Santa Clara Vanguard

Santa Clara, CA United States
Founded: 1967

Active Junior
World Class
Return to
Results from final championship competition of the year
  • Position: 6
  • Score: 94.000
Repertoire for 1990
Prelude and March (from Carmen) by Georges Bizet Bizet: Carmen / Solti, Troyanos, Domingo, Te Kanawa - ASIN: B0000041QH
Intermezzo (from Carmen) by Georges Bizet Bizet: Carmen / Solti, Troyanos, Domingo, Te Kanawa - ASIN: B0000041QH
March of the Toreadors (from Carmen) by Georges Bizet Bizet: Carmen / Solti, Troyanos, Domingo, Te Kanawa - ASIN: B0000041QH
Changing of the Guard (from Carmen) by Georges Bizet Bizet: Carmen / Solti, Troyanos, Domingo, Te Kanawa - ASIN: B0000041QH
Allegro Moderato (from Carmen) by Georges Bizet Bizet / Uria-Monzon / Papis / Lombard Carmen
La Habanera (from Carmen) by Georges Bizet Bizet: Carmen / Solti, Troyanos, Domingo, Te Kanawa - ASIN: B0000041QH
Gypsy Dance (from Carmen) by Georges Bizet Bizet: Carmen / Solti, Troyanos, Domingo, Te Kanawa - ASIN: B0000041QH

The Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps is a World Class competitive drum and bugle corps. based in Santa Clara, California.

On the evening of March 6, 1967, the parent-boosters of the Sparks Drum & Bugle Corps, unhappy with the corps' artistic direction, voted to shut down the corps and return the unit to being a drum and bell corps with majorettes.

After the fatal vote, three dissenting adult staff-supporters met with concerned corps members and asked them if A) they would rather continue as a drum and bugle corps, or B) become a drum and bell corps. When the members resounding chose "A," a new corps was born, and a new booster club was organized on the spot. Gail Royer, who was a music instructor for the Sparks, a local elementary music teacher, and an American Legion music judge was picked as the director for the new corps. The naming of the corps was delayed until the new group's first scheduled rehearsal, a week later. At that time, after discussing several possibilities, the members and staff named their new corps the Santa Clara Vanguard.

Only week later, the brand new corps marched in its first parade and won the San Francisco’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The big trip in 1967 was to Southern California for the Anaheim Kingsmen’s second annual Festival of Music contest. The corps placed fourth there, but they also saw a performance by the U.S. Air Force Academy Drum & Bugle Corps, giving them a taste of what was possible in the drum corps medium. It was also the weekend that they met Pete Emmons and Fred Sanford, two young instructors with the Kingsmen who would play large roles in the Santa Clara corps’ future. . Just before the corps’ final performance of that first seasonr, Gail Royer honored the corps’ age-outs with the first Green Feather Ceremony, a rite that would become a corps tradition.

As with most corps of the day, several of the brass arrangements played during the corps’ early years were written by Truman Crawford, director of the U.S. Marine Corps Drum & Bugle Corps. Other early contributors to the brass book included Don Angelica and Keith Markey (with “fine tuning,“ contributed by Jack Meehan). Gail Royer began writing arrangments during the corps' first year, and he gradually took over more and more of the repertoire, until he was SCV's only brass arranger from 1970 through1980.

In 1968, the corps embarked on its first tour to the Midwest in order to measure itself against more experienced corps. Although they did not place high at any of the competitions, the tour was a success because of the competition experience and the exposure to the national competition scene. Corps members made many friends and gained the respect of fellow performers from such elite corps as the Troopers, Kilties, Cavaliers, and Blue Stars.

