Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps

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Phantom Regiment
Drum and Bugle Corps
Phantom Regiment logo.png
LocationRockford, Illinois
DivisionWorld Class
DirectorDavid Warren, corps director
Championship titles1996 (tie), 2008

Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps (commonly referred to as "Phantom") is a World Class competitive junior drum and bugle corps based in Rockford, Illinois, USA. The corps is a long-standing member of Drum Corps International (DCI), having been a DCI World Championship Top Twelve Finalist every year since 1974 and DCI World Champions in 1996 and 2008.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

The corps was founded in 1956 by Alex Haddad, a member of the Col. Thomas G. Lawler VFW Post 342. Under his direction, the corps was named the Rockford Rangers, with all-male drum and bugle sections and an all-female color guard named the Rangerettes. However, when many of the charter members were impressed by the recording of the Syracuse Brigadiers performing the Leroy Anderson composition The Phantom Regiment, the corps' name was changed before the unit made its debut, with the color guard renamed the Phantomettes.[2][3]

In the corps' early years, the Phantomettes and a corps-sponsored all-boy color guard called the Raiders were competitively successful. The drum and bugle corps, however, struggled. In 1962, the corps bought a set of high quality bugles that had belonged to the Commonwealth Edison Knights of Light Drum and Bugle Corps which had folded two years earlier. With the new instruments and a new brass arranger, the corps began to improve. The old set of bugles went to the newly formed Phantom Regiment Cadets.[4]

Despite the Phantomettes having placed second at the 1962 color guard national championships, in 1963, Phantom Regiment fielded an all-male corps, including the color guard. When scores fell behind those of the previous season, the Phantomettes returned to the corps for 1964. With the girls back in the corps, successful recruitment, and new uniforms, the corps had its best season until that time, including a finish of 15th among 45 corps at the VFW National Championship preliminaries in Cleveland. The Phantomettes were honored in the graphic on the City of Rockford's 1964 vehicle registration stickers. But on August 21, 1964 Regimental Hall, the corps' home base, was badly damaged by a fire. The organization was forced to sell its instruments and uniforms to pay off its debts.[5]

Financially unable to field a corps in 1965 through 1967, alumni and former staff members reorganized and officially incorporated on September 11, 1967. At the first meeting of the newly restructured corps in January, there were 28 members. The Regiment's 1968 drum and horn lines dressed in black pants and a red windbreaker with a black and white vertical stripe on the left side; the guard wore the same windbreaker, black Bermuda shorts and an "Aussie" style hat. The season consisted mostly of parades, with few field contests. The corps owned one vehicle; a red step van to carry the equipment. In that first year of the corps' return, perhaps the corps' greatest asset was its new musical arranger, Phantom Regiment alumnus and future DCI Hall of Fame member, Jim Wren, who would go on to arrange the unit's brass music for the next 32 years.

By 1970, Phantom was able to outfit the corps in new uniforms; a cadet-style jacket with a red diagonal sash dividing the black white side from the white left side, black pants with a white stripe, white buck shoes, and a shako with a 12-inch plume. The corps had grown to 89 members with 40 horns, 14 drums, 24 flags, 12 rifles, and a drum major.

In 1971, Wren started adding the classical music pieces that would become Phantom's trademark along with the usual pop music that most corps were playing. On a Friday the 13th in that year, so the legend goes, all of the corps' buses ran out of fuel; the equipment truck caught fire, not just once, but twice; yet the corps went out and won that night's contest.

Prior to the founding of DCI in 1972, the Phantom Regiment, like most corps of the time, was strictly a local organization. The members and the staff came from Rockford and its surrounding suburbs. Travel to contests was limited to perhaps a few hours of driving. The only "National" competition the corps had ever entered had been the 1964 VFW championships in Cleveland. The corps attended the first DCI competition, in Whitewater, Wisconsin, placing 23rd of 39 corps in prelims. In 1973, The corps returned to Whitewater and moved up to 14th place among 48 corps.

In 1974, Phantom presented its first full program of all-classical musical selections. The corps had grown to DCI's maximum of 128 members, and it took its first extended tour, travelling to Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts en route to the DCI Championships in Ithaca, New York. The corps was beating many of the activity's traditional powers and earning a reputation as a power in its own right. At DCI, the Regiment earned its first Top Twelve Finalist placement, beginning a string that has held through 2019. In prelims, the corps shocked many by placing 8th, although they fell back to 11th at Finals.

