Mighty Liberators Drum and Bugles Corps
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Based in Rochester, New York, Mighty Liberators Drum and Bugle Corps rose from the remnants of a local parade team of bugles and drums called Scott's Sabers, which was founded and led for decades by Lewis A Scott ("Scotty"). When the Scott's Sabers disbanded due to lack of funding, the late Mr. Emmett Porter stepped forward. Emmett had credited the Sabers with turning his life around. When he grew into a successful adult, Emmett had become a leader in a federally funded anti-poverty program called Action for a Better Community. The Mighty Liberators was born in 1972 as a youth program within ABC to keep kids off the streets and prepare them for a successful adult life.
Starting with little, the Mighty Liberators grew with support from parents, families, and organizations all over the Rochester area. The corps acquired new bugles (soprano, baritone, bass, and flugel), percussion, tailor-made uniforms, luxury touring buses, and eventually a building of its own to practice in. Some of the best instructors in the Rochester area wrote music scores, created choreography, and taught instrumental skills.
In 1982, the corps disbanded due to ABC program cutbacks. However, in 2006, a group of Liberators alumni gathered together and started new. Beginning with new color guard, the Mighty Liberators have begun their second generation. See the following article for more information.
Soon after forming, the Liberators begin touring the northeast during the summer vacation season to perform in shows, performance competitions, exhibitions, and parades. In June 1977, the Liberators won the Rochester Tournament of Drums competition, beating other prestigious corps. By the time of the summer tour of 1977, the Liberators had become proficient enough that during their annual summer tour they traveled to the far west to compete in places like Ohio, Wyoming, and Nebraska. The summer culminated with a spot in the Drum Corps International (DCI) competition held in Boulder, Colorado.
On a hot summer night of August 17, 1977, high in the Rocky Mountains, the Mighty Liberators placed 6th in the finals. By reaching the finals, this group of kids had already beaten nearly every other corps in their class.
1977 DCI Finals Scores Class A
- Bengal Lancers 74.20
- Renaissance 71.05
- Sky Ryders 66.35
- Imperial Regiment 65.40
- Northern Aurora 63.55
- Mighty Liberators 59.65
- Black Watch 54.40
DCI Championships Repertoire
- "Firebird / Journey to the Center of the Earth"
- "Chico and the Man"
- "Land of Make Believe", Chuck Mangione
- "African Symphony"
- "You are the Sunshine of my Life", Stevie Wonder