On the local front, the SCV Color Guard beat the Anaheim Kingsmen to win the 1968 California Color Guard Circuit Championship. The Vanguard won its first standstill competition, followed by its first public performance of "Procession of the Nobles" with the U.S. Air Force Academy Drum & Bugle Corps in the audience. On August 3, 1968, SCV won its first field contest at the Anaheim Kingsmen’s show. The corps was host of the first "Pacific Procession" field competition (named after "Procession of the Nobles")--- the audience was smaller than anticipated, with the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy occuring only a few days before. Santa Clara Vanguard capped off its year by winning the first of many California State Open Championships.

"Procession of the Nobles" presented the corps with two challenges. First, no corps had ever played an entire piece in odd time while marching--- odd meters and tempos were reserved for the standstill portion of the show. Second, Royer’s arrangement of the chart included the original intro, with three measures of the opening rhythmic statement. Staff members quickly realized that this introduction meant that the drill would have to step off on the right foot--- a marching "no-no" at that time. It took Royer about one minute to solve the problem – rewriting the arrangement right in the middle of a drill rehearsal, he cut out one of the problem measures, and it all fell into step.

1969 was the first year the corps traveled to the East Coast. SCV made it onto a Fleetwood Records album by placing ninth in the World Open Finals. At the VFW National Championships in Philadelphia, the corps just missed making finals, losing to the Argonne Rebels for 12th spot by 0.15 of a point.

Following VFW Nationals, the Vanguard traveled to Washington, D.C., where they played a standstill concert on the steps of the Capitol building, The corps then went to New York City for four days of "cultural enrichment." On the long trip home, two station wagons broke down outside Aurora, Nebraska. Exhibitions in North Platte, Nebraska, and Elko, Nevada, went on without the passengers in those cars--- two soprano soloists, a third soprano, two lead baritones, and the entire French horn section. It was on the Eastbound stretch of the tour that, at the height of the Vietnam War, the guys in the corps learned their numbers for the national draft lottery.

Santa Clara Vanguard had already become a legitimate national contender in 1970. The corps won their first American Legion California State Championship, defeating the two powerhouse corps from Anaheim, the Kingsmen and the Velvet Knights. Six nights later in Racine, Wisconsin, before one of drum corps' toughest crowds, SCV's playing of Royer’s arrangements of music from "Fiddler on a Roof,” had even the stadium announcer shouting, "Wonderful Show! Wonderful Show!" That night, they were second to the Troopers, but by the end of the following weekend, Santa Clara had beaten practically everyone in the country. On July 11, 1970, at the North American Open in Milwauke's Marquette Stadium, the Santa Clara Vanguard left the field after being saluted by such legendary corps as the Troopers, Cavaliers, Madison Scouts, Blue Stars, Kilties, Argonne Rebels, Garfield Cadets, and DeLaSalle Oaklands. It was a defining moment in the history of the corps. and Royer told the corps' small staff on the sidelines, "We’ve finally made it!"

Due to limited finances, the corps was unable to travel to Miami to compete for the VFW National Championship that August. Instead, they carpooled to Portland, Oregon, and the American Legion Nationals. Competing against mostly West Coast corps, SCV won the 1970 American Legion Junior National Drum & Bugle Corps Championship while thier color guard also won the .Color Guard National Championship.

The Santa Clara Vanguard were urged by Cavaliers founder Don Warren and Troopers founder Jim Jones to join in starting a new organization run by the drum corps and free from the rigid, inflexible rules of the American Legion and VFW. The corps felt that not only were they having their creative potential as artistic performing groups stifled, but they were being financially starved. During the 1971 season, the "Midwest Combine," composed of the Blue Stars, Cavaliers, Madison Scouts, Santa Clara Vanguard, and the Troopers were not only booked into a number of shows together, but they found a host for a show of their own, which was a spectacular success. A simiar group called the United Organization of Junior Corps (also known as the "Alliance") was made up of five top-tier Eastern corps. In 1972, the ten corps from the Combine and the Alliance joined with three other top corps to form Drum Corps International (DCI), which remains as the sanctioning body for junior corps in North America. In the Combine shows, SCV had lost twice to the Troopers and were also behind the Cavaliers in one shoow.

