Des Plaines Vanguard

Other Names:Chicago Vanguard; Skokie Vanguard; Mel Tierney

Des Plaines, IL United States
Founded: 1930

Inactive Junior
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Results from final championship competition of the year
  • Position: 8
  • Score: 79.550
Repertoire for 1960
Entrance to the Slave Market (from The Robe) by Alfred Newman
Serenata by Isaac Albeniz Rochester Pops Orchestra - Blue Tango - Pro Arte Maxiplay; ASIN: B000000C7D
Americans We by Henry Fillmore Marches - The Greatest Hits - Reference Gold - #3612 ASIN: B000003QWZ
I've Got You Under My Skin by Cole Porter Frank Sinatra Very Best Of Frank Sinatra
Conquest (from Captain From Castile) by Alfred Newman Captain from Castile - The Classic Film Scores of Alfred Newman - BMG Classics 0184-2-RG
Patricia by PĂ©rez Prado | Bob Marcus
Song of Songs
Bloody Mary (from South Pacific) by Richard Rodgers | Oscar Hammerstein South Pacific - Soundtrack
Bali Hai (from South Pacific) by Richard Rodgers | Oscar Hammerstein South Pacific - Soundtrack
If I Could Tell You by Isabelle Firestone | Madeleine Marshall

CORPS Photos

The Des Plaines Vanguard was a junior marching and maneuvering corps, formed in 1935 and based in Des Plaines, Illinois.

The corps was born under the sponsorship of the International Order of the Svithiod which, happily, did not lend its name to the new group. When sponsorship was taken over by the Logan Square Post 405 of Chicago, the corps' name became "Logan Square." The Mel Tierney American Legion Post took over the sponsorship in 1951, with which came the corps' expected name change to "Mel Tierney." By the time the Skokie Valley VFW Post 3854 took over the corps, it was known as the Skokie Vanguard, then the Chicago Vanguard, although there was never an official connection with the Windy City. Finally, with a relocation to Des Plaines, under sponsorship of the Des Plaines VFW post and the IAMAW (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers), the corps' best-known handle, Des Plaines Vanguard, became official.

At the peak of their competitive power, the Vanguard won the U.S. Open Championship in 1967 and the World Open in 1968. These they did with an eclectic repertoire ranging from "Man of La Mancha" to "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy." The corps participated in the very first DCI championship competition in 1972, finishing seventh.

The Vanguard is credited with being the first drum corps to carry tri-toms, back in 1968; the first use of finger cymbals, in 1968; was one of the first to use bass drums with different pitches and sizes in 1966; and, for the specialist, the first corps to use "a multi-tempo, non-snare focused percussion feature [1969], the tymp-focused transitional solo from 'Bali Hai' concert to 'Let the Sunshine In.'"

In 1968, the Vanguard used props on the field, in a presentation of "The Planets." That may be yet another first among drum corps.

Finally, this innovative corps had the distinction of performing one of the odder-titled selections in drum corps repertoire in 1970: "The Oracle Speaks."

The corps competed in DCI through 1976, and a senior version of the corps competed in DCA in 1987.

[DCW, 6/8/90, p.3; 6/29/90, p.20; A History of Drum and Bugle Corps, 2002; Jim Nevermann, RAMD, 10/20/99; Paul Herzog, RAMD, 3/8/95; Jay McGuffin]

Members (17)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Achuff, Gayle Rifle Squad 1962 to 1964
Agnello, Sam Solo (Lead) Soprano 1961 to 1968
Bevill, David French Horn 1971 to 1972
BOYLE, JERRY Contra Bass 1969 to 1971
Buck, Bill Drum Line 1970 to 1973
Buck, Bill Drum Line 1971 to 1972
Burkett, Dave Bass Baritone, Contra 1957 to 1964
Burkett, David Color Guard, Bass baritone, Contra 1957 to 1964
Burton, Terry percussion 1973
engram thomas, michelle colorguard 1970 to 1972
Hawley, Howard Brass 1962 to 1965
McGuffin, Jay Drum Line 1964 to 1970
McGuffin, Jay drums 1965 to 1970
O'Connell-Letourneau, Cathy guard, then drumline 1969 to 1975
Violett, Edward contra 1966 to 1969
Washington, Devin Mellophone 1973 to 1976
Wojcik, Danny Drum Line 1972 to 1975

CORPS 3 items

Des Plaines Vanguard

Des Plaines Vanguard from the Bill Ives Collection
Des Plaines Vanguard

1969 Des Plaines Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps @ VFW Prelims Philadelphia from the Roy Perez Collection
Des Plaines Vanguard
PDF Document
240-243, Des Plaines Vanguard from the Steve Vickers Collection