joseph's Drum Corps was founded in 1931 by the Rev. T. Bernard Kelly, pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Batavia. Organized as a youth activity for youngsters in the Batavia area, the corps started as a choir, then a fife & drum corps and finally a parade corps. In 1951, corps graduates formed St Joseph's Drum Corps Association Inc., to perpetuate Father Kelly's work. The association sponsored and supervised two corps; a feeder corps, ages 6 to 12; and the older unit, "Mighty" St Joe's, ages 12 to 21. St. Joseph's Drum Corps operated as a parade corps till the late 1950s, when it became a field competition corps. During the l960s, Mighty St. Joe's rose to National and International prominence, consistently ranking among the top ten junior corps in the country. Most notable of the corps many achievements were:
- 8 Times New York State American Legion Champions
- 1963-65-66-67 New York-Canadian Champions
- 1971 Canadian Open Champions
- l968 National Champion Drum Line
In top level competition, St. Joseph's placed as high as 4th in National and 2nd in World Open competition. Unfortunately 1971 was the final year of competition for the pride of Batavia, Mighty St. Joe's Junior Drum & Bugle Corps.
After 20 years of inactivity, Mighty St. Joe's Alumni Corps was formed in the fall of 1991 by former members and friends. Wishing again to enjoy an activity that meant so much to them in their teenage years, the present corps was founded and held their first rehearsal December 8,1991. At that first rehearsal there were 32 people in attendance. Today the corps has more than 100 people involved in one capacity or another. The goals of the organization are to furnish its members with opportunities to perform in a non-competitive basis and to try to put the "good times" back in drum corps.
Although the corps now calls LeRoy, New York its home, our members come from numerous communities to participate. We have members from Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Arizona and many areas of New York. Also several members cross the boarder from Canada just about every week. Our membership is not restricted to just former members of St. Joseph's but is open to anyone 21 years of age or older who wishes to participate.
0ur membership includes former members of many drum & bugle corps such as Empire Statesmen, Phoenix, Rochester Crusaders, Star of Indiana, Utica Yankees, Geneva Appleknockers, Emerald Cadets, Greece Cadets. Statesmen, Melodiers, Yankee-Rebels, New York Skyliners, Lockport Blazers, Auburn Purple Lancers, Hamburg Kingsmen, Albion Grenadiers, Long Island Kingsmen, Albion Night Watch, Hamlin Brassmen, Garfield Cadets, Syracuse Marauders and the U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps, Canadian Commanders, Guelph Royalaires, Chessmen, Preston Scouthouse, Hamilton Viscounts.
As you will see in our performance, we have brought back some of the music we were known for in the 60s and also some numbers from some other "famous" corps of that era.
Mighty St Joe's hopes you enjoy our rendition of 1960s drum corps.