2002 Chicago Royal Airs Reunion Corps

The 2002 Royal Airs Reunion Corps was formed by alumni of the original Royal Air junior corps to honor the memory of their founder, Sie Lurye, who was scheduled to be inducted into the DCI hall of fame at the DCI championships in Madison, WI on August 9, 2002. It was decided that a performance of the alumni would be the best way to commemorate that event so plans were put into motion to accomplish that objective.

As the buzz spread throughout the drum corps world, the original idea of a single performance at DCI by alumni of the Royal Airs gradually grew to encompass many performances of a full field show done in traditional drum corps style and included many alumni of other corps who were eager to be a part of the “Big Blue”. Truman Crawford and Mitch Markovich were brought in to revitalize their original musical arrangements and so began a full winter schedule of rehearsing.

On June 14, 2002 in Oswego, IL the Royal Airs took the field for the first time since the end of the 1968 season. Additional performances in Racine, Rockford, Whitewater, DeKalb and Des Plaines were all concluded with rousing ovations by affectionate drum corps fans. It was just before the performance in Madison that the membership began to hear rumors that Truman Crawford has been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The performance at DCI was one for the ages and far surpassed what anyone thought could be accomplished less than one year. The memory of Sie and the impending fate of Truman made that day bittersweet.

No one wanted the season to end. Truman had not been able to be in Madison because of his illness, so it was decided that the Royal Airs would finish out year at the Alumni Spectacular at the DCA championships in Scranton, PA. It was an emotional weekend as the drum majors gave way to Colonel Truman Crawford who directed the final performance of the Royal Airs in full Marine dress. The light rain concealed the tears of many who gave their all to pay tribute to those who made the Royal Airs one of the greatest drum corps of all time.

2002 Repertoire

Chicago Fanfare
BallyHoo March
Watermelon Man
Alexander’s Ragtime Band
John Brown’s Body / Battle Hymn of the Republic
It Was a Very Good Year

Additional Songs

Richie's Blues - On-field tribute to Rich Tarsitano (Royal Airs' first brass instructor)
Abide With Me