St. Peter’s Drum Corps. was organized in 1930 in St. Peter’s Parish, during the Great Depression, to give Torrington’s youth purposeful recreation and fellowship in very difficult times. From its humble beginnings, St. Peter’s went on to establish itself as a New England powerhouse among competition drum corps., all the while maintaining its pledge to enrich the lives of its members and the community with music and fellowship.
Beginning in 1940, the Corps found its ranks depleted when most of its members left to serve in the military. But thanks to the dedication of a handful who remained behind, the Corps. held together and participated in patriotic activities on the homefront including a War Bond Rally at Fuessenich Park where it performed for the touring Victor Mature.
In the years following the war, the Corps. changed its makeup from the original “Senior Fife, Drum and Bugle Corps.”designation to “Valve Bugle Corps.” It was in the 1950s and ‘60s that the Corps. came into its own as a competition band. Under the directorship of Sal Scarfo, Domenic Antonelli, George Foeller, Charles Rovagna, 40 year director Benny Antonelli and current director Peter Andrews, St. Peter’s has captured over 6,494 prizes (1450 trophies and 5044 medals). Today the corps. is considered a combination corps. and is made up of trumpets, baritones, tubas, glockenspiels and fifes with a full complement of percussion and an award winning color guard. The corps. specializes in march music, patriotic music as well as popular tunes.
All told, St. Peter’s has brought their music to twenty one countries, Canada and Mexico. The corps has also performed in 14 different states and the District of Columbia, Disney World, Disneyland, Seaworld, Expo 74 in Spokane, Washington, the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington, D.C., the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, Mardi Gras in New Orleans and on the Paradise cruise ship in the Eastern Caribbean. One of the most memorable trips was in 1996 when the corps performed “Stars and Stripes Forever” for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.
To its credit, the Corps has released two CD’s, “St. Peter’s in Concert” and “St. Peter’s in Concert 1999”, was featured in “Yankee Magazine” and has been named “Best Drum Corps” in the state by “Connecticut Magazine.”