NW Washington Corps
Corps are relationally grouped (if applicable)
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All corps are Junior unless otherwise noted
Thunderbirds – Seattle, WA 1
Established: February 1958 as the Greenwood Boys Club Drum & Bugle Corps
Founder: Jack Avery (See Hurricanes Sr & Seattle Cascades)
First Show: 1959 Tacoma American legion
1959: Late. Added color guard. Rod Stubbs (Seattle Cascades founder/director)
is their instructor from 1959 thru 1964.
1960: Name changed to the “Seattle Thunderbirds” 3
Greenwood Boys Club is no longer their sponsor 22.
[The loss of sponsorship was the result of adding girls to the corps in 1959, and the sponsor being a “boys” club]
1966: Won the All-American Drum Corps Assn nationals in Anaheim California.
1968: Marched with the Cascade Cadets as a single unit at the Vancouver PNE parade.
1969: A Thunderbird won the rifle solo at Optirama in January 1969.
No field show this year. Corps activity suspended during reformation/management shake-up.
Many members joined The Cascade Cadets and other corps during the ’69 and ’70 seasons.
1970: Under new management, the corps relocated its base of operations from Seattle, 16-miles north to Lynnwood Washington.
Fred Lopez is now the Corps Director and the Music Director.
Home Show: “Pacific NW Championships”
Last field show: 1970 5
Last known Appearance: 1971 Salem Optirama. 3rd in A-division color guard
Disbanded: Early 1971
Thunderbird Cadets – Seattle, WA 1
Established: March 1963, feeder corps to the Thunderbirds
Members recruited by Jack Avery & Rod Stubbs (Seattle Cascades)
Last known Show: August 13, 1965 Washington State American Legion Championships
1965: End of the season. Part of the corps split off from the Thunderbirds organization and reformed as the “Cascade Cadets”.
1966: Remainder of the TB Cadets were absorbed into the A-corps
The Seattle Cascades – Seattle, WA 2
(Closely related to the Thunderbirds)
Established: June 1966 at Wilson Jr High in Seattle from a nucleus of former Thunderbird Cadet parents & 25 of their kids. Now named the “Cascade Cadets”.
Founder: Roderick (Rod) Stubbs, Principal at Wilson Jr High 2
Director & Instructor: Jack Avery 2 (Founder/Director of the Thunderbirds)
Home Show: “Cadence & Sound”
March 1966 DC World: Rumor, new Wilson Jr HS-based corps name, the “Seattleites”
1966: Cascade Cadets – Parade corps & competition color guard the “Thunderettes”.
1967: First show at Salem Optirama 9
1968: Marched with The Thunderbirds as a single unit at the Vancouver PNE parade.
1970: Changed name from “Cascade Cadets” to the “Seattle Cascades”
1977: First appearance at DCI
Did not field a corps in 2020 thru 2022 due to COVID-19.
Highest DCI ranking: 12th place at DCI Finals in 2002. The First PNW Corps to break into the top twelve.
Photo: 1975 Cascades – Inspection
Established: April 1959 as the “CYO Squires”
Founder: Al Whitman & John Brodrick
Director: Father Moffitt (CYO years)
Manager: Al Whitman (See 1951 Everett VFW on the “Pre-1960’s Corps” page)
1961: Now known as the “CYO Shamrocks”
1961: Added an all-girl color guard
1962: Now known as “The Shamrocks”
Home Show: “Music in Motion”
Last field show: 1974
1975: Merged with the Bellevue Sentinels to form The Marksmen
Bell-Airs – Seattle, WA 1
Established: November 1963 as the feeder corps to the Shamrocks
Manager: Lyle D. Anderson (1964)
Percussion: Bob Aklin
Music Director: Ray Frederickson
Last Known Field Show: July 21, 1965
Photo: 1963 – 1965
Sentinels – Bellevue, WA 4
Established: Fall of 1965 as The Civil Air Patrol Squadron Drum & Bugle Corps
Founders: Duane Andrews, Steve Mills, and Bob Thompson
Director: Duane C. Andrews (1965 – 1967)
James C. McCormick (1971 – ? )
First practice: January 5, 1966
1966 uniforms: Air Force “Suntan” & “Dress Blues” for summer.
Late 1966: Renamed to The Bellevue Sentinels Drum & Bugle Corps
Home Show: “Brazen Brass”
First Show: March 19, 1966 NW Championships (Thunderbirds’ show)
1967, end of season: El Toreadors merged with the Sentinels.