Otherwise during that season, SCV competed in four "major" shows; the first three are known in the annals of the corps as "The Boston Massacre." The Vanguard was third at the CYO Nationals in Lowell, Massachusetts behind Blue Rock and the Anaheim Kingsmen. Of the thirty-seven corps at the World Open in Lynn, Massachusetts, Santa Clara placed second behind the 27th Lancers after winning prelims, and they were again behind 27 at the Danny Thomas Invitational in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Then a month later, while not winninga single caption, the Santa Clara Vanguard won both prelims and finals at the 1971 VFW National Championship in Dallas, Texas. Among the corps they beat at the Cotton Bowl were Blue Rock, Troopers, Anaheim Kingsmen, and the 27th Lancers--- four of the five corps that had finished ahead of them earlier in the season.

1972 was the inaugural season of the Drum Corps International World Championships. The Santa Claraa Vanguard, with a new look in uniforms of: red tunics, dark green pants/skirts, and dark green Aussie hats with curled white feathers, was among the favorites to win the crown. After the 39 corps prelims, SCV was the leader of the Top 12 corps that made Finals. However, in Finals they were passed not only by Blue Stars but by the surging Anaheim Kingsmen, who had kicked up their score by 3.6 points from prelims to become the first DCI World Champions. While Santa Clara did not win that night, they began an unbroken string of DCI Finals appearances that continues through 2017, a claim that no other corps can make..

In 1973, the Santa Clara Vanguard was a dominating force. They lost twice to the Troopers in July, but they won 27 contests that year. On August 17th, in front of 14,000 fans at Warhawk Stadium in Whitewater, Wisconsin, SCV won its first DCI World Championship.

The Vanguartd had played the music of "The Bottle Dance" from "Fiddler on the Roof" in both 1972 and '73. In 1974, SVC's guard did the bottle dance, bringing down the house at show after show. They lost a show early on to Troopers, and they were second behind the Madison Scouts at both DCI Midwest and the U.S. Open. After DCI prelims at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, the corps was in third place, behind Madison and their prime rival, the Anaheim Kingsmen. Declining the defending champion's option of performing last, SCV added nearly three points to their prelims score in Finals. The audience reaction to the corps' performance was such a deafening roar that the Scouts and Kingsmen were unable to supress the Santa Clara Vanguard's charge to a second consecutive DCI Crown. In addition, they took High M&M, High Drums, and tied Madison for High GE. (The drumline had gone undefeated for its second consecutive year.) Also in that spectacular season, SCV introduced the lyrical tune that has gone on to become the song that spans the generations of SCV members and fans, "Send in the Clowns.”

An inspired 1975 finals performance earne the corps a perfect 30.0 in GE and a High Percussion score of 19.4, but still left Santa Clara in second place, 1.5 points behind the Madison Scouts.

Innovative drill in the form of a moving and revolving circle marked 1976. DCI also made its mark that year by officially approving two-valve horns, although they went on record as being, "permanently opposed to any three-valve horns in the future."

In 1977, the Vanguard and most major corps converted to two-valve horns, a move expected to add approximately five years to the life of the horns. The booster club continued to put the corps on the field in style, as the corps' mobile kitchen truck, "Miss Amana" made her debut and was the envy of all the other corps. For a corps that in its first few years had eaten a lot of its meals in fast-food restaurants and breakfasted on cornflakes from Dixie cups, this complete kitchen on wheels was a real luxury.

In 1978, fielding 10 snares, the corps performed selections from Khachaturian's "Gayne Ballet." The 34 girls in the color guard that year used a maypole and hoops instead of rifles, and performed the popular "Bottle Dance" once again. Although the corps took second or third most of the year, they peaked at the right time in August. In Denver, SCV scored 4.9 out of a possible 5.0 in Marching & Maneuvering and 29.8 out of a possible 30.0 in General Effect to win its third DCI championship.

