Pittsburgh, PA United States
|1962||Hooton's Hideaway * Swan Lake * Warsaw Concerto * Victory at Sea * Climb Ev'ry Mountain (from The Sound of Music) * Clear Out of this World * Sugar Blues * Flower Drum Song * You'll Never Walk Alone (from Carousel) * Two Different Worlds * Tonight (from West Side Story) * Fanfare (from Victory at Sea)|
|1963||Steel City Theme * Swan Lake * Warsaw Concerto * Victory at Sea * No Other Love (from Me And Juliet) * Climb Ev'ry Mountain (from The Sound of Music) * Riff Blues * Southern Scandal * You'll Never Walk Alone (from Carousel) * Thousand And One Nights|
|1964||Flower Drum Song * El Capitan * Armed Forces Medley * Fanfare (from Gigi) * The Night They Invented Champagne * Gigi * Flower Drum Song Medley * A Hundred Million Miracles * Grant Avenue (from Flower Drum Song) * You Are Beautiful (from Flower Drum Song) * Love Look Away (from Flower Drum Song)|
|1965||6||76.950||Everything's Coming Up Roses (from Gypsy) * Armed Forces Songs * I've Got You Under My Skin * Flower Drum Song * Like a God (from Flower Drum Song) * Taboo * You Are Beautiful (from Flower Drum Song) * Love Look Away (from Flower Drum Song)|
|1966||7||78.830||(Repertoire not available)|
|1968||14||64.400||It's Today (from Mame) * Columbia the Gem of the Ocean (from Thousands Cheer) * Overture (from Mame) * Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen * What Now My Love * Finale (from Mame)|
|1969||10||50.275||Come Back to Me (from On A Clear Day You Can See Forever) * Over There * You're a Grand Old Flag * Auld Lang Syne * Mas Que Nada * Those Were The Days * Don't Rain on My Parade (from Funny Girl) * Where Is Love * As Long As He Needs Me (from Oliver!)|
|1970||12||64.350||Aquarius (from Hair) * It's Today (from Mame) * Over There * You're a Grand Old Flag * Auld Lang Syne * Hair * Easy to be Hard * Let the Sun Shine In (from Hair) * Where Is Love * As Long As He Needs Me (from Oliver!)|
|1971||12||73.850||Hail, Hail The Gang's All Here * High Society * Polovetsian Dances * Theme (from Patton) * Let the Sun Shine In (from Hair)|
|1972||10||73.900||Prince Igor Overture * Polovetsian Dances * Reggie * Theme from Patton * Superstar * The Summer of '42 * Prince Igor Finale|
|1973||15||61.950||Prince Igor Overture * Day By Day (from Godspell) * Malaga * Theme (from Patton) * Let The Be Peace On Earth * Theme (from Patton) - Reprise|
|1977||Second Suite in F * Swing America Style * Pagliacca * Song Of The New Moon|
The corps' first uniforms were black cadet-style outfits with red trim. These were replaced in the early 1950s by the well-known two-tone satin blouses, black with one red sleeve. During these early years, the Rockets steadily gained valuable experience and gradually started to climb the ladder of success.
The corps evolved from the small unit of the early days into one of the largest and most famous senior corps in the country. Under the direction and guidance of Joe and Val Capone and Ed Cagney, and behind virtuoso soprano solo work by Riggie Laus, the Rockets established many firsts in the bugle corps field, both musically and in their equipment.
When the Central Penn Circuit of drum and bugle corps was organized, the Rockets rose to the top with a succession of victories. The West Penn Circuit came into being, and the Rockets quickly became the top corps in this association as well. In 1953, Homewood Post decided to send its top-flight corps to the American Legion National Championships in St. Louis. The Rockets made the top ten in their very first try, and continued to gain a top-ten spot every year they attended.
With national prominence beckoning, the Rockets continued to win throughout 1954, capping the year with their first-division finish at the Legion Nationals in Washington, D.C. Steadily, the corps gained the polish and the assurance of a true national contender. Leading contests throughout the East and Midwest extended invitations to the Rockets.
In 1957, the corps purchased new uniforms consisting of white satin blouses with a red diagonal stripe, black trousers with red and white stripe, and the now-famous West German police helmets, imported from Berlin especially for the Rockets. Another successful year was crowned with another trip to Legion Nationals, this time in Atlantic City.
The winter of 1957-58 was extraordinary in many ways. The night before Thanksgiving, Homewood Post burned in a spectacular fire that threatened to snuff out the life of the Rockets. Much of the corps' equipment was lost. The corps' competitive spirit overcame the adversity, however, and that winter they pulled together like never before. A national fund-raising drive successfully lifted the Rockets back to a strong financial foundation. Thousands of drum corps fans all over the country contributed and became "part-owners" of the Rockets.
The 1958 season featured a much-enlarged corps (39 horns, 9 drums, 12-man guard, two drum majors). In terms of success, this was the start of a new era at Homewood Post. The Rockets competed in many top contests, defeating many big-time corps they had not been able to overcome before. The best performances of the year came at Legion Nationals in Chicago where the corps placed fifth out of 34 corps; and at the Dream Contest in New Jersey where they won the hearts of the crowd and a permanent spot in the annals of drum corps.
In 1959 and 1960, the Rockets continued to win and place with the best in the country, and journeyed to Minneapolis for the Legion Nationals, placing fourth in the country.
1961 was a year of experiment with new instructors and a "space" theme. New blouses of blue, red, and white were added to the uniform in an attempt to present a different look. After a fair season, however, including another trip to the Dream Contest, the space theme was shoved out the airlock.