Last field show: September 2, 1974 Drum Corps West – Prelims
1975: Merged with the Seattle Shamrocks to form The Marksmen
Photo: 1968 in California
Guardsmen – Bellevue, WA 4
Established: Early 1967 as the feeder corps to the Sentinels
Director: Duane C. Andrews (1967)
James C. McCormick (1968 – 1970)
Last known field show: January 24, 1970 – Salem Optirama
Deactivated: 1970 – End of season.
Last known field show: July 11, 1976 – Garden Grove, California
Photo: 1970 Salem (Oregon) Optirama
Marksmen – Seattle, WA
Merger of the Shamrocks and the Sentinels
Last field show: 1976
Last Documentation: 1976
Highest DCI ranking: 1975 Class-A Finals, 4th
Photo: 1975 or ’76
Seattle Buddhist Scouts – Seattle, WA 6, 5, 20
Manager: Robert Oki (1965)
1952 – 1964: Parade corps.
1965: Only season to field a full show. 20
1966: The corps fractured and one element became the Seattle Buddhist Scouts
Drum & Bugle Corps Inc., which was sued by the Seattle Buddhist Church to cease
saying it was sponsored by them, and to return the church’s musical instruments and
all appropriated funds. This corps subsequently renamed itself the Imperials.
After the split, the Buddhist Scouts (the element still sponsored by the
Seattle Buddhist Church) returned to being a parade corps.
Last Documented Appearance: 1970 Bon Odori parade.
Disbanded: Sometime after 1973 or ’74 (Recollection only. Documentation needed)
Imperials – Seattle, WA 4, 6
Renamed Buddhist Scouts Established: 1966 4, 6
1966: First field show 25
Director: Robert Oki
1969: Imperials were levied a two-year suspension from all NWDCA competitions for illegally recruiting people from other association corps. Imperial members were also banned from transferring to other association corps during that period.
Last field show: 1983
Disbanded: 1984 6
Highest DCI Ranking: 1980 Open Class Prelims, 15th
Diplomats – Seattle, WA
Feeder corps to the Seattle Imperials
Manager: Bob Kurimoto 33
Last field show: Parade corps
Disbanded: 1971. People moved up to the A-Corps33
El Toreadors – (West) Seattle, WA 1
Established: ca April 1961 as the West Seattle Legion Jr D&BC, Post #160 46
Sponsored by: West Seattle American Legion Post #160
November 1962: Changed name to El Toreadors20
Manager: Jerry Chambers (1961 – 1963). Bill Komorek (1964 – 1967)
Music Director: Duane Andrews (1963), also the Seattle Shamrocks Music Director from 1963 – 1965, and Bellevue Sentinels co-founder in 1965.
Horn instructor: Tom Grinolds (Member, Thunderbirds)
Drum Instructor: Loren Grinolds (Member, Thunderbirds)
Last Known Documentation: 1967 Brazen Brass show
Disbanded: End of season 1967.
Uniform: Turquoise tops & black pants/skirts
The West Seattle American Legion Post #160 co-sponsored the West Seattle Junior D&BC from 1936 – 1939 and won the Washington State American Legion Senior D&BC Championships in 1955 and 1957.
Please see “Washington State American Legion Corps” under “Pre-1960 Corps” in the header above for more information.
Parental strife within EL Toreadors caused a split resulting in Jerry Chambers (Director of El Toreadors) to start the Amigos (below) on May 11, 1964. El Toreadors carried on with Bill Komorek at the helm until the end of 1967, when they merged with the Bellevue Sentinels.
Amigos – (West) Seattle, WA20
Established: May 11, 1964. An offshoot of the Toreadors
Founded by: Jerry Chambers – founder of El Toreador
Manager: Jerry Chambers
Horn Instructor: Lloyd King – member Hurricanes Sr.
Drum Instructor: Steve Nelson – member Thunderbirds
First appearance: May 30, 1964 Memorial Day parade38
1964: Participated in 21 parades and three competitions38
Last Known Documentation: September 11, 1965 at “The Angels Sing” show.
Disbanded: End of 1965.
Parental strife within EL Toreador caused a split resulting in Jerry Chambers (Director of El Toreador) to start the Amigos on May 11, 1964.
