Velvet Knights

Other Names:merger Anaheim Scouts and Explorer Scout Post #72

Anaheim, CA United States
Founded: 1963

Inactive Junior
Division I
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Results from final championship competition of the year
  • Position: 10
  • Score: 87.300
Repertoire for 1990
Universal Studios / Hollywood Tour
Summertime (from Porgy and Bess) by George Gershwin | DuBose Heyward Rhapsody in Russia - A Gershwin Celebration - Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra - Sheffield Lab CD-28
School's Out for Summer by Alice Cooper
20th Century Fox Fanfare by Alfred Newman
Hooray for Hollywood by Richard A. Whiting | Johnny Mercer Doris Day Vol. 1-Hooray For Hollywood
Singin' in the Rain (from Singing In The Rain) by Nacio Herb Brown | Arthur Freed Lena Horne Best Of Lena Horne
Wizard of Oz by E.Y. Harburg | Harold Arlen Wizard of Oz - Movie Soundtrack
The Sea Hawk by Erich Wolfgang Korngold Utah Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; Varese Sarabande (VSD-47304)
Bottle Dance (from Fiddler on the Roof) by Jerry Bock | Sheldon Harnick Fiddler on the Roof - Soundtrack
Keystone Cops
Slow Burn by Chick Corea
The Summer of '42 by Michel Legrand Summer Of 42 - Soundtrack
Born to be Wild by Bruce Springsteen
The Velvet Knights were born in 1963 as the result of a split within the Anaheim Scouts. After the California State Championships in 1963, some Scout staff members wanted to modernize the corps by replacing the existing uniforms with traditional ones, and by jazzing up the musical repertoire. When that did not appear possible, Zig Kanstul and some parents left the Scouts to pursue their vision, forming the Velvet Knights (“VK“). The remaining Anaheim Scouts soon reorganized as the Anaheim Kingsmen.

Velvet Knights success was rapid. Less than two years after its formation the corps won the California state crown, which at the time was the holy grail on the West Coast.

Throughout the remainder of the 1960 the Velvet Knights were a West Coast powerhouse, sharing California domination with their erstwhile brothers, the Kingsmen, and trading the coveted California State Championships back and forth. The two corps also traded membership; their corps halls were right across the street from each other in Orange County.

VK first toured nationally in the late 1960s, competing well on the national stage. The corps placed in the CYO and American Legion Finals in 1970. Notably, the corps did not lose a single parade that they entered, beating out even the fabled Troopers.

The corps is credited with being the first corps to perform with G-F bugles, at a 1968 appearance in Chicago's Civic Opera House. They also pioneered electronics on the field as early as 1968 when they fielded an electronic bugle that could sound like a cello, bari sax, or oboe.

The corps had the distinction of appearing in the move "Americathon" in 1979.

VK in the early 1970s couldn't attract the numbers of members needed to keep up with the competitive sizes of the Kingsmen or the Santa Clara Vanguard, which had appeared in 1967. The Knights, however, did seem to attract incredible talent to compensate for their smaller numbers. Regardless, the corps struggled through most of the 1970s, placing in the DCI top 25 twice, but slipping to 33rd in 1979.

During the 1978 season, the California Surf professional soccer team hired members of the VK percussion section to create the sound of pounding surf with specially micced tympani at Surf games.

They took a year off in 1980 to reorganize the staff and plot a new course. This organizational period gave management and staff time to come up with a five-year plan to reach DCI Finals. Demonstrating the mettle that had kept the VK alive since 1963, the corps performed in parades and rebuilt for the 1981 season. The parade and performance activities of the summer of 1980 proved to be a catalyst to membership in the following year. Performances and other activities created a solid nucleus of members to build on.

Many changes occurred in the early 1980s as the staff began thinking more creatively. From 1982 to 1984, the VK made enormous changes to their style and staff personnel, leaving the military discipline behind and adapting a laid-back Southern California appearance in 1982. Hawaiian print shirts, red Vans sneakers, and straw hats replaced the white silks and cadets jackets of the early years.

