The Bandettes All-Girl Drum & Bugle Corps was founded in 1963 by Mary Wilson, who continues to serve as executive corps director to this day. The corps is the last remaining all-girl drum corps, outlasting even the all-girl division. The corps uniform is instantly recognized throughout the activity; with their signature Highlander bonnet, and traditional plaid kilt, it's hard to miss in a world of pants and shakos.
The Bandettes are not just a corps, but an organization, also offering the Bandettes Junior Corps to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The Bandettes is not just like a family, it is a family. Over their history, many members have marched alongside with members of their families. Some members have mothers that were Bandettes, and even grandmothers. It's a remarkable thing to note that the Bandettes are now serving a third-generation of marchers.
In 2005, their 42nd year of operation, the Bandettes made the difficult decision to become a parade corps, and become inactive in the competitive circuit. While this has spelled the end for many other corps, the Bandettes remain resilient to this fact. The corps embarked on a mini-tour of the country, performing in various parades and festivals throughout the summer.
For 2006, the Bandettes have added another branch to the family, this time a co-ed performing unit, Bandettes Drum & Bugle Corps Presents: Steeltown Brass, named so because of it's ties to both the Bandettes, and the city of Sault Ste. Marie itself.
The future of the corps is full of possibilities; will the drum corps activity one day see the triumphant return to the field of not only the last all-girl corps, but with Steeltown Brass, and the Bandettes Jr. Corps in tow? Only time will tell.
(excerpted from Bandettes.org)
The Bandettes promote excellence in music education. We ask that each member be the best they can be, with the confidence of a winner. Our goal is to teach success through individual challenges and rewards, while developing team spirit. An experience with The Bandettes helps everyone understand a new meaning of winning; that rewards are not always the competitive mark, but rather what an individual gets out of the summer experience. In The Bandettes, everyone becomes a champion to themselves.