Welcome to the AGAD repository for videos and pictures since the group was formed (and then some)…

Please note that this page is in chronological order (OLDEST items will appear at the top)…

That said, we have to share this picture and a story before going on…

Jim Dj HSJim C and DJ went to school together in Lake George and marched in the high school marching band… They got hooked on drum corps at the very first show they saw back in 1975 at East Side Rec in Saratoga which just happened to be Avant Garde’s coming out party as it were.

Anyway, the guys used to spend their free time in school listening to recordings of cadences and street beats and trying play them – one on snare, the other on tri-toms. In parades they’d take turns between the triples and a set of double tenors… in the picture at right, that’s DJ on the left and Jim C on the right. The LGHS band had learned the boy’s version of the Avant Garde walk-beat that they had heard and taught the line as best they could remember. It must have been pretty close because a couple years later, after Jim had become a member of the corps, he was told the story about some the members taking a trip to Hadley-Luzerne to watch a fall foliage parade when off in the distance they heard what sounded like the AG walk-beat!! They started to panic thinking they had missed a parade with the corps… let’s let one of the AG members who was there tell the story… here’s Tom Newell…

newell tells the LG story

Their senior year a new band director came in who loved marching and took the band to a whole new level which included marching timpani and somewhere we have a picture of Dan carrying one of them!!


That fateful night in October 2010…

After months of conversations on Facebook, using instruments borrowed from the Gloversville marching band, came the first gathering in Jim Crawford’s basement. There were 4 snares – Jim C., Trish, Dave and Murph, 2 quads – Tim and Wayne, 4 basses – Dan, DJ, Matt and Mudcat, and 2 cymbals – Kathleen and Kevin –  the first night when we attempted our first walk-beat, ‘The Squid’…

Very early rehearsal

April 2011…

We learned a bunch of walk-beats, bought our own equipment
and casual warm and cold weather uniforms which were printed and embroidered by our friends at Arca Ink
Then had a ‘dress rehearsal’ at the Greenwich School track to see if we all could still play AND MARCH…

Photos courtesy of corps alum Brian Haynes

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June 2011…

The group hit the street for the first time – choosing to debut the line in the corps’ home town of Saratoga Springs…
…on a chilly, drizzly day, in the annual Saratoga Flag Day Parade

Below left is AGAD organizer Jim Crawford – at right is Avant Garde Corps Director Jeff Perkins after receiving a new AGAD cap…

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Here is the full line and banner carriers posing with Jeff just before stepping off…

AGAD with Jeff Perkins

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Here’s Jeff waiting for us to make our way down Broadway…

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As we finished the parade and were walking back to the beginning, we were a little surprised and very pleased by the number of people that stopped us to say how much they enjoyed the line, that they remembered the original corps and how good it was to see the name again.

The following week we braved the heavy rain and lightning for the Whipple City Days Parade in Greenwich, NY.

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July 2011…

The line would make its first appearance in the Fort Edward Heritage Days Parade in Fort Edward, NY – former home of the Vagabonds Sr. Drum & Bugle Corps…
Jim C’s son Matt (#3 bass) couldn’t make it so Dad left the snare line to fill in… Jim never marched bass again… was it something we said?!?

Here’s a clip (sorry – it’s a little shaky… like a Bigfoot sighting)…

Jim bass

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August 2011…

August 3rd would mark the line’s first exhibition at a DCI competition in Drums Along the Mohawk in Rome, NY…
Avant Garde Drum & Bugle Corps was a charter participant in the formation of the show in 1979 and the show became a fundraiser for the corps.

