1983 – Repertoire

The 1983 Repertoire:

The Brothers of Bop
Blues in the Night
We’re All Together
We Are the Reason

reprinted from the 1985 DCI Championships Program


The spirit of the new South, as embodied in the Spirit of Atlanta, is going to rise again… and again and again, each time coming closer to the top, if corps members and their staff have anything to say about it.

It ain’t just a bunch of crackers, whistling dixie, either.

Spirited performances over the past several years have done nothing to lessen that prophesy, and despite a slip backwards to 12th in ’82, they came back strong in Miami to log a seventh place finish, their best since ’80, in home sweet home Alabama.

After the slight setback in Montreal, Director Freddy Martin wanted to make sure they had enough Spirit in ’83 to make a strong comeback bid. Since they’d been tough in brass and general effect, but had been lacking in the color guard caption, the first thing he did in the off-season was to bring Sal Salas down to design some new visuals.

“Sal was out major improvement,” Martin acknowledged. “He is the visual coordinator, he writes all of the drill and he coordinates all of the color guard work.”

“To have a real strong visual marching and color guard caption is something new for the Spirit of Atlanta, and something that has not been our strength in the past. This year we felt like it was as strong as drums and brass.” Martin added.

Caught up with just outside the Orange Bowl seconds after his corps’ final performance, Salas explained his personal goals when he arrived in Atlanta at the beginning of the ’83 season.

“I was trying to give Atlanta their own identity and set new standards for drill design… and, after tonight’s show, I’m real proud of them,” he said enthusiastically, wiping the Florida humidity from his brow.

“I think they accomplished a lot and let people know that Atlanta was back,” he continued.

Formerly an instructor with the Madison Scouts, Salas said he had attempted to make an artistic fusion between all the captions.

“What I’ve tried to do is to feature all the sections and to take a modern art approach – make modern art – as opposed to just lines and circles, that type of thing. I wanted a new look,” he added.

After a strong start in ’83 punctuated by edging the Scouts in the DCI East regional and a good performance at DCI Midwest, the Spirit his a Sargasso Sea of progress by mid-season. It wasn’t anything that a little of mom’s downhome cooking couldn’t fix, recalled Martin with a chuckle.

“We got back to Atlanta, the kids spent a couple days at home, slept in their own beds, and some of mama’s good cooking, got their energy level back up and had a couple of good rehearsals at the stadium in Atlanta,” he drawled wistfully. “All that made us a lot more comfortable with what we could accomplish going into the Championships.”

The Spirit is a new corps, starting in ’77, and hitting the top 12 by ’79, where they have stayed, refusing to be dislodged. Marching member Gary Korizon saw his first drum corps gig at age 14, soon after joining Spirit in its first season. He finally aged out in ’83, and 1984 will be the first year they will have marched without him. It will also be his first year – in a long time – without them.

“I really didn’t know what drum corps was until 1976 when I went to the Atlanta show and saw one for the first time – I was just totally amazed,” he said reverently. “I was 14 at the time. Then I heard they were going to start a corps in Atlanta, so I went and tried out. It was a totally new experience for me. It felt like a big family.”

“I’ve seen this corps come a long way and I’ve seen people come and go to other corps because they wanted to win,” he continued. “Well, I couldn’t do that. I had to stay with the Spirit of Atlanta and make something of the corps that I was with instead of going to a corps that already was established. I fell like I have accomplished personal goals, that I’ve done the best that I can do. I’ve gone as far as I can go.”

Will his life go on without drum corps?

“I don’t know,” he laughed, but only half kidding, “I’ll just have to wait and see.”