A new uniform was conceived for the 1975 corps; long white jackets with a black sash, a two-colored cape with red on the inside and black on the outside, black pants, and a pith helmet. Once the corps moved up to become a DCI Finalist, it also became become a consistent contender, placing 10th in 1975, 4th in 1976, and having a frustrating run of second-place finishes in 1977, 1978 and 1979 with the corps scoring within tenths of a point from the title.

A fall to a 10th-place finish in 1986 led the corps to take a new approach. Among other moves, the corps made a dramatic uniform change, inspired by designer Michael Cesario, adopting new, all-white uniforms more closely resembling costumes than traditional uniforms. Three years of improvement, culminated in 1989 with another second-place finish, with Phantom's score of 98.400 tying the previous DCI highest score ever. That 1989 corps joined the Kansas City Symphony on stage in a performance of "Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral" that led a newspaper reviewer to write that it was so powerful that he might never recover.

From 1975, Phantom Regiment's field shows had been designed by future DCI Hall of Fame member John Brazale to maximize the musical impact while often amazing the audience. Returning home after the 1992 DCI Championships, Brazale had complained of having severe headaches during the last few weeks, and was soon diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, and died within months.

Phantom continued to turn out programs that pleased both audiences and fans, and the corps continued to be a DCI Finalist. In 1995, the corps changed from all-white uniforms to all-black with the same style.

In 1996, playing a program entitled "A Defiant Heart," consisting entirely of music by Dmitri Shostakovich, the Phantom Regiment finally reached the top, tying with the Blue Devils of Concord, California for its first DCI World Championship. Jim Wren arranged for the corps from 1967 through the 1999 season, and then retired as the corps' musical arranger. Michael Klesch took over arranging duties in 2000 and 2001, and was then followed by alumnus J.D. Shaw, who arranged the corps' music from the 2002 season through the 2011 season. After spending the 2012–2019 seasons with the Santa Clara Vanguard, J.D. Shaw is set to return with the Phantom Regiment in 2020.

Since winning its first DCI World Championship in 1996, Phantom Regiment has made additional uniform changes, but has mostly held to its classical music programming.

In 2008, with its performance of "Spartacus", Phantom Regiment narrowly defeated the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps by a margin of 98.125 to 98.100 to win its second (and first outright) DCI World Championship.

Through 2019, Phantom Regiment has continued to be a DCI Finalist, with the streak extending through 45 consecutive Top Twelve finishes. Unfortunately, their 12th-place finish in 2019 was their lowest placement since 1973 when the corps placed 14th. Their 2019 production "I Am Joan" would set a DCI record for highest scoring 12th place show, giving Phantom Regiment fans some hope for their future.

Sponsorship[edit | edit source]

Phantom Regiment is a 501 (c)(3) musical organization incorporated in the State of Illinois. As such, it has a board of directors, directors, and staff assigned to carry out the organization's mission. Tim Farrell is president of the board of directors, and Stan Mauldin is the executive director.

Throughout the summer, the organization holds several educational camps for brass, percussion, and color guard students in Rockford and for drum majors in Illinois, Ohio, Arkansas, and Maryland.

In conjunction with the Northern Illinois University School of Music, the organization also sponsors the Red & Black Fall Classic Marching Band Festival and the NIU Concert Band Festival.[6]

Show summary (1972–2022)[edit | edit source]


Gold background indicates DCI Championship; pale blue background indicates DCI Class Finalist; pale green background indicates DCI semifinalist.

