Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps
|Location||Santa Clara, CA|
|Championship Titles||American Legion- 1970
DCI-1973, '74, '78, '81, '89, '99
|Uniform||(2012) Red jacket w/white
White gauntlets w/green trim
White gloves (horns)
Black shoes & socks
Green Aussie hat
w/white feather plume
Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps (also known as "SCV", "The Vanguard", or just "Santa Clara") is a World Class (formerly Division I) competitive junior drum and bugle corps. Based in Santa Clara, California, the Santa Clara Vanguard is one of the thirteen founding member corps of Drum Corps International (DCI) and is a six-time DCI World Champion.
In March of 1967, the Sunnyvale Sparks Drum and Bugle Corps decided to stop being a drum and bugle corps, and revert to the unit's former activity--- a drum and bell corps with majorettes. When some of the parents asked some of the members if they would rather continue as a drum and bugle corps, the answer was a loud and clear, "Yes!" At 10:15 that evening, March 6, 1967, the new booster club held an impromptu meeting, electing officers and appointing Gail Royer, a local school music teacher and American Legion drum corps judge, as the corps' first director. They also scheduled their first "official" meeting, to take place a week later as the new corps was having its first rehearsal. After the first rehearsal, the members got together and hashed out the possible names for their new corps, settling on the Santa Clara Vanguard (SCV). Only a week later, the corps was named the top drum corps in its first parade, the San Francisco St. Patrick's Day Parade. During its first season, SCV only traveled as far away as Los Angeles for the Kingsmen's show. During that inaugural season, the corps was already developing traditions; prior to the final contest, Gail Royer held the first “Green Feather Ceremony” for the corps' "ageouts" who were marching their last show, and a two page mimeographed newsletter was the first issue of what would become the "Vanguardian" which continues to this day as the "eVanguardian".
Prior to the start of the 1968 season, SCV hired two young instructors away from the Kingsmen, future DCI Hall of Fame members Fred Sanford (drums) and Pete Emmons (M&M). The corps toured the Midwest that summer, in preparation for the corps' planned debut at the 1969 VFW Nationals in Philadelphia. Although the corps did not have much competitive success, they did win their first "standstill" contest, the color guard won the state championship, and the entire corps gained much experience, especially after competing against the Midwestern powerhouse corps. In their show, the corps performed Rimsky-Korsakov's "Procession of the Nobles", the first long "odd" meter piece to feature marching, rather than being performed during the stand-still "concert" portion of the show. 1968 also saw SCV host its first home show, named the "Pacific Procession", to honor their feature musical piece; unfortunately, the show was poorly attended, taking place right after the assassination of Robert Kennedy. The Vanguard made its first trip to the East Coast in 1969. At their first VFW Nationals in Philadelphia, the corps finished in thirteenth place of the sixty-three corps, just missing Finals. The members then visited Washington, D.C., where the corps played their musical program on the steps of the Capitol Building, and New York City. In the corps' second "major" show of the season, SCV placed ninth of the forty-one corps in Class A at the U.S. Open in Lynn, Massachusetts. Santa Clara closed out the Sixties by beating every other major corps in the country in 1970; they did lose to several corps, but repaid those loses with wins. Finances prevented the corps from attending VFW Nationals in Miami, but the corps traveled in their own automobiles to Portland, Oregon for the American Legion Nationals, where they defeated twenty-one other mostly West Coast corps to win the 1970 American Legion Junior National Championship.
In 1971, at the urging of Troopers founder Jim Jones and Cavaliers founder Don Warren, the Blue Stars, Cavaliers, Madison Scouts, Santa Clara Vanguard, and the Troopers formed the Midwest Combine. This action was taken in reaction to the rigid, inflexible rules of the American Legion and VFW (the primary rule makers and sponsors of both corps and shows) and the low or nonexistent performance fees paid for appearing in the various competitions. The corps felt that not only were they having their creative potential as artistic performing groups stifled, but they were being financially starved. (A similar group of Eastern corps, the United Organization of Junior Corps [also known as the "Alliance"], was formed by the 27th Lancers, Garfield Cadets, Boston Crusaders, Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, and Blue Rock.) The Combine members felt that the corps should be making their own rules, operating their own competitions and championships, and keeping the bulk of the monies that those shows earned. For the 1971 season, the corps stuck together, offering show promoters the five corps as a package. Despite pressure on show sponsors, judges, and other drum corps, the Combine corps were not only booked into a number of shows together, but they found a host for a show of their own, which was a spectacular success despite fears of failure that lasted until a standing-room-only crowd arrived literally at the last moment. Otherwise during that season, SCV competed in three "majors"; they were third at he CYO Nationals, second among thirty-seven corps at the World Open, and won the VFW National Championship in Dallas, Texas.