The line heads off to find a spot in the neighborhood to warm-up…

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Rome FIX

Here are a couple shots as we were playing the drum majors on before the announcement of the scores…

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Then on August 7th we’d debut in the Turning Point Parade in Schuylerville, NY – former home of the Green Sabres Drum & Bugle Corps…

September 2011…

With the line getting tighter, we were excited to participate along side numerous other corps and bands in the annual Uncle Sam Parade in Troy, NY…

November 2011…

The debut of the new corps jackets as we made our first appearance in the annual South Glens Falls Holiday Parade on November 20th

Click the icon below for a clip from the local TV broadcast…

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December 2011…

On December 20th we would warm-up while standing in several inches of wet snow while waiting to step-off in the Salem Holiday Parade
Once the parade started, we soon realized that we were the only thing in the parade actually on foot – everyone else was on a float – and the whole parade soon left us behind…
…wandering the dark backstreets of Salem until we emerged to a welcoming crowd on Main Street.


January 2012…

On January 8th we had the extreme pleasure of playing for Father Parke’s retirement from the Bethesda Church…
The Avant Garde was formed by a merger that included the Bethesda Emerald Knights…
(Father Parke is also Dan’s (#1 bass) Father-In-Law)…

Father Parke's retirement

May 2012…

The line rehearsed through the winter and spring – increasing it’s repertoire in preparation for our 2012 season which kicked off with the Kingsbury Centennial Parade

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June 2012…

On June 9th we’d return to Saratoga for the annual Flag Day Parade

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The next day we’d march for the first time in what we discovered was regularly the longest and hottest parade on the planet – the Troy Flag Day Parade
…and we met a new fan who obviously enjoyed the line…

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Then on June 23rd we’d encounter more heavy rain and lightning in the Upper Hudson Valley Fireman’s Association Dress Parade in South Glens Falls… We thought there was no way they’d let anyone march with the impending storm but the parade stepped off right on time unbeknownst to us
as the line had taken cover in a plaza on the opposite side of the building…
We ran through a Hanneford to try to catch up to our spot in the parade but it was long gone…
Thankfully one of the parade organizers slipped us in and we were able to march – all the time seeing the lightning strikes out the corners of our eyes…
(no pictures or video available since we kept our phones and cameras safely tucked away due to the rain and constant lightning)…

But the highlight of the month had to be the return of Avant Garde to the Adirondack Drums DCI competition in Glens Falls, NY on June 29th.

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 The corps marched in the very first Adirondack Drums show in 1981 and last appeared in 1985. We were incredibly excited to end a 27 year drought
and even more proud when we learned that, sadly, this would be the last Adirondack Drums competition…

Click the graphic below to see the welcome we received and try to imagine how some of the members felt stepping on that same field after all those years…

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The next day we returned to the Fort Edward Heritage Days Parade

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July 2012…

Our first time in the Argyle 4th of July Parade

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July 14th would be an adventure to say the least as the line would venture to Athens, NY for the annual Street Fest
Turned out we were the only thing in the parade whose sole purpose was to lead a group of kids with home made drums through the narrow street,
populated with vendor’s tents on each side, down to the festival on the river.

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It would get even crazier as the line would be the opening act for…

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 …a group that DJ (#2 bass) played with…

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But 2012 was not without sadness as ‘Mudcat’ (Mike Boivin – #4 bass) lost his brother…
In July the family held ‘Buck’s Bash’ – a celebration of Buck Boivin in the Spa State Park…
There was huge turnout of family, friends and entertainers and here’s some video of the AGAD drum circle and an exhibition by the line…

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August 2012…

The month began with a return to Drums Along the Mohawk in Rome, NY on August 2nd
The clip below features an odd warm-up and Wayne’s pep talk before we went out that ‘Animal House’ fans will appreciate…

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Then it was back to Schuylerville for the Turning Point Parade on August 5th… The skies and radar didn’t look good but the parade went on…
As we stepped off it began to thunder off in the distance… would it go around us??
We made our way down Main Street, performed at the reviewing stand near the end and proceeded to the lot where many of our cars were parked at the end of the route
and just as we packed our gear away, THE SKIES OPENED UP!!

