Drum Corps Associates
Blues", "El Dorado",
and "Another Star" both arranged by Pete Spadaro
1981 - 12th place DCA
Click On Pitcure For Large View
In their second year of competition,
the Steel City Ambassadors will
a program aimed at entertaining the audience.
Circuit: Drum Corps
Finals - Mientown, PA.
International Corps Associates
- "Undefeated Champs"
Finals - Alliance, OH
PA V.F.W. State - "Champs",
Repertoire: "Bugle Blues", - featuring
past D.C.I. soloist Pat
Next 'Harry James
with soprano soloists
Ed Lewis and Curt
Rondo A La Turk"
swing version of National
1982 - 11th place
Click On Pitcure For Large View
In their third year, Steel City had a rough start with their 5th place
finish in their
first field competition at the DCA Hershey Show.
But, 7 rehearsals and 14 days later,
The Black and Gold turned that
5th place into a 2nd at the DCA Show in Latrobe.
In the two ICA
competitions held on July 2nd and 3rd at Midland, PA and
the corps pleased their fans with
Circuit: Drum Corps
"Elite 10" Member Finals -
Corps Associates - "Undefeatd' Champs"
Finals - Baltimore, MD
· International Corps
· Empire State - 'Champs
National Emblem - Dixieland", "You Made Me Love You", -
featuring award winning
soprano soloist, Curt Hawkins followed by "2 O
Clock Jump. Introduction to a River',
into Frank Zappa's 'Peaches and Regalia".
Exiting with "Somewhere in the Night"
featuring another highly
acclaimed soloist Pat Cavanaugh and a
Mellophone solo by Frank Cicco.
1983 - 10th place DCA
Click On Pitcure For Large View
The Pittsburgh Metro area
corps has run the gamut from a 1980 idea on the back burner
of a few ex drum
corps member's list of things to do, through
to the 1981 season
when they joined the International Corps Association and
came in 2nd in the ICA Championships.
In Philadelphia at the
Drum Corps Associates Finals, Steel City placed 12th to finish it's
1982 saw the corps march
"undefeated" through the ICA contests and finished 11th in the
DCA World Finals in Allentown, PA. The summer of
1983 was a repeat performance in the
ICA Circuit and gave the corps the
momentum to gain full member status in the
"Top 10" of DCA's at the World Finals in Allentown, PA.
Associates -"Top 7"
Finals - Allentown, PA.
Corps Associates "Champs"
Finals - Baltimore, MD
Repertoire: Warm-up -
"God Bless the Beasts and the Children", "No Moon At All",
"Malaguena". Earth/Wind/Fire -
"In the Stone", to drum solo of "Get Away".
Exit with Lionel Richie "All Night Long".
The Corps re-enters the field with it's
signature - "National Emblem March".
1984 - 7th place
Click On Pitcure For Large View
Now, long-established corps
like the Thunderbirds, Archer Epler, the Hurricanes, and the
watch out for this young, powerful corps from Pittsburgh.
of them but the Hurc's lost to Steel City last year.
And the Steel City Ambassadors placed 7th,
right behind the Hurricanes,
in the 1984 DCA World Finals.
The corps' horn section has
proved its strength. At the '84 Senior
Steel City's brass executed well enough to score less
than, half of a point behind the
renowned Hurricanes horn line.
This year's book shows off Steels' horns
through the jazz idiom.
Circuit:. Drum Corps Associates -"Top
Finals - Allentown, PA.
Best Individual Showmanship
Sandy McNeal - AWESOME ALLEY
Finals - Allentown, PA
Repertoire: Nat King Cole's version
"NO Moon At
"Malaguena" the Stan Kenton arrangement.
Manhattan Transfer's "Why Not"
and Quincy Jones'
Exiting with "LA is My Lady" by o1d blue eyes, Sinatra.
1985 - 5th place
1985 - 1986
The Steel City Ambassadors 1986
Production is the most popular and spectacular
in their history. The corps had dedicated their hard work for
enjoyment of the crowd and are looking forward to performing for their
fans and followers the drum corps community.
The corps is fielding the largest
corps in their 5th year history.
