The Blue Stars entered the drum corps world in 1965 as a parade corps. The first parade was in Pine Island, Minnesota...we won!!! Up to that point, everything was just work, suddenly we were winners.
Most of us were new to drum corps and many of us had no musical experience. So, in 1964 we started from scratch and were able to present a very respectable corps in 1965.
The horns were instructed by Jim Sturgis. "That's All" and "Downtown" are the only two songs I can remember from the 1965 repertoire. The drum line was instructed by Ron Moriarity. Frank ran the guard and Dave Dummer was corps director.
The best times were at the practice hall. The hall was located on Gillette Street in the old AutoLite Building. On nights when the drum line didn't practice, we would show up at the hall and watch the others. We even had a store there that sold candy bars and gum. One of the parents was the store keeper.
There were no bad times in 1965, only good. As we competed in area parades we developed confidence and desire to keep practicing, even though we didn't know the good that was ahead.
Author: Tom King
I started drum corps with the "Blackhawks", which was the Legion sponsored corps. We had heard of a new drum corps starting on the north side called the "Blue Stars". At this time I was in Junior High School and met a couple of guys ( Karl Vonderohe Dissmore) at school who were in the Blue Stars. The first time the two corps met was at a small parade. We stood along the end of the parade route in a line to "check out" the Blue Stars. We were impressed at how big they seemed and how good they were after being in existence for only a short time. l soon defected, along with quite a few others and joined the Blue Stars. They seemed to have a program and some direction. I think in the Blackhawks, we were getting burned out on being a parade corps and were looking for a little more.
My first trip with the corps was to South Milwaukee. Some of the older members in the corps were initiating some of the newer members. Fortunately, that wasn't my weekend.
The year was topped off by the corps going to Chicago for viewing its first VFW National Competition. Due to rain the contest was held inside at McCormick Place. Needless to say, the Blue Stars were impressed at what they saw and knew that they had lots of work ahead of them to be of that caliber. The remainder of 1965 was spent doing countless hours of basics and preparing ourselves for our first show in 1966.
Author: Jim Hagen