The Vanguard's dominance during DCI's early days was partly due to superb drumming, partly due to innovative drill, but largely due to a strong, supportive organization

By 1980, most corps were executing field drills of circles, triangles, diamonds, arcs, X's and serpentine files. Only occasionally, cautiously, were asymmetrical patterns beginning to appear. SCV would close out the Seventies by falling to seventh place in Birmingham, Alabama in 1980 with a totally asymmetrical drill that was "extremely innovative” but slightly ahead of its time Also in 1980, DCI released its first state-of-the-art record album, professionally recorded in concert at the Concord Pavilion show on July 1, featuring the Santa Clara Vanguard and the Blue Devils.

Santa Clara recovered from the down season of 1980 by winning its fourth DCI World Championship in '81. Then, over the next seven years, SCV placed second five times and third twice before winning its fifth DCI title in 1989 with music from "Phantom of the Opera,".

During the run through the Eighties, SCV put velcro and magic on the field... changing the horn lines' tunics with a tear-away panel... changing the corps' pants while quickly passing through a tunnel... making members appear on the field... making members disappear to close the show... and then making the full corps disappear....

Following the 1989 championship, (as DCI allowed three valve bugles in 1990) SCV went into, for them, a down period; seven straight years of finishing no better than fifth. Even the corps' trademark "Fiddler" music could place no better than seventh in 1992.

After the '92 season, the corps' director since its founding, Gail Royer, stepped down, with few knowing he was terminally ill and would die soon after.

After five years of Broadway shows, a four year run from 1993-'97 featured music by European masters with no more success, with finishes of 7th, 5th, 6th, and another 5th.

In 1998, J.W. Koester's second season as director, the corps switched to American composers. That season's Bernstein program moved the corps back to third place at DCI. The next year's Copland show rose to take the Vanguard's seventh second place finish. In 1999, with an innovative music program from three Twentieth Century American composers--- Philip Glass, Frank Ticheli, and Samuel Barber--- the Santa Clara Vanguard won its sixth DCI World Championship.

Since winning the sixth title, SCV has remained a DCI Finalist under four different directors, extending the streak of Top 12 appeartances to 46 through 2017. The 2017 show, "Ouroboros" was a definite contender, earning the Santa Clara Vanguard its eighth second place finish.

[Vanguard Music and Performing Arts; A History of Drum & Bugle Corps, Vickers, 2002-03; Drum Corps World, multiple issues; Drum Corps International]