Year Theme Repertoire Score Placement
1972 March (from the Damnation of Faust) by Hector Berlioz / The Phantom Regiment by Leroy Anderson /
America the Beautiful by Katherine Lee Bates and Samuel A. Ward /
Funeral March of a Marionette by Charles Gounod / Poet & Peasant Overture by Franz von Suppé /
Shot in the Dark by Henry Mancini / Spellbound Concerto by Miklós Rózsa
64.400 23rd
1973 Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky / The Lord's Prayer (from King of Kings) by Miklós Rózsa /
Mac Arthur Park by Jimmy Webb / Poet and Peasant Overture & Light Cavalry Overture by Franz von Suppé /
Jubilance by James Swearingen
74.700 14th
1974 Festive Overture & Fifth Symphony by Dmitri Shostakovich / Poet and Peasant Overture by Franz von Suppé /
Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky / Romeo and Juliet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky /
Les Preludes by Franz Liszt
76.250 11th
1975 American Overture by Joseph Willcox Jenkins / Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Johannes Brahms /
Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini / An American in Paris by George Gershwin /
Pilgrim's Chorus (from Tannhäuser) by Richard Wagner
81.30 10th
1976 Finale from Seventh Symphony by Gustav Mahler / Sixth Symphony by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky /
Tocatta and Fugue in D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach / An American in Paris by George Gershwin /
Pilgrim's Chorus (from Tannhäuser) by Richard Wagner
87.75 4th
1977 New World Symphony by Antonín Dvořák / Piano Concerto No. 1 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky /
Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo / Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov /
Ode to Joy (from Symphony No. 9) by Ludwig van Beethoven
90.300 2nd
1978 Firebird, Rite Of Spring, Petrouchka, Dance Infernale & Sherzo A La Russe by Igor Stravinsky /
Piano Concerto in A minor by Edvard Grieg / Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov /
Ode to Joy (from Symphony No. 9) by Ludwig van Beethoven
91.450 2nd
1979 Third Symphony by Camille Saint-Saëns / Malambo (Finale from Estancia) by Alberto Ginastera /
Morning Mood (from Peer Gynt Suite #1), Piano Concerto in A minor,
Hall of the Mountain King (from Peer Gynt Suite #1) & March of the Dwarfs (from Lyric Suite) by Edvard Grieg /
Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (from Lohengrin) by Richard Wagner
92.750 2nd
1980 Russian Easter Overture by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov / Romany Life (from The Fortune Teller) by Victor Herbert /
Polovetsian Dances (from Prince Igor) by Alexander Borodin / Masquerade Suite by Carl Nielsen /
Carmen Suite by Georges Bizet, adapted by Ernest Guiraud
88.450 5th
1981 Spartacus Triumph of Rome, Gladiator Fight, Dance of the Rebels, Prelude to Battle,
Battle, Sunrise and Apotheosis
All from Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian (Not the original titles)
90.850 5th
1982 Spartacus Triumph of Rome, Slave Dance, Gladiator Fight, Mourning and Uprising, Prelude to Battle, Battle, Sunrise and Apotheosis
All from Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian (Not the original titles)
92.150 4th
1983 Serenade for Strings, Cossack Dance, Dance Neapolitan & 1812 Overture
All by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
91.450 4th
1984 Scythian Suite by Sergei Prokofiev / Armenian Dances by Alfred Reed / Trypitch by Anthony Cirone /
1812 Overture by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
95.600 4th
1985 Symphony Fantastique Symphony Fantastique by Hector Berlioz 90.100 8th
1986 Carnival Overture by Antonín Dvořák / Alborada Del Gracioso by Maurice Ravel /
Sir Lancelot and the Black Knight & Merlin The Magician by Rick Wakeman / Resurrection Symphony by Gustav Mahler
85.000 10th
1987 Songs from
the Winter Palace
Selections from Swan Lake & The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 94.300 5th
1988 Romeo And Juliet Romeo and Juliet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 93.500 6th
1989 From The New World...
Into A New Age
1st Movement & 2nd Movement (from Symphony No. 9) / Slavonic Dances No. 1 /
4th Movement (from Symphony No. 9)
All by Antonín Dvořák
98.400 2nd
1990 Dreams of Desire 4th Movement (from Symphony No. 3) / The Elephant & Finale (from Carnival of the Animals) /
