Sie Lurye (pictured here with Terry Doran in McHenry, 1967)meant more to drum corps and the Royal Air membership than his title: "corps director." This former professional prize fighter possessed a heart much larger than his fists. His passion for and commitment to "da yout of America" was characterized by tremendous personal, professional and financial sacrifice. Without Sie Lurye, there would not have been a "Big Blue".

Pictured with Don Warren of the Cavaliers, Sie's generosity aided the arch-rivals of the Royal Airs. In about 1960, the Cavies had no brass equipment and would not have taken the field that year. Sie Lurye purchased a set of horns for the "Green Machine."

Sie embraces music arranger, Rich Tarsitano.

Sie Lurie was THE most unique individual. He created phrases that have gone down in history, Royal Airs folk lore history that is. Who could ever forget the famous phrase uttered by Sie on many occasions: "the moment of trut has arriven" or "lee me tell you sometin" or "youse guys will never learn" or how about the always famous "I'm the biggest guy here" Said to a member of the Vanguards in 59 in Minneapolis when he made the mistake of saying that he wanted the biggest guy there.

There was a side of Sie that a lot of people never saw. The pain you could read in his eyes every time we went to the cemetery to honor the Children who died in the OLA fire. Then there was the time that I was stopped by the Chicago Police for speeding. I didn't have my license with me so the cop took me to the station to post bond. It was $25.00. In 59, who carried $25.00. Scared and broke, I called Sie and he came and posted the bond for me. It just so happened that it was a rehearsal night and I was not where I was supposed to be. Regardless, Sie was there for me. Of course he reminded me , in his own inimitable fashion, that I was not at rehearsal and that if I would have been, this probably would not have happened.

I also worked for Sie at the Parking lot on Dearborn and VanBuren along with Rich Myslievich of the cavaliers. I will never forget one incident in particular. I brought A customer his car. He went to pay his tab and was upset at the price. He made the mistake verbalizing a few expletives in Sie's direction. Sie asked him to please leave but the man insisted on accuseing Sie of coming from canine ancestry and insinuating that he had a particularly unusual relationship with his mother. That did it. I saw this huge man jump across the counter in one leap and it was the first time I saw a black man turn white as a ghost. The man took off and to this day, I have no idea where he went. I just know I never saw him again.

My memories of Sie Lurye. Although we didn't see eye to eye on a lot of things, mainly because I had all the answers at 19, He was a man that had a heart as big as his body. He cared about all of us as if we were his own kids. And God help the person who ever tried to mess with any of us. Sie Lurye taught me that you stand up for what you believe in. He made me believe that if you gain the respect of the people you are dealing with, you can lead them to find, within themselves, talent and strength they never knew they had. When Sie stood up to the leadership of the Alamo Rangers and formed the Royal Airs Drum and Bugle Corps, he made believers out of all who followed. A group of kids from a Chicago neighborhood, most of who had never played an instrument, became the greatest Drum Corps ever mainly due to the persistance, loyalty,guidence and faith of Sie Lurye.

Sie Lurye, a true hall of famer

Joe Canzoneri: 1958-61

Under the leadership of Sie Lurye, the Royal Airs rapidly became one of the greatest drum corps of all time. In 1964, Sie Lurye stated: "....we will keep moving at a pretty fast pace. We pray that our completion of this season will be a credit to ourselves and our friends, as well as the ones whom we think are our enemies but really are not!"