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Railmen Drum and Bugle Corps (2013)

For the defunct corps of the same name, see Railmen Drum and Bugle Corps (1939–1995).
Railmen Drum and Bugle Corps (2013)
Location Papillion, Nebraska
Division SoundSport®
Founded 2013
Director Wade Kellett

The Railmen Drum and Bugle Corps (2013) is an all-age/alumni drum and bugle corps. Based in Papillion, Nebraska, the 2015 Railmen will compete as a SoundSport® team and perform in exhibition at a Drum Corps International (DCI) competition in the corps' home state of Nebraska.[1] The organization's intent is to build a complete drum corps organization with cadet, junior, and alumni/all-age drum and bugle corps along with Winter guard and indoor percussion ensembles.[2]


The Railmen were formed in 1939 as the Union Pacific Drum and Bugle Corps. a musical activity for children of employees of the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) under director Chris Jensen. The group was to perform in parades and other events as representatives of the UP, and it made its first appearance in Omaha during "Golden Spike Days," a four-day celebration of the world premier of the Cecil B. DeMille film, Union Pacific.[2] Under Jensen, and his successor Ken Whittle, the corps continued as a combination corporate public relations device and activity for employees children for forty-five years.[3]

When Whittle assumed leadership in 1971, the corps started a gradual to transition to a competitive junior field corps. In 1983, the corp began accepting non-UP members, and the corps made its competitive debut in 1983, performing at a single show in Omaha. Becoming a touring corps in 1984, the Railmen performed at seven Drum Corps Midwest (DCM) and DCI shows. They made their first DCI Championship appearance at Madison in 1985, placing seventh of nineteen Class A corps.[4]

The corps quickly became a crowd favorite, but the UP was dissatisfied with the corps' new identity. The budgets were cut back, and then the UP terminated its sponsorship in 1988. The corps converted to a non-profit youth organization under new director Scott Macklin. However, fundraising in the Omaha area was difficult, since the public perception was that the corps was still sponsored by the UP. By 1994, the corps became unable to field a junior corps and marched a senior corps in a much-reduced season. The junior corps returned in 1985, but the small corps was able to finish only 14th of thirty-two corps at DCM and 13th of forty-one Division III corps at the DCI World Championships in Buffalo.[4] With no funds and little success in raising more, the corps' board decided to fold the corps after the 1985 seasom.[2]

In 2013, as the corps' 75th anniversary approached, a group of Railmen alumni reorganized as the Railmen Alumni, intent on performing at DCI's 2014 Drums Across Nebraska.[5] A second group organized with the goal of putting the junior corps back on the field, along with other performance groups; their Railmen Winter Guard entered Winter Guard International (WGI) and Heartland Winter Arts Association competition in 2014 and 2015 and their Railmen Indoor Percussion also competed in 2014.[6] In January 2015, The Railmen Alumni and the new Railmen Drum and Bugle Corps merged.[7] The resulting group will march an all-age corps in DCI's SoundSport® competition and in exhibition at the 2015 Drums Across Nebraska. This is planned as a recruiting tool for putting the junior corps back on the field at the earliest possible time.[8]


The Railmen Drum and Bugle Corps is a non-profit organization that has a Board of Directors, Executive Director, and staff assigned to carry out the organization's mission. The Executive Director is Wade Kellett.[9]

Show Summary(2014–15)

Year Theme Repertoire Score Result
2014 Railmen 75th Anniversary I've Been Working on the Railroad (Unknown) / I Can Cook, Too by Leonard Bernstein / Am I Blue? by Harry Akst and Grant Clarke /
Blue Skies by Irving Berlin / Great Big Rolling Railroad by Bill Fries [2]
2015 Full Steam Ahead Musical selections TBA

External links


  1. ^ "Find A Team". SoundSport. Retrieved May 9, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Union Pacific Railmen celebrate 75th Anniversary, plan start-up of alumni and junior corps". Drum Corp World. August 20, 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2015. 
  3. ^ A History of Drum & Bugle Corps, Vol. 2; Steve Vickers, ed.; Drum Corps World, pub.; 2003
  4. ^ a b "Score History Listing for Railmen". Maher Associate, Inc. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Railmen Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps". Facebook. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  6. ^ "WGI Sport of the Arts". Winter Guard International. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  7. ^ "We've Merged". Facebook. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  8. ^ "All-Age Drum and Bugle Corps". Railmen Drum and Bugle Corps. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  9. ^ "About Us". Railmen Drum and Bugle Corps. Retrieved May 10, 2015.