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Press > Drum Corps World, April 06, 2006

Yankee Rebels 'Dixie Stinger' brings alumni corps together

by Gary Dickelman
DCW Staff

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The clear highlight of the evening was Music Express of Cinnaminson, NJ. Is this a drum corps? Yes; an alumni drum corps true to the tradition of becoming more musical more innovative, stretching the boundaries and increasing our capacities for amazement!

Arranger and instructor Larry Kerchner has composed and/or arranged the book-of-all-books of music, including Cute by Neal Hefti and Stanley Stein and Cherokee by Ray Noble, The Gypsy by Larry Kerchner himself, Smile by Charlie Chaplin (really!), Killer Joe by Benny Golson and My Romance by Richard Rodgers.

You see many familiar faces from the alumni drum corps scene, but they were sitting like so many jazz musicians in their almost-all-black attire. Striking is the trap set and amazing drum work of John Rozum (clearly in the tradition of Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Max Roach, et, al.) and the solo work of John Urspruch and Bob Gaff.

While not necessarily solo work, the heartbeat of Killer Joe and Cherokee was the rumbling contra basses, punctuated by the flying fingers of Deb Knisely, PJ Hollins and Chuck Quackenbush.

The Music Express is one quality organization that makes us all proud to be a part of the tradition of excellence that has its roots in the alumni movement. Great work, Larry, Chris, Ray, Phil, Gabe, Joe, Bob, Cindy (that would be Tru Crawford's daughter) and the rest of you from the Yankee Rebels, New York Skyliners, Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, Hawthorne Caballeros, Reilly Raiders and who knows, there may be a few Appleknockers in the mix!

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