History of St. Peter's Drum Corps
St. Peter’s Drum Corps.
St. Peter’s Drum Corps. was organized in 1930 in St. Peter’s Parish, during the Great Depression, to give Torrington’s youth purposeful recreation and fellowship in very difficult times. From its humble beginnings, St. Peter’s went on to establish itself as a New England powerhouse among competition drum corps., all the while maintaining its pledge to enrich the lives of its members and the community with music and fellowship.
Beginning in 1940, the Corps found its ranks depleted when most of its members left to serve in the military. But thanks to the dedication of a handful who remained behind, the Corps. held together and participated in patriotic activities on the homefront including a War Bond Rally at Fuessenich Park where it performed for the touring Victor Mature.
In the years following the war, the Corps. changed its makeup from the original “Senior Fife, Drum and Bugle Corps.”designation to “Valve Bugle Corps.” It was in the 1950s and ‘60s that the Corps. came into its own as a competition band. Under the directorship of Sal Scarfo, Domenic Antonelli, George Foeller, Charles Rovagna and 40 year director Benny Antonelli, St. Peter’s has captured over 6,494 prizes (1450 trophies and 5044 medals). Today the corps. is considered a combination corps. and is made up of trumpets, baritones, tubas, glockenspiels and fifes with a full complement of percussion and an award winning drum major and color guard. The corps. specializes in march music of all styles and members are from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.
All told, St. Peter’s has brought their music to sixteen European countries, Canada and Mexico. They have also performed in 14 different states and the District of Columbia. They have played at Disney World, Disneyland, Seaworld, Expo 74 in Spokane, Washington, the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington, D.C., the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, Mardi Gras in New Orleans and on the Paradise cruise ship in the Eastern Caribbean. One of the most memorable trips was in 1996 when they performed the “Stars and Stripes Forever” for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.
To its credit, the Corps. has released two CD’s, “St. Peter’s in Concert” and “St. Peter’s in Concert 1999”, and was named “1985 Corps. of the Year” by the Connecticut Fifers and Drummers Association. They have also been featured in “Yankee Magazine” and have been named “Best Drum Corps. in the state by “Connecticut Magazine.”
Peter Andrews, Director