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November 2012…

On November 18th we’d return to the South Glens Falls Holiday Parade

December 2012…

December 8th we’d return to a slightly warmer than the previous year (well, there wasn’t any so anyway) Salem Holiday Parade

Then on December 29th the line would drive through a nagging snow storm that was in the process of dumping over a foot of snow on the area
to perform at a surprise birthday party for corps’ director Jeff Perkins
Dan Crawford (#1 bass) was stuck in a plane in a holding pattern due to the storm and couldn’t make it in time so DJ (#2 bass) covered his parts…

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January 2013…

January 26th – our first indoor show at Shenendehowa’s Winter Guard Competition

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March 2013…

In March we did an exhibition at Mohoneson’s indoor show

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That would be Kevin’s last gig on cymbals as he would move to the newly added 5th bass position or ‘thunder bass’… we would soon call him ‘THOR’!!
Here’s a clip of the bass line working the most ambitious chart to date – ‘Electric Wheelchair’…
Jim’s son Matt (#3 bass) was still away at college so Jim once again stepped in… I guess we didn’t scare him too badly in Fort Edward 2 years ago…

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May 2013…

May featured a trio of Memorial Day Parades…

…a hilly, long Waterford, a rainy Stillwater and what seems to be an always beautiful day in Lansingburgh…
But more importantly, at least for the line, it marked the debut of the 5 bass line as Kevin moved from cymbals to thunder bass
and Dan’s (#1 bass) son Jackson moved from American flag to cymbals…

Here are some clips from the Lansingburgh Memorial Day Parade…

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Anytime we marched in Lansingburgh or Troy we could always count on being greeted by a number of enthusiastic corps vets AND playing for Kathleen’s (cymbal) Dad…

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More pictures from Lansingburgh…

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June 2013…

Then we’d make our return to the Saratoga Flag Day Parade – anxious to rattle the streets with 5 basses…

The one thing that those in the line that marched that day will remember most (apparently) is DJ literally stepping in it!! Captured forever on video at about the 1:30 mark…
We’ll never understand, for as long as there have been parades and marching ensembles,
what in the world possesses the people who determine the line of march to put horses BEFORE any groups on foot.
Yet that’s what the Saratoga Flag Day people do every year and this year an AGAD member paid the price though,
to his credit, he never missed a note, broke rank or even got out of step!!
He DID however have to spend a good amount of time cleaning horse crap off his white sneakers…

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5 bass warmup

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Then, while walking back to our cars at the beginning, a tall, excited guy came running up to us asking who to contact about playing in the line…
Before long we were sending charts off to a 5th snare and preparing to welcome Flip into the line!!

Then on June 9th we returned to the Troy Flag Day Parade and made the exceedingly long and always unbearably hot trek from the correctional facility in the industrial park in South Troy all the way to downtown Troy… But we do it every year and will continue to do so because the route is always lined from start to finish with a huge number of extremely appreciative and friendly parade goers and we look forward to seeing them every year!!

(What – no video?? Let us look into this…)

On June 22nd we returned to the Upper Hudson Valley Fireman’s Dress Parade – this time in West Glens Falls
We were down a couple snares that day but made the most of it – like giving the newly expanded bass line some more reps…

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And on June 29th we had a very special guest jump in the line for the Fort Edward Heritage Days Parade
…former Avant Garde and Suncoast Sound snare drummer Bill Bunyan was up from Carolina for a visit!!

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July 2013…

July 4th and we’re back in Argyle

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More AGAD in Argyle 2013

Sadly, this was the year Father Parke of the Bethesda Church passed away…

Father Parke's funeral

August 2013…

August kicked off with what’s become an annual visit to the Drums Along the Mohawk DCI competition in Rome, NY on August 1st
This year, in addition to playing at intermission and playing the drum majors on at the end of the night, we performed in front of the stadium while fans were coming in!!

AGAD Out Front Rome 2013

AGAD In Rome 2013

August 4th we returned to throngs of drum corps fans and more who line the route of the Schuylerville Turning Point Parade
This year there was also a DCA competition following the parade hosted by the Excelsior Drum & Bugle Corps!!
There was a small crowd… the brief thunderstorm that blew through right before show time probably didn’t help and competition only featured 4 corps,
but we hoped this would grow and become an annual event as well!!

