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Commodores : Celebrating 40 years

Press Release by Commodores


Alumni gathered to celebrate our 40th Anniversary on Saturday 30th November, including its founder Mr George Bury.

The stage was set, alumni came together to put on a great show and evening. Chris Bogg (dBS Solutions) did a fantastic job on lighting and sound for the event, Steve Hibbert, printing and Simon Clifford supplied Manikins for t-shirts and uniforms on display.

Current director Karen Muskett welcomed everyone to the event and the alumni treated to the final performance of the 2013 corps production, titled ‘1973’, in recognition of the last 40 years. The corps (and Karen) were kept away from the evenings plans and first surprise was a new introduction to the show. Brandt Crocker (DCi announcer) recorded an introduction for us and announced the corps, the drum majors and the show. The corps gave an amazing performance to its alumni and brought back memories of the first time this music was played. The alumni gave a standing ovation to the corps and asked for more (which we hadn’t planned for!) Karen Muskett first presented awards to our founder George Bury and members of the corps that had been with the corps since the 30th Anniversary. The corps performed again its closer ‘Sing Sang Sung’ for the last time, and what a performance, the alumni again up on their feet.

A short break while the corps changed to enjoy the rest of the evening, the 2013 Video Presentation was shown on the screens and then in to the ‘Through the decades’ presentations. Mike Williamson took to the stage to reminisce the 70’s and 80’s from its beginnings as a scout band though to becoming a drum corps with new name and uniforms. Next up was Ian Downes to go through the 90’s a decade of highs and lows for the corps and members with decisions out of their hands, but have kept strong and together to fight through it ‘?’. The next surprise were waiting back-stage, a reunion of the ‘4 Brothers’ brass ensemble (plus two) who won brass ensemble at I&E 1991 which included Adam Doherty, Chris Billington, Matt Williams with Guy Henry and Tom Fairfield. Last but not least Jason Bentley who came on to the stage to the biggest cheer (Last time Jason played a baritone was the I&E 4 Brothers Brass ensemble 22 years ago!) It was great to hear this piece again and the crowd loved it. Next up to go through the 2000 era of the corps including the 30th celebration year was Kieran Merriman who did a fantastic job. It was time to bring everyone up to date and Peter Muskett took to the stage and went through the latest editions of the corps plus our trips to Europe.

A montage of images from the last 40 years was played to the audience with some additional surprises... audio and video messages from ex-members, staff and writers that live overseas. Amy Savage, John Hannigan, Dave Hill, Briana Englebert, Paul Doop, Caroline Randles Palma and Flo! came on the big screen to a great reaction BUT... a final video surprise was in store, a personal message to the corps from Steve Rondinaro to a great response.

The last item on the evening was to get the directors and representatives to have a photo with the cake in front of the stage. 

Steve Hutchinson representing Brian Killgarif, Karen Muskett, Craig Bury representing George Bury
and Steve Hibbert representing Mike Hibbert cutting the 40th Birthday cake

Final surprise of the evening, from back stage came the familiar notes of the ‘My Way’ solo being played by Matt Williams, a tune that made a ‘mark’ on drum corps in 1990, and a big part of Commodores history. The curtains opened to reveal the 4 Brothers ensemble plus 2013 members Danny Goodier, Shane Murray (arr.) and Rob Morrison. The piece was emotional for a lot of people and plenty of tears shed during and after the piece. The ensemble spanned each era of the corps and a fitting end to a fantastic evening.


11th December 2013



© Drum Corps United Kingdom 2013
DCUK is a member organisation of Marching & Performing Arts United Kingdom