Placing 5th in DCA Finals last year has been a
to present to you the best show possible for 1986.
Pittsburgh's version of
"Metal -Mania 1986".
Drum Corps Associates -"Top 2"
High General Effect
Allentown, Pa. Best DCA Soloist -Curt Hawkins
Finals - Allentown, Pa. Second
Best Individual Showmanship
- AWESOME ALLEY
Repertoire: Warm-up to
Striesands "Somewhere", to "Nutville".
Concert -"One More Time Chuck
Corea", to "Stormy Weather".
Drum Solo using brake drums to
Manhattan Transfer "Why Not"
into Sinatra's-"After You're
1986 - 2nd place DCA SCA
1986 - 1987
The corps has improved it's National
every year, and is currently
ranked 2nd in the World. This year promised to be
an even better year, with the
Ambassadors fielding the largest corps to
date; with early-season estimates at
64 Horns, 31 Percussion, 28 Colorguard.
Steel's show will once again focus on entertainment as the corps plays
Contemporary, Big Band and Latin Jazz numbers.
Circuit: Drum Corps Associates - Top 4"
Finals - Allentown, PA.
Repertoire: 'Somewhere Out There", Buddy Rich -
"Mozaik", featuring Steel's unique scaled automobile brake drums.
"One More Time Chuck
Corea", and 'Come Rain or Come Shine".
1987 - 4th place
Senior Corps are getting used to
Steel City Ambassadors finish on Top.
1987 - 1988
In their eighth year, this Pittsburgh
powerhouse has already established itself as
Top DCA contender. Last
corps placed first or second in all of its shows right up to the
Championships. There on
a muddy field,
the corps wallowed to a 92.86,
less than two points out of first place! The three last years Steel City has
finished in the
Top Five at
In 1986, the corps barely
missed winning it all -by only five tenths of a point.
Now, dynastic corps like the
Skyliners, and Sunrisers must
look over their shoulders for
All of them lost at least once last season to the
Pittsburgh Steel City Ambassadors.
Drum Corps Associates - 'Top 8'
Finals - Hershey, PA.
High the Moon", "Love For Sale", 'LaFuerza",
and "Here's that
1988 - 8th place
D.C.A.'S (25TH) SILVER ANNIVERSARY
STEEL!!! Get ready for an
exciting show when you hear
the Steel City Ambassadors
exclaim 'STEEL' with charged-up emotion as we take
the field! . . .
You'll FEEL THE SOUND
as Steel City kicks off this show with a
brassy horn line featuring highlights
by DCA award winner soprano soloist Curt Hawkins;
two-time DCA Entertainer of
the year award winner, Sandy McNeal on Congos,
and Baritone soloist Walt
Steel City is proud to be a part of
DCA's Silver Anniversary
and wishes to say THANKS TO ALL THE
CORPS AND FANS who have
in an existing part of Drum Corps for these past 25 years.
Corps Associates -"Top,7" - Tied w/Rochester Crusaders
Finals - Allentown, PA.
Spadaro's arrangement of "Brass Machine"
ala Scream Machine -
soloist by Curt Hawkins.
Scott Koter's percussion
arrangement with the high-energy brass along with
"The Pit" and Sandy
McNeal on Congos, in an arrangement of "Malaga",
Next, featuring Baritone
soloist Walt Street In "Blue Bosa",
leaving the field with
1989 - 7th place DCA SCA
S.C.A'S (10Th) SEASON!!!
This year marks the 10th
Year of The Steel City Ambassadors.
Created in 1981 by a group of people who dedicated themselves to the
DCA Senior Drum Corps to the City of Pittsburgh, the Steel City
are once again performing the entertaining 'up-beat music that marks
"Suite for Jazz", done in three parts, and Maleguena.
This 10th Year also is one of the
extensive travel, with performances in Paterson N.J.,
Albany N.Y., Waterbury CT, St. Johns MI, Rochester
N.Y., as well as In the cities of
Cumbreland MD, Reading, Erie, Scranton,
Columbia, Canonsburg, and Allentown, PA .
