Links to Pages Containing Pre-1960 Corps
General Categories of Pre-1960 Drum Corps
NOTE – Not all Pre-1960 Drum Corps marched field shows. Some were parade corps and functioned locally as advertisements for the community and/or their organization.
American Legion & VFW Drum Corps
Most pre-1960 PNW drum corps were American Legion based.
Washington had a greater number of American Legion and VFW corps than Oregon did. That was a function of population density. Same was true with the 60s & 70s corps scene. Per the 1960 Census, Washington State population was 2,853,214. Oregon had 1,768,687 people, 38% less than Washington.
Oregon VFW conventions were small and with an exception here and there, didn’t have a drum corps competition element like Washington State’s did. The pinnacle of Oregon’s VFW convention entertainment was the parade.
Drum Corps of Fraternal Organizations
Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE or Eagles)
Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE – Elks)
Loyal Order of Moose (Moose)
DeMolay (Named after the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar)
Shrine (Masonic Order)
Knights of Pythias
Some of these organizations had their own shows and gatherings, and some like the Eagles and Elks had state-wide and national conventions with drum corps competitions. They also mixed it up with other local corps in parades and competitions.
These corps typically had the organization name in their title. E.g., Seattle Moose or Coos Bay Eagles. People knew what city and which organization they represented. If there were multiple corps of the same organization within the city, then typically, they would add their “Lodge”, “Aerie”, or “Post” number to their name.
Scout Drum Corps
The Boy/Explorer Scouts and Girl Scouts of America sponsored drum corps. Sometimes in conjunction with another organization like the American Legion. They did not (to our knowledge) sponsor their own state championships in the PNW, but were active in parades, shows, and community events alike.
School Drum Corps
Public schools had drum corps as designated activities for students. (Great idea!)
Unaffiliated Drum Corps
Drum corps that were unaffiliated with any fraternal or other organization.
Most 1960s and newer corps had let’s say, an American Legion sponsor, but the corps itself was not a Sons of the American Legion drum corps. They were sponsored by an American Legion post, but did not belong to that post.
Some corps were sponsored by the school district and got to use those facilities, but did not belong to the school district. They were unaffiliated or independent.
Distribution by State
Click on map for clearer image
No specific search was made for Honorary PNW Pre-1960 Corps.
The data shown here is the result of other unrelated searches. This may change in the future.