Des Plaines Vanguard


Other Names:Chicago Vanguard; Skokie Vanguard; Mel Tierney

Des Plaines, IL United States
Founded: 1930

Inactive Junior
YearPositionScoreTheme/Songs
1957 The Lady is a Tramp (from Babes in Arms) * Rollin' Along  
1958 Yesterdays * It's a Most Unusual Day * Rollin' Along * America * Bye Bye Blues * The Birth of the Blues * Tammy * Drum Concert * Bali Hai (from South Pacific) * Liberty March * Etude (A2) * Bloody Mary (from South Pacific) * Marche Slav * Almost Like Being in Love (from Brigadoon)  
1959 Song of Songs * March (from The Robe) * Liberty March * Marche Slav * Almost Like Being in Love (from Brigadoon) * I Got Rhythm (from Girl Crazy) * Bloody Mary (from South Pacific) * I Had a Dream * Americans We * Bali Hai (from South Pacific) * If I Could Tell You  
1960 8 79.550 Entrance to the Slave Market (from The Robe) * Serenata * Americans We * I've Got You Under My Skin * Conquest (from Captain From Castile) * Patricia * Song of Songs * Bloody Mary (from South Pacific) * Bali Hai (from South Pacific) * If I Could Tell You  
1961 12 77.400 Exodus * Conquest (from Captain From Castile) * Full Moon And Empty Arms * An American in Paris * Serenata * Moonlight In Vermont  
1962 Theme from One-Eyed Jacks * Mountain High, Valley Low * Battle Cry of Freedom * America The Beautiful * Frenesi * The Continental * Exodus * Love Theme (from El Cid) * Look Homeward Angel  
1963 Theme from One-Eyed Jacks * Mountain High, Valley Low * Battle Cry of Freedom * Frenesi * Bizet Has His Day * Manhattan Beach March * Love Theme (from El Cid) * How Come You Do Me Like You Do * Can't Get Out of This Mood  
1964 18 79.800 Luck Be A Lady (from Guys and Dolls) * Along the Navajo Trail * Manhattan Beach March * Bizet Has His Day * How Come You Do Me Like You Do * Battle Cry of Freedom * Bill Bailey  
1965 5 82.500 Luck Be A Lady (from Guys and Dolls) * Over There * Maria (from West Side Story) * Tonight (from West Side Story) * Somewhere (from West Side Story) * When the Saints Go Marching In * Chicago * Bill Bailey  
1966 4 87.400 Chicago * Over There * When the Saints Go Marching In * Maria (from West Side Story) * Tonight (from West Side Story) * Somewhere (from West Side Story) * Why Don't You Do Right * Bill Bailey  
1967 3 86.650 Man of La Mancha * Over There * So In Love (from Kiss Me, Kate) * Spellbound * Mercy Mercy Mercy * Bill Bailey  
1968 4 88.350 Man of La Mancha * Fanfare for the Common Man * Appalachian Spring * Bali Hai (from South Pacific) * Spellbound * Mercy Mercy Mercy * Bill Bailey  
1969 6 82.350 Aquarius (from Hair) * Fanfare for the Common Man * Appalachian Spring * Bali Hai (from South Pacific) * Let The Sunshine In (from Hair) * Where Do I Go? (from Hair)  
1970 Fanfare * Paint Your Wagon * Tannhauser (Pilgrim's Chorus) * The Oracle Speaks * Fever * Where Do I Go? (from Hair)  
1971 Mars (from The Planets) * Fanfare for the Common Man * Appalachian Spring * Selections from West Side Story * Oh Happy Day (from Li'l Abner) * Bill Bailey  
1972 7 81.250 Mars (from The Planets) * Jupiter (from The Planets) * Selections from West Side Story * Selections from Hair  
1973 20 70.400 Mars (from The Planets) * Jupiter (from The Planets) * Tonight (from West Side Story) * Selections from Hair  
1975 41 54.350 (Repertoire not available)  
1976 31 68.550 (Repertoire not available)  
Position 200+ indicates Division II, Position 300+ indicates Division III, Position 400+ indicates Mini Corps.

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

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