History of the Reading Buccaneers
The Reading Buccaneers were organized in 1957 as a parade corps and began field competition in 1958. In their earlier years, they won three VFW National titles and retired that crown in 1962. The Bucs then won the first DCA Championship ever held (1965) and have been DCA Champions three other times (1968, 1979 and 1980). They had ascended the ladder of success faster than anyone in senior drum corps history. Over the years, the Buccaneers have finished in the top three at DCA finals 15 times.
The Buccaneers have had their share of glory in competition, but are most proud of the thousands of people who have shared the Buccaneer experience and become a part of the "Buccaneer family". Many of these folks have gone on to have rewarding careers in music or in other endeavors, and remember fondly their days with a world class drum and bugle corps. Of course there are a very special few who stay involved year after year.
The Bucs are fondly known as "Balance in Blue" because of the wide range of musical selections presented over the years. A popular theory is that the name came from the hornline which set a tradition of marching in mixed order, which produced a much richer, fuller, more balanced sound. This nickname, however, predates this practice, and really does refer to the variety of music played by the corps. According to Donnie, the corps started with the intention of playing nautical-oriented songs, but after running out of ideas for nautical songs after three years, moved to playing a different style every year, intending to not be associated with a particular style.
The Buccaneers have recently become a very powerful force in the drum corps activity. With the activity's shift from each show representing contrasting concepts to a "total package" show concept, the Buccaneers have evolved with the activity. Choosing for their medium the symphonic sounds of what most people catagorize as "classical", the Buccaneers stand out among the DCA community for their uniquely dark, full, embodying sound, characteristic of symphonic music. Having found their mission in the activity, the leadership of an outstanding corps director, and a superb staff, the corps has risen from its ashes into the spotlight of championship contention. The Buccaneers have deliberately established a strong foundation under its rise to the top, assuring that the Reading Buccaneers will remain strong on the high seas of the drum corps activity.
The Reading Buccaneers are currently sponsored in part by the Ray A. Master American Legion Post # 217 of Topton, PA. The Bucs are supported by many businesses in the Reading and Berks County area, and from the Buccaneer Alumni Association.