Here’s a clip from the parade and the exhibition that followed…

AGAD in Schuylerville 2013

September 2013…

September 15th we hit the Uncle Sam Parade in Troy, NY

AGAD in Troy Uncle Sam 2013  More from Uncle Sam 2013

And of course we’d break ranks and play a special exhibition for Kathleen’s (cymbal) dad – a tradition that started back when she was a member
of the Capital Brass Sr. Drum & Bugle Corps back in the early ’90s…
Unfortunately, Eddie would pass away later that year…

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AGAD plays for Eddie Uncle Sam 2013

October 2013…

Several members would make an appearance with a drum circle at the Saratoga Fall Festival…

Fall Festival

 

November 2013…

November featured a double dose of holiday parades…

November 24th it was sunny and positively frigid as we marched in easily the coldest weather ever in the South Glens Falls Holiday Parade…
Knit hats and hand warmers all around!!
But once we hit the street and got a few reps under our belts, the gloves came off and it was just a parade…

AGAD in SGF 2013

Then a week later we made one more appearance in the Salem Holiday Parade where we were introduced as the Avant Garde Drum CORPSE!!
We know some of us are getting older but didn’t think we looked that bad…

AGAd in Salem


For the 2014 indoor season we added the drum circle – playing a modified version of ‘Waldo’ on Latin and hand percussion, then morphing back to the marching instruments…
We tried it out on the first of three indoor exhibitions at Shenendehowa and it became a ‘keeper’…

January 2014…

January 25thShenendehowa’s Winter Guard show in Clifton Park, NY…

AGAD jams at Shen

February 2014…

February 15thAlbany Winter Guard show… AND the debut of the new black w/ white lacrosse style uniform top…
(for outdoors we changed the cap to a black with a green paint splatter and just the yin yang symbol)…

AGAD jams in Albany

March 2014…

March 15thJohnstown Winter Guard show…

AGAD in Johnstown

May 2014…

After a few weeks off we returned to the Lansingburgh Memorial Day Parade

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June 2014…

June felt a little strange this year with the Troy Flag Day Parade taking place on June 8th… it was still the hottest and longest march we make all year…

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…and the Saratoga Flag Day Parade a week later on June 14th
Dan (#1 bass) was pulling TRIPLE duty – covering DJ and Mudcat’s parts as well as his own…

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More AGAD in Saratoga

July 2014…

We took on a different parade for July 4th this year when we were invited to march in the Clifton Park 4th of July Parade

AGAD in Clifton Park

On July 30th we made our annual trek to Rome, NY for the Drums Along the Mohawk DCI competition…

It started to sprinkle while we were playing in front of the stadium before the show…
Then it became a light but steady rain during the Port Chester exhibition corps…
But a few minutes into the first competing corps’ performance the skies opened up!!
Checking the radar showed this to be the only ‘blob’ of rain in NYS that night
and it parked over Rome for almost two and a half hours without budging – prompting the first cancellation of the show in its 36 year history.
We were camped under the stadium and put on this show for the volunteers…

AGAD under the bleachers

August 2014…

The Schuylerville Turning Point Parade was something special this year… all of the corps that would be competing in the DCA show to follow marched in the parade!!
I can’t remember the last time I saw a parade like that and the folks in Schuylerville absolutely loved it!!!
And the DCA competition featured a full line up of corps, beautiful weather and a large, enthusiastic crowd… Here’s our exhibition at the show…

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September 2014…

On September 14th we returned to the Uncle Sam Parade in Troy, NY and also kicked off the entertainment in Powers Park after the parade…
But the big news was the debut of Jason – our third quint player!!