With new uniforms and renewed enthusiasm, Steel' City is fielding one
largest DCA Corps, with over 50 horns, 34 percussion, and 18
Lead by Corps
Director and Drum Major, Mike
Symonds, and with solos by
Dan McGrogan, Walt Street, and John Gilliand. Steel City is
aiming for an
and a "No. # 1" Finish in DCA at Allentown.
Corps Associates -'8th Place'
Finals - 88.9
"Suite for Jazz" and "Malaguena".
1990 - 8th place DCA
S.C.A'S (10TH) ANNIVERSARY!!!
This year marks the 10th
Year Anniversary of The Steel City Ambassadors.
Created in 1981 by
a group of people who dedicated
the return of
DCA Senior Drum Corps to the. City of Pittsburgh, the Steel City Ambassadors
survive thru the omen in the Pgh. area of
"...A drum corps life expectancy Is 10
yrs, then it goes under."
The corps almost, but did not
die. In late
January 1991, (6) out of the (8)
Board of Directors resigned all
at once. An emergency meeting
and over 350 letters were sent out to past, present, future
members to help and par-take in
that was held in February.
The overall co-tents, emotions, teary-eyed speeches
that were given resulted in one final
comment.... STEEL MUST SURVIVE,
MUST LIVE! KEEP IT GOING.
That being the case, the
results of the re-elections
and all the Board positions are occupied for the new season. With
ideas, and a lot of un-tied strings hanging in the air,
the present Board of Directors
are proud to present to you the
STEEL CITY AMBASSADORS.
Drum Corps Associates -"Associate Member
73.4 Finals - Scranton, PA
Repetoire: The Steel City Show
a Fine baritone solo in the intro ballad
"A11 In Good Time", their hard-driving
production of Louie Belson's "Santos"
strong percussion solo within
it); the musicality and
beautiful nuances of
"If I Loved You", and the upbeat jazz sounds
of "People Alone"
with a wide spectrum
of feelings, a brass quintet and a
1991 - 12th place DCA
Above By - Marta Northcraft 11-8-1991
1991 - 1992
1992 - 14th
More Info To Come ?
1992 - 1993
Corps Stayed Together As A Parade Corps
More Info To Come ?
1993 - 1998 ?
History Of The Steel City Ambassadors
By - Bob
the great themes in history and literature is that of the outsider who
comes from nowhere, touches the top, then fades away. In senior corps
history there is no better example of the obscure unit that rises,
burns brightly for a shining moment, and then disappears than the Steel
City Ambassadors of Pittsburgh.
story begins in 1980 in western Pennsylvania, home of dozens of fine
units from the 1930s through the mid-1970s. But as the steel industry
that fueled the Pittsburgh region went into decline, so too did the
corps movement. In 1976, however, a group of old Sharpsburg Cadets
dusted off their chops for their hometown’s sesquicentennial parade,
and some of the guys kept that unit intact as a parade corps, called
the Sharpsburg Ambassadors.
years later, Dave Fite, former Archer Epler Musketeer soloist, moved to
Pittsburgh. Fite knew there was more to drum corps than five or six
parades and the occasional standstill concert. One night after practice
Fite proposed a plan to build a competitive senior corps out of all the
untapped local talent. To kick things off he organized a giant reunion
party that drew over one hundred former corps members. This nucleus
responded to Fite’s call to form a new corps in August of 1980.
new Steel City Ambassadors took fledgling steps, joined the ICA and
DCA, and performed at Larry Hersheman’s Westshore standstill in
Harrisburg. Steel City had a pretty strong horn line featuring some
top-notch solo talent. The drum line took longer to gel; good
percussion instruction was hard to come by. This fact was to haunt the
corps throughout its existence.
the corps onto the field became a comedy of errors as no less than four
drill instructors were hired, then fired. Larry Tinnerman, a part-time
horn instructor during the winter, was brought in to perform emergency
drill surgery a mere two weeks before the first show in Midland,
Pennsylvania, on July 4. Tinnerman worked miracles, getting eleven
minutes of drill written and taught in less than a fortnight, and
teaching the exit in the last two hours of rehearsal on the Fourth
was an old steel town, blue collar and traditional, but the crowd that
evening roared with approval for this new unit from Pittsburgh. It
seemed as if they were going to tear the stands down when this novice
group was announced as finishing second to the Erie Thunderbirds.