In 1972, the Santa Clara Vanguard, along with the nine other corps from the Midwest Combine and the Alliance, plus the Anaheim Kingsmen, Argonne Rebels, and De La Salle Oaklands were founding members of Drum Corps International, which remains as the sanctioning body for junior corps in North America. At the first DCI World Championships in Whitewater, Wisconsin, SCV finished in third place in a competition that featured thirty-nine corps from the East, the South, the West Coast, the Midwest and Great Plains, and Canada. Santa Clara would remain among DCI's top three corps for the organization's first eight years, winning the DCI World Championship in Whitewater in 1973, in Ithaca, New York in 1974, and in Denver in 1978. SCV would close out the Seventies by falling to seventh place in Birmingham, Alabama in 1980 with a totally asymmetrical drill that was probably slightly ahead of its time. The corps' dominance was partly due to superb drumming, partly due to innovative drill, but largely due to a strong, supportive organization.
Santa Clara recovered from the down season of 1980 by winning its fourth DCI World Championship in '81. Then, over the next seven years, SCV would place second five times and third twice before winning its fifth DCI title in 1989. After that nine year streak, the Vanguard would fall to sixth in 1990, fourth in '91 and seventh in '92. After the '92 season, the corps' original director, Gail Royer, stepped down and passed away soon after. Dr. Len Kruszecki was appointed as Royer's successor, but the corps continued to finish in fifth through seventh place. In 1996, J.W. Koester became SCV's director, and the corps placed fifth at DCI, improved to third in '97, second in '98, and won its sixth DCI World Championship in 1999. Under the directorship of Rick Valenzuela, 2000-05; Jeff Pearson, 2006-08; and Jeff Feidler since 2009, the Santa Clara Vanguard has continued its unbroken string of having appeared in every DCI Finals since 1972 and is the only corps able to make such a claim.
The Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps is sponsored by the Santa Clara Vanguard Booster Club, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has a Board of Directors, corps director, and staff assigned to carry out the organization's mission. Jeff Fiedler is the Chief Executive Officer, and Kathy Serksnis is the Chief Operating Officer. The organization also sponsors the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, the Santa Clara Vanguard Independent World Winter Guard, the Vanguard Winter Percussion, and the Vanguard Dance Company.
Show Summary (1975-2013) 
|1972||Fanfare and Allegro by Clifton Williams / Henry V by Sir William Walton / Now Thank We All Our God by Johann Crüger, Martin Rinkart, and Catherine Winkworth /
Wedding Celebration and Bottle Dance, If I Were A Rich Man & Chava Ballet (from Fiddler on the Roof) by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick
|1973||Fanfare and Allegro by Clifton Williams / Young Person's Guide To Drum Corps by Benjamin Britten /
Wedding Celebration and Bottle Dance & Chava Ballet (from Fiddler on the Roof) by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick
|1974||Siegfried's Rhine Journey from Götterdämmerung by Richard Wagner /
Young Person's Guide To Drum Corps by Benjamin Britten / Overture to Candide by Leonard Bernstein /
A Little Night Music, Weekend in the Country & Send In The Clowns (from A Little Night Music) by Stephen Sondheim
|1975||Entrance of the Emperor and His Court (from the Hary Janos Suite) by Zoltan Kodaly / Dance of the Buffoons by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov /
To Life, If I Were A Rich Man, Sabbath Prayer, Chava Ballet & Bottle Dance (from Fiddler on the Roof) by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick
|1976||Hary Janos Suite by Zoltan Kodaly / Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland / Black Orchid by Neal Hefti /
Send in the Clowns (from A Little Night Music) by Stephen Sondheim
|1977||Overture to a New Era by Caesar Giovannini / Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland / Make Our Garden Grow (from Candide) by Leonard Bernstein||89.85||3rd|
|1978||Overture to a New Era by Caesar Giovannini / Dance of Welcome & Adagio (from Gayne Ballet, Lezghinka & Hopak (from Gayne Ballet) by Aram Khachaturian /
If You Believe by Charlie Smalls / Bottle Dance (from Fiddler on the Roof) by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick
|1979||Verdi's Requiem by Giuseppe Verdi / Adagio (from Gayne Ballet), Lezghinka by Aram Khachaturian & Hopak (from Gayne Ballet) by Aram Khachaturian /
If You Believe by Charlie Smalls / Bottle Dance (from Fiddler on the Roof) by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick
|1980||Fanfare Symphony No. 4 Opus 36 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky / Procession of the Nobles by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov / Stone Ground Seven by Roger Kellaway /
