- Corps established in 1936.
The Americanos Drum and Bugle Corps traces its origins, as do many current corps, to post-World War I veterans' organizations such as the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The local American Legion organization, known as Johnston Blessman Post 38 of Appleton, Wisconsin, sponsored the Americanos' first incarnation in 1936. The corps was then an all-male group performing as the “Sons of the American Legion.” They began performing Spanish themed shows that year, the same theme that the corps proudly continues to this day. In 1957 the corps adopted the name Americanos Drum and Bugle Corps, and performed quite successfully under the sponsorship of private donations, personal fundraisers, and the most supportive parents organization in the activity. In 1963 the El Toros Drum and Bugle Corps was formed as a feeder unit for the now nationally recognized Americanos.
By 1968 the organization's membership had dwindled to a mere 15 marchers. The members were stunned when, after the 1968 VFW Finals, management announced that after 33 years the corps was opening its membership to females. The coed Americanos entered the 1969 season with nearly 80 members, and they returned to the ranks of the nation's most competitive corps. At the VFW Nationals in Portland they placed a proud sixth.
During the early to mid 70's the corps continued to grow in the top tier of drum corps (then called A class) marching the maximum number of members allowed (128) from 1974 through 1976. With the focus on the large Americanos organization, the El Toros was absorbed into the Americanos. The Americanos competed in shows against the Madison Scouts, Vanguard, Blue Stars, Troopers, Pioneer, Colts (then called the Colt 45), Kilties, Racine Scouts (affectionately called the Chrome Domes), a new DCI corps the Blue Devils and many other well known class A (now Division I) corps.
During this time the booster club and members of the Americanos participated in many fund raising drives, but without corporate sponsorship or other significant funding source, it was simply not enough. The burden of travel costs, equipment and uniforms lead to a budget deficit that resulted in a decision to cancel the highly anticipated August eastern tour at the last minute, prematurely ending that year's marching season. It so happened, that year the Racine Kilties were marching an unusually high number of holes in their line, and upon hearing of the Americanos misfortune invited some of the members of the Americanos to go on tour with them. These Americano members had to decide that day, leave the next day and learn the entire Kilties program, both music and full drill in <3 weeks (while on the road). For those that had the opportunity to go, it was an unexpected extension to the season. And for the judges on the fields out east, it was quite a surprise when the Kilties ranks suddenly burgeoned to a full 128 members. And wait a minute they thought, "I recongnize those guys, they're Americanos!"
With the last minute tour cancellation and lack of funding, many veterans did not return and the membership declined. Eventually, amidst low membership, a decision was made to march a parade only corps. However, a dedicated group of marching members, parents, alumni, and local volunteers took the initiative to re-build the corps. And in 1985 the El Toros took the field again in a new beginning, leading to the Americanos organization of the present day. By 1989 the corps had once again claimed a spot on the field of competition winning divisional titles and numerous show titles against corps across the nation.
By 1993 the Americanos had won the U.S. Open Division III Championship, and had earned a finalist position at both the Canadian Open and Drum Corps International Championship competitions. A spectacular 1994 season secured the corps the prestigious DCI Division III title. Along the way they picked up additional honors with the Drum Corps Midwest Division III Title, Drum Corps East Division III Title, and a second-place finish in both the U.S. and North American Opens.
The Americanos were inactive for the 2006 competitive season.
In 2007 the Americanos reorganized as the Americanos Inc. They folded the drum and bugle corps indefinitely to compete strictly as indoor percussion and winterguard units. In 2010, Mr. Scott Dorschner, approached the Americanos Board of Directors to inquire about a Small Drum and Bugle Corps Association (SDCA) membership. The board approved, and the Americanos were once again creating drum corps.
It is the mission of the Americanos Drum & Bugle Corps to provide its members with a positive opportunity to develop life skills, self-esteem and self-reliance, through involvement in the drum corps activity. This, in itself, facilitates the development of teamwork, sportsmanship, and musical and performance abilities.
PROGRAM DESIGN: The Americanos Drum & Bugle Corps, Inc. is a Wisconsin based, U.S. 501(c) 3 nonprofit corporation. Formed in 1936 the Americanos are one of the country’s oldest drum corps still in existence. We are known to our many fans, across the country and around the world, as the “Kings of Latin”. Our entire program design is centered around the many different styles of today’s Latin music. From the sizzling sounds of Salsa, to the driving pulse of the Mambo, we are able to provide our members with a solid performance background. The Program design utilized by the Americanos has earned the corps the distinction of being one of the most entertaining corps in the activity today.
The Americanos brass program has developed a solid reputation of excellence. Through the dedication of our brass staff, which is comprised of several very talented and experienced performers and educators, we are able to offer a great opportunity for our brass students to share in an in-depth study of brass techniques and musicianship.
The Americanos percussion program boasts a unique combination of traditional rudiment drumming with drumming of a distinct Latin style, often times using authentic Latin instruments giving each student a unique musical experience. The percussion program is instructed by a very talented group of percussionists with a wide variety of experience and abilities.
The Americanos guard program, definitely the most colorful of the three sections, is designed to provide that something special. The Guard program is instructed by a talented and very creative staff of drum corps and winter guard veterans. Through skillful use of various equipment and props the guard always enhances the corps’ visual program.
The Americanos visual program involves elements of field choreography and marching technique. Our marching style has been designed to best interpret our musical program as an interpretive movement ensemble. Skillfully coordinating the visual program is a team of experienced and talented visual masters.
http://www.americanosalumni.org The Americanos Alumni Assocations Official website founded in 2008