American Legion Starts Drum & Bugle Corps for Mohawk Valley Youth

Mid-York Musketeers Drum & Bugle Corps Director Bill Jenkins (left) is pictured with Utica Post 229 Commander Jim George.

American Legion starts Drum & Bugle Corps for Mohawk Valley Youth

Utica Post 229 to hold informational meeting Sunday, May 20

An American Legion drum and bugle corps is returning to the Mohawk Valley this summer, Utica Post 229 Commander Jim George announced. An informational meeting for interested youth and parents takes place at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at Utica Post 229, 409 Herkimer Road, Utica. The program is open to youth in 7th through 12th grades in Herkimer, Oneida and Madison counties.

Pictured are some of the instruments obtained for the Mid-York Musketeers Drum & Bugle Corps, on display at Utica Post 229.

The corps goes by the name of Mid-York Musketeers, and is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, explained Madison County American Legion Commander Bill Jenkins, who is corps director and drum instructor.

“We received a grant to put towards equipment and we have already purchased some,” said Jenkins, a retired high school drum teacher who played in the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point and in the West Point Hellcats Drum and Bugle Corps. He later played in the Pride of the Orange Marching Band at Syracuse University and taught in several school districts. Before retiring, he spent 25 years at Morrisville-Eaton Central School District as drumline instructor and assistant band director. His drumline won many championships in both field and parade competition.

“Providing programs for children and youth is one of the pillars of the American Legion,” George noted. “We already sponsor Legion baseball, and now we’re offering the opportunity for youth to be part of a musical marching team.” He added: “For many years Utica Post had sponsored the Magnificent Yankees Drum and Bugle Corps, so we’re very excited to bring Legion-sponsored drum-and-bugle-corps activity back to the Mohawk Valley.”

Jenkins noted: “We’re looking for boys and girls who want to play drums and brass, and represent the Mohawk Valley with excellence, pride, honor and respect. As our motto states, we’ll be ‘the Pride of the Mohawk Valley’.” Rehearsals will be on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5 to 8 at Utica Post 229. He said they already have enough equipment and uniforms for a drumline and color guard. Next will be instruments and uniforms for brass players.

“We welcome tax-deductible donations and sponsorships,” he said.

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