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November 19, 2008 - 8:37am

Mighty St. Joe's Drum Corps

posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, history, music, Le Roy, live music.

Rochester's Democrat & Chronicle featured a reader-submitted story yesterday about the Le Roy-based Mighty St. Joe's Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps, which is readying its members for the upcoming season. The crew met for their first practice a little over a week ago. Here's what Bob Wielgosz had to say about that first session:

There were over 80 current, former and new members in attendance, including 44 brass, 20 percussion and several from the guard and staff. The corps, one of the oldest alumni corps in existence, is in its 19th year of performing this coming year, including events like indoor and outdoor concerts, parades and field shows.

It turns out the group got its start here in Batavia more than three-quarters of a century ago.

St. Joseph's Drum Corps was originally founded in 1931 by the Rev. T. Bernard Kelly, pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Batavia. In 1951, corps graduates formed St. Joseph's Drum Corps Association Inc. to perpetuate Father Kelly's work. The corps operated as a parade corps till the late 1950s when it became a field competition corps. During the 1960s, Mighty St. Joe's rose to National and International prominence, consistently ranking among the top ten junior corps in the country. In top level competition, St. Joe's placed as high as fourth in National and second in World Open competition. Unfortunately, 1971 was the final year of competition for the pride of Batavia.

Anyone can join the crew. You only have to be at least 21 years old. Check out their Web site for more information, show times and how to join.

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