Argonne Rebels


Other Names:AL Post #190

Great Bend, KS United States
Founded: 1947

Inactive Junior
YearPositionScoreTheme/Songs
1962 Everything's Coming Up Roses (from Gypsy) * Get Me To the Church on Time (from My Fair Lady) * Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (from On Your Toes) * I Believe  
1964 Who Will Buy (from Oliver) * This Could Be the Start of Something Big * Night and Day * Put On A Happy Face * Stars and Stripes Forever * The Big Country  
1965 Who Will Buy (from Oliver) * This Could Be the Start of Something Big * Stars and Stripes Forever * I Could Have Danced All Night * Show Me (from My Fair Lady) * Get Me To the Church on Time (from My Fair Lady) * Put On A Happy Face * The Big Country  
1966 Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines * Stars and Stripes Forever * I Could Have Danced All Night * Show Me (from My Fair Lady) * Get Me To the Church on Time (from My Fair Lady) * Who Will Buy (from Oliver) * Come On In Sit Right Down * The Big Country  
1968 10 76.250 Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines * America * God Bless America (from This Is the Army) * Bess, You Is My Woman Now (from Porgy and Bess) * Summertime (from Porgy and Bess) * I Got Plenty of Nothin' (from Porgy and Bess) * Our Day Will Come * Jubilation T Cornpone (from Li'l Abner) * The Big Country  
1969 12 74.600 Barnum and Bailey's Favorite * American Salute * Mission Impossible * Hey Jude * Our Day Will Come * Preacher * Shenandoah * How the West Was Won  
1970 8 82.550 Barnum and Bailey's Favorite * Mission Impossible * Hey Jude * Our Day Will Come * Stars and Stripes Forever * Shenandoah * Preacher * How the West Was Won  
1971 6 87.350 Barnum and Bailey's Favorite * Stars and Stripes Forever * Heaven on Their Minds (from Jesus Christ Superstar) * I Don't Know How to Love Him (from Jesus Christ Superstar) * Gethsemane (from Jesus Christ Superstar) * King Herod's Song (from Jesus Christ Superstar) * Crucifixion * John 19:10 (from Jesus Christ Superstar) * Shenandoah  
1972 5 82.900 Barnum and Bailey's Favorite * Jesus Christ Superstar Medley * Stars and Stripes Forever * Theme from Love Story  
1973 11 73.150 Fanfare For The New * Malaga * Stars and Stripes Forever  
1974 33 65.300 Mass  
1975 20 73.150 French National Defile * Star Spangled Banner * Traces * Let's Hear It For Me (from Funny Lady)  
1976 18 77.750 Channel One Suite * Fanfare For The New * Farandole (from L'Arlesienne) * Flight of the Bumblebee  
1977 42 56.550 (Repertoire not available)  
1978 42 53.850 New York City Rhythm * Mambo Tambo * Cantina Band (from Star Wars) * Come Sail Away * Stars and Stripes Forever  
1979 36 62.250 Jesus Christ Superstar * Mambo Tambo * Don't Cry For Me Argentina (from Evita) * Stars and Stripes Forever  
1983 210 32.350 (Repertoire not available)  
1984 219 51.000 Alexander's Ragtime Band * Battle Hymn of the Republic * Stars and Stripes Forever  
Position 200+ indicates Division II, Position 300+ indicates Division III, Position 400+ indicates Mini Corps.

CORPS Photos

The Argonne Rebels Drum and Bugle Corps were an Open Class (now known as World Class) competitive junior drum and bugle corps based in Great Bend and Barton County, Kansas.

Rev. Joseph Tockert, parish priest of the St. Rose Catholic Church of Great Bend, and  John Taff, a musician, started a drum and bugle corps for the parish Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops to be sponsored by the local Knights of Columbus councilThe corps had its first public performance on November 26, 1947. 

American Legion Argonne Post 180 (which had been named after the Argonne Forest, the site of major U.S. military action during World War I) assumed the corps' sponsorship in 1949. The corps was renamed the Argonne Drum and Bugle Corps, membership was opened to all local youth, and Glen Opie was appointed corps director.

Argonne competed with other Great Plains area corps in the 1950s and 1960s. Legend has it that the group's nickname resulted when an enthusiastic parent yelled, "Go, you rebels!" during a 1952 contest. In 1955, the Rebels won the first of thirteen Kansas State American Legion championships. From the mid-1950s, Argonne was a major player on the national drum corps scene. They were in the American Legion National finals in 1955, '56, '61, '63, '65, '71, and '72; a in VFW National finals from 1968 through 1972. The Argonne corps were Legion National Champions in 1971 and '72, and were proclaimed champions in '73, although no championship contest was held. The corps was particularly noted for its horn line, which was generally  considered to be the premier brass section in drum corps; on several occasions, the line received a perfect score of 5.0 for Content Analysis.. Their brass instructor during these years was Drum Corps International (DCI) Hall of Fame member Sandra Opie, who later became a judge.

