The Arbella Drum and Bugle Corps was once the pride of Salem! The combination of two all-girl drum and bugle corps, Arbella, nautically styled to represent Salem’s nautical history, took its name in 1975, and a few years later took the DCI All-Girls Championships in Birmingham, AL – not bad for a bunch of girls whose average age was 12.5, many of whom could barely read music! In the early 80’s membership was bolstered with the introduction of boys. This was controversial for many, but the Corps went on to produce another quality program until it finally folded in 1983 due to financial pressure – as so many drum corps had done in that era. (read our more comprehensive histories in the articles to the right —-> )
Arbella was always extremely lucky to have a motivated and dedicated board to keep the ship afloat – as well as the most talented instructors in the field – virtually all went on to become Massachusetts Drum Corps and Music Educator Hall of Famers. We could not have appreciated it at the time, being so terribly young, that we had the absolute VERY best people teaching us – many are still at the top of their fields and active in the local area teaching other corps and high school bands.
It is a love of drum corps and this same passion for exellence that a few former Arbella members and instructors created a founding Board in 2011 for a NEW Arbella. 2012 was our Inaugural year.
We launched in a January at an Open House that was well attended by old friends, family, alumni and Salem Mayor Kimberly Driscoll, who was very excited about the prospect of a new Arbella to grace the streets of Salem once again. We marched in a few local parades and festivals, and our new uniforms, styled after the early Arbella nautical uniforms, brought back alot of fond memories to the crowds!
2013 is looking even more exciting! Over winter, we have been gathering interest from local organizations looking for Arbella to participate in some festivals and parades, as well as more interest in musicians. We are looking to perform a few events over the summer, hopefully a Thanksgiving parade, and over winter, organize a brass quintet to ramble the streets of Salem over the holidays.
We aim to be a small but powerful and, above all, quality organization. We are building a program that will not only cultivate quality musicians and performers, but dazzle our local communities, and we welcome you to participate.
Please read more about our past history, as well as get information on our new organization in the articles to the right.