Imperials of St. Patrick's

Milwaukee, WI United States
Founded: 1961

Inactive Junior

CORPS Photos

The Imperials of St. Patrick's, formed in 1961, was a junior marching and maneuvering corps based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They were sponsored by Neville-Dunn American Legion Post 837, Leslie Knutson VFW Post 2304, and Westmont VFW Post 9267. The corps was affiliated with St. Patrick‘s Catholic Church Parish.

The corps’ Irish-themed colors were Kelly green and gold.

When the corps began, the instructional staff was made up entirely of young men and women from Miwaukee's South Side.who were all also marching members of the Norwood Park Imperials, a corps that had been a finalist at either American Legion or VFW Nationals for the previous five seasons. Therefore, the new corps of youngsters was dubbed the Imperials of Saint Patrick...

Walter Kendon and the Westmont V.F.W. Post were benefactors who donated uniforms for the new corps filled with mostly inexperienced sixth through eighth grade students. The corps bought drums and bugles, and the Imperials began entering Class B and C contests. Used buses were bought, allowing the corps to have its own transportation to shows around Wisconsin and in the surrounding states. In that day of multitudes of corps sponsored by veterans post and church parishes, the Imperials were just one of a dozen or more corps in the Milwaukee area.

The Imperials sponsored two contests annually, the Men of Brass and Men of March, for small corps and color guard, respectively.

The corps finished 19th in the first DCI competition, after which they merged with the Thunderbolts of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, in 1973 to form The Thing, which was renamed Pioneer in 1974. 

When, after only a few years, the elements of the Thunderbolts departed the merger to return to the Thunderbolt Cadets, Pioneer claimed the 1961 founding of the Imperials as its beginnings, rejecting the founding of the Thunderboltsa twelve years earlier.

[Encyclopedia of Drum and Bugle Corps, 1966; rec.arts.marching.drumcorps 8/24/98; A History of Drum & Bugle Corps, 2002, Steve Vickers, ed.]

Members (2)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Geigner, Bruce drum line 1964 to 1965
Martin, Linda Color Guard 1965 to 1968

CORPS 1 items

Imperials of St. Patrick's
PDF Document
274-275, Imperials of St. Pat from the Steve Vickers Collection

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