Selections from Evita by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice / Jupiter (from The Planets) by Gustav Holst
|1981||Northridge by Jack Schaffer / Young Person's Guide To Drum Corps by Benjamin Britten / Slava by Leonard Bernstein /
Don't Cry For Me Argentina (from Evita) by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
|1982||Third Symphony, Fourth Movement by Vittorio Giannini / Capriccio Espagnol by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov / Slava by Leonard Bernstein /
Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland / Bottle Dance (from Fiddler on the Roof) by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick
|1983||Third Symphony, Fourth Movement by Vittorio Giannini / On The Town by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green /
Appalachian Spring & Dream Sequence (from The Red Pony) by Aaron Copland
|1984||Fanfare and Allegro by Clifton Williams / Musika Bohema by Zdenek Lukas / On The Town by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green /
Tender Land by Aaron Copland
|1985||Festive Overture by Dimitri Shostakovich / Grover's Corner (from Our Town), Tender Land & The Red Pony by Aaron Copland||97.20||2nd|
|1986||Festive Overture by Dimitri Shostakovich / Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky||97.00||2nd|
|1987||Russian Christmas Music by Alfred Reed / Dance of the Tumblers by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov / Lezghinka & Lullaby by Aram Khachaturian /
Hut of Baba Yaga & Great Gate of Kiev (from "Pictures at an Exhibition") by Modest Mussorgsky
|1988||Phantom of the Opera||Music of the Night, Angel of Music, Phantom of the Opera, Masquerade, Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, Track Down This Murderer & All I Ask Of You
by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart, and Richard Stilgoe
|1989||Phantom of the Opera||Angel of Music, Masquerade, Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, All I Ask Of You & Track Down This Murderer
by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart, and Richard Stilgoe
|1990||Carmen||Prelude and March, Intermezzo, March of the Toreadors, Changing of the Guard, Allegro Moderato, La Habanera & Gypsy Dance (from Carmen)
by Georges Bizet
|1991||Miss Saigon||Overture - What's This I Find?, Sun and Moon, Morning of the Dragon, Wedding Ceremony, The Fall of Saigon (from Miss Saigon)
by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alain Boublil, and Richard Maltby, Jr.
|1992||Fiddler on the Roof||Tradition, Sabbath Prayer, To Life, If I Were A Rich Man, Chava Ballet, Wedding Celebration and Bottle Dance & Bottle Dance (from Fiddler on the Roof)
by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick
|1993||Walton Trilogy||Johannesburg Festival Overture, Richard III, Agincourt Song (from Henry V) by Sir William Walton||90.40||7th|
|1994||The Red Poppy||Hymn to Red October by Basil Poledouris / Triumphal Dance of the Coolies, Chinese Dances, Phoenix & Russian Sailor's Dance (from The Red Poppy) by Reinhold Gliere /
Great Gate of Kiev (from "Pictures at an Exhibition") by Modest Mussorgsky
|1995||Not the Nutcracker||The Clock Breaks by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky / War of the Nuts by Dave Carico /
Romance and Seduction, Celebration & The Journey Concludes by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
|1996||La Mer||La Mer, Mvt. 1 by Claude Debussy / Oceans by Goff Richards / The Skyboat (from Waterworld) by James Newton Howard / La Mer 3rd Movement by Claude Debussy||92.30||5th|
|1997||Fog City Sketches||A Lonely Street by Leonard Bernstein / On The Town by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green /
On The Waterfront & Symphony No. 2 The Age of Anxiety by Leonard Bernstein
|1998||Copland, The Modernist||Grohg, Dance Panels, Down a Country Lane, Hear Ye! Hear Ye! & Grohg, Part II by Aaron Copland||97.90||2nd|
|1999||Inventions for a New Millennium||The Canyon by Philip Glass / Symphonies No. 2 & Symphony No. 1, mvt. 3 by Samuel Barber / Blue Shades by Frank Ticheli||98.40||1st
|2000||Age of Reverence||Prayers of Kierkegaard (Prayer No.4) by Samuel Barber / String Quartet No. 4, mvt. 5 & Piano Concerto No. 1 mvt. 3 by Bela Bartok /
Agnus Dei (Adagio for Strings) by Samuel Barber / Stained Glass, 1st and 3rd mvts by David Gillingham
|2001||New Era Metropolis||The Alarm by Dean Westman and Jim Casella / Short Ride in a Fast Machine by John Adams / Jug Blues and Fat Pickin' by Don Freund /
Variants on a Medieval Tune by Norman Dello Joio / New Era Dance by Aaron Jay Kernis
|2002||Sound, Shape, and Color||Trivandrum by Gordon Henderson / Symphony No. 2 "Romantic" by Howard Hanson / Symphony for Organ and Orchestra, mvt. 2 & 3 by Aaron Copland||95.65||4th|
