Sounds On The Susquehanna
Sounds On The Susquehana is a non-profit organization created to promote the appreciation and participation in drum and bugle corps. The founders are former members of the Keystoners Drum and Bugle Corps of Milton, PA.
History Of The Keystoners
Formed in 1946 from a nucleus of returning World War ll veterans, the Keystoners began their existence as the Milton American Legion Post 71 Drum and Bugle Corps. The organization adopted the name of “Keystoners” in 1949, and performed as a street unit winning a reputation as one of the top parade corps in the state.
The group entered field competition in 1952 finishing second in their Pennsylvania State American Legion competition. The following year, the corps captured first place at the State contest in Pittsburgh and became the Class B champions. Many more successful campaigns followed, highlighted in 1957 when they won the national Open VFW championship in Miami Beach Florida.
The Keystoners benefited from from the instruction furnished to them by Bill Hooten of the Reilly Raiders, Ralph Silverbrand, of the Hawthorne Caballeros and other highly skilled instructors such as “Skip” Groff of the Baltimore Yankee Rebels and John Flowers of the Reading Buccaneers.
The Keystoners initiated the original Cavalcade of Champions in 1949 and it ran uninterrupted for 24 years. The list of corps that appeared in the Cavalcade of Champions through the years reads like a “Who’s Who” of the genre. Among competitors was the Reilly Raiders, Hawthorne Caballeros, Jersey Joes, Archer-Epler Muskateers, New York Skyliners, Preston Scout House, Audubon All-Girls Liberty Bell Cadets, Pittsburgh Rockets and many, many more.
All the corps looked forward to competing at the Cavalcade of Champions because it was one of the few contests always sold out and involved some of the fiercest competition to be found.