Founded in 1953

The New York Crimson Kings Drum, Fife & Bugle Corps, established in the 1950s, is the oldest and most honored Asian-American drum corps in the east coast dedicated to youth development through music and performing arts education. The Corps has been dedicated to preserving rich musical traditions and the ideals of community service as a non-profit youth arts organization based in the heart of New York's Chinatown. They have been proudly performing shows, concerts and parades every year representing the only Asian-American fife, drum, and bugle corps on the East Coast. It has been a second home and family for the scores of members to have proudly worn the Red and Gold.

 
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Mission STATEMENT

The Crimson Kings instills class, excellence and civic pride in its members through music and performing arts. Participation in the Corps nurtures self-confidence, respect, character and teamwork at a crucial age forming the springboard to even greater achievements. Members establish a strong work ethic, integrity and discipline that compliments non-musical education.

What We Do

We are a year-round safe and productive music activity for youths 10 to 22 years old rooted in the Drum Corps tradition.  Free weekly music lessons are offered in New York’s Chinatown every Sunday in drum, fife, horn, and guard. All levels are welcome.

The Crimson Kings has been a big part of my life. I learned more than I could imagine and met outstanding people in just several months there. Today, I am proud to say that I was a Snare Drummer for the Crimson Kings Drum Fife and Bugle Corps.
— Eugene Fung, Drum '09-'10

 

WHAT IS DRUM CORPS?

Here’s the definition of “drum corps” straight from Drum Corps International:

The drum corps activity and the Drum Corps International experience is often classified by fans and participants alike simply as "drum corps." There is not much agreement, however, upon a single definition for the term. Each corps has its own interpretation consistent with its own organization, mission and heritage. Drum Corps International's classification of "drum corps" has evolved over the years, moving from a structured, rules-based definition to an organization- and values-based definition. In addition, the passionate fans and followers of the activity have their own definition that is often personal, deeply held, and reflective of their experience with the drum corps.

Tradition and heritage permeate drum corps. Traditions span through instrumentation, style, attitude, uniforms and music. The degree to which today's corps pay homage to their traditions and heritage is the bellows that stokes the passions that truly separate drum corps from marching bands.

Here's a fairly straightforward definition of “drum corps” from Wikipedia:

A drum and bugle corps is a musical marching unit consisting of brass instruments, percussion instruments and color guard. Drum corps are specialized marching bands. Typically operating as independent organizations (no scholastic affiliation), drum corps perform on-field competitions, parades, festivals and other civic functions. The rules of Drum Corps International set the age limit for drum corps participation at 22, with most participants aged 17-21.

Competitive drum corps take part in a summer tour, visiting various cities around the country and participating in competitions. Competitions occur on football fields. Every year, each drum corps prepares a single show, approximately 8–12 minutes in length, and carefully refines this throughout the entire summer tour. This focus on a single show takes advantage of the large amount of time needed to hone and refine a modern drum corps program, with a momentum that continues to build toward the last performance of the season – championships.

Learn more at DCI.