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Anyone who’s ever longed to see a marching band parade on Vendetti Field, got their wish on the evening of June 6th when the Boston Crusaders serenaded almost 200 Dudley residents in a free concert.
The 73-year-old and non-profit Crusaders, who consist of 110 brass players and percussionists and a corps of 40 baton- and flag-twirling performers, are all between the ages of 15 and 21 and spend nine weeks practicing long hours touring far and wide during the summer.
Nichols was the first stop on a schedule for which the group will travel 12,000 miles by bus. The band previewed several of the numbers they’ll be performing throughout the summer, including appearances in New Haven, Connecticut and Lawrence, Massachusetts
On this Thursday night, the audience crowded the stands on one side of Vendetti field, while others camped out on the hill above. The Crusaders, clad in bright red uniforms, dominated the field with a powerful combination of horns, tubas, and snare and base drums, at times weaving through each other choreographically.
“We’re very proud to visit Dudley. It’s a wonderful town and Nichols is a wonderful sponsor,” Crusaders Program Coordinator Erick Kitchenman announced to the crowd. “This night will juice up the players when they get up tomorrow.” “We appreciate everything the school has given us and look forward to returning in 2014,” added Crusaders Executive Director Tom Spataro. “What better way to express our gratitude than to perform our material for the school and the neighborhood.”