nft 01Join us on Saturday, March 18th, 2023 for a nostalgic Gathering of the Clan

Share your Imperials of St. Patrick, Thunderbolts, and Pioneer Drum and    Bugle corps memories with friends of the past. (There’s no cost)

This is a great opportunity to contact some of your marching buddies that you haven’t seen in years, to meet and catch up at this special gathering Become a kid once again as you share stories from the past.

The gathering will take place on March 18th from 2:00pm until???


3665 East Grange Avenue
Cudahy, WI  53110

Food and beverage will be provided for purchase on site. Nostalgic photos, videos, and memorabilia will be on display. Cecil Austin will be with us playing his African drum as well as having lots of good conversations.

nft 03BINGO!!!

Well, do you feel lucky??? A special St. Patrick’s Day Bingo extravaganza

At 6:00 pm in the adjoining hall at the Taj Palace. Grab a table with a group of alumni friends and continue sharing your drum corps experiences between bingo games. Hopefully you’ll win all kinds of $$$!


I am sure that you have some good on the bus stories so share. If our buses could talk, could you imagine all of the stories they would share? As those buses moved from show to show, you saw many interesting sites as we traveling through the country. They also took you to some very interesting “cultural days” tours.


The ever memorable Harvard Parade meant the beginning of many summer parades and competitions. The white painted streets enlightened us to the point where sun glasses were permitted in uniform. And how can we forget the town’s mascot as we entered the city. She watched you many times as you performed the parade tune.


My, how time flies by…New challenges continue to fill out our lives. While the COVID outbreak slowed down our activity, our bingo attendance kept running at a slower pace, but steadily enough to keep up needed maintenance and upkeep of Pioneerland.  

A big challenge occurred when the United Seniors Bingo Hall was sold to a neighboring church. After 25 years in that location we were then searching for a new location. One of our Pioneerland tenants who owns a trolley bus at the land, offered his closed bar/restaurant facility in West Allis, WI for us to rent. We are saved…Our customers followed us to this new location, but the seating was in so many small areas and our faithful customers helped us in a search for a hall-type environment. After two months in “The Choice Restaurant and Pub”, I had the feeling that St. Patrick guided RB to a hall in Cudahy, WI. In the 1960’s and ‘70’s it was known as Victory Hall. Recently that hall was purchased by an individual who invested over two million plus dollars to completely renovate the facility by creating a grand ballroom environment. It is now rented out as a high-end wedding facility with a military ballroom environment and coming of age parties…WOW! It is now the most spacious and beautiful bingo hall facility in Wisconsin. We have been truly blessed!

Note that our bingo advertisement is enclosed, but we had to scramble to purchase more bingo equipment as well as taking our long table from Pioneerland and a huge advertising in an effort to keep our customers as we move again to a second facility within 2 months. We also checked out bingo facilities such as churches Moose Lodges, etc. that had discontinued. Then we came on checking this facility in Cudahy. Just by entering this building, we knew that it would be perfect for us.

The Taj Palace offered us the opportunity to run bingo on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings as well as some weekends with special events bingos during holidays when the hall isn’t being used.

Also, very importantly, it will be used on Sunday afternoons and evenings for Corps rehearsals because it has a large downstairs and several rooms that are all carpeted. The hall is huge and perfect for a percussion ensemble or also winter guard rehearsals as well. You need to come down and see it for yourself!

Pioneer has definitely been blessed!…

Everything worthwhile takes time, and it certainly has paid off for us. We have a lot to be thankful for.     

nft 06
Our first home base - St. Patrick's!

 nft taj palace

nft 07New LED lighting is being installed in our entire all-purpose building at Pioneerland. The cost of electricity has skyrocketed, not just in the winter, but all year ‘round. We have the outdoor lights on our building turned off to save money, but it’s not safe in the dark. Only the light coming from our airport neighbors and the Air National Guard give us a minimum of light. We can save approximately 40% with LEDs and timers to conserve usage when not always turned off in a timely manner.

nft 08Pioneer has made a donation of several sets of flags and the blue (Civil War Show) uniforms to a winter guard in East Troy, WI. Our equipment is neatly stored, but the building right now is cold.

nft 09Pioneer Murray Davis has retired after 37 total years of hard work on a weekly basis and at times a daily basis. Now he has the time to rest and relax giving more time to be involved with church work, directing choir and playing the organ, etc. Murray is still available when needed. His presence and knowledge are missed.

nft 10Pioneer videos, pictures, and shamrocks are available at the Corps’ Office. 414-327-2847 or my cell at 414-333-2235. If you lost your Shamrock with your member number & Necklace, you can still get one from Mrs. Ballenge at 276-685-4670. They are $25.00 each including postage. Mr. Ballenge, former Pioneer percussion instructor, still plays percussion professionally in town musical theatre in addition to being a band director.


Our Pioneer Stagecoaches have been quiet sitting and weathering our cold and snowy winter.  However, Bus 69 took a group of boy scouts on an overnight trip to Manitowoc, WI to tour a submarine and sleep over night in the WW.II sub.


Congratulations to Pioneer Webmaster Tim Osterbeck and his wife on the birth of their second child. They named him Chandler John. Chandler is a healthy 7 pound, 13 ounce boy who is 21 inches long.  Their first child is a girl named Delilah.

nft 13St. Patrick’s Day Memories

Our Milwaukee parades bring us two memories….One year we only had a handful of brass players, so who marched only drums and flags……and for that we won the best musical unit award!

Another memory was marching a parade route at 11:00 in the morning, and then marching in another parade at 2:00 pm in the exact same route as the 11:00 parade?

Chicago parade memories include the time a windy blizzard came during the parade and it was canceled…We were half way through the route and we took cover by stuffing into the hallways of some buildings.

For the Dublin, WI parade, the brass staff and the caption head marched. Lance Dimon was the Drum Major and looked great.

The South Side Chicago parades were huge with great attendance from local people. However, many of the people were on the rowdy side.  

Our last parade in 2019 with all alumni …many members were huffing and puffing and were a bit out of shape. The St. Patrick’s Day parades always marked the beginning of the performance year for the corps. It was the first of 12 parades we did each year for practice, public exposure, and of course, a generous donation to our budget.

nft 14It is with great sadness that we announce the passing this year of early Pioneer members.

While a bit late, it still offers us a chance to say a prayer on their behalf, as well as their families.

They were both members of our Imperials of St. Patrick Corps:

PAT MILLER (#135) played snare drum with us for 4 years.

BRUCE KELLER (#182) was a French horn player

Both of these men were very outgoing, gregarious, and their exploits were always entertaining. Their memories and efforts have an integral part of our corps’ history