Bacchanale (from Samson and Delilah)
All by Camille Saint-Saëns
95.300 4th (tie)
1991 Phantom Voices Nessun Dorma (from Turandot) by Giacomo Puccini / Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo /
Bacchanale (from Samson and Delilah) by Camille Saint-Saëns
95.400 3rd
1992 War and Peace Marche Slav by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky / La Marseillaise by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle /
1812 Overture by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
91.500 8th
1993 The Modern Imagination The Landworkers, The Wheat Dance & Danza Final (From Estancia Ballet) by Alberto Ginastera /
The Fire of Eternal Glory (aka Novorossik Chimes) by Dmitri Shostakovich /
Death Hunt (from On Dangerous Ground) by Bernard Herrmann
96.200 3rd
1994 Songs for a
Summer Night
Ritual Fire Dance (from El Amor Brujo) by Manuel de Falla /
Claire De Lune (from Suite bergamasque) by Claude Debussy /
Talking Drums (from White Witch Doctor), Theme from North by Northwest & Death Hunt (from On Dangerous Ground)
by Bernard Herrman
96.200 3rd
1995 Adventures Under a
Darkened Sky
Symphonic Dances / Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (variation 18) / Piano Concerto No. 2 / Capriccio Bohemian
All by Sergei Rachmaninoff
94.100 5th
1996 A Defiant Heart:
The Music of
Dmitri Shostakovich
Fourth Ballet Suite / First Symphony, Second Movement / Fifth Symphony, Fourth Movement
All by Dmitri Shostakovich
97.40 1st (tie)
1997 The Ring Hagen's Call to the Clan (from Götterdämmerung) / Magic Fire Music (from Die Walküre) /
Hammering of the Ring (from Das Rheingold) / Die Götterdämmerung (from Götterdämmerung)
All from Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner
94.200 4th
1998 Songs from
the Eternal City -
The Music of Rome
Roman Carnival Overture by Hector Berlioz / Un Bel Di (from Madame Butterfly) by Giacomo Puccini /
Pines of the Villa Borghese (Pines of Rome mvt I) & Pines of the Appian Way (Pines of Rome mvt IV)
by Ottorino Respighi
90.400 8th
1999 Tragedy and Triumph Fourth Symphony / Fifth Symphony (2nd Movement) / Sixth Symphony
All by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
91.200 8th
2000 The Masters of Mystique-
The Dawn of
Modern Music
Jeux by Claude Debussy / Petrouchka by Igor Stravinsky /
Transfigured Night by Arnold Schoenberg / Rite Of Spring by Igor Stravinsky
90.650 7th
2001 Virtuoso Finale (5th Movement) & Game of Pairs (2nd Movement) (from Concerto For Orchestra) by Béla Bartók /
Festive Overture by Dmitri Shostakovich
91.900 6th
2002 Heroic Sketches:
The Passion of
Tenth Symphony, Second Movement / Piano Concerto No. 2, Second Movement /
Piano Concerto No. 2, First Movement / Seventh Symphony, Fourth Movement
All by Dmitri Shostakovich
92.400 5th
2003 Harmonic Journey Sanctus (Canon in D) by Johann Pachelbel / Wild Nights (from Harmonium) by John Adams /
The Lord's Prayer (from King of Kings) by Miklós Rózsa / Ostinato (from Mikrokosmos) by Béla Bartók
94.750 4th
2004 Apasionada 874 Buenos Aires Hora Cero / La Muerte del Angel / Oblivion / Imagines 676 /
Adios Nonino / Tres Minutos con la Realidad
All by Ástor Piazzolla
93.575 5th
2005 Rhapsody An American in Paris & Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin 96.825 3rd
2006 Faust Scythian Suite by Sergei Prokofiev / Ave Maria by Franz Biebl /
Piano Concerto by John Corigliano / Resurrection Symphony by Gustav Mahler
96.850 2nd
2007 On Air Vespertine Formations by Christopher Deane / 1000 Airplanes on the Roof by Philip Glass /
Flower Duet (from Lakme) by Léo Delibes / Suggestion Diabolique by Sergei Prokofiev /
Finale (from Firebird Suite) by Igor Stravinsky
94.850 4th
2008 Spartacus Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian / Ein Heldenleben by Richard Strauss /
Battlefield (from KÀ) by René Dupéré / Dance of Ecstasy from (Danses Fantastiques) by Loris Tjeknavorian /
Toccata (from Piano Concerto No. 1) by Alberto Ginastera
98.125 1st
2009 The Red Violin Theme from The Red Violin by John Corigliano / Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Nicolo Paganini by James Barnes /
Paganini Variations by Witold Lutoslawski / Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninoff /
Caprice XXIV by Niccolò Paganini / Paganini Variations by Philip Wilby
89.900 9th
2010 Into the Light The New Moon in the Old Moon's Arms by Michael Kamen 93.150 6th
