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The Immaculate Conception Reveries
This account of the history of the I.C. Reveries Junior Drum and Bugle Corps of Revere, Mass. begins in 1967. At that time the Immaculate Conception parish in Revere sponsored a senior corps as well as a junior corps. The senior Reveries disbanded after pulling an infamous "sitdown strike" at the VFW Nationals in New Jersey thereby upsetting the parish pastor to the point where he no longer wanted anything to do with them. In stepped George Bonfiglio and he asked the senior corps members if they wanted to stay together as an independant unit and thus, the 27th Lancers were founded with George B. as manager. The Lancers subsequently became one of the most successful corps in Drum Corps International history. The junior corps, however, now found themselves on their own.
The junior Reveries, under the management of Al "Slushy" Solombrino, decided to adopt a nautical theme, thus the red, black, and white sailor uniforms fashioned after those worn aboard the U.S. Navy's oldest commissioned fighting ship, the U.S.S. Constitution berthed in nearby Charlestown. Under the leadership of instructors such as Larry Kirchner, Rick Connor, John Powers, and Frank Annetti on brass, Joe Lyons, Frank Grelle and Al "Cisco" Collameano on percussion, and Arthur Reilly, Dick Burke, Frank Raffa, Franny Haines, and Karen Kelly on Marching and manuvering, the corps rose through the ranks of class C and class B with remarkable speed, winning numerous local titles along the way. They made it to the big leagues in 1970 when they tasted their first Open Class competition. They had quickly matured to the level where they were now competing head to head with their former senior corps, now the Lancers. The closest they would come to beating their cross town rivals was at the 1974 World Open in Lynn's Manning Bowl when 27th outscored them 75 to 69. To their credit, the Reveries beat 2-7 across the board in execution but lost out in all three general effect captions.
At the conclusion of the 1974 season,a devestating split in corps ranks saw half the unit defect to the Lancers, leaving the remaining half little choice but to merge, which they did with the Blue Angels of Danvers to form the Blue Angel/Reveries. They met with moderate success and in 1976 this new corps merged again with the Beverly Cardinals and became the North Star Drum Corps from the North Shore of Massachusetts. Under a "Dream Team" management group made up of Jim and Linda O'brien, Bob Mulvanity, Bill Dunne, and Al Solombrino, North Star went on to finish in Drum Corps International's elite top twelve three years in a row, from 1978-1980. This successful run included numerous victories over local rivals such as the Lancers and Boston Crusaders, as well as national powers such as the Madison Scouts, Bayonne Bridgeman, Garfield Cadets, and Crossmen. The crowd pleasing approach to their program design paid huge dividends as the corps established a reputation of being one of the most entertaining units in the country.
The staff was made up of a slew of local talent including brass members Lee "Sharpy" Gianangelo, Rick Connor, Gerry Noonan, and Dan Lutz, drill members Neal Smith, Ron Genest, Paul Cain, Frank Morris, Jerry Hickey, Tom Holland,and Dolores Zappala, and percussion members Dave Vose, Paul Lusardi,Tom (Jumbo)Shaheen, Jim Galvin, Mike Manning, Steve Cavanaugh, and Jack Donovan.
The North Star Drum Line, nicknamed the "Chrome Wall" because of it's eleven man snare line sporting chrome finished drums, achieved enormous success during those years, culminating in high execution drum honors at the 1979 DCI Nationals in Birmingham Alabama in a tie with the Santa Clara Vanguard.
North Star continued to compete with moderate success until they, sadly, ceased operations in 1983 due to financial demands. They were followed into the Drum Corps history books by the 27th Lancers in 1986 for similar reasons.
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