Graniteers History
In 1955, The Boy Scout troop 186 of Rochester, New Hampshire organized the Scout Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps. Following two years of appearances and parades, Scoutmaster Ray Turmelle realized that a drum corps’ main activity was competing with other groups in field competitions, but due to the expense involved and the possibility of curtailing the regular scouting programs, a competing corps was not feasible.

Boy Scount Drum and Bugle Corps
Graniteer's First Picture In 1958, It was decided to start a city-wide drum corps.  Meetings were held, instruments were purchased, youngsters were recruited and with the help of Bert George, Rochester’s Recreation Director, we were fortunate to use the U.S. Army Reserve Center for our rehearsals and activities. With the practice sessions in full swing and the enthusiasm of the new recruits, the Granite State Graniteers officially became a drum & bugle corps.
In the first season, the corps came in second in the 1959 Bi-Centennial parade in Pembroke, NH and won their first trophy.
In 1961, the corps was selected to represent the state of New Hampshire at  President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural parade in Washington, DC. The corps performed at the New England Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1964 and in September 1967, the corps was invited to compete in the International Circuit Finals in Montreal, Canada. Competing against some of the top corps in Canada, the Graniteers came in third with a score of 81.2, which was four-tenths of a point under the second place winner, the Montreal Canada Vicomtes.  Following the contest, the corps toured the Expo 67 World’s fair before returning home.
President Kennedy's Parade
Worlds Fair The corps competed mostly in New England  and won over 300 trophies during their 12 year history. Corps Director, Ray Turmelle stated “throughout the years  we were fortunate to have some of the best instructors the drum corps world had to offer.” William Brooks, color guard instructor, Richard Grant and Earl Powell on drums, Raymond Spencer and Harry O’Neil on bugles, Alan Brooks and Robert Santoro on marching and maneuvering worked tirelessly to transform raw recruits into talented members of a class A drum and bugle corps.
The Graniteers was a junior corps which meant that all members had to be below the age of 21. Some members who had been in the corps for several years had to leave because of their age, others went to college, got married or joined the Armed Services. This mass exodus greatly affected the membership, so in 1969 it became impossible to field a corps of the same caliber or quality of the previous years.  At the time, there were several corps in the area whose members also had aged-out. It was decided to continue as a senior corps thereby allowing members to join regardless of age. Unfortunately, the corps was active only for two years and after 12 years, the Graniteers had their “last hurrah” and disbanded for the last time in 1971. Graniteers Trophy



 

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