Mayor Richard M. Daley Declares June 26, 2005 Drum Corps Day in Chicago

Combine the legendary reputation of the Chicago Royal Airs (RA) Drum & Bugle Corps, the resourcefulness and dogged determination of corps member Ray Holtz, the wordsmithing of RA Executive Board Member Colleen Karuza, and the foot-in-the-door clout of Chicago Alderman Thomas M. Tunney (44th Ward) and voila, you have the winning recipe for a drum corps holiday!

In commemoration of the Royal Airs Senior Exhibition Corps' first DCI show "Big Blue's Brass Review", Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley proclaimed Sunday, June 26, 2005 "Drum Corps Day in Chicago." The signed and framed mayoral proclamation was presented to RA Corps Director Jackie Lurye Borelli at "Big Blue's" show at Maine West High School in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Several months back, Ray Holtz quietly approached Colleen Karuza about providing verbiage for a possible mayoral proclamation. (Holtz was careful not to share his plan with any corps member, in the event that it would not come to fruition). With many social and professional contacts within the City of Chicago, Holtz then took the words and asked community leader and businessman Alderman Tunney to intercede on the corps' behalf to obtain a signed proclamation from Mayor Daley. Holtz's tenacity and Tunney's perfect pitch paid off, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Chicago Royal Airs Drum and Bugle Corps has enjoyed a longstanding bond with the Daley family. Back in the early days of drum corps, the original "Big Blue" performed for another Chicago "original" "The Boss" himself, the legendary Mayor Richard J. Daley.

The proclamation reads as follows:

WHEREAS, the Chicago Royal Airs Drum & Bugle Corps, affectionately called "Big Blue" by its fans, was established in Chicago in 1958; and

WHEREAS, the Chicago Royal Airs Drum & Bugle Corps was founded by local Chicago businessman Sie Lurye, who instilled in young men and women the ideals of faith, honor and humility to forge a corps of champions, both on and off the field; and

WHEREAS, the Chicago Royal Airs Drum & Bugle Corps was the only junior drum corps in history to garner the "triple crown" of national competition (American Legion, CYO, VFW) in a single season (1965); and

WHEREAS, the Chicago Royal Airs Drum & Bugle Corps has renewed its commitment to excellence and innovation through hard work, and to provide its marching members and drum corps fans in the Chicagoland area another opportunity to experience military style drum corps and the traditions of one of the most renowned corps in drum corps history:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD M DALEY, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, do hereby proclaim June 26th 2005 to be DRUM CORPS DAY IN CHICAGO, and urge all Chicagoans to recognize the many contributions that Chicago Royal Airs Drum & Bugle Corps has made to our community.

Dated this 21st day of June, 2005. Richard M Daley, Mayor

The Executive Board, leadership, staff and members of the Chicago Royal Airs extend their heartfelt thanks to Mayor Richard M. Daley and Alderman Tom Tunney for their support of "Chicago's finest." A special note of gratitude goes to Ray Holtz, who made this special tribute to the Royal Airs possible and who helped make the June 26th show an affair to remember.

A Letter


My name is Jason Buckingham and I am the Brass Caption Head for the Casper Troopers. This letter is kind of late in coming but I ran into your website and I wanted to write to you before I forgot.

I just wanted to thank you and your corps for what was for me and my kids in the Troopers one of the real highlights of the summer. It was at that parade in...I can't remember now...but you guys were in front of us in the parade and we traded "Battle Hymns." You guys really made my kids feel special. It came at a time when I was talking to them about the uniqueness of our drum corps and the special feelings that people have for the Troopers. I had pretty much a brand new group of kids last year who were brand new to the activity. You guys really put the "cherry on top" of what I was telling them and all of a sudden it made that real to them. So again, thanks so much!!!

I am happy to report that out of the 40 kids I had last summer 33 of them came back, and I personally think that that day in (Michigan City, IN) had something to do with that. We are having a great winter and I think we are going to be much stronger this year. Top 12 is a year or two off yet (hopefully 1 year), but we are definitely headed in the right direction!

I hope that our teams cross paths again this summer.

Please thank your guys and gals for me!

Jason T. Buckingham
Brass Caption Head
Casper Troopers