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And who could resist when two adorable little girls (one in a colorguard t-shirt) come running over and ask the line to play for them…

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October 2014…

On October 25th the line was invited back to the Saratoga Fall Festival!! Here are a few clips
including one where we invited some of the kids in attendance to join us…

Clip #1          Clip #2          Clip #3 (with the kids)

and the debut of Carniva-Waldo

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More with the  kids or .future recruits’…

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And the public debut of Dirty Eddie…

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Here are some more pictures…

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November 2014…

November 22nd was exciting as AGAD made its debut in the annual Schenectady Gazette Holiday Parade
which is believed to be the largest night time holiday parade in the country – well, at least in cold weather…

Despite being down two basses (Matt – #2 – working hard for college in the Midwest; and ‘Cat’ – #4 – who was vacationing in Hawaii) and Jason’s quint, and having to tolerate some knucklehead in a fire truck behind us blowing a siren and every other thing that made a noise from the beginning to the end of the parade,
we were able to focus on entertaining the huge crowd that braved the sleet and rain and even make an impression on local news anchor Dori Marlin
who was announcing at the reviewing stand as you’ll hear later in the video…

We later received a call from the Schenectady Chamber of Commerce that AGAD had won some sort of award in the parade!!
We were at least third in “Stepping to the Music.” On December 10, we find out if we, in fact, won.
The rep was surprised herself that we “placed” that high our first year out in this event.

AGAD Schenectady Parade 2014

Here are some still shots from Schenectady…

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Then the next day, November 23rd, we returned to the Post Star Holiday Parade in South Glens Falls
and were thrilled by the 20+ degree jump in temperature from the night before but even more thrilled with the massive and enthusiastic turnout!!
Still down two basses but Dan, DJ, and Kevin hit their stride so to speak and filled the holes nicely (if I do say so myself… I just did).

AGAD SGF 2014

Here are more pictures from South Glens Falls… you’ll notice that it was warm enough that the quint line shed their jackets early on.
They were the only ones with the foresight to where the uniform jerseys under their jackets – the rest of us had to sweat it out…

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Next up – Salem Holiday Parade on December 6th!!

December 2014…

Last gig of the year in Salem with a smaller faction.
Cold, wet, rainy. . . .Brenda had the camera in a plastic bag, which is why all the shots look a bit fuzzy.
This parade is one block long… that’s it!! But they beg us to come back each year…
And, this gig also featured the debut of our new black soft shell jackets.

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This just in… We’ve been invited by RPI to appear at their big drum jam in April at the EMPAC!!
(Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center)


 

January 2015…

January 24, 2015 – a return exhibition at the Shenendehowa indoor color guard competition.

Here’s some footage of us cramming for the gig backstage…

Here the actual performance…

January 31, 2015 – AGAD was invited to play at an Adirondack Flames hockey game ON THE ICE!!

But first here’s a little glimpse behind the scenes…

Here’s the on-ice performance (click the picture)…

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And a little post game riff…

February 2015…

February 28, 2015 – we headed back to Mohanosen for their indoor guard show but with a twist this time
as we were joined by members of the ‘Mohon’ drum staff!!

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Here’s the video from tonight…

Now it’s time to start dusting off charts for the RPI gig where we’ll be playing our entire book!!
PLUS the debut of ‘T&P Combo’ by 311 with augmented instrumentation – electric guitar and bass!!!

Here’s a rehearsal clip…

April 2015…

But first, the Flames have invited the line back on April 18th… this time we’ll play outside before the game as well!!
Here we are playing as patrons wander in to the Flames game…

And here we are back on the ice…

A bit of disappointing news as we prepare for RPI…
We just learned that our most recent member Jason (quint) will be relocating to the south for a Naval reclamation project.
We wish him nothing but the best and can’t wait for him to return for a visit – hopefully when we have a parade!!

April 25, 2015 – AGAD headlines ‘Things You Miss’ – a drum show put on by RPIgnite!!

Here’s the link to Part I of the RPI Drum Jam…

…and here is Part II

Funny – we picked the 311 tune because we liked the groove and we could adapt it.
A bonus that their drummer is actually a Drum Corps guy!!
Here is 311’s drummer, Chad Sexton, talking about his days
marching with the Railmen and then the Sky Ryder’s. He’s one of US!!


