The Thunderbolts of Cedarburg
 
 by John Schoenknecht
   It all began with the idea of one music teacher and his students. The teacher: William G. Loebel; the students, members of the Cedarburg High School Band. The Mercury Thunderbolts Drum and Bugle Corps was born in the minds of kids, and one remarkable man helped them fulfill their dream. The dream was carried on by others, but the corps was always for kids. This is their story.
 
THE EARLY LIFE OF WILLIAM G. LOEBEL  
    William Gallun Loebel was born in Carrollville, Wisconsin on October 7, 1911. His parents were William A. Loebel and Clara Gallun. He had two brothers, and a sister who died in infancy.
    Clara Loebel saw that her son was talented, and encouraged him to take lessons on trumpet, and later flute. She entered him in talent contests, and made sure he had private lessons. Other than that, he lived a normal life...liked baseball, football and he had a paper route.
    Young Billy attended school in Carrollville, and then South Milwaukee High School. After graduation he attended Milwaukee Teacher’s College, today’s UWM. He also attended military camp during two summers.
    When he finally graduated with his teaching certificate, he found a job in tiny Pulaski, Wisconsin. He organized a high school band there, but left for a better job in Markesan, Wisconsin. There, he met a student, who, years later, became his wife...Lois Henninger.
    In 1937-38, he changed jobs again. He moved to the small town of Mosinee, in central Wisconsin. He stayed there for two years, and in the fall of 1940, made his final career move.
 
CEDARBURG: THE BIRTH OF THE BAND
    The small city of Cedarburg, Wisconsin was looking to start a school band.They had a small orchestra, but this was limited by the number of instruments...basically whatever the students had at home. The School Board formed a committee which searched for a band director. The committee checked with the owners of two large music stores in Milwaukee, and both of the store owners gave a list of names to the committee. Bill Loebel’s name was on both lists.
     Meanwhile, the daughter of Cedarburg Mayor Herman Zeunert, who lived in Mosinee, told Loebel about the new position. She also told the committe about him. With the added recommendation of the mayor’s daughter, he was asked to apply for the Cedarburg job.
    Loebel must have agonized over the decision to leave Mosinee where he was building a fine program, and had just purchased new uniforms. In addition, the Cedarburg program was already behind, as the school year was rapidly approaching. Because he was born and raised in the Milwaukee area, Bill had a desire to return to the southeastern part of Wisconsin. “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life here,” he told Lois.
 
 A letter, dated September 16, 1940, told of the decision:
Dear Mr. Loebel:
    This will confirm our telephone conversation of last evening at which time I informed you the Cedarburg School Board has voted to employ you as music director at the local schools on a full twelve month basis at the salary discussed at the meeting Saturday. ($1,800 per year) ...
    We will depend upon you to a great extent in the matter of selection of instruments, not only the kind, number, and quality, but also the company or companies from whom they are to be purchased. You may want to give the matter of instruments some consideration before you actually arrive in Cedarburg. What suggestions do you have so that we may save some time to get this program started before you come to Cedarburg?
    Although we will not be able to send any band to the City Limits to greet you, we will send the band spirit there to greet you! ...
 
       Sincerely Yours,
 
     Harold J. Kittslery, Secretary of School Board
    P. S. Don’t forget the tennis racquet.
 
    Because of the small orchestra program, Loebel had a nucleus of four or five players around which to build his band. However, with the purchase of 43 instruments, the School Board showed it was serious about the band program. The instruments arrived at the beginning of November, 1941 and on the 18th, Loebel began giving lessons. The band consisted of students enrolled from grades 5-12, so there was quite a difference in ages.
    The band grew from 43 to 74 by the beginning of 1942, as enthusiasm increased. The first rehearsal of the Cedarburg School band was held on January 27, 1942. The students worked hard for the rest of the school year, and on Sunday, May 4th at 2:30 P. M. the first concert of the first Cedarburg School Band was given in the gymnasium. A small admission fee was charged to help defray the costs of the program, and to start a fund for future costs. Here is what the newspaper reporter, (Eliza Taylor Cherdron) wrote about the event.
 ...and right nifty the seventy-four looked Sunday P.M. as they filed in to their seats on the “gym” stage--girls in white shirt waists, black skirts and ties--the boys in matching colors, and the twirlers in blue satin blouses.
 ......the gym was packed with an all record audience--from all over the
county and Milwaukee, too.
 When one considers the band has had but a few months’ rehearsals, the performance of the players was quite remarkable throughout its varied program. Their director, Wm. G. Loebel, can be proud of the results of his training, and of his player’s cooperative study--as were their parents and friends in a cordially applauding audience!
 Each number was interpreted with artistic handling of tone-effects.
 ...As for the drummers (the big bass drummer and the snare drummer) they delighted the listeners. Ralph Kreuger will go places with his coronet, but--we’ll pause here, to mention the Military Escort March--and the splendid, colorful performance of the seven twirlers-- who returned for an encore. The lone wee lad in the Escort was none other than master Jon Warnshiuis, of the first grade!  And boy! can he twirl--right along with the lassies--and in great style.
 The director thanked Cedarburg for its help--the board of education for its co-operation, and the audience for its attendance.
 
     Just for the record, the band played 16 songs that day, the first being Choral in Bb by Lillya, and the final song The Star Spangled Banner. Photographer Edward Rappold took a photograph of the band for posterity.
     The band also entered the State Music Contest in Plymouth, and took a first place in class D, the class for beginning bands. This was quite a remarkable feat for such a young organization, and it says a lot about the leader and the students who idolized him.
     Also, in January of 1941, The Music Parents were organized. This fine organization consisted of the parents of band and chorus members, and its purpose was to support the music activities of the two groups. Not enough can be said about all of the good things the parents did. They held fund raisers to support the groups, helped purchase uniforms and choir robes, buy instruments and helped pay for trips. Their enthusiasm contributed to the successful groups. The Music Parents started a tradition of selling potato pancakes at the County Fair, and that is how they raised money to support the bands and chorus. Many a former student can remember peeling potatoes and washing dishes and hearing Mr. Loebel yell “More grease...you need more grease on the grill to make those pancakes.”
     The band continued on its successful path throughout the 1940s. When new uniforms were purchased in 1942, Mr. Loebel had to appear in front of the school board. He had always liked the uniforms which the Mosinee band had purchased, and so the uniforms he chose for the Cedarburg band were patterned after them...a dark blue jacket with gray trousers. There was some concern from the school board that the uniforms were not orange and black, but Loebel had his way, and for the next twenty-eight years, Cedarburg wore blue and gray.
     In 1942 the band entered Class C and received a 1st. Also, a beginning band was organized which served as a training ground for the young band students. By 1944 the band was ready to move to class B competition, and continued bringing home 1st’s.
      In 1946, Loebel applied for the Wisconsin Spectacle of Music, a huge parade, band and drum and bugle corps competition held in South Milwaukee, his old home town. The band was accepted into the prestigious show, and took third place in the contest (competing against experienced adult bands) and was judged best appearing band in the parade, for which it was awarded $25. It must have been thrilling for Loebel to return triumphantly to South Milwaukee. It also showed Loebel what summer competition was like. In1948 he, along with the Cedarburg Fire Department, organized the first Cedarburg Music Festival. During 1948, Loebel took on additional duties. He was asked to organize Ozaukee County’s celebration in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the State of Wisconsin. He organized a huge parade which was held during the County Fair in Cedarburg. Just one more busy activity for an overworked man.
 
THE MARAUDERS
     The nearby city of Port Washington had a drum corps which was established after WWI. It was officially called the Van-Ells Schanen Post # 82 Drum and Bugle Corps, but was nicknamed “The Maurauders.” The corps had been inactive, but was resurrected by returning veterans of World War II. They saw the good things Loebel was doing in Cedarburg, and around 1945 asked him to direct the corps. Two of the members, Ralph and Paul Swatek, became good friends of Bill’s, and helped him in later endeavors.
     Loebel arranged music for the corps, which participated in parades and field competition. They had quite a repertoire. A book of their music contained 58 songs; including “There’ll Be A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight,” “Hallelujah,” “This is My Country,” “Beer Barrel Polka,” “A Guy Is A Guy,” “Hawaiian War Chant,” “When The Saints Go Marching In,” The Whiffenpoof Song,” “The Thing,” “The Washington Post,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “I Believe,” and an original composition, “Van Ells - Schanen Post # 82.” Loebel arranged the tunes in composition notebooks, then transcribed the parts to mimeograph sheets. ( Anyone who marched in his corps recognizes his musical notation.)
     The uniforms consisted of a military style shirt and trousers. The men wore contrasting, lighter ties, and traditional army boots. Headgear was a WW I style helmet.
     The Corps was very popular, and won several awards, including a prestigious contest at Riverview Park in Chicago in 1950. Corps and bands from Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana competed at the park, and the Port Washington corps won the Senior division. They were invited back to the park several weeks after competing, and received a beautiful trophy after parading before an audience of 50,000 people.
     In 1952 the corps marched in the Aquatennial Celebration in St. Paul, Minnesota.
 
 
MUSIC FESTIVAL
    Bill’s ties to the Cedarburg Fire Department and other organizations led to the formation of a local Music Festival. Sponsored by the Cedarburg Fire Department, the musical portion was patterned after the Wisconsin Spectacle Of Music in South Milwaukee, with bands and drum corps competing for cash prizes. The festival also brought together fire departments from around the state, and they competed in their own contests. The traditional date was the last week-end in June, and the festival had a record of almost always having perfect weather.
     The inaugural festival was held in 1948. Due to conflicting dates, the entries were small. The Racine County Boy Scout corps won the contest. The Menomonee Falls Summer Band won the band contest, and Ruth Eickstedt of Kewaskum won the twirling contest.
     By 1949, the contest was growing. The Fire Department put up good prize money, and this attracted top notch corps and bands. The drum and bugle corps competition took place at the ball diamond at city park at 9:00 A. M. Each corps was allowed 20 minutes to perform. Competing that year were Boy Scouts of Racine (first place), Racine YMCA Kilties (second place), Four Lakes Council Boy Scouts of Madison (third place), Milwaukee’s Mercy High School (fourth place), Wolf-Olson VFW Post of Sheboygan (fifth place). The Amvets of Sheboygan, and Junker Ball Post of Kenosha also participated. Top prize was $150. The bands competed after the 12:00 parade. They were the Kiel Municipal Band, Burlington Civic Band, Menomonee Falls Summer Band, Craig-Schlosser American Legion, and the South Milwaukee Municipal Band.
     Loebel had a hand in organizing the Music Festival, and for many years he served as music director, making arrangements for the groups. The city went all out for the Festival, and the young people stayed in the schools, churches and even in the fire department building. They were often served a free meal.
     The members of the Cedarburg High School Band participated in the Festival, but because it was in their own city, they did not compete. More significantly, they were impressed by the corps performances. They admired the sound, the flash, and the precision demonstrated by the corps.
 
MERCURY THUNDERBOLTS
     In 1952 Loebel wrote a letter to Mr. E. C. Kiekhaefer, president of one of Cedarburg’s largest industries, Kiekhaefer Outboard Motors. Kiekhaefer’s daughter had been a student in the band, and thus the family was familiar with the band program. In fact, in 1951, the company donated a set of coveralls for the band members. These coveralls were worn by the students when traveling, and were sort of a status symbol in band circles.
     Loebel’s letter, dated March 31, 1952, contained an interesting paragraph, quoted here:
    I know that you are very busy with your various plants and projects, but I would like to see you sometime in the near future and discuss some ideas that I have mulled over and over in my mind during the winter. I believe they have some merit and I hope that you will feel likewise about the ideas after we have discussed them.
     Perhaps the idea which Loebel had been considering was the formation of a drum and bugle corps. By 1953, the idea was a reality. Fortunately, Loebel wrote about the beginning of the corps for the Spring, 1955 issue of The Baton, published by the Conn Instrument Co. Also, fortunately, the original, unedited version of his article was saved. Together, they tell the story of the birth of the Mercury Thunderbolts. Some sentences, edited from the original article have been added.
    Two years ago, (this would have been 1952, as the article was written in 1954 - author) a number of students in the class “A” Cedarburg, Wisconsin, High School Band approached me in regard to organizing a drum and bugle corps within the band. They were students interested in a precision drill and summer activity for themselves and who had been impressed by the flash and audience appeal of the many fine corps participating in the annual Cedarburg Festival of Music. The writer, being chairman of the Cedarburg Festival of Music and whose band participated for nine years in the South Milwaukee Festival of music, felt it was a wonderful idea.
    The idea gained everyone’s support and the High School student council voted $600 toward the corps. The Music Parents Association made up the balance to start a 30-piece corps. To keep the cost of organizing the corps low, the drums used by the band were transferred to the corps when needed. Last year six additional bugles were purchased to increase the corps to 36 pieces—nine four-man squads. Brass players from the Band were placed on bugles, and most of the marching band drummers were easy transfers.
    The first year the corps wore their band uniforms for public appearances, but with some work through the efforts of the writer, and the kindness of E. C. Kiekhaefer, president of Mercury Outboard Motor Corp., whose home is in Cedarburg, new and different uniforms were purchased. It seems that every drum and bugle corps has a nickname. Then, by unanimous vote of the members, “Mercury Thunderbolts” was selected as the corps nickname in appreciation to Mr. Kiekhaefer’s generosity. The corps is a separate unit, but in the future it is planned to use it with the regular marching band for parades. Continuous music can be played on the street by using short drum solos between the numbers of the two units and many marches are written for band which have bugle parts if you will just look for them.
    Instrumentation of the Mercury Thunderbolts is, bugles: eight first (soprano), four second (soprano), four third (tenor), four French horn, and four baritone; drums: four tenor, four snare, and one bass drum. A bell lyra and two cymbals complete the corps. The bugles all play treble clef, but the French horn and baritone bugles play an octave lower than written. Piston bugles are used, a key change being made by pulling the tuning slide. Though many marches are written for band with bugle parts, there is very little bugle music written or published. Fine arrangements can be made, however, of many marches and popular numbers when one has become familiar with the range and capabilities of the bugle.  A girl I have on first bugle (Barbara Gollnick Henkel—JMS) did a terrific job this last summer in triple tonguing the Carnival of Venice with Corps accompaniment.
    This corps was organized for a group of students who wanted to work hard and give their time to do a good job, but it has proved to be an incentive to interest students in band instruments. To this end, I now require all members of the corps to play band instruments in addition to their corps activities. They rehearse one night a week during the winter for an hour to learn their music for the coming summer, and then in early spring we start work on the fifteen minute drill to go with the music for the summer contests of which there are many.
    Ninety-nine out of a hundred band directors look down their noses at a drum and bugle corps, mainly because they know nothing about them and feel that they don’t play music. These conductors should hear some of the fine corps of the East and Mid-West and they would change their minds. Some of the best rudimental drumming is found in these units. (Which I can’t say for bands because most band directors know nothing of drumming) With good players on all bugles there is no reason why a fine corps with flash, precision and showmanship shouldn’t steal the show. How many bands have a thousand people at a Spring concert, but take five drum and bugle corps in a football stadium on a summer night and you’ll have thousands watching and enjoying a two hour show.
    Let’s face it! A corps will do a better job with fewer people, less headaches, and is easier to train than an eighty-five or more piece marching band. I am not running down bands, but I feel there is a place for a drum and bugle corps connected with any band because of the added incentive.
    Our corps activities have proved a great boost to the enthusiasm for the band and I am convinced that there is a place for a drum and bugle corps connected with any band. In addition to the incentive it creates, I have found the members of the corps who also play in the band to be marvelous assistants in helping train the marching band.
    So the Thunderbolts, originally the Cedarburg High School Drum and Bugle Corps, was formed because students asked for it. How wonderful of Mr. Loebel to respond to a student request! He must have been very proud of his corps.
     As stated above, the corps started with 30 members in 1953. That year they participated in about ten parades. One of the trips was a “tour” of northern Wisconsin cities. The corps and band raised about $600 for this trip, and they visited the Hal Leonard Music Co. in Winona, Minnesota, Green Lake, Wisconsin Dells, and Prairie Du Chien. The corps also participated in the national VFW Convention parade in Milwaukee on August 5th. Loebel was promised that the corps would be paid $85 for participating, but as late as May of 1954, he and James Hall, the drum major, were writing letters asking to be reimbursed for their appearance.
     Hall recalled that Loebel used to fill him in on just what to do during a parade or competition. Certain judges were known for being “picky" about some things, and so if they knew that judge was going to appear, they would play up to him. Hall also recalled that there was frequently a critique held after the contest, and he and Loebel would attend. The judges would explain their scores, and the director and drum major could ask questions. The scores were then discussed with the rest of the corps at the next rehearsal.
     The “Foot of Mercury” logo was copied by Barbara Gollnick Henkel, who later became an art teacher. She recalled that Loebel probably received the design from Kiekhaeffer.
 
