Tuesday, April 14, 2009

March Moments 2009: March 45 - 1975, Last Chapter

March 45 - 1975, Last Chapter
by JoAnne Parente

(Editor's note: What a run this has been ... more submissions for this little project known as March Moments than ALL other trivia and other submissions in the past, combined. Tomorrow is age-out day - watch for it.)

This is a March Moment I've saved until the very end. For me, it's about saving the best until last.

My absolutamente most favorite marching moment, hands-down, was the May 1975 NJA Guard championship finals at the Wildwood Convention Center. Given all the hype leading up to the show, it could have been anticlimactic. If you were there, you know nothing could be further from the truth.

We knew at some point early in that winter guard season that it would be our last. We had just come off a summer season which was a clear turning point on national competitiveness for the corps, and we collectively decided that we needed to focus more attention there.

As defending champs, we took the floor last. The Sematics were on just before us (and in third after prelims), and a good number of horn and drum line members were in the stands to cheer us both on.

Instead of our canned music (For Once In My Life for those who might have forgotten), we entered the floor to Jimmy Brady, who stood up in the stands and played us on to a jazzed-up version of When the Saints Go Marching In. Needless to say, EVERYONE in the convention center went wild.

Right up until the very end, most were skeptical that we would really just walk away from it all. We finished as champions - and I was even asked to write about it some five years later for a WGI Championship program.

What a day.
What a time.
What a guard.
What a corps.
What a family.

1975. Gotta love it.

Comments or questions about our March Moments series? Click here to submit, or if that doesn't work, send them to joparente DOT saintsdrumcorps AT gmail DOT com.

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