Jubal Drum & Bugle Corps

Jubal drum & bugle corps was formed in 1911. At the annual party evening of the local boy’s organization CJMV (Dutch equivalent of YMCA) a performing choir was assisted by some boys playing fifes. This performance was a great success, and the decision was made to continue with this fife-unit and officially form a group of musicians. Instruments were bought for 35 Dutch guilders (nowadays some 15 US dollars) and after a year of much practice JUBAL first performed in the streets of their hometown, much to the pleasure of the inhabitants of Dordrecht - the oldest city in Holland. Because of the immense popularity of the group membership grew and Jubal slowly detached from the CJMV and continued operating as an individual non-profit organization. However, Jubal never broke their relationship with the CJMV.

In the 1920's a uniform added identity to the corps. Before that members performed in their own clothes. Jubal became the leading and trend-setting drum & fife cops in Europe, and following their example many units throughout the country were formed in the years that followed. During the Second World War the corps activities were brought back to almost zero. The Germans announced that Jubal was seen as a threat to the State and were therefore forbidden to assemble, perform, or rehearse. Most of the instruments (mainly drums) and the corps banner were taken from the corps. Fortunately most fife-players had their instruments at home and meetings were held in secret. Even rehearsals were illegally planned. Only two days after Dordrecht had been liberated by the American soldiers, Jubal was back out in the streets.

In the 1950's the corps grew to well over 150 members and primarily per-formed in the Dordrecht area. The great success resulted in invitations from towns throughout the country. With fellow-fife-corps "National Fife Days" were organized. At some of these well-run events more than 1000 musicians gathered to perform. The 1960's marked major changes in Jubal’s history. Since field shows had become very popular with the Jubal members, the corps needed to follow a new direction. The uniform changed drastically, and the instrumentation saw a complete change. The fifes which had been the Jubal trademark for the last 50 years were partially replaced by bugles, horns and baritones in the key of G, bought from the Getzen Company (later DEG/Dynasty) in the USA. Jubal became the first ever drum (fife) and bugle corps outside of the United States and Canada to use this type of brass instrument and introduced it to the European crowds and amateur music scene. Reactions were diverse! The street parade performances continued, but more and more show-performances were given. In those years the corps made numerous trips abroad to countries like Belgium and France.

Jubal had completely adopted the drum corps style by the 1970's and worked on forming a Dutch drum corps organization with several other units. In 1979 the very first European drum corps contest was held in Eemnes-Holland: the Anglo-Dutch contest with participants from England and Holland. Jubal performed in exhibition, as more than half of the judge’s panel were Jubal members. The Anglo-Dutch contests were annually held alternately in England and Holland. In 1982 Jubal joined the officially formed Drum Corps Holland organization, and put a total of five National Championships to their name. In all other years Jubal competed with DCH, the corps placed second. In 1996 Jubal switched their policy and started performing for crowds of much greater diversity. The drum corps contests in Holland started drawing less and less spectators and Jubal decided to leave the DCH organization that year in order to focus on a wider entertainment level. Performances were given far beyond the Dutch borders: Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and England. On a regular basis the corps tries to fit in a contest in England or Germany in the very busy performance schedule every summer. Three times the corps competed in the German Open Championships. On Dutch grounds the corps competes in the World Music Competition in Kerkrade every four years, last year won by the Concord Blue Devils.

In the corps’ 90th Anniversary year and again in 2003 Jubal concluded their season with a spectacular (Blast-like) theater show in the hometown theater, bringing back a Jubal tradition from the 1940's-1950's when Jubal gave many sell-out stage-shows in Dordrecht. In 2003 the corps took even their production across the border into Belgium. All performance nights were sold out! The year 2002 was highlighted by an unforgettable and most successful three-week tour through the United States. The corps performed at DCI and DCA shows and gave a number of concert-style exhibition performances in Michigan, Ohio and Massachusetts. In 2003 Jubal entered the drumcorps competition scene in Europe again with the newly formed Drum Corps Europe organization, resulting in a massive victory at the DCE Championships in September. In 2005 the corps spent some time with Blue Devils when they were on tour in Europe. Both corps performed at various events in Holland and Italy together. Jubal’s second USA-tour was in 2006; Jubal performed in the United States during a three-week-tour. The same year Jubal became European Champion. In 2007 and 2008 Jubal performed in Italy during a ten-day-tour. In 2009 Jubal became European Champion.

Jubal is the oldest competitive drum & bugle corps around in Europe (if not worldwide), celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2011. On this occasion Jubal has scheduled another three-week Tour in the USA, in competition with the prestigious Drum Corps International organization. The Tour will finish at the DCI World Championships.

More information can be found at www.jubal.org.

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