CEDARBURG HIGH SCHOOL DRUM AND BUGLE CORPS 1953
DRUM MAJOR, JAMES HALL, ANNE PAEGELOW, CAROLYN DOBBERPHUL, CAROL WITTENBERG, ANNE ROEBKEN, GAY ROST, MARLENE GALL, MARVIN KIESOW, SUSAN RITTER, NANCY JACQUE, PAT MITCHELL, JOANNE MOERSCHEL, WINOGENE BUCH. JOSEPH KREUZER, GARY LIED, RONALD KENNEY, DONALD BADTKE, FREDRICK BEHRENS, GLENN MOERSCHEL, GRAHAM ELLIS, JAMES MC CRAY, GEORGIA KREUZER, LE MAY BOECKER, BARBARA MOERSCHEL, BARBARA GOLLNICK, CARL THIERMAN, JUDITH SCHNEIDER, KENNETH BURMEISTER, EARL WIRTH, JOHN O’NIEL.
INSTRUCTOR: WILLIAM LOEBEL
 
1954
    In 1954, six additional bugles were purchased to bring membership to 36. However, the corps needed uniforms, and such an undertaking was expensive. Loebel wrote to Mr. E. C. Kiekhaefer, once again asking for his support. It was a letter he must have agonized over, because the original copy contained numerous cross-outs and deleted sections. Parts of the letter are reproduced below.
 
    One year ago I organized a drum and bugle corps in Cedarburg High School with the backing of the Music Parents Association. Since that time we have come a long way and we now have a 36 piece corps and color guard. All of the members are from the Cedarburg High School Band, therefore, they have developed into a good corps rapidly.
    ...We would like to get a uniform for this unit so I thought that perhaps with your past interest in music and showmanship, you would lend us a helping hand. Before discussing this with your advertising department and having it completely turned down,  I wish that you would discuss this idea with me because so many details and ideas would make for long reading in a letter.
    I  was wondering if you might like to sponsor this unit as a summer activity for these fine boys and girls of Cedarburg who are willing to give their time to it outside of the regular band. If you have never observed a fine drum and bugle corps perform on the competition field, you have a treat and a thrill in store for you.
    I am enclosing some pictures taken last summer on our band trip, (for which the students earned most of the money) which may give you an idea of the possibilities for sponsoring a drum and bugle corps. I hope this idea meets with your approval and I’ll be glad to meet with you at any time to discuss it further.
    From this letter it may be deduced that Mr. Loebel had talked to Kiekhaefer previously, and that some of his ideas had been rejected. Credit should be given to Loebel for his persistence. He had a dream, and he did what was necessary to fulfill it. Credit should also be given to Kiekhaefer, who listened and contributed to the corps by purchasing uniforms for them.
     The uniforms consisted of gray trousers, accented with a blue stripe, blue cummerbund, and what have been described as “pink flamingo” satin shirts. Shortly after the purchase, Loebel thanked E. C. Kiekhaefer in a letter:
     I would like to report to you in regard to the activities of the Cedarburg High School Drum and Bugle Corps for which organization you generously are purchasing new uniforms.
    The members of the corps are all measured and the uniforms are promised for a very early delivery. As soon as they arrive, I would like to arrange to put on an exhibition for you at the Fireman’s Park field. We have been working very hard on the music and drill, and we feel sure that you will be proud of the organization.
    This Saturday, June 5, we are marching in the Republican Centennial parade in Ripon, Wis., wearing our band uniforms. Our next appearance will be on June 27th here in Cedarburg in the Festival of Music parade and an exhibition in the evening. On July 4, we will also parade and July 11 we have been invited to compete at Fort Atkinson against six other top-notch drum and bugle corps of Illinois and Wisconsin...
    The members of the corps felt that the nickname “Mercury Thunderbolts” would be very appropriate, so we hope that the name is agreeable to you. I will keep you informed of all new developments, and as soon as the new uniforms arrive we will arrange the exhibition.
    Loebel began setting up a schedule for the corps. Unfortunately, not all of their appearances are known. In his files was the letter to the Republican Centennial Committee in Ripon, Wisconsin, in which he asked to substitute the corps for the band.
     ...I would like to bring our Cedarburg High School Drum and Bugle Corps, which I organized over a year ago. It is made up of the best brass players in the band and the drum section of the band. They are completely uniformed and put on a good parade.
    The reason I made this suggestion is because the group is smaller and easier to handle. We can come for $85, whereas the band would run $150 or more.
    The corps has 42 players, all well-trained, so I am sure they will prove satisfactory.
     Loebel also wrote to a friend at the Hal Leonard Music Company in an attempt to set up another visit by the corps to Winona, Minnesota, and to Eric Carral in Hayward. He wrote; “all of the ...members are some of the best students in school and their behavior is excellent. There are many Cedarburg people with summer homes in your area who can tell you about our band.” The trip also took the corps back to Green Lake.
A partial schedule of appearances:
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 27th exhibition
 Galaxy of Stars, East Troy, July 3th, 7th, 84.6
 Cedarburg 4th of July Parade,
 Forth Atkinson, July 11, ? , 87.5
 Wisconsin Rapids, contest, ?, ?,
 Hayward, Green Lake and Winona tour
     The music for that first field show is unknown to the author, but found in Loebel’s files was this list, which at least suggested that these songs were played early in the corps history:
 Opening, La Golandina, Hawaiian and Lullaby, Song of Love, World is Waiting, Hallelujah, Hand Me Down, Finale, Banana Boat Song, Mutual Admiration Society, Bugler’s Holiday, Stars and Stripes Forever.
    Another book, which was labeled 1953-1954, contained the following music;
    Mimi, I Believe, Collegiate, Ja Da, and America On Parade.
 
 There was no membership roster available for 1954.
 
1955

    With the task of organizing the corps over with, Mr. Loebel concentrated on setting up a more complete summer schedule. One of the highlights of the season was at Edgerton on June 18th. Although they took fourth place, the Thunderbolts beat The Racine Kilties for the first time. Some of the appearances are listed below:
    
    VFW Jamboree, Edgerton, June 18, 81.1, 4th place.
    Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 26th, exhibition
    Racine, July 2nd, ? 2nd place
    Zor Shrine Parade of Drums, Madison, July 9, 85.5, 5th place.
    State American Legion Show, ?, 83.4, 1st place.
    Midwest Drum and Bugle Corps Show, Racine, July 2, 84.7, 3rd place.
    Starlight Music Review, Fort Atkinson, July 10, 80.0, ? place.
    Wisconsin Spectacle of Music, July 23,  82.7, 5th place.
    Flambeau-Rama, Park Falls, ?, 89.7, 1st place.
    Exhibition, Fon Du LAc, Wisconsin.

    In one of Mr. Loebel's notebooks from 1955, the following songs were arranged. it is not certain which were played by the corps.

    Burst of Trumpets, Overture 1955, ( Grand Night For Singing, I Won’t Dance, If I Loved You), Gloria, Cheerio, Fine and Dandy, Whither Thou Goest, Waltzing Bugle Boy, Count Your Blessings, Samba, Say It With Music Fanfare.
    According to Wayne Anderson, who marched in 1955, the corps wore their yellow parade shirts with a green “campaign” hat. There was a yellow and blue Mercury Thunderbolts patch sewn on the hat. Wayne remembered barnstorming from the downtown high school gym to the Coffee Pot Restaurant after winning the American Legion championship. He also remembered Ed Kiekhaefer coming on the bus before they left for Park Falls. He gave everyone $5.00 for spending money.

MERCURY THUNDERBOLTS 1955

DRUM MAJOR: JAMES HALL, CAROL WITTENBERG, SUSAN RITTER, NANCY JACQUE, DANIEL STENCIL, JOAN HESPE, BILL MEISER, KAREN HUNT, GAY ROST, ANNE ROEBKEN, MARLENE GALL, KAY SCHNABEL, DON BADTKE, KAREN KRAUS, MARVIN KIESOW, GLENN MOERSCHEL, JOHN O’NEIL, LE MAY BOEKER, BARBARA MOERSCHEL, MARGARET MULTERER, LYNNE LOEBEL, JOE KREUZER, EARLE WIRTH, RONALD KENNEY, KEN BURMEISTER, FRED BEHRENS, CARL THIERMANN, DICK HORNECK, BARBARA GOLLNICK, GEORGIA KREUZER, GARY LIED, JUDY SCHNEIDER, KATHLEEN SCHEUNEMANN, CAROLYN DOBBERPHUL, ANNE PAEGELOW, JANICE GROTH, WAYNE ANDERSON
INSTRUCTORS: WILLIAM LOEBEL, RALPH SWATEK, PAUL SWATEK

 
1956- “I have broad shoulders”
    In June of 1956, Loebel wrote to Mr. Kiekhaefer and asked for assistance in financing two trips. One was for a five day tour beginning July 18th at Hayward, then proceeding to Ely, Minnesota on July 19th,  Superior, Wisconsin on July 20, and Eau Claire, Wisconsin on July 21 and 22. Loebel proposed that the corps could tie into Mercury’s dealers and distributors in each city. The cost was $785. The second trip was a return to the Flambea-Rama in Park Falls, which Loebel expected to cost $500. Loebel suggested that the corps could play exhibitions at water shows...anything to tie into Mercury’s businesses. Once again, Kiekhaefer agreed to assist the corps.
    There then developed a crisis of sorts, in which Loebel found himself in the middle. Apparently, a group of citizens wrote to Kiekhaefer, criticizing his efforts to help the corps. They claimed that Kiekhaefer was;
    1. “Hogging” the honors of helping the corps that other Cedarburg industries wanted
to help and were not allowed to.
    2. That Kiekhaefer was incensing the parents of corps members because of the long hours they were required to practice.
     3. That the corps should not be traveling so extensively.
     4. That the corps was overshadowing the band.
     5. Mr Kiekhaefer had established two music scholarships, and these also came under criticism.
    Kiekhaefer wrote back to Loebel and suggested that other Cedarburg manufacturers be given the chance of sponsoring the corps, that there be a vote of parents of the Band and the Corps as to how to continue, and that Loebel should “test” the seriousness of the criticisms and inform Kiekhaefer of the results.
    According to his wife, Loebel was furious. He was not the type of man to lash out or criticize others, but the parents who had written to Kiekhaefer had endangered the very organization he worked so hard to begin. There was a real danger that Kiekhaefer would withdraw his sponsorship. It was a very real crisis, and Loebel acted quickly and decisively.
    At a meeting of the drum corps parents held on July 2nd, it was voted to send a letter to Kiekhaefer, in which he was thanked for all of his past support. The parents pointed out that the “unjust” criticism was just that, unjust, and that the members of the corps were proud to play under the Mercury Thunderbolt name and that they were equally proud to advertise Cedarburg’s most famous industry. They also expressed their appreciation of Kiekhaefer’s past contributions, which allowed the corps to travel to places they otherwise could not afford to. The parents asked Kiekhaefer not to withdraw his sponsorship.
    William Loebel wrote E. C. a letter in which he answered each criticism point by point. It revealed quite a bit about Loebel’s thinking, and his personality. He began by telling Kiekhaehfer that any request for help from the drum corps came through him. He was pushing the corps to be better. “To be a crack Corps, we must compete in many contests which demands traveling many miles and much practice. The Corps is now practicing five times a week...” Loebel then remarked that years before, when the band needed coveralls, he had gone to every industry in the area, and Kiekhaefer was the only one who responded                    
    To answer the problem of angry parents, Loebel told Kiekhaefer that he felt the problem came from parents who no longer had children in the corps. Fifty-percent of the corps was new that year. “I was very choosey in the selection and took a long time to decide on the new players. I believe that no such remarks will be made by the corps parents this year because they know what it is all about.”
    The criticism of the late hours was explained in this way. “Last summer we attended many contests where the prize money was enough to cover expenses. Many of those miles and late hours were no fault of yours or your backing of the corps. I was the one wholly responsible for accepting the invitations and saying that we were going. ...Petty jealousy and envy can cause much grief and disappointment. We traveled twelve hundred miles last summer and would have traveled about four hundred more if we hadn’t had the polio quarantine. I  have been severely criticized by a few people for various things, but as you say, you can’t please everyone. I don’t let those people bother me. I have broad shoulders and a thick skin...”
    Loebel then explained that the drum corps did not overshadow the band. “I am still a band man and our record of this Spring proves it.” He went on to say the the drum corps was initiated by students themselves who were more interested in the flash and extra work required. He thanked Kiekhaefer for the music scholarships, and pointed out that they were given to two band students, one who was also a member of the corps.
    “The Drum and Bugle Corps is mainly a hobby with me and the financial reimbursement is minute.” Loebel then thanked E. C. again and offered to meet him if he required more explaination. “You have done some wonderful things for the “Mercury Thunderbolts,” the band, the school, etc. Give us another try this summer and if we hear any more remarks, I’ll throw up my hands in disgust along with you.”
    The letter was a masterpiece of diplomacy. By taking all of the responsibility on himself, Loebel diffused the situation. He turned the problem into a mutual one, and at the end evoked an image of both he and Kiekhaefer throwing up their hands in disgust at the antics of a few disgrunted people. It was apparent that the corps was experiencing “growing pains,” and as the students and Loebel wanted to reach higher levels of excellence, not everyone understood what it took. It was also possible that there may have been a power struggle, and from his letter, it was apparent that Loebel was willing to make decisions and take any heat from those decisions.
    Mrs. Loebel remarked that Bill internalized problems. He did not blame others, he did not strike out, but rather he kept a lot inside.
    The corps went on to compete that summer, and below is a summary of some of their competitions.
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, exhibition
 Boy’s of ‘76, Racine, July 3rd, 5th, 80.05
 Drums on Parade, Madison, July 14th, ?, 72.2
 Drums in the Wilderness, Ely, Minnesota, July 19th, 2nd, 84.0
 Superior Pageant of Drums, Superior, July 20th, 3rd, 81.9
 State American Legion Contest, Eau Claire, July 22nd, 1st, 84.43
 Cavalcade of Drums, Hayward, 3rd, 83.8
 Good Neighbor Festival, Middleton, ?, 4th, 83.9
 
    Music for 1956; Its A Good Day, Forty-Second Street, Davey Crockett, Twinkle, Twinkle, Honey Babe, Bonnie Blue Gal, So Long, and Fanfare, 1956.
 
