Two of Bridgeport's remaining junior corps will enter their season of 1968 with new uniforms and new music, and in the case of the PAL Cadets a new musical arranger/instructor: Hy Drietzer of New York Skyliner fame.
St Raphaels's Joe Genero will provide the Buccaneers with the theme from the movie "Mutiny On the Bounty", "Give Me Your Tired & Poor/America" medley, and a concert of "Carmen Suite" as new tunes for '68'. Retiring manager Pete Padua hands over the directorship to Anthony Caroselli.
Hy Drietzer will write an entirely new musical book for the PAL Cadets including "Exodus March" from the motion picture "The Ten Commandments", "Our Boys Will Shine Tonight", "Carribe", "Hall of the Mountain King", "Big Spender" and "Love Is Blue". Andy Lisko and Ron Findley will write and teach the percussion book, and the Cadets will field marching tympani, one of the first units in the East to do so.
The PAL Cadets "White Wall" uniforms will be replaced by a red cadet jacket while St Raphaels black vests will give way to a gold satin blouse (which will itself be replaced in mid season by a return to the "old" black uniform tops).
Both "City" corps will be much smaller in numbers than those fielded in 1967. The military draft, ageouts and a general loss of interest in junior drum corps in the local area (the 'Baby Boomers' and their parents are leaving the junior activity) are contributors to the 'downsizing'.
Of the PAL Cadets last season in competation, Andy Lisko writes:
"The most fascinating thing about 1968 was getting the chance to work with Hy (Drietzer). It was like our 'prelude to Sky'. We went from 44 horns to 28 in 1968. Drumline stayed about the same. We were one of the first corps to use tymps on the field",
"It was a very mature corps, definitely more of a close fraternity than anything around today. For some reason, we went to the 'red unis'. Funny, we knew we were on the 'way out', but didn't really care. We just stuck it out together".
And of St Raphaels 1968 season "Mr Bill" Mischik says:
"I don't have many memories of 1968. Joe (Genero) changed the field show all around. We felt optimistic in the begining practicing at Seaside Park. Then the whole world went crazy, we had only two or three contests, the people from Stamford all quit, and that was that. "
St Raphaels' all girl unit, the Marionettes is sidelined due to the loss of it's colorguard who break from the Parish unit and form the Bridgeport Skylarks competation color guard. The Marionettes will be folded at the end of the summer.
Neither of the Bridgeport corps will make a "Nationals Tour", although the PAL Cadets will accept a return invite to the CYO Nationals. Milford's Shoreliners will travel to Detroit Michagan for VFW Natioanls, while competing in "Open" competations having left the Greater New York Circuit after winning that championship in 1967. Notre Dame High School's ND-Ettes will compete in Greater New York shows, and along with the Troubadors and St Adens travel to the World Open.
The Bridgeport PAL Cadets debut their new sound for 68 at the Master Records "Sampler" concert program in Springfield MA. The corps performs in business suits (and DM Alice Dobson in a red miniskirt and go-go boots, the pix is in the 'Ct Corps' gallery)as the new uniforms have not arrived.
At the end a merger was attempted between what was left of the PAL Cadets & Buccaneers but Joe Genero wanted all that talent for the Hurricanes and he got it!
St. Raphael's Buccaneers and the Bridgeport PAL Cadets crossed
the Final Finish Line in 1968 in pretty distinguished company.
Also folding that year were the 1965 VFW, CYO, and American Legion
National Champion Chicago Royal Airs, the New York Kingsmen,
St. Roccos Cadets, Pittsfield Cavaliers, St. Kevin's Emerald Knights,
(who would re-emerge for 1969 as the "St. Kevin Majestic Knights).
Senior units which crossed their "Final Finish Lines" at 1968s end
included the Springfield Marksmen, Norman Prince and the
'Reilly Raiders-Musketeers' merger corps.
The Buccaneers final peformance was an exibition at the Airport in
Stratford, CT. The instructors gathered us together after the show
and told us "That's it! We're done!"