Title: New book traces Racine drum corps history
Author: Steve Vickers
Publisher: Drum Corps World
Date: January 2009
I recently received an advance copy of George Fennell's new book titled "Racine: Drum and Bugle Corps Capital of the World." It is not only thorough, it is extremely fascinating.
Fennell was born and raised in Racine, WI, first joining the Racine YMCA Kiltie Kadets in 1964, later graduating to the Kilties and then marching in the senior corps, the Boys of 76.
Produced by Arcadia Publishing, a Mount Pleasant, SC, company that specializes in local and regional history books, Fennell's softcover, 132-page book is packed with an incredible assortment of images covering not only the existence of the six prominent drum and bugle corps in the city of 90,000 -- all operating
concurrently in the 1960s - but also a number of other assorted Racine musical units incredibly dating back to 1858 (14 images in this chapter).
While the book is not a written history per se, the collection of photographs present the Boys of 76 (61 images), Racine Scouts (36), Racine Junior Scouts (8), Racine Kilties (53), Kiltie Kadets (19) and Ambassa "Dears"/ New Day (10) that have sometimes lengthy captions that tell a great deal about the long history of the activity in the Lake Michigan-sited location.
The photo reproduction is outstanding and provides readers with a wonderful overview of an important heritage that is very unique in the annals of our activity's history. On a per capita basis, this city beats all others in the number of young people involved in drum and bugle corps during the heyday of Racine's corps legacy.
Through access to not only his personal collection, but also the archives of the Racine Heritage Museum and the Kilties Alumni Association, Fennell has accumulated an exciting overview of one slice from drum corps.
I highly recommend this book! Purchase it at bookstores, by calling 1-888-313-2665 or visiting www.arcadiapublishing.com.