corps performed at a few more ICA shows and one DCA competition. Based
on their scores, they looked to be a safe bet to earn tenth place at
DCA Prelims, the only competitor of concern being the resurrected
Archer Epler Musketeers.
weekend was a total shock. Both Archie and Steel City were left on the
outside as the Niagara Regionaires, a Canadian unit that had never
beaten either group, leapfrogged into the tenth spot. Rumors flew about
the “reserved spot” for a Canadian corps, to make DCA an
began optimistically. Steel City had grown in size and talent, with an
improved guard. Frank Miller, who had taken over percussion instruction
the previous summer, performed miracles with the drummers. Steel City
dominated ICA, winning their first show in East Liverpool, Ohio, at the
end of June and going undefeated, capturing the title easily. The climb
continued into DCA, as the corps finally overcame Erie and traded wins
was another disappointment, however, as the Pittsburgh group found
themselves in eleventh place. One of the saddest moments in this unit’s
history came when members learned that they had lost to both Archer
Epler and to a corps that had appeared out of nowhere, the
appropriately named Bushwhackers.
second near miss at Prelims nearly tore the corps apart, but Steel
proved as tough and resilient as its name, vowing to become even
better. The 1983 drum line was downright enormous, featuring six base
drums and eleven snares. The horn line checked in at 48, and the guard
featured its first ever rifle line. The competitive season continued
previous years’ patterns as the group remained undefeated in the ICA
but had trouble impressing DCA judges. In the end, they cracked the top
ten, at tenth place, on Finals night, and the corps’ huge drum line had
the honor of playing all corps on at retreat that night in Allentown.
goal of DCA membership had been reached, but Steel City still suffered
growing pains. The brass talent was there and Miller’s drumline was
solid, but the corps continued to have problems in drill design (parts
of the 1983 drill had been drawn on cocktail napkins in a bar at corps
camp) and marching instruction. The corps needed a change. Soprano Ken
Behrend knew an instructor from New York and brought him in to take
over drill design, teaching, and staff coordination. This man, Rick
Morey, turned out to be the most important person ever to be associated
with the Steel City Ambassadors.
and management shakeups resulted in a smaller corps. The drill was
written for forty horns, the guard was tiny at thirteen, and the drum
line had shrunk to fewer than twenty. Morey did not care because the
smaller numbers worked to the group’s advantage. Rick was an innovative
designer, producing drills that featured great asymmetrical forms,
smooth transitions, and quick hitting sets. No one was a better
teacher/motivator. Rick commanded the respect of the entire corps, and
he could make anyone feel better, try harder and put bitter feelings
corps also hired Steve Cooley to write the horn book. Steve’s charts
challenged the horn talent, and the quality of the work soon became
apparent. The Ambassadors may have been smaller than in previous years,
but the line was never tighter.
1984 ICA season found Steel City facing a new corps from upstate New
York, the entertaining but raw Empire Statesmen of Rochester, This was
the corps who ended Pittsburgh’s two-year win steak in ICA with a
victory in Canada early in the season. Steel City traded wins with the
Statesmen, and then tied them at the ICA championships.
of a rise in DCA ranking that year proved justified. The Ambassadors
ended up in a seventh place tie with Le Cascadeurs, another one of
those “flash in the pan” French Canadian units that appear periodically
in DCA and soon disappear. However, the men from Pittsburgh had
achieved a drum corps first: no corps has ever tied at two championship
Finals in the same year.
Steel City veterans would tell you that the corps’s fifth year was its
best in terms of spirit and morale. Morey and Cooley returned, and a
fresh recruiting effort yielded a huge corps, featuring 58 horns, a
full drum line, and a 25-man guard. Former 27th Lancer drum major Billy
Marshall took over as marching instructor, new horn techs were brought
in, and new uniforms appeared.
season opened at Hershey with a win over the New York Skyliners, which
had suffered severe personnel problems that winter; this was their
first defeat ever at the hands of a Pittsburgh corps. During the course
of that season Steel City beat Sky regularly and reached their
preseason goal, taking fifth place in DCA Finals, having beaten
everybody except Hawthorne, Reading, Sun, and Bush.