2011 Juliet East of Eden by Lee Holdridge / Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi /
Lacrimosa dies illa & Confutatis maledictis (from The Requiem Mass in D minor) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart /
Love Theme from Romeo & Juliet by Nino Rota / Romeo & Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev /
Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (from Lohengrin) by Richard Wagner
95.050 5th
2012 Turandot Popolo Di Pekino!...Indietro, Cani / Gira La Cote!...Perche Tarda La Luna? / O Mondo, O Mondo...O Tigre, O Tigre! /
Gravi, Enormi Ed Imponenti / Gloria, Gloria / Tre Enigmi M'Hai / Nessun Dorma!
All from Turandot by Giacomo Puccini
96.550 3rd
2013 Triumphant Journey Music from Elizabeth: The Golden Age by A. R. Rahman and Craig Armstrong /
Cape Fear by Bernard Herrmann / Four Sea Interludes by Benjamin Britten /
Enigma Variations: Nimrod by Edward Elgar / Symphony No. 11 by Dmitri Shostakovich
93.250 6th
2014 Swan Lake Swan Lake by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky / La Péri by Paul Dukas / Dracula by Philip Feeny /
King Kong by James Newton Howard / Mother and Child (from Flight Plan) by James Horner
91.425 7th
2015 City of Light I Love Paris by Cole Porter / Horoscope by Constant Lambert / Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy /
Piano Concerto in C# Minor by Francis Poulenc / An American in Paris by George Gershwin /
Symphony #3 (Organ Symphony) by Camille Saint-Saens
90.325 7th
2016 Voice of Promise Preludes for Piano Op. 34, No, 14 by Dmitri Shostakovich / The Chairman Dances by John Adams /
Ave Verum Corpus by Colin Mawby / The Darkest Moment by Rob Ferguson and Bret Kuhn /
Hymne Des Fraternises: I'm Dreaming of Home by Phillipe Rombi /
Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten
89.963 8th
2017 Phantasm Finlandia by Jean Sibelius / Symphony No. 12 by Dmitri Shostakovich /
Entering the Nightmare (from Dreamscapes) by Maurice Jarre /
Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff / Symphony No. 3 by Aram Khachaturian
88.125 9th
2018 This New World Finale (from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium) by Aaron Zigman and Alexandre Desplat /
Piano Concerto No. 3 by Sergei Prokofiev / A Child's Garden of Dreams by David Maslanka /
Picture Studies by Adam Schoenberg / New World Symphony by Antonín Dvořák
86.950 11th
2019 I Am Joan Carmina Burana by Carl Orff / Audivi Media Nocte by Oliver Waespi / Zohar by Jonathan Leshnoff /
Fire of Eternal Glory & Lady McBeth of Mtsensk by Dmitri Shostakovich /
Vox Populi by Jared Leto (30 Seconds to Mars) / Unleashed by Thomas Bergersen (Two Steps from Hell)
87.238 12th
2020 Season cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2021 Harmonic Journey Sanctus (Canon in D) by Johann Pachelbel / Wild Nights (from Harmonium) by John Adams /
The Lord's Prayer (from King of Kings) by Miklós Rózsa / Ostinato (from Mikrokosmos) by Béla Bartók
2022 No Walk Too Far Before Time by Thomas Bergersen / Godspeed! by Stephen Melillo / The Chosen by Stephen Melillo /
Eli's Theme (from Let the Right One In) by Johan Söderqvist / Symphony No. 5 by Gustav Mahler
90.675 8th

Caption Awards[edit | edit source]

At the annual World Championship Finals, Drum Corps International (DCI) presents awards to the corps with the high average scores from prelims, semifinals, and finals in five captions. Phantom Regiment has won these caption awards:

Don Angelica Best General Effect Award

  • 2008

Fred Sanford Best Percussion Performance Award

  • 2006, 2008, 2010

Prior to 2000 and the adoption of the current scoring format, Phantom Regiment won these captions:

High General Effect Award

  • 1991 (tie), 1996

High Visual Award

  • 1977, 1979, 1989, 1990 (tie)

High Color Guard Award

  • 1977, 1988

High Brass Award

  • 1978, 1989, 1996

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Corps". Drum Corps International. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  2. A History of Drum & Bugle Corps, Vol. 1; Steve Vickers, ed.; Drum Corps World, 2002
  3. [1]
  4. " - The Drum Corps Repertoire Database".
  5. "History of the Phantom Regiment". Archived from the original on 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-03. Retrieved 2014-08-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "Phantom Regiment\Repertoire". DCX: The Drum Corps Xperience. Retrieved 6 March 2018.

External links[edit | edit source]