Audubon Bon Bons

Audubon, NJ United States
Founded: 1938

Inactive All Girl
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Repertoire for 1960
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All the Things You Are by Jerome Kern | Oscar Hammerstein Till the Clouds Roll By - Movie Soundtrack - Sony 47029
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The Audubon All-Girl Drum and Bugle Corps, known universally as the Bon-Bons, formed in 1938, was an all-girl marching and maneuvering and parade corps based in Audubon, New Jersey. They were sponsored by Oaklyn-Audubon-Bettlewood VFW Post 4463. The corps’ colors were blue and white.

In early years, because there existed so few all-girl corps, the Bon-Bons had to compete, if they wished to compete at all, with all-male groups. They were the only female group to compete successfully in this venue, placing second or third in VFW Nationals several times. In 1957 they took high drums and GE at the American Legion Nationals, before placing second to the Holy Name Cadets. In 1960, their bugles defeated those of every other corps competiting in the American Legion Nationals in Miami.

The corps’ director, Mr. Joseph Bernert, Sr., known to all as "J.B.," instructed some 3000 girls through the years. He originated the signature phrase “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.”

That title was not entirely accurate, however, as the Bon-Bons were the 1969 and 1970 VFW All-Girl National Champions, among other awards. They participated in the Dream Contests of 1957-64 and in a Carnegie Hall concert with other corps in 1962. The corps was also selected for induction into the Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1967. They appeared in Eastern States Circuit competition in 1977.

The Bon-Bons merged with three other corps in 1978, but the Bon-Bon Alumni Chorus continues to entertain into the 21st century.

[Encyclopedia of Drum and Bugle Corps, 1966; rec.arts.marching,drumcorps; Competitive Drum Corps, Popp, 1979; DCW, 6/29/93, p.9, 19]

Members (16)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Baldwin, Julie Soprano 1972 to 1979
Bicking, Kristin soprano and mellophone 1974 to 1977
Darcy, Debbie CG bari dm 1970 to 1975
Dougherty, Coleen soprano 1969 to 1977
Hammell, Bea Soprano 76,77/mellophone 75 1974 to 1977
Hardy, Susan drumline 1962 to 1965
Jenkins, Ethel Soprano 1965 to 1973
Long, Kathy tenor drum; drum majorette 1958 to 1967
McElroy, Ella Horn Line, Baritone 1959 to 1965
McHugh, Kathy Percussion 1974 to 1977
Merlie, Dolores Color Guard 1956 to 1960
Miller, Marlene soprano 1947 to 1956
Pennisi, Carol Soprano/Drum Major 1959 to 1970
sullivan, martha colorguard,soprano, mellophone 1967 to 1976
Van Leer, Darlene Baratone 1970 to 1975
Yeager, Mariann french horn 1963 to 1964

CORPS 10 items

Audubon Bon Bons

Bon Bons Pennant from the Bill Ives Collection
Audubon Bon Bons

Bon Bons Bumper Sticker from the Bill Ives Collection
Audubon Bon Bons

Bon Bons Overseas Cap from the Bill Ives Collection
Audubon Bon Bons

Bon Bons Overseas Cap from the Bill Ives Collection
Audubon Bon Bons

Bon Bons from the Bill Ives Collection
Audubon Bon Bons

Bon Bons from the Bill Ives Collection
Audubon Bon Bons

Audubon Bon Bons Uniform 1971 from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Denise Balderama Reader
Audubon Bon Bons

Audubon Bon Bons Blue and Gold from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Betty Ann Draper
Audubon Bon Bons

Audubon Bon Bons Drum & Bugle Corps 1971 VFW Prelims from the Roy Perez Collection
Audubon Bon Bons
PDF Document
156-159, Audubon Bon Bons from the Steve Vickers Collection