eighty-six was something special. A new influx of personnel and staff
over the winter served notice that the Steel City Ambassadors were
going to be a force in DCA. The show retained only one tune from
previous seasons, “Stormy Weather,” featuring champion soloist Curt
Hawkins. The new repertoire included “Somewhere,” “One More Time Chuck
Corea,” “Nutville,” and “After You’ve Gone“ as the closer. Billy
Marshall took over as podium drum major. Winter practices were huge,
and the brass line reached sixty horns. The drum line was full, and the
corps was fronted by 28 guard.
the Westshore Standstill, Larry Hershman gave the Ambassadors the
chance to go on stage after Hawthorne, the undefeated back-to-back
champions. This was a gamble, but the corps accepted the challenge and
performed the standstill of their lives, which led to a roaring
rousing season opener provided the momentum to catapult Steel City into
the competitive season. The first show was Hershey, and they would be
up against Hawthorne and three others. The performance was inspired,
and that central/western Pennsylvania crowd was enthused. That show got
no fewer than four standing ovations. On the field for the retreat
ceremony no one could believe their ears when the Caballeros were
announced in second place, as five thousand Pennsylvania partisans
roared their approval. Barely five years old, Steel City had handed the
perennial champs their first setback in over two years.
next week the corps floored all comers at Rutgers, New Jersey, a
triumph that included a caption sweep. They won at Carlisle before a
minor setback in Scranton. A week before DCA the corps performed a
powerful show in a monsoon-like downpour at Lewistown, Pennsylvania.
Judging had been called off, but Steel City was clearly several points
ahead of Reading and Bush. A head of steam was propelling the corps
years before, the new corps from Pittsburgh had been hoping to make
DCA’s top ten; now they were actually looking at winning the title.
They tied Hawthorne for first in Prelims, and Steel City performed last
at Finals, having won the coin flip. They marched off that night
feeling like champions.
was full of the usual nonsense, and it had gotten chilly as it always
seems to do. The caption awards were read: High Drums: Bushwhackers. No
big surprise there; the Harrison crew was well noted for their
percussion excellence. High Horns: Bushwhackers. It suddenly got
chillier yet. The High GE trophy came Steel City’s way, not
unexpectedly, but then the top M&M award went to Hawthorne. The
writing was on the wall. The final tally was Bush, 92.4, Steel City,
91.9. The Ambassadors had beaten Hawthorne, but the Bushwhackers, again
living up to their name, had been close enough to win it with a good
performance, increasing their lead in percussion by almost a point and
a half. The whole season had come down to that.
back tears, Billy called Steel to attention. The other corps had exited
the field, leaving just Steel and Bush. Billy marched the runners-up
over to the confused Bushwhackers, halted them, and played “Somewhere”
to salute the winners. This brought tears to several Bushwhackers.
Their drum major brought them to attention and a tenor drummer was
heard to say, “We’ve come a long way from ICA!” The number one and two
corps in DCA had not even existed six years earlier.
goal for 1987 was finally to take the title the corps felt should have
been theirs. The horn line got bigger (64 members), and Morey wrote his
best drill yet, making much greater use of the corps’ size over more of
the field. The repertoire retained “One More Time” and “Nutville,”
added “Somewhere Out There” and “Come Rain or Come Shine,” a
combination that prompted wits to remark that the show perpetuated the
Steel City tradition of precipitation and location adverbs.
Ambassadors were better that season, but so were the other senior corps
who were reaching for the bar that Steel had raised in 1986. The
Allentown weekend was wet. Saturday night was a deluge, and Prelims
were held in a steady shower; the field became a quagmire. At the end
of the day, Steel City was in fourth place, behind Hawthorne, Bush, and
the resurgent Sunrisers, but less than two points separated the top
four corps and, as all had seen last year, anything could happen.