The VK immediately became recognized as a West Coast version of the East Coast Bayonne Bridgemen, who at the time were known as DCI's entertaining/funny corps. Due to the enormous popularity of the new VK, only a handful of members (fewer than ten in five years) left the VK to march other corps. Members of corps from northern California, Arizona, and Colorado were traveling to sunny Southern California to march with the VK.

DCI placements advanced from 33rd in 1981, to 21st in 1982, 17th in 1983, and the corps' first Finals appearance in 1984. Perseverance was the corps' virtue, and a four-year promise was being kept to corps members and alumni. In 1985 the VK placed 11th, 12th in 1986.

1987 would be a major boost to the VK. Even though the Finals dream was realized in 1984, there were still ten other places in Finals the VK hadn't reached. Former Bridgemen director Bobby Hoffman joined the staff in 1987, and with his fertile mind for the absurd, the VK ascended to a seventh-place tie with the two-year-old Star of Indiana.

Velvet Knights had carved out a place on the drum corps stage as the "Clown Princes of Drum Corps" and "The Harlem Globe Trotters of DCI,“ entertaining audiences all over the United States and Canada and in countries abroad. VK remained a DCI finalist through 1990 before falling short in 1991, but returned to the top 12 for their last Finals appearance in 1992. 1993 through 1996 saw VK remain in DCI’s top 25, but they would not grace DCI Finals again.

Errors by corps management led to an IRS audit before the 1997 season. Subsequent penalty fees, back taxes, and interest brought about the financial demise of the corps.

VK lives on in the memories of corps fans. Many VK alumni came together to found Impulse, Southern California's heir apparent to VK, in 1998, a corps that could carry on VK’s tradition of audience-friendly, entertainment-focused shows.

[; VKGARRY73 (, rec.arts.marching.drumcorps, 11/24/98; DCW, 6/8/90, p. 16; DCW, 4/03, p.3; DCW, 1/04, p.3; DCW, 3/04, p.3; DCW, 8/6/04, p.3]