Members (153)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Abbott, Mark Euphonium 2001
Amador, Jesse Baritone 1966 to 1972
Arnold, Mackenzie trumpet 2001 to 2002
Arnold, Mackenzie mellophone 2003 to 2004
Atkin, Matt Contra 2009
Ball, Dave Percussion (Bass line) 1974 to 1976
Balleza, Nick lead sop 2005 to 2009
Barreras, Ray Mallets - Xylophone 1981
Beraun, Sergio Soprano/Trumpet 2005
Bernard, Kevin Trumpet 2006 to 2007
Bernstein, Alex Euphonium 2002
Blue, Alex Euphonium 2004
Blue, Alex Baritone/Euphonium 2006 to 2007
Bostic, Daniel Guard 1988
Brakewell, Paul Mellophone 2003 to 2005
Brown, Erik Trumpet 2001 to 2002
Brown, Erik Mellophone 2003 to 2004
Buxbaum, Jo Ann color guard 1984 to 1986
Cabrera, Michael Colorguard 2003 to 2005
Chappell, Patrick Baritone 2005 to 2009
Cordes, Lindsay Trumpet 2002 to 2003
Craig, Charles Mallets 1981 to 1982
Cuevas, Daniel Colorguard 2005
Curnutt, Ben French Horn 2002
Cuthbert, Scott Snare 1983
Ellis, Clayton Baritone 1993
Estrada, Eric Drumline/Bass 2001 to 2003
Ferland, Kyle Baritone 2005
Frost, Amy Trumpet 2003 to 2006
Garcia, Andy Color Guard 2002 to 2003
Garcia, Stacey Baritone 2004
Giles, Tony Alto/Flugel 1981 to 1982
Gilmore, Anthony Bass Drum 1980
Ginsburg, Fonda Pit 1987
Gipson, Derek high brass coordinator 2008
Glahn, Jeff French Horn 1981
Gofstein, Marc Contra Bass 1986
Gray, Kurt Mellophone 2003
Grimes, Mark Baritone 1974 to 1975
Harrington, Don Contra 1974 to 1978
Harrington, Don Contra 1974 to 1978
Hassler, Jeff Contra/Tuba 1999 to 2002
Hatheway, Dave Baritone 1981
Hofius, Chris Trumpet 2003
Hofius, Christopher Trumpet 2003 to 2006
Holtz, Erin Mellophone (Auditioning) 2006
Hoyt, Kirbie Mellophone 2005
Hubka, Tom Trumpet 2003 to 2004
Hunter, Matt Cymbal Section 1978 to 1979
Hunter, Matt Bassline 1981 to 1982
Irons, Mark Euphonium/Drum Major 1997 to 2001
James, Bob Soprano 1986 to 1988
Jones, Bobby colorguard 2003 to 2005
Jones, Bobby Colorguard 2003 to 2006
Jones, Erin guard 2003
Kadrie, Julie trumpet 2004
Khedekar, Shekhar Snare 2001 to 2002
Kile, Andrea Trumpet 2002 to 2004
Kim, John Trumpet 2001
Kinoshita, Steve Mellophone 1984
Krohn, Samantha Mellophone 2000 to 2003
LaFountaine, David Baritone 1974 to 1975
Langworthy, Daryl Percussion 1980 to 1981
Lawson, Jerry Euphonium 1983
Ledtje, Leah Trumpet 2005
Lodigiani, Chris Rifle 1972 to 1976
Luke, Curtis Soprano 1974
Lumapas, Stevenson Colorguard 2004 to 2005
Majors, Aaron Sop/Trumpet 2004
Martinez, Ben Baritone and Contra 1968 to 1972
Martins, Kevin Mellophone 2005
Matos, Julio Soprano 1989
Matos, Julio Mellophone 1990; 1992
Mavroudis, Emily color guard (weapon) 1997 to 2003
McCall, Justin Cymbal Line 2003
McCallie, Russ Baritone 2005 to 2009
McCann, Brad Contra 2003
McGill, Lauren Euph 2008
McLaughlin, Daniel Soprano/Mellophone 2000 to 2006
McLaughlin, Daniel Hornline 2000 to 2006
McWilliams, Mike Lead Soprano 1977 to 1983; 1985
Megargel, Alan Lead Soprano 1978 to 1980
Mendoza, Paul color guard 1987 to 1988
Miller, Dean French Horn/Mellophone 1984 to 1987
Minor, Jesse Trumpet 2003 to 2006
Molnar, Jeff Baritone 2005
Moody, Paul Horns 1969 to 1973
Moorman, Jeff Euphonium 2002 to 2003
Nelson, Kayla Baritone 2005
Noll, August Emile snares 2005
O'Brien, Bill Colorguard 2004
Oeland, Jim Bass 1968
Oeland, Jim Marching Timpani 1969 to 1973
Otani, Ray Contrabass 1981
Owens, Dan Lead Soprano 1984
Patlan, Charles Baritone 2004
Poling, Laura trumpet 2002 to 2004
Poulan, Key Brass Arranger 2003
Poulan, Key Program Coordinator / Brass Arranger 2004
Powell, Aaron Mellophone 2005
Prentice, Christopher Mellophone 1999
Preston, Chris Trumpet 2003
Quick, Robert Euphonium 2005
Rajpura, Jennifer Colorguard 2004 to 2005
Rathbun, Travis Baritone 2003 to 2004
Riebesehl, Dale contra 1986
Ristau, Brendan Bari/Euph 2012
Rivera, Joey Bassline 2000
Roberts, Wes French Horn 2002
Robinson, Brian Color Guard 2005
Roquemore, Jordan trumpet 2005
Rosen, Tracy Mellophone 2006
Rouleau, Michel Mellophone 1988
Rountree, Christopher Baritone 2003 to 2004
Roy, Jonette Colorguard 1973 to 1975
Saldana, Luis Euphonium/Drum Major 1999 to 2000; 2002 to 2004
Salvatore, Joe Drumline - Cymbals 1989
Saul, Ryan Pit 1999
Schwartz, Andy Euphonium 2002 to 2003
Scipio, Ronald Baritone 2007
Scipio, Ronald Euphonium 2008 to 2009
Senninger, Kiel Trumpet 2004
Shields, Laura Front Ensemble 2003
Shulman, Stuart Contra/Drum Major 2001 to 2003
Simon, Natan trumpet 2002; 2004
Smith, Joe Mellophone 2005 to 2006
Stanton, Russell Hornline 1975
Stoneberger, Brian Trumpet 2003
Strauss, Nick contra 2004 to 2006
Taylor (Griffin), Janice Color Guard 1983
Torres, Mathew Trumpet 2003
Turner, Bill soprano 1976
Unruh, Eric French Horn, Mellophone 1970 to 1975
Vasquez, Ramon Brass Staff 2007
Wagoner, Jon Baritone 1985 to 1987
Walter, Maureen Color Guard (Flag) 1971 to 1975
Warren, Andrew Euphonium 2000 to 2001; 2003
Welke, "Cud" Baritone 1997
Westendorf, Joe Baritone 2005
White, Lauren Baritone 2004 to 2006
White, Tim Hornline 1984 to 1986
Whiteman, Sasquatch Baritone 1977
Wilcox, Clifton Mellophone 2005
Wu, Joanne/Ying-chieh Colorguard 2005 to 2006
Yankee, K. Megan Color Guard 2003 to 2006
bermudez, john lead baritone 1978 to 1982
flores, nathalie colorguard 2002
house, steve baritone 1977 to 1978
house, steve contra 1979
reniers, peter baritone 2005 to 2007
wienen, frank trumpet 2006