Finals could not be held that evening, so the corps retired to their
hotels to await the decision. If foul weather continued, Finals would
be canceled and Prelim scores would stand.
corps had one of their best rehearsals that Monday morning, really
pulling together. The horn line was in its semicircle tuning when corps
business manager Tom Mahan drove up with the news that Finals had
indeed been canceled. Members began to drift away in sadness, shock,
confusion, and disgust when Cooley yelled out, “Wait! We’re not
finished yet! Get back here!” When the whole line was ready, Steve
conducted the last performance of the 1987 show. Visibly shaken he said
haltingly, “This isn’t for DCA or the judges or anyone else. This is
for us!” And they played like they never had before, as the second
consecutive season ended in disappointment.
rest is anticlimax. Steel City attempted to go in another direction in
1988 with an unfortunate “sweet swing” show. The horn line was used to
playing with dynamics and emotion, but this controlled show sapped them
of their energy. Steel City finished eighth with an 83.00, falling four
spots. The drum line finished ninth while the horns were fifth, only
seven tenths behind Bush. No section of the corps worked harder than
the percussionists, but they just could not put it over the top at the
1989 the Ambassadors returned to their roots with an exciting
Latin-based show and a smaller, tighter unit. Interestingly, the
Skyliners leapfrogged both Steel City and the Crusaders in Finals to
Ambassadors were lined up next to Rochester at retreat. When the tie
was announced, corps members broke ranks, intermingling, shaking hands,
hugging, laughing, and having a ball mocking DCA and the absurdity of
the situation. Steel City marched off together playing what Rick Morey
later called “the loudest f***ing F-Scale I have ever heard in my
eighty-nine was the last hurrah, and the subsequent decline came
quickly. In 1990 Steel City attempted to copy the Madison Scouts’ 1988
formula for winning with “Suite for Jazz Orchestra” and “Malaguena,”
but their unrealistic dreams of the title went unfulfilled with a
units took the field in 1991 and 1992. Personnel problems, budget
pressures, and staff disputes all exacted their toll. The entire board
of directors resigned in January, 1991, and the corps barely made it to
the field. The corps was on its last legs in the spring of 1993. A
proposed merger with a Johnsonburg corps failed a week before camp, and
the Ambassadors officially folded its tents.
Steel City Ambassadors had come out of western Pennsylvania, a senior
corps backwater, and had risen through the ranks to win a reputation
for entertaining performances and showmanship. In 1986 and 1987 they
stood near the top of the DCA world, but could not quite take that last
step. In the end, however, the corps left its mark, improved the
standards of senior corps, and entertained a lot of people.
And that is
a pretty substantial contribution after all.
Text Above By - Bob Diethrich
1993 - 1998 The Corps was having
trouble recruiting and retaining members and went inactive?
- Was the beginning of
the Steel City Ambassador Alumni Corps era.
Most competition Corps in the area
were getting smaller,
due to members
getting older and few new young people getting into Drum Corps.
did not have the time to put into Competition Drum Corps anymore.
Before the spring of 1998, the Alumni
Drum and Bugle Corps scene in
Pittsburgh was basically represented by two groups, the Steel City
Ambassadors and the Westmoreland Esquires. Both groups were having
trouble recruiting and retaining members. After being frustrated for so
long, Frank Cicco, Denny Graham, Bernie Halgas, Don Kretzer, and
Dominic Mignogna sat down at the Italian Club in Pitcairn, PA and
hatched a plan just crazy enough to work. They would combine the forces
of the Steel City Ambassadors and the Westmoreland Esquires to form the
West Penn Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps, to represent the alumni corps
activity to the Pittsburgh, PA area.
The corps first performances were at July
4 parades in Ligonier, PA
and Jeannette, PA on July 4, the Steel City Alumni marched in many more
parades that summer, forming a nucleus of membership and the
development of a reputation for entertaining the crowd.
Following a successful inaugural summer,
the Steel City Alumni built
on their success and expanded their performances to local Drum Corps
Midwest and Drum Corps International contests. The SCA performed
exhibitions at the Butler, PA show in June, 1999 as well as the Bethel
Park, PA show in August. Another significant activity in the summer of
1999 was performing the Firemen's state convention parade in
Greensburg, PA. The corps marched with the "Washies" of the Washington
Fire Department in Conshohocken, PA, and was able to help them to win
the best of their class for marching with music.
