Ambassadors (ONT)


Other Names:Out of the Blue

Aurora, ONT Canada
Founded: 1971

Inactive Junior

CORPS Photos

The Ambassadors Drum and Bugle Corps was formed in September, 1973, in Aurora, Ontario, as a junior corps by Paul Ranson and his wife Bev. The corps, initially performing only in parades, first appeared publicly in the Maid of the Mist parade in Niagara Falls, New York, in the summer of 1974. They were voted Corps Most Likely to Succeed there.

The early uniform consisted of white shirts, neckerchiefs, black pants or skirts and gold cummerbunds, and white cowboy hats. Later styles included royal blue shirts crossed with white, black pants, and white shakos.

The Ambassadors took part in their first contest in August, 1975, appearing in the Canadian National Junior E (Novice) class, which they won. That novice win was followed up by the championship of the Canadian National Junior D (Bantam) class in 1976. But these wins were just beginning.

The corps moved to Newmarket under the sponsorship of the Newmarket Lions Club in 1977. They also received support over the years from the City of Newmarket and from weekly bingo games. The Ambassadors won the Canadian National and Ontario Provincial C (Cadet) Championship in 1978, the Canadian National and Central Canada Circuit C Championship in 1979 and 1980, and the DCI Canada C class Championship in 1980.

Not free of the political arena, the Ambassadors performed at the Conservative leadership convention in 1973 and were labeled by one parent as “Brian Mulroney’s personal band.” In 1980, after a Canadian ambassador had smuggled some American political hostages out of Iran, American crowds cheered the corps as surrogate heroes during appearances in the United States.

In 1981, the year that Bob Middleton took over as corps director, the corps placed in the top half of the A class at DCI World Championships in Montreal, Quebec.

Ambassadors’ best year may have been 1984, when they marched in the Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C., placed second in the Canadian National A Class Championship, and were a finalist in the A Class/Division II American International Open in Butler, Pennsylvania.

A large turnover in corps membership in 1985 limited the Ambassadors to only two competitions, including the Canadian Nationals in which they appeared in Class A. They also hosted a home Impact Show in Newmarket that year.

The Ambassadors merged with the Oakland Crusaders in 1986 to form a new corps called Out of the Blue. This corps traveled to the DCI Division II Championships, but were announced and recorded as the Oakland Crusaders. They finished 13th.

The Ambassadors became inactive in 1987, but held a reunion of corps members in 2000.

[http://www.interlog.com/~zamiel/Amb/CorpsHist.html; Sam King]

Members (4)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Bertrand, Derrick Soprano 1980 to 1985
King, Sam French Horn 1979 to 1983
Lytle, Christne Colourguard 1980 to 1982
Reynolds-Taylor, Susan pit instructor 1980

CORPS 1 items

Ambassadors (ONT)

Aurora Ambassadors button from the Bob Carell Collection

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