Alliances can come from the most unlikely of places, even 550 miles apart. Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, a junior corps in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and the Reading (Pennsylvania) Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps, an all-age corps, are in the early stages of a business collaboration while maintaining separate organizations. Though the distance creates some challenges, directors don’t foresee it being significant, especially in the current digital age.
For now, Carolina Crown is supplying new brass instruments to the Reading Buccaneers for free and percussion instruments from its instrument dealership for a reduced cost. Eventually, percussion instruments will be part of the same deal as the brass instruments.
Rich Strang, the Reading Buccaneers business manager, points out the urgency of these replacements. Some of the Buccaneers’ tubas, for example, are up to 12 years old.
Why form an alliance despite the distance and differences between the organizations?
“We both have similar missions, in that we want to give our members the best experience possible, give them a lifelong experience that they can remember, and help them strive for excellence,” Strang says.
The alliance will extend beyond operations onto the field. Auditionees for each group will be able to audition for the other, and age-outs of Carolina Crown have the potential to participate with the Buccaneers.
“Eventually, we would like to [have] some joint performance opportunities between the groups,” says Jim Coates, Carolina Crown executive director and CEO.