1957
    Unfortunately,  there are not a lot of records to recap this year. The first drum major, James Hall, had graduated, so a new major, Gary Hanson took over. He was assisted by a “shadow drum major,” a youngster who marched along with the corps. This was Gary’s cousin, Lloyd.
    The corps purchased a new set of bugles. Kiekhaefer, along with a local photographer, donated $1,750 to the corps to play for a showing of motors at a Florida show. Another firm offered to match the $1,500 if the corps would go to the Rose Bowl. That firm withdrew its offer when it was discovered that all of the Rose Bowl slots had been filled. The corps put the original money into an instrument fund. The Music Parents raised another $1500 and purchased a new set of bugles. These were chrome plated instead of the brass bugles of the past, and included the first bass bugles. In addition to the piston valve, they used a rotary-type valve instead of a tuning slide, and thus buglers could note the fingering on their music “P,”  “R,” or “PR.”
 
 A partial schedule:
 Jefferson Music Festival, Jefferson, June 9th, 7th, 78.7
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 30th, exhibition
 State American Legion Convention, Wausau, July 21st, 1st, 78.9
 Catholic War Veterans of America National Convention, Milwaukee, August 14-18th
 Milwaukee Braves Pennant Parade and Rally
 
MERCURY THUNDERBOLTS 1957
CORPS MAJOR: GARY HANSEN, SHADOW CORPS MAJOR: LLOYD HANSEN, KATHY MANGOLD, JANICE GROTH, KATHY SCHEUEMANN, JUDY BARELMANN, CAROL THARMON, JOHN O’NEIL, JUDY SCHNEIDER, SHARON HILLMAN, HARRIET HEITZ, SHARON HADLER, JUDY RAEBEL, STEVE TEWS, DAVID FRITZ, ELAINE STEPHENSON, BARBARA MOERSCHEL, TOM ROST, JIM VOLZ, BOB RIETER, ELAINE EGGERT, CARYL FRITZ.  JOE KREUZER, PHIL BORLESKE, LYNN LOEBEL, BOB LAUTERBACH, JIM NEUMANN, BARBARA KREUTZBERGER, SALLY RITTER, HELEN HEITZ, SHERRY KRAUS, JUDY ESSER, JUDY EICKSTEDT, LOIS PAEGELOW, TOM MUELLER, BARBARA KASTEN, MARY ANN BENZ, JANICE EBERHARDT, JANICE KUYKEN, AUDREY ROFRITZ.
INSTRUCTORS: WILLIAM LOEBEL, RALPH SWATEK, PAUL SWATEK
 
1958
    The corps entered its sixth year of existence with a good showing. Gary Hansen served as drum major once again, and the corps traveled all over the state. The highlight was winning the State American Legion Championship for the fourth year in a row. The corps traveled over three thousand miles in fourteen trips. It took five firsts in eight contests.
 Badgerland Show, ?, 2nd, 80.1
 Tournament of  Champions, Wisconsin Rapids, June 15th, 1st, 94.4
 Cavalcade of Drums, Hayward, June 21, 1st, 83.8 *BEAT THE KILTIES*
 Plymouth Cheese Derby Days, Plymouth, June 26th, 4th, 80.1
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 27th exhibition
 Boy’s of ‘76 Show, Racine, July 3, 4th 78.9
 Drums in the North, Menominee, Michigan, July 5th, 3rd, 78.5
 Zor Shrine Drums on Parade, Madison, July 12th, 4th, 78.6
 State American Legion, ?, July 21st, 1st, 76.5
 
MERCURY THUNDERBOLTS 1958
DRUM MAJOR: GARY HANSEN, BARBARA KREUTZBERGER, MARY HATAS, SALLY HURTH, SALLY RITTER, TOM MUELLER, JUDY RAEBEL, MARY ANN BENZ, SANDRA ROEBKEN, ELAINE STEPHENSON  NANCY RINTLEMAN, SHERIE KRAUS, CAROL THORMAN, ELAINE EGGERT, CARYL FRITZ, JUDY BARELMANN, STEVE TEWS, RAYMOND HANDLEY, JANICE EBERHARDT, SHARON HILLMANN, HELEN HEITZ, ROBERT RIEDER, CELIA FILTER, SHARON HADLER, RICHARD KREUZER, DAVID EBERHARDT, RENEE DEHORN, JANICE KUYKEN, BARBARA KONRAD, TRUDI ZINNIEL, LOIS PAGELOW, LYNN LOEBEL, BARBARA KASTEN, EDWARD ZIEGLER, YVONNE DE TROYE, JAQUELINE JOHNSON, KAREN HATAS, LORRAINE MERLOCK, KATHLEEN MANGOLD, PHILPIP BORLESKE, STEVE BEHRENS, TOM ROST, JIM VOLZ.
INSTRUCTORS: WILLIAM LOEBEL, RALPH SWATEK, PAUL SWATEK
 
1959
    The corps started out slowly, but showed steady improvement. Some of the contest results were as follows:
 Kenosha, May 16th, 4th, 59.3
 Tournament of  Champions, Wisconsin Rapids, June 14th, 4th, 70.4
 Starlite Fanfare, Plymouth, June 27th, 3rd, 75.9
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 28th exhibition
 Boy’s of ‘76 Show, Racine, July 3rd, 6th, 63.0
 Drums on Parade, Madison, July11th, 7th, 74.7
 State American Legion, Kenosha, July 19th, 5th, 79.5
 Wisconsin Spectacle of Music, South Milwaukee, July 25, 4th, 76.5
 Badgerland Show, Madison, July ?, 2nd, 79.4
 
 Mr. Loebel's music scores from around these years contain the following songs: Gypsy Love Song, March on America, Robin Hood, America the Beautiful Fanfare, The Wayward Wind, Mutual Admiration Society, Banana Boat Song, New Sound.
 
1960
    
 For some reason, bus drivers have always liked working for the corps. The first driver was Chris Winkel. He drove for several years, and was very popular with the members. The next driver was named John Miller, and he took some color photographs of the corps which present an interesting record of how they looked at their 1960 appearances.
    The musical score for 1960...You and The Night and The Music, Keynoter, Conquest, 1960 Fanfare, Jalousie, Columbia Gem of the Ocean, April Showers, I'll be Seeing You, William Tell Calypso, On the Double, Starlight Overture 1960.
  
 Tournament of  Champions, Wisconsin Rapids, June 18th, 6th, 77.5
 Starlite Fanfare, Plymouth, June 25th, tie for 2nd, 75.2
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 26th exhibition
 Zor Shrine Drums on Parade, Madison, July 9th, 5th, 72.85
 State American Legion, Green Bay, July 16th, ?, 70.7
 Wisconsin Spectacle of Music, South Milwaukee, July 23rd, 3rd, 69.1
 Drums in the North, Menominee, Michigan, August 13th-14th, 3rd,
 Fiesta Musicana, Appleton, August ?, 3rd, 78.5
 Horicon Marsh Days, Horicon, August 28, 1st, 58.6
 
MERCURY THUNDERBOLTS 1960
 
DRUM MAJOR: G. HANSEN, J. VOLZ, T. JAMROSY, R. KREUZER, C. IMBRUGLIA, B. KASTEN, J. RAEBEL, S. HURTH, B. KREUTZBERGER, M. BENTZ, S. ROEBKEN, M. HATAS, S. BROHM, T. ROST, L. PAEGELOW, S. BEHRENS, J. BECKER, Y. DE TROYE, R. RIETER, J. BARELMANN, C. FRITZ, J. EBERHARDT, S. TEWS, C. THARMANN, S. KRAUS, E. EGGERT, J. BUCKLEY, J. BECKER, K. HATAS, L. MERLOCK, C. FILTER, J. KUYKEN, W. KLENNER, D. EBERHARDT, K. MANGOLD, B. KONRAD, A. MIXDORF, M. HILTY, S. HILLMANN, N. RINTELMAN, R. LOEBEL
INSTRUCTORS: WILLIAM LOEBEL, RALPH SWATEK, PAUL SWATEK
 
1961
    1961 was a busy season for the corps. They surprised a few people by taking second place in the preliminaries and fourth place in the finals at the first show of the season, in Wisconsin Rapids. The corps added a “crazy”  opening drum beat (as described by Colleen Vasey in Corps News). The color guard was almost completely new in 1961, and several new people were added to the horn line. The corps received new coveralls in 1961, and new jackets. The members purchased new sweatshirts...which were white with the “Mercury Foot” and corps name on the front. The corps had an overnighter to Menominee, Michigan and Appleton, where they stayed in the homes of local people.
    Rumors were floating around the corps world that the Thunderbolts might have new uniforms in 1962. Vasey reported “we hope they are true.”
    The drum major for 1961 was Joanne Wehe.
 
 Spring Serenade, Milwaukee, May 28th, ?, 40.2
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 25th exhibition
 Tournament of  Champions, Wisconsin Rapids, June  ?, 4th, ?
 Galaxy of Stars, East Troy, July 2nd, 5th, 75.45
 Badgerland Show, Madison, July 8th, 3rd, 73.2
 Horicon Marsh Days, Horicon, July 9th, 4th,75.3
 Starlite Fanfare, Plymouth, July 10th 25th, 4th, 74.6
 State American Legion, Waukesha, July 16th, ?, 70.7
 Wisconsin Spectacle of Music, South Milwaukee, July 22nd, 3rd, 73.15
 Serenade of Drums, Milwaukee, Aug. 5th, 8th, 50.3
 Kenosha County Fair, Kenosha, Aug. 11th, 4th, 55.3
 Kenosha Round Up, Kenosha, Aug. 12th, 5th, 79.23
 Drums in the North, Menominee, Michigan, August 18th, 3rd, 69.5
 Fiesta Musicana, Appleton, August 19th, 2nd, 78.5
 Fall Festival, Berlin, Sept. 16th, 2nd, 79.4
 
MERCURY THUNDERBOLTS 1961
DRUM MAJOR: JOANNE WEHE, CAROLINE DICKMANN, ANNE MARIE MIXDORF, JEAN RENNICKE, DOREEN KONRAD, ROBIN LOEBEL, THOMAS BAUER, JOHN VASEY, LORALIE VAN SLUYS, JOAN HEMLINGER, GLORIA VENEE, SUE FISCHER, BARBARA VIESSELMANN, DALE MUELLER, MARY LOU KRUEGER, COLLEEN VASEY, RICHARD  KREUZER, LOIS DALIEGE, PATRICIA SIGLER, NANCY EIFLER, BARBARA BOERGER, JANET BARELMANN, MARC EERNISSE, DON MARONDE, JOHN HADLER, DANIEL MEHLEIS, JOHN VAN KAMMEN, NEIL QUASS, EDWARD SIGLER, SANDY EGGERT, CAROLYN TEWS, EILEEN QUASS, SUE EERNISSE, WILLIAM DANNER, BETTY HERZIGER, NANCY JAMROSY, LANA RINTLEMANN, JO ANN HUGUNIN, PATTI LOOK, MARGARET CANFIELD, KAREN BRUEDERLE.
INSTRUCTORS: WILLIAM LOEBEL, RALPH SWATEK, PAUL SWATEK
 
 
1962
     During the summer of 1962, Mary Barrett, a reporter for a local newspaper, The Citizen, wrote a very nice article about the corps. The article described the hours of work which went into arranging a corps show...not only by the members, but also by the instructors and parents. She wrote about the judging system and some of the corps experiences. The article explained the importance of eating a good meal before competition. It was one of the reasons why the Thunderbolts had so few members faint after or during a show.
    According to the article, in 1962 the corps consisted of 13 boys and 33 girls. “That isn’t too good an average,” commented Loebel. “We could use more boys in the bugle section, not that the girls don’t do a fine job, but the judges seem to expect more from girl buglers than from boys, and let’s face it--- boys just have more lung power when it comes to blowing those horns.”
    To quote more from Barrett’s article:
    For a young corps, only organized 10 years ago, the Thunderbolts have created a tremendous amount of good will wherever they have gone. Their familiar white coveralls are welcome sights on the streets of any city or town they are competing in. They have always conducted themselves well, both on the field of competition and during their off hours.
     ...The corps are a junior corps, as distinguished from a senior corps; based on age. A junior corps member may be up to 21 years of age. This however, is not the case with the Thunderbolts...the rules for them say that a student may compete only the summer after their graduation from high school.
    This automatically makes it tougher on the Thunderbolts than on some of the other junior corps who do have members who are 21. ...It seems...that you just get a good corps trained when the seniors graduate and then play for one summer and then the process of building is repeated all over again.
    The corps had a fresh appearance that year as new uniforms were purchased. The pants were the familiar gray color, but white piping was added to the blue stripe. The major change was in the blouses, which were silver satin, with a red dickey and a red thunderbolt on the back. This was topped by the same blue shakos and red plumes. All members were required to wear v-necked t-shirts under the blouse, and, of course, to use sweat shields.
 
 At the Badgerland Drum Corps Association meetings, a young kid named Roman Blenski was just starting his own corps, The Imperials of St. Patricks. He remembered Mr. Loebel talking a lot at the meetings, but he also remembered that Loebel was still very interested in somehow combining band and drum corps. In some ways, Loebel was ahead of his time, for today, the line between bands and corps has grown very thin. Another innovation that Blenski remembered was the short arm swing, which he felt was first introduced by the Thunderbolts.
    At the end of the season, the banquet was held at “Johnny’s” in Sheboygan. The guest speaker was Harold M. Hughes, the County Clerk.  Winners of corps awards, voted by the members, were; Eileen Quass, Diane Behling, Lona Rintelman, Martha McPherson, and John Vasey.
    The corps published a souvenir booklet called Thunderbolt Flashes, which contained an excellent recap of each corps appearance. For example, from the 1962 book we learn that the new uniforms were worn for the first time on June 16-17 at Wisconsin Rapids. The corps placed sixth out of ten corps. They were just beneath the top Midwest corps. (Madison, Racine, St. Paul etc.) The corps took first at the American Legion State Contest in Oshkosh, and “barnstormed” the city upon their arrival home at 7:00 p.m., accompanied by police and fire trucks. They also competed against some Eastern Corps, St. Joseph of Batavia N.Y., and the Golden Bucaneers of Bridgeport Conn., at a show in Racine.
    Some of the music played in 1962 was Song of the Vagabonds, Conquest, Who, America the Beautiful Fanfare, Gather Round the Flag, You and the Night and the Music, Get Me to the Church On Time, Sentimental Journey, I'll Be Seeing You.
 