The spring and summer of 1999 also saw
the forging of a very very
successful partnership with the Springdale Veteran's Association in
Springdale, PA, who continue to very graciously provide the corps with
a regular rehearsal facility.
After heavily recruiting members in both
the horn line and the drum
line in the "off-season", the Steel City Alumni stormed into the 2000
with their first performance at the Boardman, Ohio St. Patrick's Day
parade. Their performance their earned them first place in the
"Marching Band" category and the means to pay for the transporation to
their first Alumni Drum Corps performance at the Archer-Epler
Musketeers Brass Reunion in Upper Darby, PA. On the way to the
performance, the corps was able to visit their new friends at the
Washington Fire Department in Conshohocken, and give them a rousing
preview of their show that evening.
After that successful start, the corps
also performed exhibitions at
two Drum Corps Associates shows, in Warren, PA and Cumberland, MD, both
of which were very warmly received, and brought many fans back to the
Steel City sound.
After a tremendous 2000 season, 2001 only
brought the corps more
exposure. The season started with a return to Boardman, where they won
"Grand Champion" of the parade, improving on the previous year. The
spring season took the corps to the Dixie Stinger in Baltimore, MD, the
Serenade in Brass at the fabled Forum in Harrisburg, PA and a return to
the Brass Reunion in Upper Darby, PA.
Following the successful spring season,
the corps marched in parades
all over the western Pennsylvania region, with returns to many parades
as well as all new crowds for the corps. The busy parade season led up
to the two most important performances of the corps to date: the Pro
Football Hall of Fame parade and the opening of Heinz Field.
Most of the members of the corps are huge
Pittsburgh Steelers fans,
so when the opportunity to represent Lynn Swann in the Pro Football
Hall of Fame parade came along, the corps jumped at it. The parade was
long and hot, but the chance to perform in front of 250,000 football
fans in Canton and countless more on TV made the trip and the work all
worthwhile. The corps marched directly in front of Lynn Swann and
played the "Steeler Fight Song" down the parade route.
Following that opportunity, the Steelers
called on the corps again.
This time, it was for the inaugural game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
It may have only been an exhibition game, but the Steel City Alumni
were the first musical group to ever perform at the stadium (some might
argue that the N'Sync concert a week before might have beat us, but we
are talking MUSIC here, not prefabricated pablum). That performance
closed the best season yet for the Steel City Alumni.
As of May 2002, the corps has already
it through it's very successful spring season. A name change back to
the "Ambassadors" moniker has brought the corps full circle, and
hopefully will bring in more members who may have been scared away
because they weren't an alumnus of any corps.
Spring shows this year took the corps
back to Upper Darby once again
for the Brass Reunion, and to a completely new crowd for the corps at
the Mighty St. Joe's Classic in Rochester, NY.
October 2005 we moved our practice site to the Trafford Polish Club in Trafford Pa.
a 10 year run at the Trafford Polish Club, we were informed that the
club wanted to re-model the hall and our storage room was going to be a
small banquet room, so we had to move.
2015 we purchased a 24 ft Trailer and September 2015 we moved
everything into the trailer, so now we were mobile and could have a
new Rehearsal Site will be Winchester Thurston School in Shady Side
part of Pittsburgh, which brings us back to the City of Pittsburgh.
General Corps Information
Our members have marched with many, many
corps, especially those
with roots in the Pittsburgh area. Some of these local corps were:
Steel City Ambassadors, Pittsburgh Rockets, Finleyville Royal
Crusaders, General Butler Vagabonds, Westmoreland Esquires, Sharpsburg
Cadets, Derry Patriots, Cambria Cadets, Silver Sabres, Trafford Black
Knights, Vern Acklin Cavaliers, Duquesne Dukes, and Verona Cavaliers.
We also have members that have marched in
other, non-local corps
that are much too numerous to mention here. Suffice it to say, that if
you've heard of the corps, the Steel City Ambassadors probably has
somebody that marched with them through the years.
The corps is currently accepting
members who are willing to
participate in our vision of entertaining the crowd and bringing a big
drum corps sound back to Pittsburgh. You do not have to be an alumni of
any corps to join, just come to a rehearsal
and bring a willingness be a part of a growing musical presence in