|Todays Drum & Bugle Corps
|One of the Reading Buccaneers "founding fathers" was 'a guy
with a passion', as were they all......
|It was a summer day in the mid-1950s when on the steps of Reading High,
Carl L. Bagenstose and his four friends would meet to merge their shared musical
interest into a singular entity.
Back from their military service and aged out of other local junior corps horn and
drum lines, the meeting would establish Bagenstose, Bruce Englehart, Ron Fisher, Roy
Miller and George "Fitz" Price as the founding fathers of the Reading Buccaneers
Drum & Bugle Corps, which 60 years later, continues to hit the musical notes and
rack up the championship honors.
With Carl's Jan. 20, 2016 death at the age of 89, that leaves just Bruce Englehart as
the sole surviving founding father of the corps.
A Navy veteran, Carl grew up in northwest Reading, where his passion for music was
cultivated from a young age.
"Our father was quartermaster of VFW Post 179, and that organization decided they
wanted to have a drum and bugle corps," Carl's sister, Fern Graul recalled. "All of the
members' children joined the drum and bugle corps. Carl would've been 12."
At that time, he played the bugle. An ear operation for mastoiditis, however, would
lead to a switch to drums just a few years later.
At Reading High, Carl played in all the musical orchestra bands, said Graul.
"He enjoyed it, he really did," she said. "And he loved to walk, so marching was not a
Following graduation in 1944, Carl joined the Navy in the Air crewman program,
before returning from the service and with his friends, laying the groundwork for the
future Buccaneers in 1956.
Together, the five launched the Reading Buccaneers Sr. Drum & Bugle Corps as a
competitive organization in 1958. The Buccaneers would go on to win the VFW
National Championship in 1960, 1961 and 1962, the final year they were held -
becoming the youngest, first and only corps to ever accomplish the feat.
The Buccaneers subsequently won the first-ever Drum Corps Associates world
championship in 1965 and again in 1968, before going on to win an additional 12
championships in the decades that followed.
All the while, Carl worked as an insurance auditor - most recently at Choice Point
Commercial Specialists in Jenkintown, Montgomery County - and served as a
member of American Legion Reber-Moore Post 635.
"Carl sort of ended his day-to-day, week-to-week involvement in the corps back in the
'60s and '70s. He got involved in the alumni side of things, and was just basically one
of the Competing Corps biggest fans."
........ Carl Bagenstose , Ron Fisher and George Price were all named to the
Reading Buccaneers Hall of Fame in 2007.
......... Bruce Englehart and Roy Miller were named to the
Reading Buccaneers Hall of Fame in 1995.
January /February 2017
|Test your Drum & Bugle Corp memories...
Do you know who, when and where in the below photos?
|Our own Bruce Englehart
One of the 5 "Founding Fathers"
2017 Pagoda Award for Excellence in the Arts
First Ever "Visionary Award "
View the Presentation HERE