 A recap of 1962:
 Lions State Convention, Waukesha, parade only, 2nd.
 Tournament of  Champions, Wisconsin Rapids, June 16-17, 6th, 75.25
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 24th parade and exhibition
 Lion’s Holiday Fair, Brown Deer, June 30th, parade only 2nd
 Cheese Derby Days, Plymouth, June 30th, 1st, 82.8
 Whitewater 125th Anniversary, Whitewater, July 1st, 4th, 70.6
 July 4th, parades, Cedarburg and Sheboygan, 1st place in Sheboygan
 Kenosha Round Up, Kenosha, July 7th, 4th, 80.2
 State American Legion, Oshkosh, July 21-22, 1st, 91.95
 Wisconsin Spectacle of Music, South Milwaukee, July 28nd, 4th, ?, best appearing   corps in parade
 Starlite’s Competition, Milwaukee, Aug. 4th, 6th, 51.30
 Scout’s 35th Anniversary, Racine, Aug. 11th, 6th, 61.6
 Mardi Gras of Music, Riverview Park Chicago, Parade only
 Fiesta Musicana, Appleton, August 19th, 6th 73.8
 32nd Division Homecoming, Waupaca, Sept. 8th, parade only, standstill at
 King Veteran’s Hospital
 Harvest Festival, Berlin, Sept. 9th, parade only, exhibition after
 Wis.-Mich. Logger’s Convention, Ishpeming, Mich., Sept.15-16th, parade
 
1962 MERCURY THUNDERBOLTS
CORPS MAJOR, DIANE BEHLING, ASSISTANT MAJOR: KATHY HERCULES, COLOR GUARD SARGEANT: LONA RINTELMANN
COLOR GUARD: JODY BARTH, MARGARET CANFIELD, BEVERLY DEMARB, DEBBY WYLER, BETTY HERZIGER, JO ANN HUGUNIN, PATTY LOOK
DRUM SECTION: BARBARA BECKMANN, KATHY DEESH, CAROLYNE DICKMANN, DOREEN KONRAD, ROBIN LOEBEL, MARTHA McPHERSON, DALE MUELLER, SUE FISCHER, LINDA HOLZHAY
BUGLE SECTION: JANET BARELMANN, TOM BAUER, BARBARA BOERGER, KARIN BRUEDERLE, BILL DANNER, MARC EERNISSE, SUE EERNISSE, SANDY EGGERT, JANET EICKSTEDT, PRISCILLA FRITZ, DON GLICK, JOHN HADLER, MARY KREUGER, DICK KREUZER, WILLIAM LOEBEL, TOM MARKS, DON MARONDE, DANNY MEHLEIS, ANNE MIXDORF, KATHY O’NEIL, EILEEN QUASS, NEAL QUASS, JON VAN KAMMEN, LORLIE VAN SLUYS, COLLEEN VASEY, JOHN VASEY, KATHY WYLER
INSTRUCTORS: WILLIAM LOEBEL, RALPH AND PAUL SWATEK
 
1963
 
Besides his duties with the corps, band, and Music Festival, in 1963 Mr. Loebel took over the duties of chairman of the Badgerland Drum and Bugle Corps Association, the umbrella group which put together shows, arranged for judges, and oversaw the activities of all member corps. As chairman, he oversaw an overhaul of the organization.It was a tremendous undertaking, and Mrs. Loebel was upset as she saw less and less of her husband.
 
 The corps started out the season a bit shaky, as there were many rookies, but eventually rose to a higher level. Once again, they won the American Legion State Championship. The corps presented the Loebel’s a 25th Anniversary gift, and barnstormed the city upon their arrival home.
 
 The corps also had a “holiday” in Wisconsin Dells, where they made three appearances and were presented the key to the city. The mayor of the city, “Monk” Meinke was a good friend and former classmate of corps business manager Tom Vasey. After that, the corps made many trips through the Dells, and were always welcomed to the city.
 
 Mr. Kiekhaefer gave $6,500 to the St. Cloud, Forida High School Band, the location of one of his plants. In the letter to the band director, he pointed out the success of the Cedarburg Band and Thunderbolts Drum Corps for the Florida director to follow.
 
 The banquet was held on Saturday, November 16th at the Moonbi Inn in Germantown. Award winners were Bill Loebel, Barbara Boerger, Robin Loebel, Lona Rintelman and Don Maronde.
 
 The music for 1963 was much the same as 1962, with the addition of one unidentified song.
 
 Alice in Dairyland Parade, May 25th, parade only
 Tournament of  Champions, Wisconsin Rapids, June 21- 22, 7th, 63.6
 Spring Serenade, UW Milwaukee, June 23rd, color guard only appeared to present
 colors
 Miss Wisconsin Pageant, Oshkosh, June 29th, 5th, 70.1
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 30th parade and exhibition
 July 4th, parades, Cedarburg, Thiensville and Milwaukee ( first Circus Day parade)
 Drums in the North, Marinette, July 6th, 4th, 78.3
 Galaxy of Stars, East Troy, July 7th, 1st, 76.1
 Bugler’s Holiday, Ishpeming, July 13-14th, 2nd place tie, 87.4
 State American Legion, Madison, July 21-22, 1st, ?
 Bugles on Parade, Viroqua, July 27th, 3rd, 65.2
 Thunderbolt’s Holiday in Wisconsin Dells, July 28th
 Kenosha County Fair, Wilmot, Aug. 9th, 5th, 63.2
 Music on the March, Racine, Aug. 11th, 6th, 64.55
 Mardi Gras of Music, Riverview Park Chicago, Parade only, 1st place
 Fireman’s Musical Jamboree, Waterloo, Aug. 25th, 4th place tie, 76.8
 Labor Day, Watertown, Sept 2nd, parade only, 2nd,
 
1963 MERCURY THUNDERBOLTS
 
CORPS MAJOR: DIANE BEHLING, ASSISTANT MAJOR: KATHY HERCULES, COLOR GUARD SARGEANT: LONA RINTELMANN
COLOR GUARD: JODY BARTH, MARGARET CANFIELD, BEVERLY DEMARB, DEBBY WYLER, BETTY HERZIGER, JO ANN HUGUNIN, PATTY LOOK
DRUM SECTION: BARBARA BECKMANN, KATHY DEESH, CAROLYNE DICKMANN, DOREEN KONRAD, MARY MILBAUER, GAIL MIXDORF, DALE MUELLER, JOLLY WITTENBERG, LINDA HOLZHAY
BUGLE SECTION: BRUCE ANDERSON, TOM BAUER, BARBARA BOERGER, KARIN BRUEDERLE,  SUE EERNISSE, SANDY EGGERT, SUSAN HATAS, KATHY HERZIGER, BILL KLUG, MARY KREUGER, JOHN LAMMERS, LINDA LIVINGSTON, WILLIAM LOEBEL, DALE McDONALD,TOM MARKS, JAMES MARONDE, DANNY MEHLEIS, ANNE MIXDORF, KATHY O’NEIL, SHARON REUTER, TOM SCHOENFELDT, JON VAN KAMMEN, COLLEEN VASEY, JOHN VASEY, KATHY WYLER, EILEEN QUASS
INSTRUCTORS: WILLIAM LOEBEL, RALPH AND PAUL SWATEK
 
1964
 
 1964 was a year of great excitement for the corps, the band and the choir, as the entire Cedarburg High School Music Department scheduled a ten day trip to the World's Fair in New York City. Originally, plans called for the corps to compete in the VFW National Convention in Cleveland, but that did not work out. One hundred musicians and twenty chaperones traveled in three busses, accompianied by a new equipment truck.The tour consisted of a lot of sight seeing, and some exhibitions, but no corps contests. The accomodations were very good...no gyms or cots, but hotels with beds! The members were very well behaved, and the group reveived letters and compliments on their behavior and spirit.
 
 Under the direction of drum majors John Vasey, and Kathy Hercules, the corps was successful. This was the final year of affiliation with the Cedarburg school system. The corps became “independent,” which meant that for the first time, members could compete until their twenty-first birthday. It also meant that the corps could accept members who did not attend the Cedarburg schools.The corps consisted of 32 girls and fourteen boys that year.
 
 Winners of the corps awards at the annual banquet were Bruce Anderson, Eileen Quass, Dan Melhleis and Doreen Konrad.
 
 Tournament of Champions, Wisconsin Rapids, June 13th, 5th, 51.3
 Drum Corps Pageant, Hopkins, Minn., June 26th, 1st, 67.5
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 28th parade and exhibition
 July 4th, parade, Cedarburg,
 Fireman’s Jamboree, Columbus, July 4th, 2nd, 74.8
 Galaxy of Stars, East Troy, July 5th, 6th, 64.6
 Bugler’s Holiday, Ishpeming, July 8th, 5th, 59.2
 State American Legion, Wausau, July 17th, 2nd, 89.7
 Bugles on Parade, Viroqua, July 21st, 5th, 44.8
 Music on the March, Racine, Aug. 8th, 7th, 63.4
 New York trip:
 August 24th, travel, tour Kellog Co. plant in Battle Creek, Michigan
 August 25, tour Henry Ford Museum, travel to Toronto
 August 26, Corps performed standstill at Toronto Airport for Kiekhaefer executives,
 visit to Canadian National Exposition
 August 27, travel to Niagra Falls and Albany
 August 28, arrive New York City, tour city
 August 29, Corps performed at the World’s Fair
 August 30, Band and Choir performed at the World’s Fair
 August 31, Depart for Philadelphia, short tour, depart for Gettysburg, short tour,   arrive in Pittsburgh
 September 1, travel all day to Elkhart Indiana,
 September 2, tour Conn instrument Co., the groups were recorded, depart for    Riverview Park, parade, depart and arrive in Cedarburg
 
 A list of corps members was not available. The instructors for 1964 were William Loebel, Ralph Swatek and Mary Beenken on drums.
 
 
1965
 
 In January of 1965, the corps split amicably from the school. New rules and regulatiuons were drawn up, and are partially reproduced here.
 
 RULES AND REGULATIONS: The corps published rules for its members. Here is a list of some of them:
 
 Be honest, trustworthy and loyal to the corps.
 
 The appearance of the Corps sould be neat at all times. Apparel of the day should be designated by the chaperones. Personal appearance is important.
 
 The use of alcoholic beverages will be strictly forbidden at all Corps activities. NO SMOKING in uniforms or while on the bus.
 
 Profanity and vulgar acts will not be tolerated.
 
 No Corps member will go off alone while on a trip. In mixed company, there must be at least five in the group of which two must be either boys or girls.
 
 Ungentlemanly and unladylike conduct at any time will be subject to reasonable disciplinary action by joint action of the chaperones.
 
 Remain in assigned bus seats unless you receive permission to change.
 
 NO AEROSAL BOMBS MAY BE USED ON THE BUS AT ANY TIME.
 
 ALL CORPS MEMBERS MUST TRAVEL AS A UNIT.
 
 Departure time will be established by the Business manager. Curfew time will be determined by the chaperones together with the Corps Director, and will be enforced by the chaperones.
 
 Any infraction of the rules will result in necessary disciplinary action and including dismissal from the corps.
 
 ATTENDANCE AT ALL CORPS ACTIVITIES IS MANDATORY AT ALL TIMES, UNLESS PREVIOUSLY EXCUSED BY THE CORPS DIRECTOR.
 
 The 1965 Thunderbolt Flashes indicated that this was a fun filled year. The corps participated in a record number of contests and parades. The corps began a program to replace the bugles, and several new sopranoes were purchased. Some of the more memorable experiences were: surprise wedding appearance at drum instructor Joe Laspisa’s nuptials; making their own dressing rooms when the corps was locked out of the high school, the first overnighter at Ephriam, where many people went swimming, clothes and all; a parade in Lake Mills, followed by a parade in Sun Prairie, then returning home for Music Festival the following day; buying cowboy hats in Manawa; shaving cream in Park Falls; plenty of free meals; and flying the corps flag at the school in Monroe.
 
 The music for 1965 was; Fanfare, National Emblem March, America the Beautiful Fanfare/ Columbia Gem of the Ocean, Saturday Night, Night Train, ?, Get Me To The Church on Time, Climb Every Mountain, I'll Be Seeing You.
 
 
 Memorial Day, Arlington Heights, Ill., parade, May 30th
 Wedding Special, Milwaukee, June 5th
 Spring Serenade, Milwaukee, June 13th, 4th place
 Fyre Ball Special, Ephriam, June 19-21, parade and standstill
 Town and Country Days, Lake Mills, June 26th, parade
 Alice in Dairyland Show, Sun Prairie, June 26th, parade
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 27th parade and exhibition
 Rodeo Days, Manawa, Wis., July 3rd, parade and standstill
 Fireman’s Celebration, Columbus, July 4th,
 July 5th, Cedarburg Parade and off day
 Drums on Parade, Madison, July 10th, 5th in prelims, eliminated, afternoon parade
 Legion Celebration, Grafton, July 11th, parade and standstill
 State American Legion, Waukesha, July 17th and 18th, 5th
 Tournament of Champions, Wisconsin Rapids, July 24th, 5th, tie with EauClaire   Boys
 Horicon Marsh Days, Horicon, July 25th, parade and standstill
 Flambeau-Rama, Park Falls, July 31-August 1, 1st, Monday standstill and day in the  Dells
 Sweet Applewood Festival, Cudahy, August 7th, parade only, 1st place
 Music on the March, Racine, Aug. 14th, 3rd in morning show
 Homecoming and Corn Roast, Marion, Wis., Aug. 15th, parade and standstill
 Drums in the Night, Rhinelander, Aug. 21st, 5th
 Fall Festival, Berlin, Aug. 22nd, parade and standstill
 Tournament of Music, Riverview Park, Chicago, Aug. 31st, 1st in parade
 Labor Day, Rhinelander, Sept 6th, parade and standstill,
 Labor Day, Ontanogan, Mich., Sept 7th, 3rd
 Labor Day, Merrill, Sept. 8th, 4th place
 Cheese Festival, Monroe, Sept. 18-19th, third place, huge parade on Sunday
 
1965 MERCURY THUNDERBOLTS
 
CORPS MAJOR, JOHN VASEY COLOR GUARD SARGEANT: BETTY HERZIGER,
COLOR GUARD: BETTY CRAMER, MARY KAY CRAMER, SHERRY CROWLEY, DONNA HEIDTKE, SUZANNE GROTH, JOY SMITH, JANE ULIK
DRUM SECTION: KATHY ANDERSON, KRISSIE ANDERSON, SUE BARTH, LYNNE BRUEGGEMANN, DENNIS DREBLOW, CHRISTINE FISCHER, MARY FORNCROOK, RICHARD KREUZER, GAIL MIXDORF, LINDA NISLEIT, BEVERLY RAPPOLD
BUGLE SECTION: BRUCE ANDERSON, JOAN ARMBRUSTER, NORAH BARRTT, TOM BAUER, WALTER BRUEDERLE, GORDON DREBLOW, PAM FIEDLER, SUSAN HATAS, KATHY HERZIGER, EILEEN KRESSIN, KARL KREUZER, MIKE KREUGER, MORRIS KULCINSKI, LINDA LIVINGSTON, TOM MARKS, DON MARONDE, DANNY MEHLEIS, ROBERT MEYER, CRAIG NICHOLS, NEAL QUASS, RON RAPPOLD, SHARON REUTER, MARY SCHOENKNECHT, WADE SMITH, DON ULIK, MIKE WEBER
INSTRUCTORS: WILLIAM LOEBEL, JAMES BARRETT, JOSEPH LASPISA, ROBERT AYERS, ROGER BUTT
 
1966
 
1966 was a year when most of the corps members were rookies. Of the 46 members, 17 were brand new. In addition, the corps was a bit smaller than years before. It was remembered as the year when the corps did not win a single parade or contest. Despite the poor record, there was a lot of spirit, and the members had fun. Several new soprano bugles were purchased. The drum line went on strike early in the year, and a new instructor, Jim Nordgren, a member of the Kilties, was brought on board to bring up the scores. The corps members bought new traveling uniforms...powder blue shorts and shirts. At Park Falls, the corps came the closest ever to winning that season, but took second place to the Chordaliers of Milwaukee. The only corps they could consistently beat was the Shoreliners of Kenosha. There were plenty of overnighters. The big shaving cream initiation threatened for Pine Island, Minnesota never took place. “We Like It Here” buttons were distributed at parades. The exit song was still “I’ll Be Seeing You.” The banquet was held at the Belgium Community Center, where the members performed a hilarious skit, and Dennis Dreblow made a special appearance.
 
