Northern Thunder

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Northern Thunder last won the day on October 20

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About Northern Thunder

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  1. Northern Thunder

    Looking Back to 1976

    I got to watch drum corps evolve right in front of my eyes in early August of 1976. The Blue Devils came into Stillwater, Minnesota several days ahead of their back-to-back shows there. Those of us who closely followed drum corps had read and heard about the Concord juggernaut, and the Devils more than lived up to the hype. I spent literally 10 hours a day for 3 days watching them polish their show. You must remember than prior to 1976 Madison had won with basically a blow 'em off the field presentation (one of the 1975 DCI finals brass judges personally told me he couldn't even hear what Madison was doing, due to the volume level they were performing at).....but what the Blue Devils came up with was the first true melding of finesse, power, musicianship and showmanship. When we watched Blue Devils do a complete run through of their entire show in an empty stadium, we knew we were seeing the future of drum corps! And, for the people who claim Madison would have won DCI had they started out the year with the same show they ended up with....NO WAY! Blue Devils were head-and-shoulders above anything the Scouts could put on the field in '76. We also have to mention that some corps were gun-shy about showing up in Philadelphia for that 1976 DCI Championship, due to the Legionnaires Disease outbreak that hit Philly a few weeks earlier. Andrew Hornak, a 47-year-old bus driver for Pennsylvania's Keystone Kadets junior corps, died of the disease after bringing the corps to the state American Legion parade in Philadelphia the first week of August, so you can appreciate how corps directors felt about exposing their kids to a disease that at that time was a complete mystery.
  2. Northern Thunder

    Santa Clara Vanguard Mentioned on Today's Jeopardy

    The drum corps mention comes at the 5:10 mark.
  3. Contestant Hila Saxer mentioned on today's episode of Jeopardy that her family members are huge drum corps fans, and stated that a California corps, the Santa Clara Vanguard won this year's championship.
  4. Northern Thunder


    Brassmen are the only corps that didn't attend in 73 who would have been a finalist. Polish Falcon was not good enough. They didn't beat anyone of note that year except Argonne, at US Open. They only topped Argonne at US Open because Argonne had re-written their M & M and percussion just prior, and hadn't worked the kinks out yet. Royal Crusaders DID go to DCI in 73.
  5. Northern Thunder

    Corps That Made Top 12 Once?
  6. Northern Thunder

    US Open...Best Year?

    Funny you should mention Wendy's, Fran. I just ate lunch there, and was thinking about the first Wendy's I ever ate at, in Marion, just before went to the rescheduled US Open finals in 73.
  7. Northern Thunder

    US Open...Best Year?

    1973 was one of the most intense rainstorms I've ever seen. Blue Rock's beautiful uniforms were ruined when their black plumes ran onto their gold jackets. They wore US Open t-shirts for their appearance at the rescheduled finals the next day. I still have a reel-to-reel audio recording I did when the stadium announcer shouted out (to be heard above the rain), "Keep your #### ticket stubs!!" Probably one of the last times a rained-out DCI-sanctioned major championship show was redone the next day.
  8. Northern Thunder

    US Open...Best Year?

    I recall us discussing the fact that I remembered that a member of Sacred Heart got left at the stadium (was that you, Fran?) they were sitting in front of me at prelims that day. Here are those 1971 US Open prelim scores, Fran: Blue Rock--83.4 Madison--81.9 De La Salle--81.4 Cavaliers--81.2 Des Plaines--77.95 Bridgemen--77.55 St. Joe/Batavia--77.55 Brassmen--77.35 Cardinals--77.25 Nisei--76.1 Appleknockers--73.45 Shoreliners--72.8 St. Patrick Imperials--72.35 CMCC Warriors--72.05 Marion Cadets--71.55 Bon Bons--71.25 Scarborough Firefighters--70.85 Emerald Cadets--70.6 Knickerbockers--70.35 Magnificent Yankees--70.05 Purple Lancers--69.75 Pembroke Imperials--69.25 Polish Falcon Cadets--69.1 Blue Angels--68.85 Brookhaven Cru--68.1 L.I. Kingsmen--67.95 SACRED HEART CRU--67.3 Chessmen--66.9 Wynn Center Toppers--66.55 Marauders--65.3 Midlanders--65.15 Queen City Cadets--64.45 Mariners--63.7 Dukes--62.9 St. Ignatius Girls--62.7 32nd Hussar--62.5 Compagnons--61.5 Royal Lancers (MI)--60.45 IC Reveries--57.3 I would vote for any and all of the 3 years I attended the US Open...'71, '72 and '73. Each had its merits!
  9. Northern Thunder

    Because it’s the off-season:

    He heard Northern Thunderous applause!
  10. Northern Thunder

    Because it’s the off-season:

    My nephew was a trombonist with Mucca Pazza a few years ago.
  11. Northern Thunder

    1988 Blue Devils

    This thread actually belongs in the historical forum (pre-1989), but"Goodbye Yesterday" from that '88 show remains one of my favorite all-time charts!
  13. Northern Thunder

    Sunrisers suspended

    Reminds me that a beloved junior corps never did pay their housing bill for the 1973 U.S. Open in Marion, OH.
  14. Northern Thunder

    Remember What......

    It took quite the staff of instructors to help Santa Clara pull off their great show this year!!
  15. Northern Thunder

    Your Corps best staff

    Time flies, eh Keith??