Next up – parade season… but first, congratulations to our friend, Mohon drum staff member and 2014 Greenwich grad Zach Hewitt
on making it through a grueling audition process and making the snare line of Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps in Wisconsin!!!

May 2015…

Our annual visit to Lansingburgh for their Memorial Day Parade…

June 2015…

Our annual visits to Saratoga and Troy for their Flag Day Parades…

July 2015…

One more trip to Rome for an exhibition at the DCI show…

August 2015…

And our return to the Schuylerville Turning Point Parade and DCAA show exhibition…

November 2015…

One of our favorites – the South Glens Falls Holiday Parade…


February 2016…

We decided to breakout T&P Combo at the Mohon show with the pair of Mohon students on guitar and bass…

First let’s brush the dust off…

OK – that’s (almost) ready for ‘prime time’…

 

April 2016…

We were beyond thrilled to be invited to the Troy Boys & Girls Club as our good friend (and former judge) Joe Baker
is leading the effort to resurrect the Troy Skyliners Drum & Bugle Corps!!

May 2016…

We look forward to the Lansingburgh Memorial Day Parade each year as our unofficial start to summer…

A baseball legend once said,  “Let’s play TWO!!”
AGAD took that to heart and accepted an invitation to march in the Wynantskill Memorial Day Parade the afternoon of the Lansingburgh parade…
Could we make it there in time??  At some of our advanced ages could we still march two parades in the same day?!?
The answer was ‘yes’ but apparently we were too tired to shoot any video… let’s verify that…

June 2016…

A new addition this year – a Thursday night at the Burnt Hills Flag Day Parade and boy do these folks ever turn out for a parade – fantastic crowd!!

Of course we’d follow that with our traditional Saturday in the Saratoga Flag Day Parade…

…followed by Sunday in the Troy Flag Day Parade…

This parade has the reputation for being the longest and hottest but today at least it was only long as temperatures were unusually cool –
mid 60’s or maybe low 70’s and cloudy…
By the end of the almost 3 mile trek we felt like we could have done it again!!

We’ve learned to look for the contingent of Troy Muchachos Drum & Bugle Corps alums and always stop to pay homage…


January 2017…

Exhibition at the Shen indoor guard competition… Missing some key people but still pulled it off…

February 2017…

Mohon indoor guard exhibition… this time we’d be joined by some Mohon STUDENTS!!

May 2017…

This year we were honored to be asked to make our debut in the Saratoga Memorial Day Parade on the Thursday of Memorial Day Weekend…
And it rained… constantly… so we didn’t get any video…

Then the following Monday we made our annual visit to the Lansingburgh where it was wet but looked like it might clear off for the afternoon…

But we were WRONG!! The afternoon in Wynantskill it rained so hard we didn’t even get pictures!!

That’s three very wet parades in a row!! This has to change…

June 2017…

Our second year at the Burnt Hills Flag Day Parade… We think it gets bigger every year!!

This year marks the 50th year for both the Saratoga and Troy Flag Day Parades!!

The Saratoga parade had a huge turnout and even with the depleted bass ranks we got through it…

But the 50th annual Troy Flag Day Parade was one for the books!!

This is the longest (almost 3 miles) and hottest parade we do… Last year’s 60-70 degree weather was a fluke and long gone this year…
It was hot… DAMN HOT!!  We tried to take it easy before the parade because we knew what was ahead from previous years but this was something else…
We were wilting in the heat well before the halfway mark – stopping for water and any shade we could find!!
By the end every member was feeling the effects of the day yet somehow everyone miraculously made it to the very end.

It must have been hot for the dignitaries at the reviewing stand (in the shade with their fans)
because when we stopped for our performance you can hear one of them commanding us to ‘make this quick’…  You’re welcome…

Here’s a shot before we stepped off…