  The 1966 music included; Fanfare, National Emblem March, America the Beautiful Fanfare/ Columbia Gem of the Ocean, Saturday Night, Bye Bye Blues/ Tiajuana Taxi,  ?, Get Me To The Church on Time, Green Berets, Climb Every Mountain, I'll Be Seeing You.
 
 Construction Industry, Milwaukee, April 30th, parade only
 Lion’s Convention, Green Bay, May 21st, parade only
 Summer Preview, Wauwatosa, June 4th, 6th place, 33.6
 Jaycee’s Summer Festival, Fond Du Lac, June 11th, parade and exhibition
 125th Anniversary, Beaver Dam, June 11th, last place,
 Cheese Festival, Pine Island, Minn., June 18-19, 3rd place
 Amvets State Convention, June 25th, parade only
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 26th, parade and exhibition
 Cavalcade of Drums, Mayville, July 2nd, parade and exhibition
 Jaycees Festival, Grafton, July 3rd, parade and standstill
 Cedarburg Parade, July 4th parade
 Fireman’s Celebration, Columbus, July 4th,7th place place
 Miss Wisconsin Pageant, Oshkosh, July 5th, parade and standstill
 Drums on Parade, Madison, July 9th, eliminated in prelims, afternoon parade
 Music Round Up, Kenosha, July 10th, 7th place
 State American Legion, Eau Claire, July 16- 17th, 9th place
 Port Fish Days, Port Washington,July 30th, 7th, 40.0
 Dousman Derby Days, Dousman, August 6th, 5th place
 Sweet Applewood Festival, Cudahy, August 7th, parade only, 1st place
 Flambeau-Rama, Park Falls, August 7th, 2nd place
 Goodwill Day, Wisconsin Dells, exhibition at Camp Waubeek
 Silver Echoes Pageant, Munising, Mich., August 13th, 3rd place
 Homecoming and Corn Roast, Marion, Wis., August 14th, 4th place
 Drums in the Night, Rhinelander, Aug. 20st, 4th place
 Corn Festival, Loyal, Aug. 21st, parade and standstill
 Tournament of Music, Riverview Park, Chicago, Aug. 23rd, parade
 Drums on the Chippewa, Eau Claire, August 27th, 5th place
 Barron’s Bonanza, Barron, August 28th, 5th place
 Drums Under the Stars, Ontonagon, Mich.,  Sept 4th, 5th place
 Labor Day Festival, Merrill, Sept. 5th, 5th place
 Diamond Jubilee, Wisconsin Dells, Sept. 11th, parade and standstill
 Wonderful Wisconsin Week, Oshkosh, Sept. 18th, parade and standstill
 
 
MERCURY THUNDERBOLTS, 1966
 
DRUM MAJOR: DON ULIK, COLOR GUARD SARGEANT: SUZANNE GROTH, DRUM MAJOR: MARGIE KRAMER,
DRUM SECTION: DENNIS DREBLOW, JOHN KRAMER, LYNN BREUGEMANN, BEV RAPPOLD, LINDA NISLEIT, SUSAN BARTH, KATHY ANDERSON, GAIL MIXDORF,  SUE DREBLOW, CHRIS KREUGER,
BUGLE SECTION: MIKE KREUGER, TOM MARKS, GORDY DREBLOW, WADE SMITH, GARY KIEBZAK, JOHN KREUTZBERGER, JOHN SCHOENKNECHT, DAVID POKER,    JAMES WHITE, MARY ANN SCHOENKNECHT, NORAH BARRETT, SUSAN HATAS, ROBERT KRAMER, LINDA DEMERATH, LINDA ZAHN, TOM KIEBZAK, KARL KREUZER, TOM GUERICKI, PAM FIEDLER, KRIS ANDERSON, JANE ULIK, JOAN ARMBRUSTER, MARY FIEDLER, CHRIS FISCHER,
COLOR GUARD: BETTY KRAMER, DONNA EERNISEE, DONNA HEIDTKE, PATTI EIDENBERGER, CINDY ZAHN, MARY KAY KRAMER, BARB FARSHING, NANCY ZEUNERT. KATHY MEIN
INSTRUCTORS: WILLIAM LOEBEL, JAMES BARRETT, JOSEPH LASPISA, JIM NORDGREN, ROGER BUTT
 
1967
 
 Because of the poor showing in 1966, it was harder to find competitions for the corps in 1967. Still, the schedule was full. The corps increased dramatically in size, enlarging to 65 members and two busses! Four new lower voice bugles were purchased. In order to have enough uniforms, the drum line wore red berets, and the new 20 member color guard wore the old blue cummberbunds from the pink blouse days. The corps was more successful, but still did not win a contest.
 
 Mr. Loebel got into an arguement with a young corps director named Roman Blenski over the use of a practice field in Port Washington. He then told everyone to “stay away from those ‘bee bops’ from St. Patricks.” That, of course, meant that most of the females immediately flocked around the “troublemakers” from the Milwaukee corps. Towards the end of the season, several members were kicked out of the corps for mooning out the back of the bus on I-94. The State troopers who stopped the bus were not very pleased, nor was Mr. Loebel.
 
 The fifteenth anniversary of the corps was celebrated by a display of trophies and flags at the banquet, again held at the Moonbi Inn in Germantown.
 
 The 1967 music included; Fanfare, The Great Race, Green Berets, Bye Bye Blues/ Tiajuana Taxi,  ?, You and the Night and the Music, Climb Every Mountain, I'll Be Seeing You.
 
 
 Lion’s Convention, West Allis, May 20th, parade only
 Speed Day, Milwaukee, June 3rd, parade only
 Summer Preview, Waukesha, June 3rd,
 Fireman’s Celebration, Newburg, June 4th, parade
 Alyce in Dairyland, Green Bay, June 10th, parade only
 Bugles on Parade, Viroqua, June 17th
 Lion’s Celebration, Brown Deer, June 24th, parade only
 Amvets State Convention, Sheboygan June 24th, parade only
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 26th, parade and exhibition
 Conntinentals Strike Up The Band Milwaukee Co. Stadium, June 28th, exhibition
 Four Score Anniversary, Marshfield, July 1st, parade and exhibition
 Galaxy of Stars, East Troy, July 2nd, parade
 Jaycees Festival, Grafton, July 3rd, parade and standstill
 Cedarburg Parade, July 4th, parade
 Fireman’s Celebration, Columbus, July 4th,
 Drums on Parade, Madison, July 8th, eliminated in prelims, afternoon parade
 Fireman’s Celebration, Kewaskum, July 9th, parade and standstill
 State American Legion, Madison, July 15- 16th,
 Tournament of Champions, Wisconsin Rapids, July 22nd
 Celebration, Mukwonago, July 23rd, parade and exhibition
 Port Fish Days, Port Washington, July 29th,
 Horicon Marsh Days, July 30th, parade
 125th Celebration, Cedarburg, parade
 Sweet Applewood Festival, Cudahy, August 5th, parade
 Tournament of Music, Riverview Park, Chicago, Aug. 23rd, parade
 Young America Week, State Fair Park, August 26th, parade and standstill
 Good Neighbor Festival, Middleton, Aug. 27th
 St. Francis Days, Sept. 2nd, parade
 Labor Day Festival, Wausau, Sept. 3rd
 Labor Day Competition, Merrill, Sept. 4th
 CHS Football Game, Sept. 15th
 Kiekhaefer Open House, Sept. 17th
 
 
MERCURY THUNDERBOLTS 1967
 
CORPS MAJORS: DON ULIK AND MARGIE KRAMER, COLOR GUARD SERGEANT: SUZANNE GROTH
DRUM SECTION: BILL STRUHAR, JOHN KRAMER, DENNIS DREBLOW, CHRIS KREUGER, DAVID TOWN, BRUCE MASSARO, RANDY GIBBONS, JUDY WOLTRING, GAIL MIXDORF, SUSAN BARTH, KEVIN HUGHES, ROBERT  KRAMER
COLOR GUARD:  KATHY MEIN, BETTY KRAMER, SUE DREBLOW, SHARON NEHBASS JAN BOESE, DONNA EERNISSEE, DONNA HEIDTKE, BARB FARSHING, PATTI EIDENBERGER, JANE ULIK, JULIE WESTPHAL, PATTI FRANK, JACKI LAACK, CINDY ZAHN, KATHY BRUEGGEMANN, KATHY RINK, JILL SWANSON, DELPHINE UTKE
BUGLES: LINDA DEMERATH, NORAH BARRETT, MIKE KREUGER, KERRY NICHOLS, DENNIS HUGHES, TOM HILSBERG, BRIAN MASSARO, JAMES MUELLER, KARL KREUZER, JAMES MARTIN, JEFF TOWN, JAMES WHITE, JAY GREATHOUSE, TOM GUERICKI, JOAN ARMBRUSTER, CHRIS FISCHER, PAM FIEDLER, CAROL ULIK, MARY FIEDLER, LEO BRUEDERLE, MARK SMITH, TOM BADURA, DAVID GROTH, JOHN KREUTZBERGER, DAVID POKER, MARY ANN SCHOENKNECHT, JOHN SCHOENKNECHT, DENNIS RENNICKE, BILL KREUTZBERGER, RAY COMMONS, CHUCK WALSH JR.
INSTRUCTORS: WILLIAM LOEBEL, JAMES BARRETT, LARRY NEWSOM, JAMES NORDGREN, RON CARR, RICHARD KREUZER
 
1968
 
 For Mr. Loebel, 1968 was his last year as director. He retired mid-way through the year. It was a tense period. Membership in the corps dropped dramatically as students decided they wanted to do other things. Many years of hard living were catching up with Mr. Loebel. He was 57 years old, and perhaps he did not possess the ambition he used to have. There were arguements between members and the director at rehearsals. It all came to a head at a Music Parents meeting when it was announced that Mr. Loebel was retiring as head of the corps. This was not an easy decision, but after 15 1/2 years of leadership, Mr. Loebel decided that it was time for someone else to carry on.
 
 Mr. Loebel’s resignation letter was short and terse. “As of 3/7/68 I will resign as Corps Director of the Mercury Thunderbolts because of the unsatisfaction of the Schoenknecht’s son and daughter, etc. and a few others who were influenced by them.” The Schoenknecht’s Loebel referred to were myself and my sister. We wrote letters to Mrs. John Rennicke, who was serving as president of the Music Parents. Others followed suit. For my sister and I, it was an agonizing decision. We liked Mr. Loebel, but we didn’t like what was happening to the corps. Looking back, there probably would have been better ways to handle the situation, but something needed to be done. We were young and idealistic, and did not understand Mr. Loebel. Credit should be given to the Music Parents who listened to the members of the corps, and believed us. They also gave every consideration to Mr. Loebel, and discussed the situation with him. It was a horrible mess.
 
 The corps almost did not survive. For awhile, the instructors considered having only a parade corps. A search for a new director was conducted, and in April, Walter Ulekowski of Milwaukee was appointed director. Ulekowski had marched in the National Champion Skokie Indians. He had three children who were all members of the Imperials of St. Patrick’s in Milwaukee. Since they were already committted to that corps for the 1968 season, they finished it out, but by 1969 they were members of the Thunderbolts.
 
 1968 was a strange year. Most of the music was already written, but Ulekowski arranged for some different charts, and for the first time the corps was playing music not arranged by Loebel. Dave Richards and Ken Norman were the new arrangers. Ulekowski took over as horn instructor. Membership rebounded a little, and the corps almost won some contests.The season was one of hope...and as it concluded, all eyes and hearts looked forward to 1969...Mr. Ulekowski’s words of inspiration were “All I want is 11 minutes and 30 seconds of YOU,” and “Let’s take it home!”
 
 A meeting which decided the fate of the Thunderbolts was held on July 24th, 1968 at the John Rennicke home. The season was only half completed, yet a group of concerned parents decided to discuss future plans for the corps. Present were Mr. and Mrs. Walter Town, Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Frank, Mrs. Wm. Evans, Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Westphal, Mrs. Al Eidenberger, Mr. Wilmer Mixdorf, Mr. Marvin Groth, Mr. Tom Vasey, Mr. Walter Ulekowski, and Mr. and Mrs. John Rennicke. Three questions were presented...What do we want to do?, Who is going to do it?, and How are we going to do it?.
 
 The conversation lasted for hours, but the parents, under the leadership of Ulekowski, decided that they wanted to move the corps from a youth activity to a competitive drum corps. This involved increasing the activities the corps was involved in, increasing the membership, and hiring more and better qualified instructors. It also meant that more busses would be needed, as well as a new equipment truck, more bugles, and new uniforms. The budget had to be doubled from the $12,700 required in 1968. A new structure for the corps leadership was required, and this included a business manager, a corps manager, a coordinator of chaperones, a treasurer.
 
 The group decided to remain a part of the Music Parents, and file an annual report with them. The decision caused some problems, however, as the School Board soon decided to charge the corps for using the high school music rooms. Eventually, through the efforts of Tom Vasey, the corps was sponsored in part by the Cedarburg Recreation Department, and was able to use facilities at the old grade school. (That is how Thunderbolt Hall was born.)
 
 The plans were finalized, and presented to the parents on August 9th, 1968, at a meeting again held at the Rennicke’s home.
 
 At the corps banquet, held at the Cedarburg Firehouse, Mr. Loebel presented a history of the corps. He brought along a photograph of the first corps, and at the end of his speech, he received a loud and long standing ovation.
 
 Songs: March of the Toy Soldiers, “Steal #1” also known as “A Dirty Song," Great Race, Bloody Mary, South Pacific Medley, Flamingo, arranged by Ken Norman, Climb Every Mountain, and I’ll Be Seeing You. For the final song, the corps’ signature song, it was to be the last year.
 