Members (88)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Allen, Tyler Soprano 1995
Arnot (Roebuck), Ann(Happi) flag 1984
Baer, Lex Drum Major 1969 to 1970
Ball, Darla Colorguard 1976; 1980 to 1982
Barber, Jeff Bass Drum 1995
Biondo, Steve Tenor 1974 to 1975
Boots, Larry Drumline 1979
Brimson, Snapple Baritone 1996 to 1997
Briseno, James hornline/mellophone 1989
Burns, Don Contra 1991
Carnegie, Ron Soprano 1978 to 1979
Castle, Jim Soprano Bugle 1977 to 1979
Conley III, Everett Contra line 1989
Cross, John Mellophone 1981 to 1982
Cunningham, Sean percussion 1988 to 1989
Damewood, Kevin Soprano 1971 to 1973
Douglas, Earl Snare Drun 1963 to 1965
Eaton, Matt Upper Euphonium 1986 to 1987
Egland, Todd Pit 1992
Egland, Todd Pit 1992
Emmond, David Mellophone 1992; 1994
Emmons, Troy ALTOS 1991 to 1993
Findler, Nona Colorguard 1983 to 1985; 1988
Gaba, Mel Baritone 1983
Geiges, Jamie Alto 1994
Gilman, Greg Marching Instructor 1982 to 1983
Gray, Joe mellophone 1995 to 1996
Groh, Charlie hornline/m&m staff 1963 to 1993
Hall, Lynne Color Guard 1965 to 1968
Hargett, Charles Soprano 1983 to 1986
Harris, Catherine French Horn 1974; 1977
Hathaway, Steve Baritone 1984 to 1985
Henderson, Lozell drumline(Quads) 1986
Hendricks, Francine Soprano 1994
Herring, Kevin Soprano 1988 to 1989
Holgate, Nancy colorguard 1977 to 1982
Hubbard, Scott Drumline - Tenors 1991
Johnson, Jeff soprano 1985
Kendall, Karen Color Guard 1980 to 1982
Keys, Corkie Color Guard 1975 to 1978
Kuramoto, Eiichi Baritone,UpperLead 1989
Lima, Gary Middle Horn 1982 to 1986
MARTINEZ, BILL Soprano / Mellophone 1974
Magee, Gregory Soprano (UpperLead) 1986 to 1987
McCoy, John soprano 1977 to 1984
Meade, Dave Baritone 1982 to 1987
Mitchell, Jeff Pit 1992 to 1994
Mitchell, Marcus Colorguard 1980
Moreno, Scott Tenors '76, snare '77-'79 1976 to 1979
Neilson, Brad Alto / Soprano 1989 to 1992
Nelson, Kim Color Guard 1988 to 1990
Neugroschl, Scott Soprano 1978
Norris, Dale Baritone Horn 1968 to 1969
Oneyear, Kari Winter Color Guard 1985
Palmer, Randy Soprano, French Horn 1969 to 1970
Parker, Garry tenors 1971 to 1973
Price, Bill Drum Major 1989 to 1990
Riebesehl, Dale contra 1984 to 1985
Roberts, Patti Color Guard 1994 to 1996
Rosebrock, Eric Horn Line 1976 to 1978
Salvatore, Joe Drum Line - Cymbals 1984 to 1985
Sarbeck, James Contra 1980 to 1982
Sierra, Martin "Muff" Contra 1995 to 1996
Silbaugh, Melinda (Mindy) Colorguard 1978 to 1982
Simpkins, Bill Drum Major 1964 to 1965
Smith, Steve Snare Drum 1969 to 1970
Thompson , David Euphonium, Baritone, Visual Staff 1992 to 1994
Tillery, Scott Euphonium 1994
Turner, Bill soprano 1973 to 1975
Turner, Bill alto 1977
Turner, Bill mello, instructor 1978
Turner, Bill mello, arranger, instructor 1979
Turner, Ryan H. Baritone, Drum Major 1984 to 1987
Turner, Ryan H. Baritone, Drum Major 1984 to 1987
Warrick, Randy Soprano/Mellophone 1975 to 1976
Watson, Thom Contra 1984 to 1985
Watt, Phil drumline 1987 to 1991
Welke, Chris Upper Lead Baritone 1996
White, David Mellophone 1975
White, David Mellophone 1975
Wilson, Greg Snare 1977
Wilson, Greg Drum Staff 1978 to 1979
Zeilinger, Dan Soprano 1972 to 1974
Zeilinger, Ron Baritone (Lead) 1980 to 1985
heckman, robert sopranos, lower lead 1989 to 1990
mcguire, kristie color guard 1974 to 1975
mercure, oniel percussion 1979 to 1980

CORPS 9 items

Velvet Knights

VK 1 from the Bill Ives Collection
Velvet Knights

VelvetKnights from the Bill Ives Collection
Velvet Knights

VelvetKnights Anaheim CA-1994 from the Bill Ives Collection
Velvet Knights

VelvetKnights-I Luv VK from the Bill Ives Collection
Velvet Knights

Velvet Knights Youth Arts Org from the Bill Ives Collection
Velvet Knights

1965 Velvet Knights Drum & Bugle Corps- American Legion State Parade from the Roy Perez Collection
Velvet Knights

1969 Velvet Knights Drum & Bugle Corps " El Conquistador" Keith Markey Arrangement from the Roy Perez Collection
Velvet Knights

1965 Velvet Knights Drum and Bugle Corps - 1965 Ca. American Legion I & E Competitions from the Roy Perez Collection
Velvet Knights
PDF Document
420-421, Velvet Knights from the Steve Vickers Collection