History of The Belvederes
Hello all Drum Corp fans, and welcome to the Belvederes new website. We will strive to keep you updated on all our old activities, as well as future events that we are performing throughout the year.Below is a brief history of how the Belvederes started, and where we are today.
It all started out as a dream of a certain individual in Schuylkill Haven, his name was Richard ( Dick) Lord, along with his wife, Isabel, that did not forget the fun and hard work of drum corps. He moved from Pottsville to Schuylkill Haven, and operated the Blue & Gold Luncheonette, across from the High School, where boys and girls congregated and complained about nothing to do in their spare time.Many of the youth were musically inclined, and would bring their instruments into the store after high school band rehearsals. Lord and his wife developed the idea of organizing a drum and bugle corps while watching the town’s annual Memorial Day parade. A list of 45 interested youngsters was soon completed, and a meeting was scheduled. On May 30,1965, the idea of the Belvederes Jr. Drum & Bugle Corps was born.
Assistance was gained from James ( Sonny ) Sterner, a former member of the Rainbow Sr. Drum & Bugle Corps, and Ned Baldinger, a resident of Haven, and member of the Reading Buccaneers Sr. Drum & Bugle Corps, and  a member of the Rainbow. Used drums were donated by the Goodwill Fire Company of Pottsville, and by October, the unit was ready for their first appearance in the Cressona Halloween Parade, wearing uniforms donated by the Rainbow Hose Company.
A parent committee was formed to charter the corps, and help raise funds necessary to purchase new equipment. For the balance of the year, the corps performed in three more parades as a Drum Corps and Marching Unit. They parade in Pottsville, Hamburg, and Schuylkill Haven. So ended their first year as a Drum and Bugle Corps.
January 1966
On January 5,1966, the charter was received. The Belvederes  Jr. Drum & Bugle Corps of Schuylkill Haven was born. Charter officers were: Richard and Isabel Lord, James Sterner, Robert Yazujian, and Mrs. Joseph ( Rita ) Seick. In August , the motley crew, with hand me down uniforms, donated drums and bugles, struggled to play their instruments and learn a drill. They ventured onto the field for the first time in an exibition at the Coatsville Pageant of Champions
On September 3, at the Pottsville Moose Hall, the former Port Carbon Drum & Bugle Corps was having a reunion, and the Belvederes performed their first standstill concert for old members. This is when our dear friend and historian of the corps fell in love with the corps. His  name being Clarence Greiner. The corps went onto win their first trophy, at the Palo Alto Fireman’s Convention, wow our 1st. place award. In total, we closed out with 6 Halloween parades, a Christmas parade, one standstill concert and three exhibitions, and 25 parades, for a total of 29 engagements. What a great way to end their first year. All this could not have been possible without the two ” Knights of the Road “, who drove the buses everywhere. Hats off to Joe Sieck and Harold Bevan. And to all the bus drivers through the years, the Belvederes say ” Thanks” for without these devoted guys, we would not have gotten where we are today.
January 1967
During the winter months of 1966 & 1967, the corps was hard at work in preparation for its first field competition season. New music numbers were taught, and a new drill had to be learned. All this was done by our life time instructor, Kenn Greene. May God bless him for putting with a bunch of young, but enthusiastic kids wanting to be great.
New positions were selected by Dick Lord and voted upon by the Board  . The following positions were given: Drum Major, Jane Sieck; Asst. Drum Major, Joann Reber; Color Guard Capt., Judy Wagner; Color Guard Sgt., Bill Ebling; Bugle Corporal, Al Greiner; Jr. Quartermaster, Ken Honsberger; Sgt. at Arms, Glenn Fleagle, and Historian, Pat Sieck. This was the only time this was done.
June took the corps to many fireman’s convention parades, and in June the corps got its first bad news, when Richard Lord resigned from the board of directors. At this time the board was given full responsibility for all corps engagements and activities. The new board consisted of: President: earl Kremer, Vice Pres., William Sheafer, Quartermaster, Ross ( Shorty ) Reber; Treasuer, Mrs. Harold ( Claire ) Bevan, Secretary, Rita Sieck. Directors were Ida Heiser, Robert Cronberger, Mrs. William ( Ester) Shaeafer, William Krammes, and Clarence Greiner.
On June 25, the corps travelled out of state for the first time. It took us to Lindenwald, N.J., to a contest held by the Lamplighters Drum & Bugle Corps. This was a 9th. place finish. Many parades and competitions took place during the months to follow, and a few trophies were won. On Sept. 24th., the corps performed  an exhibition at the National Association Championships in Reading, Pa. They didn’t compete because they didn’t think they were good enough, but in 1969, just 2 years later, they would win this championship competition in Dunellen, N.J.. Not bad for a up and coming Jr. Corps.
January 1968
So from Jan. 13 to May 23, we were in 8 color guard shows, and 8 drum ensemble shows, placing not too bad. On June 22nd, they held their own show for the 1st time, which they named the ” Sounds of Youth”. The Crusaders of Brookhaven took 1st place honors and were a crowd pleaser, but when the hometown kids took to the field, the stands went crazy. It sure showed the kids that they were loved in their hometown of Schylkill Haven. On July 19th., the corps left for Philadelphia t represent the Schuylkill Haven Legion in the Pa. State Legion Drum & Bugle Corps Championship. We finished 9th. out of 12 Jr. Corps.
