By Rachel Raposas
For the Mirror
Behind the unmistakable sound of parades and summer season festivals, the Keystone Regiment Senior Drum and Bugle Corps represents the fervour for music in Central Pennsylvania.
Began by a small group of musicians, the Keystone Regiment was based in 1985 when two different native drum corps, the Cambria Cadets of Ebensburg and the Gardener Guards of Tyrone, stopped performing publicly, in response to Tim Longwill of Altoona.
Particularly, the group is a marching, musical group for all ages. It offers members an opportunity to carry out and proceed their ardour for music in what they describe as a enjoyable ambiance.
The Corp performs at an array of occasions across the Central Pennsylvania area, together with parades, festivals, heritage days, automobile exhibits and at Hope Fireplace Firm-sanctioned conventions.
In its first two seasons, the Keystone Regiment additionally took on the identify “Official Marching Ambassadors of Boyertown,” as they have been affiliated with the previous Boyertown USA amusement park. For the final 10 years, the Corps has been affiliated with the Hope Fireplace Firm of Northern Cambria — the Keystone Regiment marches with the firemen and performs at hearth firm occasions.
The Corps is completely different from a typical marching band, as a result of it solely showcases choose devices. The percussion part consists of snare drums, quint tenor drums, bass drums and cymbals. The brass part options soprano bugles — a trumpet-like instrument, alto bugles, french horns, melophones, baritone bugles and contra-bass bugles — a tuba-like instrument.
Usually, the Corps performs an array of in style or patriotic tunes. In response to Elder, some frequent picks embrace “Loopy Practice,” “Blissful Collectively,” “Play that Funky Music,” “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” together with “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Land of Liberty.” One tune, “Sing,” even options the Corps singing for a part of the track.
The Keystone Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, based mostly in Altoona has 29 members, though the group seeks to develop.
Tim Longwill is the longest-serving member of the Corps, along with his involvement relationship again to the inception of the group. When he was about 16 years outdated, Longwill went to a drum corps present and located his ardour.
“I simply beloved, completely beloved the sound a drum corps makes,” Longwill stated.
Longwill beforehand performed the bass drum and now acts because the supervisor for the group — he facilitates yearly recruitment, occasion bookings and logistical preparations throughout the corps itself.
The corps doesn’t have a selected audition course of to grant entry into the group. As a substitute, Longwill recruits members by reaching out to college students taking part in Pennsylvania Music Educators Affiliation band festivals. Since PMEA festivals are usually difficult and require a number of time and dedication, college students who take part in them are inclined to have an extracurricular ardour for music, he stated. This high quality makes them nice candidates for the Corps.
John Elder of Duncansville is an skilled musician and Mellophone participant within the Corps. He performed with the Keystone Regiment throughout his highschool years, give up for a time after which returned six years in the past.
Elder stated that taking part within the Corps is neither nerve-racking nor a good time dedication for its members. The group, recognizing that almost all members have work or faculty, hosts only a handful of practices, just a few hours lengthy, every month. “This positively isn’t All-State Band,” he stated.
In lots of members’ expertise, the Keystone Regiment supplies an outlet for his or her musical passions and creates an area for household bonding.
“For years, the drum and bugle corps has been a spot the place brothers and sisters, mother and father and youngsters might rehearse and carry out collectively. The corps has two units of fogeys and youngsters in its 2021 version,” Longwill stated.
Equally, Elder made music a household affair by bringing his kids to the Keystone Regiment.
“I like the pleasant ambiance of the Corp, and it’s an effective way to proceed enjoying in a bunch setting via my faculty years,” stated John Elder’s son, Adam, of Duncansville.
Inside the Keystone Regiment, camaraderie has created a tight-knit, music-loving group. Associates are manufactured from strangers, and from there, what Elder describes as “a little bit household” is created, with the pleasant, thrilling dynamic of PMEA music festivals, however which Elder says is “like a music competition that doesn’t have to finish.”
Since its starting, the Keystone Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps has been a vital a part of a number of communities in Central Pennsylvania. The Corps itself usually has a novel, particular impact on viewers members — “There’s individuals who will wave, recognizing us as a corps — I don’t know them, they don’t know me, however they need to attain out to us,” Longwill stated.
Many drum corps and marching organizations have gone quiet in the previous couple of a long time, which has allowed the Keystone Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps to each shine by itself and provides the area one thing to be happy with. “It’s a pleasant showcase for the realm,” Eldred stated.
Above all, music is what makes the Corps such an inspiring group. Between onlookers awaiting the parade and musicians devoted to creating the proper sound, the Keystone Regiment’s music brings individuals collectively.
Within the upcoming summer season months, the Keystone Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps shall be performing in numerous places in Central Pennsylvania:
— July 3 — 11 a.m. parade, in Osceola Mills
— July 10 — live performance through the Northern Regional Heritage Pageant
— July 17 — 6:30 p.m. parade, in Curwensville
— July 31 — 5 p.m. parade and live performance, in Patton
— Aug. 2 — 6 p.m. parade, in Clearfield
— Aug. 7 — 10 a.m. parade, in Lewisburg
— Aug. 21 — 6 p.m. live performance, in Sunbury
— Aug. 28 — 5 p.m. parade, in Schellsburg