In 1971, two organizations were started with the intent of giving the drum corps more control over their activity, which was then largely governed by the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The Midwest Combine was made up of the Blue StarsCavaliersMadison ScoutsSanta Clara Vanguard, and the Troopers; and the United Organization of Junior Corps (also known as the "Alliance"), was formed by the 27th LancersGarfield CadetsBoston Crusaders, Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, and Blue Rock. In 1972, the Argonne Rebels,  the Anaheim Kingsmen, the De La Salle Oaklands joined with the ten corps from the Midwest Combine and the Alliance as founding members of Drum Corps International, which remains as the sanctioning body for junior corps in North America. 

In 1973, the expectations for Argonne were extremely high; not only had the corps finished in fifth place at the first DCI championship, but most of the members would be returning. Then, the season's musical arrangements were not delivered by the arranger. Frank Minear, lead trumpeter for the Stan Kenton band had offered to write charts for the corps, so Argonne turned to him. Minear's arrangements of "Fanfare For The New" and "Málaga" were transcriptions straight from the Kenton band's arrangements, and when combined with Ken Norman's arrangement of "Stars and Stripes Forever", the 1973 Argonne Rebels had what was very likely the most technically complex musical program that had ever been performed by a drum and bugle corps up to that time. Unfortunately, although things were changing under the new Drum Corps International, technical difficulty was not yet taken into consideration in judging a corps' performance. Getting the sounds to the fans in the stands in proper synchronization was such a problem that senior corps show designer and Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Vince Bruni was brought in to redesign the show in mid-season. Argonne finished in eleventh place at DCI World Championship finals at Whitewater, Wisconsin, but the season was a disappointment for the members whose early expectations had been so high. Future DCI Hall of Fame members Truman Crawford, Bernard Baggs, and Don Angelica addressed the corps immediately after the show in an attempt to console the members, but the corps would never recover from the blow, especially when combined with the Opies departing the corps, as Sandra Opie moved from instructing to judging..

After the Opies left the corps, it never approached the brass excellence of the Sixties and early Seventies. Argonne dropped all the way to to thirty-third at the 1974 DCI championships. The corps improved to 20th in '75 and 18th in '76. but then slid to the lower level of open class in '77-'79.  The corps then went inacrive for the next three seasons. Argonne returned as a Class A corps in 1983 qmd placed 10th in DCI Class A fimals. But, in 1984, Argonne was 19th of 25 corps in the newly named Division II prelims.

The Argonne Rebels Drum and Bugle Corps left the field after the 1984 season, although the organizations's Winter Guard International unit continued to compete until 1995. The organization continues in Great Bend to serve the alumni, since more than 3,000 youth from Great Bend and Barton County marched in the corps during its more than forty years of competition.

 

[Argonne Rebels; A History of Drum and Bugle Corps, 2002, Steve Vicker, editor; rec.arts.marching.drumcorps, aduncan@aol.com, 5/28/02; frankareme, 1/14/99; Drum Corps World,multiole issues; Kansas Humanities Council.]

Members (17)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Bridges, Gary Snare 1977 to 1978
Brown, Mike snare drum 1961 to 1968
Halbower, Leslie 1st year flag line, then drum line 1973 to 1976
Kott, Micheal French Horn 1978 to 1979
Martin, Dallas Mellophone 1972
Pommerenke, Roger Color guard 1961 to 1962
Routh, Kelly Color Guard (Flag) 1983 to 1984
Scheufler, "Emil" soprano/mello/alto horn 1973 to 1979
Spatz, Jeff Horn line - baritone 1975 to 1979
Stewart, Don drumline 1975 to 1976
Stewart, Don Snare 1975 to 1976
Straub, Larry Drum Line 1971 to 1974
Tatman, Michael percussion 1978
Tesh, Mary Flag 1979
Waits, Gary Drum Line Timpani 1979
Webster, Marc Bugle 1970 to 1973
Williams Yeager, Joyce flag 1974 to 1979

CORPS 5 items

Argonne Rebels

Argonne Rebels from the Bill Ives Collection
Argonne Rebels

Argonne Rebels 2 from the Bill Ives Collection
Argonne Rebels

1971 Argonne Rebels @ VFW Nationals Prelims Dallas from the Roy Perez Collection
Argonne Rebels

1973 Argonne Rebels "Fanfare For The New" from the Roy Perez Collection
Argonne Rebels
PDF Document
152-155, Argonne Rebels from the Steve Vickers Collection

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