NW Washington Corps

Corps are relationally grouped (if applicable)

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All corps are Junior unless otherwise noted



Thunderbirds – Seattle, WA 1

(Closely related to the Cascades)

Established: February 1958 as the Greenwood Boys Club Drum & Bugle Corps

Founder: Jack Avery (See Hurricanes Sr & Seattle Cascades)

First Show: June 13, 1959 VFW State Championships, Tacoma

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

Photo: 1965







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 – Drum corps & competition color guard the “Thunderettes”.

1966: First known show: August 20th, New Westminster BC Canada

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






Shamrocks – Seattle, WA 1

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

Photo: 1968






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.

Re-activated: 1974

Last known field show: July 11, 1976 – Garden Grove, California

Photo: 1970 Salem (Oregon) Optirama









Marksmen – Seattle, WA

Established: 1975

Merger of the Shamrocks and the Sentinels

Last field show: 1976

Last Documentation: 1976

Disbanded: unknown

Highest DCI ranking: 1975 Class-A Finals, 4th

Photo: 1975 or ’76





Seattle Buddhist Scouts – Seattle, WA 6, 5, 20

Established: 1952

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)

Photo: 1964





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

Photo: 1970’s






Diplomats – Seattle, WA

Established: 1967

Feeder corps to the Seattle Imperials

Manager: Bob Kurimoto 33

Last field show: Parade corps

Disbanded: 1971.  People moved up to the A-Corps33

Photo: 1967









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

Photo: 1964

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.

Photo: 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

Disbanded: 1983

Highest DCI ranking: 1978 DCI Class-A World Champions

Photo: 1974









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

Disbanded: Unknown

Photo: 1976 Drum Corps West Show








Titians – Bremerton, WA

Established: 1968 5

Director: Dave Rasmussen

Last Documentation: 1978 appearance at DCI 7

Disbanded: unknown

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

Disbanded: Unknown

Photo Needed





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

Established: 1975

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)

Photo: 1977


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

Established: 1973

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

Disbanded: 1965

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.