The Vaqueros Drum and Bugle Corps was founded in 1970 as an expansion of the Vaqueras Color Guard by Joseph Courtney, Funds to start the corps were donated by the Elmhurst National Bank, York State Bank and the Elmhurst Chicago Stone Company. The monies donated enabled the corps to purchase instruments and uniforms from the McHenry, Illinois, Men of Brass Drum and Bugle Corps.
The corps first instructional staff consisted of Jim Callow - Color Guard, Rick Tarsitano - Brass, Kip Dorn - Percussion and Joe Courtney - Visual. The Vaqueros performed as a parade corps during the summer of 1970 and entered their first competition in 1971. The corps membership came primarily from Elmhurst,Illinois and surrounding communities.
The Vaqueros were members of the Illinois Drum Corps Association, The Mid-America Circuit, The All American Drum Corps Association and were charter members of Drum Corps Midwest. The corps also competed in competitions operated by the Badgerland Drum Corps Association, Great Lakes Drum Corps Association, Parade Specialists, The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Instructors for the Vaqueros included Brass - Rick Tarsitano, Joe Celmer, Rich Tessitore, Jim Guisseppe, Russ Courtney, Jim DuPere, Jim Kline. Percussion: Kip Dorn, Brian Donley, Don Brimm, Mike Chioda, Rob Skiera, Ward Durrett Visual: Joe Courtney, Paul Litteau, Ron Litteau, Gary Glowinski, Larry Case, Brad Alderfer, Gene Pawlowski, Hank Grana, Jeff Redman. Color Guard: Joe Courtney, Jim Callow, Hank Sherman, Ken Lutz, Sal Salas, Gina Guare, Jeff Redman, Cathy Tarsitano