 Jaycee State Convention, West Allis,May 17th, parade only
 Work Camp, Columbus, May25-26th
 Fireman’s Celebration, Newburg, June 2nd, parade
 Flag Day Parade, Fond Du Lac, June 14th, parade only
 Summer Preview, Waukesha, June 15th
 National Flag Day Celebration, Waubeka, June 16th parade
 VFW Parade, Hartford, June 23rd,
 Lion’s Celebration, Brown Deer, June29th, parade only
 VFW State Convention, West Allis, June 29th
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 30th, parade and exhibition
 Freedom Shrine Dedication, Capitol Court, July 3rd
 Jaycees Festival, Grafton, July 3rd, parade and standstill
 Cedarburg Parade, July 4th, parade
 Fireman’s Celebration, Columbus, July 4th,
 Drums on Parade, Madison, July 8th, eliminated in prelims, afternoon parade
 Plymouth Fireman’s Centennial, July 6th, parade and exhibition
 Galaxy of Starts, East Troy, July 7th
 Hey Dey Celebration, Clintonville, July 14th, parade and exhibition
 State American Legion, Appleton, July 20-21st
 Port Fish Days, Port Washington, July 27th,
 Horicon Marsh Days, July 28th, parade
 Outdoor Theatre Exhibition, Grafton, July 28th
 Drums in the Night, Rhinelander, Aug. 3rd
 Fantasia, Austin, Minn. Aug. 4th
 Camp Wau Beek, Wisconsin Dells, exhibition, Aug. 5th,
 Grafton Legion Parade, Aug.11th
 Stock Car Races, Cedarburg, exhibition, Aug. 21st
 Young America Week, State Fair Park, August 24th, parade and standstill
 Good Neighbor Festival, Middleton, Aug. 25th
 Fanfare on the Fox, Oshkosh, Aug.31st
 Legion Celebration, Marathon, Sept. 1st
 Labor Day Competition, Merrill, Sept. 2nd
 Wild West Days, Mazomainie, Sept. 15th, parade
 Wo Za Wa Fall Festival, Wis. Dells, Sept. 22nd
 CHS Football Game, Sept. 27th
 
MERCURY THUNDERBOLTS 1968
 
CORPS MAJORS: KATHY BRUEGGEMANN, JULIE WESTPHAL COLOR GUARD SARGEANT: SUZANNE GROTH
DRUM SECTION: CHRIS BATES, KELLY BREUGGEMANN, DENNIS DREBLOW, VICKI ERNST, JODI EVANS, MIKE GLEISBERG, KEVIN HUGHES, JOHN KNEPEL, CHRIS KREUGER, DAVID TOWN, BRUCE MASSARO, GAIL MIXDORF, AL MORGAN,
COLOR GUARD:  JERRI BARTH, SUE DREBLOW, DONNA EERNISSEE,PATTI EVANS,  DONNA HEIDTKE, BARB FARSHING, PATTI FRANK, PATTI EIDENBERGER, JILL HEMBEL, LINDA HUGDAHL, DIANE KARRAKER, JANE ULIK, JACKI LAACK, CINDY ZAHN, CINDY LEON, KAREN SCHULTZ, PAMELA TAMSEN, DELPHINE UTKE, CLAIRE ZINDLER
BUGLES: PAUL BAILEY, NORAH BARRETT, LEO BRUEDERLE, LINDA DEMERATH, PENNY EIDENBERGER, CHRIS FISCHER, JAY GREATHOUSE, DAVID GROTH, DENNIS HUGHES, JANICE KLUG, JOHN KREUTZBERGER, BILL KREUTZBERGER, KARL KREUZER, MIKE KREUGER, BRIAN MASSARO, JO ANNE MEYER, KERRY NICHOLS,    DAVID POKER, DENNIS RENNICKE, COLLEEN RENNICKE, MARY SCHOENKNECHT, JOHN SCHOENKNECHT, JEFF TOWN, CAROL ULIK,ROBERT WALTERS, CINDY WEISSE, MONICA ZINDLER
INSTRUCTORS: WALTER ULEKOWSKI, LARRY NEWSOM, JAMES NORDGREN, RON CARR
 
1969
 
 The corps grew in experience and numbers. The color guard was enlarged to 24 flag carriers, and there weren’t enough uniforms to go around. A sewing committee made what were affectionately or not so affectionately called the “gray potato sacks.” The whole corps sold Kathryn Beich’s candy, and a new set of bugles was purchased, including three contra basses! We had some new instructors, who yelled at us a lot, but who also taught us lots of new things. When trying out horn instructors, one “Smokey” from Milwaukee commented that she could fart louder than someone played. The next week a young man named Bill Schultz stood at the head of the horn line, and he became the new instructor. “Follow me,” he said, “I’ll lead you to great things.” Schultz, an ex-Racine Kiltie fell in love with the corps, and he even marched with us.
 
 We met “Uncle” Lenny Pierkarsky from Illinois, who wrote our drill, and Tom Colla who taught us how to march.
 
 For the first time since 1965, the corps won a contest, and in Franksville, Wisconsin, when the Mercury Thunderbolt name was called last, a wild celebration erupted on the field. The next time the corps won, we were ordered to be more disciplined. What an exciting season!
 
 For the first time in many years, the corps beat the Madison Scouts, who were having an off year. But to those veterans who had struggled for years, and who remembered only being able to beat the Shoreliners, it was a marvelous feeling.
 
 Mayor Stephan Fischer declared the corps as “Cedarburg’s Goodwill Ambassadors.”
 
 The music was a mixture of Dave Richards, Bill Schultz, and Cecil Austin tunes; Speak Not a Word, A Flag Presentation Medley of Rally Round the Flag, America, and Battle Hymn of the Republic, Classical Gas/Scarborough Fair, Say a Little Prayer For Me, and To Sir With Love.
 
 Loyalty Day Parade, Milwaukee, April 26th, parade
 Neisi Ambassadors, Chicago, exhibition, April 26th
 State Lions Convention, Lake Delton, May 24th
 Memorial Day Parade, Milwaukee, VFW appearance, May 30th, 2nd
 Kiltie Kadet Show, Franksville, May 31st, 1st
 Fireman’s Celebration, Newburg, June 2nd, parade
 Mariner’s Show, Greendale, June 8th, 3rd
 Alice in Dairyland, Fond Du Lac, June 14th
 National Flag Day Celebration, Waubeka, June 15th parade
 Miss Wisconsin Pageant, Oshkosh, June 16th, parade
 Walnut Days, Walnut Ill, June 21st, 3rd “sponsored by Avanti Foods”
 VFW Parade, Hartford, June 22nd,1st, parade
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 30th, parade and exhibition
 Jaycees Festival, Grafton, July 3rd, parade and standstill
 Cedarburg Parade, July 4th, parade
 Fireman’s Celebration, Columbus, July 4th,1st
 Galaxy of Stars, East Troy, July 7th, 2nd
 Hawkeye Show, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 12th, 4th
 Rhythm in Motion, Waterloo, Iowa, July 13th, 4th
 State American Legion, Milkwaukee, July 18th, parade on July 19th “State    Champions”
 Spectacle of Music, South Milwaukee, July 19th, 11th
 Marquis Show, Fond Du Lac, July 26th, 1st
 Grafton Legion Parade, July 27th
 Outdoor Theatre Exhibition, Grafton, July 28th
 Juneau County Fair, Mauston, Aug. 3rd, 1st
 Drums in the Night, Rhinelander, Aug.16th,1st
 Camp American Legion, Lake Tomahawk, Aug. 17th, exhibition
 Good Neighbor Festival, Middleton, Aug. 24th, 3rd
 Fanfare on the Fox, Oshkosh, Aug.30th 2nd
 Legion Celebration, Marathon, Aug. 31st
 Labor Day Competition, Merrill, Sept. 1st, 1st
 Lions Club Community Festival, Mukwonago, Sept 7th
 Provisio Township Bataan Day Pageant, Maywood Ill, Sept. 14th
 Pro Football’s 50th Anniversary, Green Bay, Sept. 20th.( Immortalized on NFL film)
 Cedarburg High School Half Time, Sept. 26th
 
MERCURY THUNDERBOLTS 1969
 
CORPS MAJORS: DONNA EERNISSE, WILLIAM SCHULTZ COLOR GUARD SARGEANT: SUZANNE GROTH
DRUM SECTION: CHRIS BATES, JOHN BROECKER, KELLY BREUGGEMANN, DENNIS DREBLOW, TOM FRANK, KEVIN HUGHES, KEN JACOBY, DAVID KROLL,BRUCE MASSARO, ALAN MORGAN, PAUL RENNICKE, TODD STEPHENS, DAVID TOWN, JIM WIESMUELLER
COLOR GUARD: JERI BARTH, KATHY BRUEGGEMANN, LORA CASPER, ELLEN CENSKY, LINDA DEPIES, MARGIE DIMICK, ELLEN DUSTRUDE, KAREN DUSTRUDE, CHRIS EHR, VICKI ERNST,  BARB FARSHING, MARY FRANK, DONNA HEINO, LINDA HUGDAHL, MARY HUGDAHL,PAULETTE JACOBY, LORI KELLN, CINDY KOPPLIN, CHRIS LEON CINDY LEON, DIANE LINSLEY, NANCY NORENE, TERI NORENE, HELEN MENTZEL, JANE SCHOENKNECHT, KAREN SCHULTZ, CINDY SCHROEDER, KATHRYN ULEKOWSKI, NANCY WOLLNER, CINDY ZAHN, CLAIRE ZINDLER
BUGLES: PAUL BAILEY, LEO BRUEDERLE, ROBERT CLARK, DAVID DUSTRUDE, PENNY EIDENBERGER, CHRIS FISCHER, DAVID GROTH, MIKE HALLARON, DENNIS HUGHES, JIM JACOBY, THOMAS KIEBZAK, JOHN KREUTZBERGER, BILL KREUTZBERGER, KARL KREUZER, TONI MASSARO, JO ANNE MEYER, BRUCE MEYER, KERRY NICHOLS,    PENNY NICHOLAS,DAVID POKER, DENNIS RENNICKE, COLLEEN RENNICKE, MARY SCHOENKNECHT, JOHN SCHOENKNECHT, WILLIAM SCHULTZ, TIM STEIN, LARRY TEWS, JOHN ULEKOWSKI, MIKE ULEKOWSKI, JEFF TOWN, CAROL ULIK, ROBERT  WALTERS, MONICA ZINDLER
INSTRUCTORS: WILLIAM A. SCHULTZ, JAMES NORDGREN, DON SUKUP, RON CARR, LEONARD PIEKARSKI, TOM COLLA
DIRECTOR: WALTER ULEKOWSKI
 
1970
 
 The success of 1969 meant that the corps looked to bigger and better things in 1970. First and foremost were the new uniforms. The basic design came from an idea submitted by Dennis Dreblow and John Schoenknecht, which was blue pants, red cummberbund and a white jacket with red piping and chrome buttons. The uniform committee added a fitting touch...a red thunderbolt on each sleeve. The same sparkling blue shakos and red plumes were worn.
 
 The corps changed its name to the Thunderbolts of Cedarburg. Kiekhaefer’s sponsorship had dwindled. In 1966-69 small donations had been received from the union at the plant, but corporate sponsorship had virtually dried up.
 
 This was the year that the corps made significant strides in the quest to improve. The difference in sound was dramatic. The horn and drum lines played much more difficult music, and the drill manuevers were also improved and more difficult. The corps was unarguably the fourth best corps in the state, right beneath the Kilties, Madison Scouts and Blue Stars.
 
 It was also the first time the corps competed on a national level in many years, appearing at the VFW National Convention in Miami, Florida. The corps traveled to Louisiana and Florida, competing in the viscious southern heat. They finished out of the top twelve, but not by much.
 
 It was a year of ups and downs, as the corps took first place in Columbus, and the very next night, a corps which it had beat by15 points defeated them. Mr U. told the members they would have to take the longest walk of their lives, past the other corps dressing rooms. “Hold your heads up high and don’t say a word.” There was a mid-season slump, but by the end of the season, the corps was back in form.
 
 The corps also had fun, and Tim Stein added his own little bit of showmanship as he skipped off the field following his solo.
 
 For the first time ever, the corps graduated three members who marched until their 21st birthday year. They were Dennis Dreblow, Barbara Farshing and Jeff Town. They each received a “black beret” for their final show, and were honored at the banquet, held at the firehouse.
 
 Score for 1970: Impressions of the New West, 1812 Overture, Promises Promises, Classical Gas/Scarbourough Fair, ( which was added after the first few shows...to replace Love and Peace), Pagliacci...more affectionately known as No More Rice Krispies, and Stone Soul Picnic.
 
 St, Matthias Winter Show, Milwaukee, Feb. 7
 Kiltie Kadet Show, Racine, Feb. 21
 Kingsmen Loyaly Day Concert, Kenosha, April 19th, NEW UNIFORMS!
 Loyalty Day Parade, Milwaukee, May 2nd, parade
 A. O. Smith VFW, Milwaukee, May 17th, standstill
 Memorial Day Parade, Milwaukee, VFW appearance, May 30th,
 Kingsmen Concourse of Champions, Kenosha, May 30, 50.4
 Belvidere Rhaposdy Show, Belvidere, Ill, May 31st, 5th, 63.35
 Mississippi Rhapsody Show, La Crosse, June 6th
 Fireman’s Celebration, Newburg, June 7th, parade
 Parade, Whitefish Bay, June 13
 Cavaliers Contest, Chicago, June 13th, exhibition
 Aqua Fest, Rice Lake, June 14th
 State VFW, Green Bay, June 27th, 4th in Class A
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 28th,
 Boys of “76 Contest, Racine, July 3rd, 5th
 Cedarburg Parade, July 4th, parade
 Fireman’s Celebration, Columbus, July 4th, 1st
 Cavalcade of Drums, Mayville, July 5th, 2nd
 North American Show, Milwaukee, July 11th, 19th in prelims
 Harness Races, Cedarburg, July 12th
 State American Legion, Milwaukee, July 17th,
 Spectacle of Music, South Milwaukee, July 18th, 9th in prelims, 6th finals
 Port Fish Days, Port Washington, July 25th, 2nd
 Northwest Festival, Milwaukee, July 26th, 1st
 Stock Car Races, Cedarburg, July 29th
 Ill Association Championship, Bradley, Ill., Aug 1st, 7th
 Fireman’s Picnic, Fox Lake, Aug. 2nd
 Ozaukee County Fair, Cedarburg, Aug. 2nd
 VFW, Cedarburg, Aug. 8th
 Night of Splendor, Fond Du Lac, Aug. 8th, 1st place tie
 Southern Rebels Contest, Metairie, La., Aug 13th, 2nd
 Stardusters Contest, Arabi, La., Aug. 14th, 1st
 Diamond Contest, Pensacola, Fla., Aug. 15th, 2nd
 VFW Nationals, Miami, Fla., Aug. 17th, 18th, 78.2
 State Fair Pageant, West Allis, Aug. 23rd., 4th
 Fanfare on the Fox, Oshkosh, Aug.29th, 4th
 Good Neighbor Festival, Middleton, Aug. 30th, 2nd
 Kiltie Contest, Racine, Sept. 5th, 2nd
 Fun Days, Marathon, Sept. 6th
 Wausau Story Pageant, Wausau, Sept. 6th, 3rd
 Labor Day Competition, Merrill, Sept. 1st, 2nd
 
43 Appearances, 26 Contests, 6 -1st, 8 -2nd, 1 -3rd, 5 -4th, 25 Parades, 5 Exhibitions
 
JOIN A DRUM CORPS!THOUSANDS WILL CHEER FOR YOU!
 