CORPS 43 items

Santa Clara Vanguard

Santa Clara Vanguard from the Bill Ives Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

Santa Clara Vanguard 2 from the Bill Ives Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

Santa Clara Vanguard 45th Anniv from the Bill Ives Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

Vanguard Santa Clara from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Jesse Amador
Santa Clara Vanguard

SantaClaraVanguard SantaClara CA-13 from the Bill Ives Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

SantaClaraVanguard SantaClara CA-14 from the Bill Ives Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

SantaClaraVanguard SantaClara CA-15 from the Bill Ives Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

SantaClaraVanguard SantaClara CA-2 from the Bill Ives Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

SantaClaraVanguard SantaClara CA-2013 from the Bill Ives Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

SantaClaraVanguard SantaClara CA-2014 from the Bill Ives Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

SantaClaraVanguard SantaClara CA-45thAnniversary from the Bill Ives Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

SantaClaraVanguard SantaClara CA-5 from the Bill Ives Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

SantaClaraVanguard SantaClara CA-7 from the Bill Ives Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

SantaClaraVanguard SantaClara CA-9 from the Bill Ives Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

SantaClaraVanguard25thAnniv 1992 from the Bill Ives Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

SantaClaraVanguardCadets SantaClara CA from the Bill Ives Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

Santa Clara Sparks 1967 from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Jesse Amador
Santa Clara Vanguard
PDF Document
336-341, Santa Clara Vanguard from the Steve Vickers Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

Santa Clara Themed Folder from the Steve Vickers Collection
Santa Clara Vanguard

Santa Clara 25th Anniversary from the Steve Vickers Collection