Returning to the semi-classical and show tunes they were famous for, the Rockets in 1962 also returned to the familiar white blouses with red stripe, and again began to move up nationally.
In 1963, a high level of achievement was maintained in competition, and the corps sponsored its own first contest, the Steel City Spectacle of Music. The climax of the 1963 season came when the Rockets traveled to Jersey City, New Jersey, and placed fifth in the World Open Championship.
The 1964 edition of the Rockets was highlighted by an entirely new music and drill show, plus new white satin blouses with red sequin baldric sashes. Powerful marches such as "El Capitan" and the Armed Forces songs combined with Broadway show-stoppers from "Gigi" and "Flower Drum Song."
Membership of the Rockets represented all parts of the Greater Pittsburgh area. Their combined efforts resulted in one of the nation's most appealing senior drum and bugle corps.
The Pittsburgh Rockets continued to perform and compete into the 1970s. The corps' best DCA achievement was the very first one, 1965, where they finished sixth. Their final DCA appearance was in 1973.
An effort to re-form in 1977 was ultimately unproductive, and the Rockets disbanded for good.
Instrumental to the corps' success was Edward P. Cagney, who played for 26 years and instructed for 30. Cagney was elected to the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2002.
And from its earliest days, the corps' horn line was anchored by soprano virtuouso Riggie Laus. National soprano soloist champion for eight years, Laus is a member of the Drum Corps Hall of Fame, and continues to perform to enthusiastic receptions into his 70s.
[DCW, 8/30/02, p.22; DCW, 6/28/02, p.9; Ed Cagney; John Gruphofer; Bob Menear]
Highest Score 73.150
Final show in DCX Archives September 27, 1952 Burlington NJ placed 5 with a score of 73.150
Highest Score 85.533
Final show in DCX Archives August 31, 1953 American Legion National Championships (senior finals) St. Louis MO placed 11 with a score of 84.616
Highest Score 82.600
Final show in DCX Archives January 1, 1954 American Legion National Championships Washington DC placed 6 with a score of 82.600
Highest Score 82.716
Final show in DCX Archives September 1, 1956 Baltimore MD placed 6 with a score of 75.580
Highest Score 91.050
Final show in DCX Archives September 14, 1957 American Legion National Championships - Senior Prelims Atlantic City NJ placed 11 with a score of 84.590
Highest Score 89.140
Final show in DCX Archives September 7, 1958 The Dream Jersey City NJ placed 4 with a score of 85.460
Highest Score 85.620
Final show in DCX Archives September 19, 1959 March of Champions Baltimore MD
Highest Score 79.300
Final show in DCX Archives August 27, 1961 Dream Jersey City NJ placed 5 with a score of 79.300
Highest Score 86.600
Final show in DCX Archives September 3, 1962 7th Annual Spectacle of Music Warren PA placed 1 with a score of 84.900
Highest Score 92.190
Final show in DCX Archives September 15, 1963 World Open Senior Championships Prelims Jersey City NJ placed 8 with a score of 76.616
Highest Score 88.820
Final show in DCX Archives September 12, 1964 13th Annual Mardi Gras of Champions Pittsfield MA placed 5 with a score of 68.400
Highest Score 81.320
Final show in DCX Archives September 11, 1965 DCA Championships Milford CT placed 6 with a score of 76.950
Highest Score 78.830
Final show in DCX Archives September 24, 1966 DCA Championships Bridgeport CT placed 7 with a score of 78.830
Highest Score 81.250
Final show in DCX Archives September 9, 1967 Carlisle PA placed 3 with a score of 74.050
Highest Score 64.960
Final show in DCX Archives September 1, 1968 DCA Championships Prelims Rochester NY placed 14 with a score of 64.400
Highest Score 72.050
Final show in DCX Archives August 31, 1969 DCA Championships Prelims Rochester NY placed 10 with a score of 64.100
Highest Score 73.100
Final show in DCX Archives September 6, 1970 DCA Championships Prelims Rochester NY placed 12 with a score of 64.350
Highest Score 73.850
Final show in DCX Archives September 5, 1971 DCA Championships Prelims Rochester NY placed 12 with a score of 73.850
Highest Score 77.850
Final show in DCX Archives September 3, 1972 DCA Championships Prelims Jersey City NJ placed 10 with a score of 76.050
Highest Score 72.450
Final show in DCX Archives September 2, 1973 DCA Championships Prelims Rochester NY placed 15 with a score of 61.950
Highest Score 55.980
Final show in DCX Archives August 27, 1977 Red Carpet Association Championship Jamestown NY placed 6 with a score of 55.980
Highest Score 0.000
Final show in DCX Archives July 9, 1980 IDC Show Huntington PA
|Member Name||Section||Years Involved|
|Cooley, Stephen||Brass Arranger/Instructor||1976 to 1977|
|Heavner, Howard H.||Snare Drum||1960 to 1973|
|Jones, Bruce||Baritone||1968 to 1973|
|Jones, Dan||Snareline||1972 to 1973|
|Kirkwood, James||lead soprano||1968 to 1972|
|Krissinger, Larry||drum line tenor||1963 to 1968|
|Maynard Jr., John||Percussion||1972 to 1973|
|Menear, Bob||lead soprano||1970 to 1972|
|Rennard, Donald||Lead Soprano||1969 to 1972|
|Schorsch, Paul||Snare||1966 to 1969|
|Soeakman, Bill||Mellophone||1963 to 1969|
|Speakman, Bill||Sopranao,Mellophone||1963 to 1969|
|Speakman, Bill||soprano/mellophone||1963 to 1970|
CORPS 14 items