 
1970 THUNDERBOLTS OF CEDARBURG
 
CORPS MAJORS: DONNA EERNISSE, MARY SCHOENKNECHT COLOR GUARD SARGEANT: SUZANNE GROTH, BARBARA FARSHING
DRUM SECTION: CHRIS BATES, JOHN BROECKER, KELLY BREUGGEMANN, DENNIS DREBLOW, DENNIS EERNISSE,TOM FRANK, LINDA HEINO, ANN HUCKABY, KEVIN HUGHES, KEN JACOBY, DAVID KELLY, BRUCE MASSARO, ALAN MORGAN, MIKE SCHULZ, TODD STEPHENS, HARLEY TATARSKY, DAVID TOWN, JIM WIESMUELLER
COLOR GUARD: JERI BARTH, LORA CASPER, ELLEN CENSKY, LINDA DEPIES, MARGIE DIMICK, CHRIS EHR, CHRIS FISCHER, CHRIS EHR, MARY FRANK, CINDY GALL, DONNA HEINO, JUDY HEINO, LINDA HUGDAHL, MARY HUGDAHL, SARA HUGDAHL, PAULETTE JACOBY, LORI KELLN, MARY KACHEL, CINDY KOPPLIN, NANCY LAUBENSTEIN, CHRIS LEON, CINDY LEON, DIANE LINSLEY, HELEN MENTZEL, DEBBIE MORTLE, SHARON NIEMAN, MARY PIWONI, SUE POKER, JANE SCHOENKNECHT, JO ANN SWATEK, CINDY TOWN, KATHRYN ULEKOWSKI, JANE ULIK, CINDY ZAHN, CLAIRE ZINDLER, CHRIS ZINDLER
BUGLES: PAUL BAILEY, CARMEN BOESCH, LEO BRUEDERLE, ROBERT CLARK, JUNE DOBBERPHUL, DAVID DUSTRUDE, PENNY EIDENBERGER, MIKE ESPE, DAVID GROTH, MIKE HALLARON, DENNIS HUGHES, JIM JACOBY, THOMAS KIEBZAK, STEVE KNOPPS, JOHN KREUTZBERGER, BILL KREUTZBERGER, KARL KREUZER, TONI MASSARO, JOE McCLUNE, JO ANNE MEYER, BRUCE MEYER, KERRY NICHOLS, DAVID POKER, DENNIS RENNICKE, SUE SCHOENKNECHT, JOHN SCHOENKNECHT, WILLIAM SCHULTZ, TIM STEIN, LARRY TEWS, JOHN ULEKOWSKI, MIKE ULEKOWSKI, JEFF TOWN, CAROL ULIK, LARI BEA WENZEL, ROBERT WALTERS, MONICA ZINDLER
INSTRUCTORS: WILLIAM A. SCHULTZ, JAMES NORDGREN, JOHN LIPPOLD, LEONARD PIEKARSKI,
QUARTERMASTERS: HAROLD BATES, JOHN RENNICKE
DIRECTOR: WALTER ULEKOWSKI
 
1971
 
 This year the corps was a bit smaller that the previous year, but the horn line improved. The music that was chosen was a bit controversial, and ahead of its time. Trittico, a number which ended with a series of dissonant chords followed by a unison note at the end, puzzled audiences and delighted some judges. Years later, several DCI corps used it in their programs, and it was accepted. Another innovation was the use of 1812 Overture, which was retained from the 1970 show. While on a tour of Northern Wisconsin, the corps competed against the Phantom Regiment, and they were fascinated by the song. Bill Schultz had long conversations with their horn instructors. Was it a co-incidence that the following year the Regiment started to use all classical music in their programs?
 
 The previously mentioned Northern Tour was controversial, as some of the staff felt the corps should compete at the national VFW show in order to gain more recognition. Mr. Ulekowski and economics won out, and the corps had a good time on the tour, but perhaps lost some momentum.
 
 The Parents Association started a feeder corps called the “Little Bolts.”
 
 “Secret Skulls,”....we drove our chaperones crazy on the Northern Trip.
 
 The corps picked up some much needed help from the Newmans from Milwaukee.
 
 Kevin Hughes and Jim Wiesmueller, and Mary Schoenknecht received black berets as they graduated from the corps.
 
 In September, the parents formed The Thunderbolts Boosters, and the Little Bolts name was changed to Thunderbolt Kadets.
 
 Songs played in 1971: Trittico, 1812 Overture, Promises, Promises, Turkey-Lurkey Time, Don’t Rain On My Parade, Here, There, and Everywhere.
 
 Kingsmen Concourse of Champions, Kenosha, May 30, 6th
 Memorial Day Parade, Milwaukee, VFW appearance, May 31st
 Memorial Day Parade, Little Bolts, Cedarburg parade
 Drums on the Chippewa, Eau Claire, June 5th, 4th
 Fireman’s Celebration, Thunderbolts and Little Bolts, Newburg, June 6th, parade
 Cavaliers Show, Park Ridge, Ill, June 12th, 3rd, BEAT THE KILTIES!
 National Flag Day, Little Bolts, Parade, Waubeka, June 13
 Northwest Festival, Milwaukee, June 20th, 2nd
 State VFW, Kenosha, June 27th, 4th in Class A
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 28th,
 Night of Splendor, Fond Du Lac, July 3rd, 1st place
 Cedarburg Parade, Little Bolts, July 4th, parade
 Fireman’s Celebration, Columbus, July 4th, 2nd, 8 points behind Anaheim
 Sheboygan, Little Bolts, parade, July 5th, 2nd
 Parade, Elmhurst, Ill., July 5th
 Vanguards Show, Des Plaines, Ill.,
 North American Show, Milwaukee, July 10th,
 State American Legion, Wausau July 17-18th,  1st
 Spectacle of Music, South Milwaukee, July 18th, 9th in prelims, 6th finals
 Port Fish Days, Port Washington, Little Bolts and Thunderbolts, July 24th, 1st
 Grafton, Little Bolts and Thunderbolts, July 25th
 Waterloo, Iowa, Contest, July 31st, 1st
 Cedar Rapids, Iowas, Parade and standstill, Aug. 1st
 Marquette, Mich,  Aug. 7th, 1st
 Menominee, Wis.,  Aug. 8th, 1st
 Hurley, Wis., Aug. 10th, 3rd
 Ishpeming, Wis., Aug. 13th, 2nd
 Crystal Falls, Wis., Aug. 14th,1st
 Marion, Wis. Aug 15th, 1st
 Delevan Lion’s Club, Delevan, Aug. 21st, second last
 State Fair Pageant, West Allis, Aug. 23rd., 6th in prelims, finals rained out
 Good Neighbor Festival, Middleton, Aug. 29th, 2nd
 Black Knights Show, Kewanee, Ill, Sept. 4th, 2nd
 Jaycee and Rotary Festival, Whitewater, Sept. 6
 
 Thunderbolts, 21 Contests, 9 Parades, 8-1sts, 4-2nds, 4-3rds, 2-4ths, 1-5th, 2-6ths.
 Little Bolts, 10 Parades
 
1971 THUNDERBOLTS OF CEDARBURG
 
CORPS MAJORS: MARY SCHOENKNECHT, KELLY NBRUEGGEMANN COLOR GUARD SARGEANTS: KATHY ULEKOWSKI,  JO ANN SWATEK
DRUM SECTION: CHRIS BATES, JANE BERGSTRESSER, DENNIS EERNISSE, TOM NEWMAN, TOM FRANK, LINDA HEINO, NANCY HEIDTKE, ANN HUCKABY, KEVIN HUGHES, KEN JACOBY, LORI KELLN, DAVID KELLY, JEFF LESKOSEK, ALAN MORGAN, ED NUGENT, BILL RAYMOND, DAVE RECK, MIKE SCHULZ, TODD STEPHENS, HARLEY TATARSKY, DAVID TOWN, MIKE THALHAMMER, JIM WIESMUELLER,
COLOR GUARD:  KELLY BRUEGGEMANN, LORA CASPER, ELLEN CENSKY, MARGIE DIMICK, LINDA DEPIES, MARY FRANK, LINDA FINZEL, CHRIS FINZEL, HEIDI FINZEL, CINDY GALL, KAREN GRENNIER, ELIZABETH GUILD, DONNA HEINO, JUDY HEINO, LINDA HUGDAHL, SARA HUGDAHL, LORI JACKSON, MARY KACHEL, CINDY KOPPLIN, MARY KAY LEISTER, CHRIS LEON, CINDY LEON, DIANE LINSLEY, PAM LEWANDOWSKI, SHARON NIEMAN, MARY PIWONI, SUE POKER, JANE SCHOENKNECHT, , JACQUELYN SWICK, SUE ROLAND, CINDY TOWN, CLAUDIA ZINDLER, CHRIS ZINDLER, SHERRI YENCH, TERI WOLTERSDORF
BUGLES: PAUL BAILEY, CARMEN BOESCH, LEO BRUEDERLE, ROBERT CLARK, WILLIAM CREGO, DAVID DUSTRUDE, MIKE ESPE, KEVIN GIERACH, DAVID GROTH, MIKE HALLARON, DENNIS HUGHES, DENNIS KELLY, JIM JACOBY, THOMAS KIEBZAK, JOHN KREUTZBERGER, BILL KREUTZBERGER, PAT LUBENOW, TIM LUBENOW, MONA MASSARO, JOE McCLUNE, JO ANNE MEYER, BRUCE MEYER, ROBERT NEWMAN, KERRY NICHOLS, CATHY PIWONI, DAVID POKER, CATHY RANDALL, DENNIS RENNICKE, HARRY SINCLAIR, SUE SCHOENKNECHT, JOHN SCHOENKNECHT, TIM STEIN,MARY SULLIVAN, RITA SULLIVAN, LARRY TEWS, JOHN ULEKOWSKI, CAROL ULIK, CINDY WALKER, LARI BEA WENZEL, ROBERT  WALTERS, MONICA ZINDLER
INSTRUCTORS: WILLIAM A. SCHULTZ, JAMES NORDGREN, JOHN LIPPOLD, JAN KREUGER
QUARTERMASTERS: HAROLD BATES, JOHN RENNICKE
DIRECTOR: WALTER ULEKOWSKI
 
1972
 
 Once again, big changes were on the horizon for the corps. Mr. Ulekowski submitted his resignation after four successful years. His resignation came at a bad time, but Mr. Harold Bates agreed to take the position for one year. He was assisted by Mrs. Beverly Town. The corps worked hard all winter to  be ready for the 1972 season. Mr. Bates had an easy going, fun loving style, and the year was a bit more relaxed.
 
 The corps was neck and neck with the St. Matthias Cadets all year, but towards the end they faded and the Thunderbolts peaked. St. Pat’s was very good, and couldn’t be touched. All three corps received members from the Mercy High School corps, which had disbanded.
 
 The horn line continued to have a good reputation, and beat a lot of top ranked corps in that caption.
 
 It was the year of Gigunda and the cannonballs. There were a lot of clever and funny incidents, and most members had a good time.
 
 Graduates of 1972; Chris Finzel, Dennis Hughes, John Schoenknecht.
 
 At the end of the 1972 season, a very important man retired from the corps. He was someone who had worked behind the scenes for many many years as business manager. Tom Vasey gave of his time and knowledge and resources. His two children, Colleen and John had been members of the corps in the 1960s. It was with great regret that the Executive board accepted Vasey’s resignation.
 
 Music for 1972: Fanfare, Be In, Knowing When to Leave, Turkey-Lurkey, Don’t Rain On My Parade, and Here There and Everywhere.
 
 Summer Camp, Columbus, April 28-30
 Memorial Day Weekend Camp, Cedarburg, May 27-28
 Final Camp, Racine, June 10-11
 Reedsburg Butter Festival, June 16, 2nd
 Dodgeville, June 17th
 Watertown, June 18th, 6th
 Appleton, June 24th, 6th
 Cedarburg Music Festival, Cedarburg, June 25th,
 Oshkosh, June 30th, 5th
 Night of Splendor, Fond Du Lac, July 1st
 East Troy, July 3rd, 3rd
 Fireman’s Celebration, Columbus, July 4th,
 Camp at Cedarburg, July 8th, changed the drill, then changed it back
 Berlin, July 9th
 State American Legion, Green Bay July 16-17th,
 Port Fish Days, Port Washington, July 22nd, 2nd
 Lake Mills, July 29th, 4th
 Mauston, July 30th
 Bradley, Ill., Aug. 3rd
 County Fair, Aug. 4th
 Elk Grove Ill, Aug 5th
 Hurley, Wis., Aug. 11th, 3rd
 Crystal Falls, Wis., Aug. 12th,1st
 Marion, Wis. Aug 13th, 1st
 VFW Nationals, Chicago, American Legion Nationals, Minneapolis, Minn, Aug. 19-24,
 9th in Chicago, 13th in Minneapolis
 Loves Park, Ill., August 26th
 Good Neighbor Festival, Middleton, Aug. 27th, 4th
 Kewanee, Sept 2nd
 Portage, Sept 3rd
 
1972 THUNDERBOLTS OF CEDARBURG
 
CORPS MAJORS: SHARON NIEMAN, JO ANN SWATEK, JANE SCHOENKNECHT COLOR GUARD SARGEANT: CHRIS FINZEL,  ELLEN CENSKY,
DRUM SECTION: MARY BRUNNER, NANCY BROWN, TOM FRANK, SUE GIGANTE, TERRY HANRAHAN,  DENNIS HUGHES, DAVID KELLY, ALAN MORGAN, TOM NEWMAN, ED NUGENT, DAVE RECK, WENDY SEITZ, TODD STEPHENS, DAVID TOWN, MIKE THALHAMMER
COLOR GUARD: JANE BIETERMAN, LORA CASPER, MARGIE DIMICK, LINDA DEPIES, CHRIS EHR, MARY FRANK, JANET FRANK, TERI FRANK, LINDA FINZEL, HEIDI FINZEL, KAREN GRENNIER, CINDY GALL, LORI JACKSON, MARY KACHEL, DEBBIE MCFARLAND, LEANN NEAD, SHARON NIEMAN, SUE POKER, DORIS SCHMIDT, CINDY STROBEL, CHRIS SWATEK,  LAURIE SPIEKER, DOREEN RAKOWSKI, SUE ROLAND, CINDY TOWN, KATHY ULEKOWSKI, MARY SULLIVAN, SHERRI YENCH, TERI WOLTERSDORF,
BUGLES: PAUL BAILEY, JAY BAILEY, BARB BRINSKO, LEO BRUEDERLE, CHRIS BRANDT, CLAY BROWNE, ROBERT CLARK, PAT CYCHOZ, ANNE MARIE DITTMAR, DAVID DUSTRUDE, KEVIN GIERACH, RYAN GIERACH, MARC HAPPEL, MIKE HALLARON, DENNIS KELLY, THOMAS KIEBZAK, DARREL KURTZ, MIKE LEVENHAGEN, PAM LEWANDOPWSKI, JOE McCLUNE, JO ANNE MEYER, BRUCE MEYER, ROBERT NEWMAN, KERRY NICHOLS, DAVID POKER, CATHY PIWONI, MARY PIWONI, DENNIS RENNICKE, DIANE RUD, ALEX SANTO, SUE SCHOENKNECHT, JOHN SCHOENKNECHT, TIM STEIN, RITA SULLIVAN, CAROL ULIK, CINDY WALKER, ROBERT WALTERS, MONICA ZINDLER
INSTRUCTORS: WILLIAM A. SCHULTZ, JAMES NORDGREN, JOHN LIPPOLD, JAN KREUGER, SCOTT PAULSEN, BRUCE KELLER, KEVIN HUGHES, KERRY NICHOLS, MARC NIELSEN
DIRECTOR:HAROLD BATES,
ASST. DIRECTOR: BEVERLY TOWN
 
1973
 
 The new year began with much promise, and sadness over the resignation of Mr. Bates. Bill Schultz and Jim Nordgren began to take on a more active role in running the corps. The search for a new director ended when the Booster Club welcomed Tom Wridt on board. He had been a former director of the Kiltie Kadets, and lived in Franklin, Wis.
 
