Marty's Goldenaires - Senior Drum & Bugle Corps
Marty's Goldenaires is a Parade and Concert Corps which performs primarily in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota from May to Labor Day weekend. Musical selections through the years have pleased all audience types with a mixture of swing, rock, patriotic, and nostalgic drum corps styles. Established in 1950 as a Senior Corps, membership includes men between the ages of 16 and 79 years. This unique age mix gives Marty's Goldenaires a blend of nostalgia, a solid nucleus, and a young enthusiasm and excitement which is evident as the audience involve themselves in Marty's Goldenaires performances! Go Go Marty's!
A Brief History
In Memory of Martin O. Lamoreux (1902-1968), alias Mr. Music. Original music director and arranger of Marty's Goldenaires Drum and Bugle Corps.
It was the post World War II era and members of American Legion Post 27 were having one of their routine meetings. The question came up, "anything good for the Legion?" A U.S. Navy Veteran and noteworthy band director and graduate of Oshkosh and Northland colleges by the name of Martin "Marty" Lamoreux presented the idea to the membership of forming a Bessemer Post 27 Drum & Bugle Corps. Most attendees originally dismissed the notion as a far-fetched dream; however, the scheme was put into their consciousness. It wasn't until a later meeting that Nick Re, the soon to be assistant director, suggested a Legion Drum & Bugle corps. Marty being a true opportunist immediately backed the suggestion into a motion. It was at this moment of conception that the rest of the Posts 27 membership fell collectively into line with the proposal and the motion carried thus the formation of American Legion Post 27 Drum & Bugle Corps, eventually becoming Marty's Goldenaires. For 18 years, the all male Corps performed in community events and numerous competitions, conventions, and festivals within the region. It was during this period that Director Marty Lamoreux coined the phrase, " Where Ever We Go, There Shall Be Music." With the death of Marty in 1968 the Corps went into dormancy.
It was during the time of our country's bicentennial in 1976 that Veterans such as Bill Maki, Bernie Michelli, and Dave Bracket and some new musicians including Daniel "Dan" Pitrone and Myron Re (son of Nick Re) succeeded in inspiring enough past members and a few local recruits to practice and play in the Bessemer 4th of July parade. After a few years of some practicing and small shows it was in 1980 that Marty's started it's current consecutive streak of 35+ seasons of local, regional, and national parade and concert performing. Pitrone has been a significant figure through this period as the Corps music director and arranger (1976-1993, 2000-present) as well as a lead soprano. Dan is a 1974 Northern Michigan University graduate with postgraduate studies in musical education. He is known for his methods and knack of throwing a variety of styles at the crowd, including, military and patriotic, classical and show tunes, and swing, rock, blues, and jazz.
Marty's Goldenaires has a sense of family character. Through the years there has been several father-son, brothers, fathers and brothers, grandfather-grandson, uncle-nephew, and cousin combinations. And aside from blood, members feel a type of fraternal brotherhood. Marty's was invited to their first National American Legion Convention in Nashville, TN in 2004. Since the 2006 season, membership between 54-60 has been the largest in the entire Corps history. Strong commitment, musical potency, and stimulating choreography have shaped the Goldenaires into a popular public figure. They are often voted the top musical unit in many of the region's parades and festivals. The Corps had their concert professionally recorded when they opened up for the Yoopers at the Historic Ironwood Theater in 2003 and CD's were made available to the public. In December of 2006 they made a surprise appearance in Lansing, MI and performed inside of the Capital in honor of their long-time Drum Major Rich Brown who was at the end of his term as State Representative. They were the only musical unit to ever entertain on the floor of the Capital building in Michigan's history. In 2010 the Goldenaires were invited to the National Legion Convention in Milwaukee, WI and marched in their grand parade. Also in Milwaukee, they performed their entire concert for the Michigan Legion banquet. Most of the audience never heard their tasteful and poignant music and the attendee's response was magnificent.
2010 was a unique year as the Corps celebrated their 60th anniversary and were invited to perform the half time show of the Green Bay Packers-San Francisco 49ers game on December 5th at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI. Not only were they the half time entertainment but Marty's marched and played around the stadium concourse, Atrium, and outside the stadium in the Fan Tundra Zone tent. They were well received and it's an experience that is second to none and a memory members will carry for years to come. In 2011 Marty's marched in the National Legion Convention parade in downtown, Minneapolis, MN. The Corps was invited to the National Convention once again in 2012, sponsored by Michigan's American Legions, in Indianapolis, IN, the home of the National American Legion Headquarters. They had the honor of performing for a grand audience at the 2012 opening ceremonies held outside of the Indian World War Memorial Military Museum in the Indian World War Memorial Plaza, a National Historic Landmark District. The ceremony, which featured moving and ennobling speakers, concluded with the American Legion Riders ride at dusk. While the Goldenaires marched out to their trademark “Zulu” Cadence, the sound of the Indiana Air National Guard's Vietnam War era U.S. Army Huey could be heard in flight directly above, adding to the emotional and spirited occasion. The trip was another highlight and extraordinary experience for the Michigan Drum and Bugle Corps.
By Myron Re, member since 1976, (1996), and Dustin Pitrone, member since 1997, (2007-2014).