|2003||Pathways||Orawa (Part 1) by Wojciech Kilar / One Man Show by Jeff Beal / Anima Mundi by Richard Danielpour / Orawa (Part 2) by Wojciech Kilar||94.70||5th|
The Music of Scheherazade
|Excerpts from "Scheherazade" by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov||96.825||3rd|
|2005||Russia: Revolution -
Evolution 1917 - 1991
|Carol (from Russian Christmas Music) by Alfred Reed / Symphony #12 by Dmitri Shostakovich / Cathedral Chorus (from Russian Christmas Music) by Alfred Reed||88.65||8th|
|2006||Moto Perpetuo||Chains of Reaction, Newton's Cradle, Echoes of Time & Speed of Sight by Key Poulan||92.35||6th|
|2007||! (Eureka)||Introduction & War Dance (from Daphnis and Chloé) & String Quartet in F Major, 2nd Movement by Maurice Ravel /
Romanian Dance for Orchestra, Sz. 47a by Bela Bartok / St. Gregory the Great from Church Windows by Ottorino Respighi /
Finale (from Daphnis and Chloé) by Maurice Ravel
|2008||3HREE Mind, Body and Soul||The Chairman Dances (Foxtrot for Orchestra) by John Adams / The Man in the Bath by Philip Glass / Eclipse by Talvin Singh / Cloudburst by Eric Whitacre||93.025||7th|
|2009||Ballet For Martha||Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland||95.65||5th|
|2010||Bartók||Concerto for Orchestra & Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta by Bela Bartók||92.00||7th|
|2011||The Devil's Staircase||First Essay for Orchestra by Samuel Barber / Piano Sonata #2 Mvt 2 by Avner Dorman / The Eternal Knot by Karl Jenkins / Etude 13: The Devil's Staircase by Gyorgy Ligeti||92.20||6th|
|2012||Music of the Starry Night||Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine by Eric Whitacre / Hymn to a Blue Hour by John Mackey /
Jupiter & Mars (from The Planets) by Gustav Holst
Send In The Clowns 
SCV's corps song is Stephen Sondheim's Send In The Clowns from the musical "A Little Night Music." The corps first performed the song as part of the musical program in 1974, when the corps won its second DCI World Championship. Originally arranged by Gail Royer, the song is played by the brass on special occasions.
The Bottle Dance 
As strongly identified with the corps as Send In The Clowns is the Bottle Dance from "Fiddler on the Roof" by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. SCV first performed the tune as a part of its inaugural DCI program in 1972 and has included it in the musical program seven times, including the 1973 and '78 championship seasons.
The Aussie 
The Santa Clara Vanguard does not wear hats; they wear Aussies. Originally, the 1969 corps turned up the left side of their gaucho hats and added the feathers. Since 1971, they have worn hats specifically designed to be worn as "Aussies." Notable exceptions were 1987, when the corps wore "Cossack" hats for their program of Russian music, and 1992 when "Tevye" hats were worn.
The Feathers in the Aussie 
Until 2009, all members of the corps wore three ostrich feathers, two white and one red. Before entering the field at the start of their field show, all members except the bass drummers, raise the feathers to an upright position until the completion of the show, lowering them after marching off the field. Since 2009, only white feathers have been worn.
Green Feather Ceremony 
Prior to the last performance of the year, "ageouts" about to march their final show have been presented a green feather to wear during that final performance. For pit performers -- who do not wear an aussie in performance -- a portion of a green feather tends to be worn behind the Vanguard Star on the uniform. For members of the color guard, the green might be a portion of a feather pinned to whatever uniform they are wearing that season, a green hair tie (if applicable), etc.
In years past, the corps performed a community parade in Santa Clara after DCI Finals, and it was at THAT performance that the green feather was worn by ageouts. With the passing of that parade, the green feather began to be worn at finals.
The Vanguard Star 
An eight-pointed star has been worn as a corps symbol since 1972. All brass players and drummers except contrabass/tuba players and bass drummers wear the star on the left breast. Tuba players wear the star centered on the chest to avoid damage from horn movements. Bass drummers wear them low on the left side of their tunics, since the bass drum obscures any other locations for the star. The stars are kept as mementos and placed on a designated spot on the right side of the members' corps jackets upon age-out.
In the case of the child of a Vanguard alum marching with the corps, the child may wear his or her parent's star in place of their own at specific shows...typically Finals.
The Cymbal "V" 
As the last chord or note of the musical program sounds, the cymbal section quickly arranges their cymbals to flash a "V" at the audience in what is usually the final action of the show.
- A History of Drum & Bugle Corps Vol. 2; Steve Vickers, ed.; Drum Corps World, Pub.; 2003