1986 was a tough year for the Phantom Regiment. After a string of successful seasons, including multiple title contention years, the corps found itself in 10th place with an “old school” show that, while popular with fans, didn’t speak to the judges. It was time for a refresh, a way for the Regiment to retain their identity while bringing something new to the table. Songs For The Winter Palace did exactly that.
Phantom took both their name and the show theme to create an iconic look that the corps has built off of ever since. With uniforms of almost all white for the musicians and white and frosty blue for the guard, Phantom looked like the personification of snow and ice on the field. The music, all from Tchiakovsky’s Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, provided the audio version of that personification.
Late in the show, during The Mouse King movement from The Nutcracker, the corps formed its classic Iceberg formation, a move they would bring back in later years, a fitting visual for a winter wonderland of a performance.
The success of this show for Phantom Regiment is considerable, as the corps shot up to 5th place in 1987, coming in 3rd at Semifinals. Considering the popularity of Tchaikovsky’s ballets during the Christmas season, the 1987 Phantom Regiment is an easy choice to add to this list.