January 1969
In the year 1969, was a pretty good year for the Belvederes. We placed 9th., in the VFW Pa. State Championship, placed 7th. in the American Legion Championship, and finally, on August 24th., the were named 1969 National Association Champions.Behind the winners are a group of dedicated adults, who struggled through the trying years, and devoted time and effort , to bring about this tremendous accomplishment. Trophies and the championship flag are not the only results of this great 3 1/2 year effort. The championship is proof that the enthusiasm of youth can be channeled to worthwhile pursuits, and the youngsters can experience the joy of accomplishment- an unforgettable memory for the rest of their lives.
January 1970
Another season, and a lot of hard work, is the way we started the season. The Belvederes travelled to Phila., to Connie Mack Stadium , for an afternoon competition, were we placed 3rd , but had the distinct honor of playing the National Anthem in the stadium. This was a first for us, as well as it was never done afterwards. What an honor. We traveled to Harrisburg American Legion contest, where we placed 5th. Traveled north to N.Y., for a show in Corning, N.Y. This was the N.Y. State Championship. We took 1st place honors in the open class, against 12 others, making us the N.Y. Open Class Circuit Champions. 1970 was another great accomplishment. Our own drum major, Kathy Bevan, finished 1st, among some pretty good drum majors in the competition, where we placed 5th. Way to go Kathy. In 1970, we participated for the first time in the Eastern Staes Championship, finishing 6th. , not bad for the first time.
This was a bad year as far as loses. And not competitions. We lost a beloved friend in that of Harold Bevan. We miss you Harold, and we continue to play his favorite song to this day, that being ” Hang Em High “.
January 1971
On June 17th, the corps achieved another great honor, being named the 1971 American Legion State Champs. We went onto take a 2nd in Brookhaven, but one better, we got our new drums that week, and came in 1st out of 6 other corps, including the Chessman, which are usually tops in drums. That was only the start of what would become one of the best drum lines to compete in any contest. And all feared us when we took to the field. In 1971, a new crew of ” Knights on the Road ” appeared in the corps. They were Earl Kremer ( don’t get us lost), Bill ( Mario ) Krammes, and Bill ( the mechanic ) Ebling. We travelled more than any other year.
January 1972
As I said, what a drum line. We competed in 23 contests, the drum line finished 1st. 18 times. The corps won 10 contests, 8 – 2nd places, 3- 3rd place finishes, 1- 4th., and 1- 5th. We were a corps to fear when we took to the field. In 1972, we traveled to Marion, Ohio, for the 2nd time. Competing for the 2nd time, we finished 4th. in the Class A Championship. We were top in M&M in both prelims and the finals. We missed out of 1st place by 1.95 points. When we arrived home from the contest, we were greeted by the towns people, for a job well done. They were all proud of all of us, so we gave them a personal parade to show them that we thank them for all the support they gave us through the years. We ended the year with a 2n place finish in the Eastern States Championship, which was won by the Chessman. Things only got better after that.
So much happened in 1973. We had one of the best, if not the greatest tymp line to take to the field. With great parts being written by drum instructor, Walt Mitzel, we were hard to beat. The rest of the drum line did their part, at being at the top of their game . You have to hear us to appreciate the hours of hard work that the whole corps put into this year. When we got Allentown, for the Eastern States Championship, everyone knew what had to be done. We took to the field, and after the first note, our people knew we were going to bring it home. We beat all the top corps, that had beaten us in past contests, so this made it even sweeter. We were the Grand Champion  Jr. Drum & Bugle Corps of Eastern States.
1974 -1976
So much was done by the cops in these years . I’ll to sum it up. We took a 1st on July 4th., in Easton, Pa., two days later, another 1st in Ocean City, N.J., a second in Minersville, to the Blue Rock,and on Aug, 9th. they place 3rd. in the Class A competition in Marion, Ohio. Next they traveled to Ithaca N.Y., for the Drum Corps International, where we finished 40th. Not bad for the first time. Again we were crowned the 1974 Eastern States Circuit Champs. All in all, we had 50 engagements that year.
In 1975, brought the resignation of long time president, Earl Kremer.Will be missed by all of his kids, as he called them. Next taking the reigns was Clarence Greiner. We took a bunch of 2nds., and went onto Marion, Ohio again, to finish 15th in the Open Class. They went onto Phila. for he DCI Prelims, and missed out the final 25 by .25 of a point. Another year to remember.
And finally, in 1976, with 70 parades, contests, and exibitions, we took 2- 1st., finished 12th. in the American International Championship, 15th in the U.S. Open, and 37th. in DCI Open. Eastern States Championship, 4th. place finish. So ends the history of the Belvederes Drum & Bugle Corps, of Schuylkill Haven, Pa.
Continue to follow us on the website, for we will be updating performances , parades, and functions under the name of Belvedere Alumni. Tell all your friends about us, and if interested in being a part of a great drum corps, check out our practice dates, and show up and be part of something fun. Thanks