The Blue Angels – Renton, WA 1
Established: September 1961
Founder: Frank Sousa (See Hurricanes Sr)
Manager: Ed Fullerton (1964)
First Competition: 1961 NW Champions Competition (Sand Point NAS)
First Show: June 23, 1962 VFW Washington State Convention Show in Seattle
Home show: “The Angels Sing”
1964: Only western Washington corps to own their own buses
Last Documentation: 1966 25
Disbanded: During the 1966 season 25
Photo: Early 1962
Uniforms: Early 1962 – Dark blue shirts over dark red pants / white skirts, white shoes and shoulder cords, dark red garrison caps with white centers. Striking uniforms.
Black Watch – Auburn, WA
Established: 1971 5 as the Black Watch Highlanders
Founder: Dan Anderson
Home Show: Washington Open
Last Documentation: 1979 DCI Open Class, 33rd 7
Highest DCI ranking: 1978 DCI Class-A World Champions
Highland Regiment – Auburn, WA 11
Established: December 1974
Feeder corps to the Black Watch
Manager: Jack Laush
First field show: 1975
Last Documentation: 1976 Cascades Show Program
Photo: 1976 Drum Corps West Show
Titians – Bremerton, WA
Established: 1968 5
Director: Dave Rasmussen
Last Documentation: 1978 appearance at DCI 7
Highest DCI Ranking: 1978 Class-A Prelims, 8th
Photo: ca 1973
Dreadnaughts – Port Orchard, WA
Established: May 15, 1974
Manager: Wilbert Warren
First Show: August 1975, Knight Raiders in Campbell, CA
Last Documentation: August 30, 1975 – DCW Prelims
Corps wore authentic early US Navy uniforms
Are these two corps related? The Dreadnaughts disappeared in 1975 and the Guardsmen appeared in 1976. The Lowenstein name (Manager & drum major) is related to both corps. Please contact us if you have more information on this.
Guardsmen – Port Orchard / Bremerton, WA
Director: Craig Newman
First Documentation: July 10, 1976 Los Angeles CA
Last Documentation: 1978 Optirama show program
Disbanded: 1979 (Seattle Cascades bought their bus in ’79)
The Guardsmen uniforms look remarkably similar to the early 1960’s Columbians’.
Kennedy Continentals – (South) Seattle, WA 45
Established: 1976 as the Mouchoirs
1977: Now known as the Kennedy Continentals
Located: John F. Kennedy Memorial HS in Burien WA
This is a private Catholic HS serving South Seattle.
Director: Anton DeLateur – Director of music, Kennedy HS
Anton went on to co-found the Spokane Thunder in 2004.
1976: Parade corps only
1977: Exhibition field shows only
First Field Show: 1978
1978 NWDCA B-Division Champions
Disbanded: end of 1979
This corps was the Kennedy HS Music department.
Brassmen – Bellingham, WA
AKA: The Brassmen of Whatcom County
Director / Manager: unknown
First / Last Field Show: July 20, 1973 – Bellingham American Legion Show
Disbanded: End of 1973 (guess)
1978: Restarted but disbanded the same year.
1981: Restarted but died again at the end of the 1982 season.
1983: Restarted again.
Director: Mel Hansen – Director, Ferndale HS Golden Eagles band
1984: Won the NWDCA C-Division title
Photo: 1984 Brassmen
April 19, 1985: Merged with the Pacificaires from Surrey BC Canada, and adopt their name.
1987: Merger disbands. The Pacificaires go back to the “District Band” format, the Brassmen fold.
[March 4, 1978 The Pacificaires D&BC were formed in Surrey BC Canada. In 1980, they changed their format to a “district band” (non-drum corps). In 1985 they merge with the Brassmen of Whatcom County to form the very first international Drum & bugle Corps in North America.]
Matadors – Bellingham, WA
Established: October 1963
Founder: Ken Eno of the American Legion Falcons Sr D&BC
Managers: Ken Eno and George Provias (Falcons Sr. Drum Major)
First/Last Field Show: Parade Corps
Sponsored by: Moose Lodge, VFW, American Legion
Jolly Jesters – Mountlake Terrace, WA
Established: Early 1962
Founder / Director: Vince Tarasco, former member of the Toronto Sr corps
Related to the Jolly Jesters Sr of Toronto Canada
Music provided by Ted Reilley, Director – Jolly Jesters Sr
Played at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. As far as we know, they did not march in parades or shows.
1963 Rumor: Jesters to join en masse with the Thunderbirds. 43
Disbanded: March 1963
Last known documentation: June 26, 1963 Drum Corps News (below)
Director Vince Tarasco and John Broderick (Shamrocks founder) co-wrote many northwest drum corps articles for Drum Corps News in 1962.