Each year, the Crossmen take an evening to sit down and learn about the history of the corps. History night is a night where alumni and members reunite, enjoy cookie salad, and listen to a handful of speakers that reflect on their time with the corps, as well as encourage the next generation of Crossmen to carry on the legacy.
The Crossmen were built out of a merger between the 507 Hornets and the Keystone Regiment, two smaller corps from the Pennsylvania area. History Night, in that sense, tells the story of two corps and their desires to compete fiercely as well as enrich the lives of young performers across the country.
"We are extending a history that's bigger than most people realize," said Tour Director, Rico Gomez. "This is an opportunity to pass down a legacy to a new generation. We want this to carry on long after we're gone."
And throughout ups and downs from the corps early years, the passion from the people involved are what have kept it alive and thriving from 1974 to 2018.
"This is what I like about drum corps," Gomez said. "History Night might not be the most glamorous, but it's neat to see how much this group has overcome."
This year, History Night stayed true to tradition. On Saturday night, the members were able to sit down and learn about the corps's roots and evolution throughout the years. Some received alumni-funded scholarships, and the corps flag was passed down to the current Horn Sergeant.
Chris Daniels, first year front ensemble member, reflected on his first History Night as a member of the corps.
"I think that the corps has a lot of really great history," Daniels said. "It was cool to hear about when Crossmen helped Spirit of Atlanta. It's awesome that the corps was willing to go out of their way to help others."
And while new members learned about the origin of the corps, the legacy that has built our foundation was strengthened.
"My favorite part about the evening was learning about how Crossmen was formed by two smaller corps coming together," Daniels said. "I liked hearing about all of the ups and downs that the corps went through."
History Night was also an eye-opening event to many. Members were able to reflect on both the history of their own corps, but also on the history of drum corps.
"History night shows that Crossmen is more than an organization," Daniels said. "It really shows the depth of not only the Crossmen, but of DCI as a whole."
The events of History Night may stay consistent each year, but the evening means something special to everybody. Bringing the corps together for a night of reminiscing and motivation allows for the gap between old and new Crossmen to dissolve as the corps bands together as a family.