 The corps looked like it was going to be very successful early on. There was a huge turnout at a camp held in early spring, at which there were over 40 horn players present. They played a beautiful version of the Star Spangled Banner, and a representative of the Kenosha show booked the corps into their prestigous May show.
 
 Then things took a turn for the worse. The members began to rely on the “college kids,” and felt that they could slack off. Membership dropped drastically, and soon the corps was looking for members. There were disagreements at the top management level, and at a special May 9, 1973 Board meeting, the resignation of Tom Wridt was accepted. Beverly Town, who had been business manager, also stepped down. Bill Schultz finally agreed to take over as director.
 
 As the competition season drew closer, the corps worked frantically to get ready.  So were other corps. Roman Blenski, the director of the Imperials of St. Patrick from Milwaukee...the same man who had listened to Bill Loebel at Badgerland meetings years before, and who had argued with him at Port Washington, approached Bill Schultz about the possibility of him helping the St. Pat’s horn line. Schultz mentioned his small drum line, and the problems he was anticipating. Blenski had the opposite problem...a small horn line, and a good drum line. Soon, rumors began flying of a merger of the two organizations.
 
 The corps was really not ready to perform their first show. The score was 34. The place was dead last. No one picked up the score sheets or attended the critique. The decision was already made.  If the Thunderbolts were to compete, it would have been a long, difficult year. On June 1st, the corps merged with the Imperials of St. Patrick.
 
 The arrangement of the Booster Club called for Blenski to take over as director of the corps, with Schultz as Staff co-ordinator. The instructors worked out a new show, combining elements of both corps. Camps were arranged, and the new corps was ready by June 24th.
 
 The resulting new corps was named “The Thing,” a temporary name. It was quite a sight, 140 members strong. The horn section and flag line wore Thunderbolt uniforms, and the drum line and rifles wore St. Pat’s uniforms. The combination of red, white, blue, green and black was....well...interesting.
 
 The history of The Thing and the resulting Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps is a huge story in itself. The Thunderbolts ceased to exist as a class A corps as of June 1, 1973.
 
 The Thunderbolts feeder corps continued to operate for a number of years after the merger, as did the St. Patrick feeder unit. However, in 1976, the Thunderbolt group cut its affiliation with the Pioneers and attempted to compete by itself. They met with limited success, however, and officially disbanded in 1979.
 
 The Thunderbolt name was then carried on by a color guard which resulted from the disbanding of the corps. The guard still marches in parades and winter competitions.
 
 1973 program: Everything’s Coming Up Roses, Star Spangled Banner, You Made Me So Very Happy, Keep the Customer Satisfied, Rainy Days and Mondays.
 
 Concourse of Champions, Kenosha, May 27th, 6th, 34.
 
1973 THUNDERBOLTS OF CEDARBURG
 
CORPS MAJOR: KERRY NICHOLS
COLOR GUARD SARGEANT: ELLEN CENSKY,
DRUM SECTION: MARY BRUNNER, TOM FRANK, SUE GIGANTE, TERRY HANRAHAN,  JOAN HUCABY, DAVID KELLY, ALAN MORGAN, TOM NEWMAN, ED NUGENT, WENDY SEITZ, DAVID STOKES
COLOR GUARD:  JOANNE ANTONI, JANE BIETERMAN, LORA CASPER, MARY FRANK, JANET FRANK, TERI FRANK, LINDA FINZEL, HEIDI FINZEL, CINDY GALL, KATHY GAULKE, COLLEEN GIBSON, LORI JACKSON, SHARON NIEMAN, SUE POKER, DORIS SCHMIDT, CHRIS SCHMIDT, MARTHA SIMPSON, SUE SIMPSON, CINDY STROBEL, CHRIS SWATEK,  LAURIE SPIEKER, SUE ROLAND, CINDY TOWN, KATHY ULEKOWSKI, RITA SULLIVAN, MARY SULLIVAN, TERI WOLTERSDORF, CINDY ZINDLER
BUGLES: PAUL BAILEY, JAY BAILEY, NANCY BROWN, BARB BRINSKO, CHRIS BRANDT, CLAY BROWN, ANNE MARIE DITTMAR, DAVID DUSTRUDE, KEVIN GIERACH, RYAN GIERACH, MARC HAPPEL, MIKE HALLARON, DENNIS KELLY, SANDY MADDEN, JOE McCLUNE, JO ANNE MEYER, BRUCE MEYER, JAY NELSON, ROBERT NEWMAN, ED NUGENT, DIANE PIEKARZ, DAVID POKER, DENNIS RENNICKE, ALEX SANTO, SANDY SCHISSLER, SUE SCHOENKNECHT, JOHN SCHOENKNECHT, TIM STEIN, ROBERT STEPNIEWSKI, DAVE STOKES, STEVE STOKES,
INSTRUCTORS: WILLIAM A. SCHULTZ, JAMES NORDGREN, JOHN LIPPOLD, JAN KREUGER, KEVIN HUGHES, KERRY NICHOLS, MARC NIELSEN
DIRECTOR:TOM WRIDT, WILLIAM SCHULTZ
 
THANKS,  MOM AND DAD
 
 We have mentioned the names of members, instructors and management in the history of the corps, but there is one group we have not mentioned, and that is the parents. Throughout its existence, the corps was supported by moms and dads. They took us to practice, picked us up, fed us, chaperoned us (as much as they could), fried pancakes, ran snowmobile races, drove busses, pressed uniforms, sewed, fixed equipment, and gave us band aids and aspirin when needed. To them we owe a deep debt of gratitude.
 
 
EPILOGUE
 
 The corps which William Gallun Loebel began in1953 lasted 20 years. It is a tribute to Loebel that he ran the corps for sixteen years. Loebel had the original vision and produced consistently excellent class B corps. Walter Ulekowski stayed for four, and raised the corps to class A status and national recognition. Harold Bates, in his one year, brought some fun and spirit to the group. Tom Wridt, in seven months, tried to hold the corps together through tough times. William Schultz in one month, saw the corps to a new chapter in its life.
 In one other way the Thunderbolt name is still carried on. Roman Blenski never forgot the promises he made when the corps merged, and he realized that he assumed the heritage which was begun by Bill Loebel. Today the Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps is once again based in Milwaukee. The drum corps activity has changed and evolved over the years. The new director of the Pioneers is Bobby Lindsay, a Pioneer alumni. However, each uniform worn by the Pioneers contains a small patch. It consists of a green shamrock and a red thunderbolt. When members ask what the little red thing on their uniforms is for, he tells them, “Well, it’s a long story...”
 
THE THUNDERBOLT KADETS
 
 The feeder corps, known as the Thunderbolt Kadets continued to operate after the merger of the Thunderbolts with St. Patricks. The uniforms consisted of a white shirt with a red sash, blue shorts, and a red beret. The songs played by the corps were Kum-By Ya, God Bless Our Fathers and God Bless America. At a special awards ceremony, held on September 23, 1973, six members received trophies as outstanding members. Eight members were old enough to graduate into the “Thing” corps, but only one of them actually joined the corps. It was still very hard for a 14 year old to attend practices in Milwaukee. Some of the graduates chose to stay with the kadet corps. Perhaps this was a sign of pending trouble, as the minutes of the Booster Club meetings indicate that some parents were complaining about who was running what.
 
1971
Thunderbolt Kadets
COLOR GUARD: DEBBIE BECK, MEG DIMICK, MARY EHR, BONNIE HEINO, SANDRA HERMAN, BARBARA JACKSON, LISA RAHN, COLETTE WALBER, JUDY WEICHERT, DUAN WOLLNER
BUGLES:RICKY ARNDT, JAY BAILEY, THOMAS DUSTRUDE, CHERYL EHANEY, KATHLEEN FRANK, RYAN GIERACH, MARCIA HALLORAN, STEVE KNOPPS, CURTIS MEINERT, MIKE RASMANN, STEVE TOWN, GREGG ULIK, STEVE VOLKMANN, WILLIAM VOLKMANN.
PERCUSSION: MATTHEW ESPE, JOAN HUCKABY, JEFFREY JACKSON, PAUL LOCICERO, KAREN MALEY, GREG MARQUARDT, SAM NUGENT, SCOTT STRANDEL, TIM TAMSEN, MIKE WALKER
 
 
1973
Thunderbolt Kadets
 
LISA ARNDT, RICK ARNDT, JERRY BEIMBORN, ANN MARIE BOIVIN, BRENDA BROWNWELL, NANCY DECKER, MEG DIMICK, CHERYL EHANEY, MARY EHR, MATT ESPE, CAROL FRANK, KATHY FRANK, STEVEN GALL, STUART GIERACH, LAURIE GUSE, WENDY GUSE, MARCIA HALLORAN, ERIC JAUREQUI, KJEL JOHNSON, SUSAN KAUFMAN, SUSAN KLEIST, VICTOR KOZINA, RHONDA KRAFT, DAN KRUPP, CHRISTENE LEDEZMA, BOB LAUTERBACH, GREG MARQUARDT, SUE MARQUARDT, DEBBIE MCQUAID, TAMMY MAZEMKE, SCOTT MEIER, ROBERT MILLER, DEBBIE MCQUAID, DAWN OPPERMAN, LISA PARSONS, SCOTT PARSONS, LISA RAHN, LYNN RASMUSSEN, KATHLEEN RESCH, DAVID RUDD, DEBRA RUDD, JOHN SIEGWORTH, NADINE STEIN, NANCY STEIN, HEIDI STIEGLITZ, MIKE SWISHER, THERESA SWISHER, MARY BETH THEYS, JOHN VAN SLYKE, KELLY VIESELLMANN, JAY WACHA, COLETTE WALKER, MIKE WALKER, SHERRIE WALKER, JODY WEICHERT, JILL WEICHERT, JUNE WOLTERSDORF.
CORPS DIRECTOR: NEIL MARQUARDT, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: NEIL WALKER
INSTRUCTORS: HORNS; MARK GIRARD DRUMS; HARLEY TARTARSKY  OTHER INSTRUCTORS; DAN ZIPPERT, JANE SCHOENKNECHT, CINDY GALL, CINDY WALKER, MIKE HALLORAN
 
1974
 The Thunderbolt Kadets continued to operate as a feeder corps to the newly renamed Pioneer Drum and Bugle Corps.  The 1974 officers of the Thunderbolt Boosters were John Van Slyke, president; Charles Frank, vice president; Tom Vasey, secretary; Roy Swisher, treasurer.
 
 The newly formed group tried to strengthen the Kadets. They sought help from their newly named director, Adam Premitz. Premitz, hired in February, took no pay for his work. He had experience with several Milwaukee corps, and his daughter had marched as Drum Major of the Imperials of St. Patrick in the mid-1960s.
 
 A misunderstanding over some drums caused a permanennt rift in the two organizations. Roman Blenski, director of the Pioneer, had gone into the Thunderbolt Kadets Hall (a room at the Cedarburg Gymnasium), and taken some drums which were needed by the Pioneer. This turned out to be a mistake, but it was an honest one. He probably should have asked permission to use the equipment, but he thought of the group as one large organization.
 
 The parents were upset by Blenski’s move, and at a special meeting Mrs. Nancy Swisher introduced a motion to let Blenski have the drums, but in doing so, to sever all ties to the Pioneer, and that the $2,000 the corps received from the City Recreation Department would go to the Thunderbolt Kadets. There was a long and heated discussion. Tom Vasey explained that he had worked very hard to procure the money for both corps. Blenski answered all questions... including some about trophies and funds. The minutes do not mention the fate of the motion, but the dissatisfaction and hurt would not go away. Ironically, Premita and Blenski had worked out the problem with the drums on their own.
 
 The Kadets carried a schedule of mainly parade and standstill appearances. They had at least 19 parades. There was no roster available for that year.
 
1975
 The Corps stayed affiliated with the Pioneer, but it was a tenuous relationship. Several more members graduated and joined the Pioneer.
 
Thunderbolt Kadets 1975
 
 
ROBIN ANDERLE,  STACY ANDERLE,  SUSAN BAEHRING,  SARDRA BECK,  BETH BINDER,  GREG BOSL, CHRISTOPHER CALLEN, CINDY COWIE, JoANNE DEREXLER, KATHY DREXLER, CANDY EHANEY, CHERYL EHANEY, CAROL FRANK, DON FRANK, KATHY FRANK, TAMMY FOX, MIKE FRIE, GREG GERGETZ, STUART GIERACH, LAUREEN GRESCH, LAURIE GUSE, ANTHONY HADLER, MARCIA HALLARON, SHERRIE HERRMANN, LARRY HOFFMANN, BONNIE HANRAHAN, KIM HANKEY, KELLY HAYES, JUDY HENRICHS, DEBBIE JANSEN, DAVID KIDD, KEN KLUMB, KATHY KLUMB, LAURA KOSHOLLEK, SHELLY KUESTER, MARK KUESTER, BOB LAUTERBACH, BRAD LAUTERBACH, CHERYL LEON, BOB LIESKE, DAVE LIESKE,  KAREN MADDEN, NANCY MADDEN, SHELLI MANTHEI, TAMMY MAZEMKE, MARK MEIER, SCOTT MEIER, MATT METZ, CRESCENT METZ, ROBERT MILLER, SCOTT MOLTZAN, JULIE RAAB, ROBERT RAAB, LISA RAHN, KATHY RESCH, DEBBIE ROEDER, HEIDI SCHEUERMANN, SYLVIA SCHMIDT, BRENDA SCHROEDER, KAREN SEARS, KATHY SEARS, SUZANNE SEILERS, KATHLEEN SEMMAN, JANIE SHELDON, CONNIE SORUM, NANCY STEIN, NADINE STEIN, JEFF SPIEKER, JIM STEPNIEWSKI, KATHLEEN STEPNIEWSKI, CHERYL SUTTON, MIKE SWISHER, CINDY TADDEY, JEANNIE TADDEY,  LAURA TETZLAFF, JOE THEYS, MARY BETH THEYS, JANICE VAN SLYKE, JOHN VAN SLYKE, HOLLY LYNN WEISSER, JEFFERY WESTCOTT.
 
1976
 New headgear...helmets. The corps broke away from the Pioneer. They had a lot of members and wanted badly to beat the Pioneer. They performed a full field show, but they were young and inexperienced.
 
Thunderbolts 1976
LISA ALEXANDER, BETH BARTELT, CHARLES BARTELT, SUSAN BAEHRING,  LINDA BOEHME, RONALD BOEHM, MARIANNE CLARK, JoANNE DEREXLER, KATHY DREXLER, CANDY EHANEY, CHERYL EHANEY, CHRIS FAUST, PENNI FISCHER, CAROL FRANK, DON FRANK, WENDY GALL, LAURIE GUSE, DAVID HALL, MARCIA HALLARON, KIM HANKE, ROBBY HANKE, JUDY HENDRICKS, DAVID KIDD, MIKE KIDD, KEN KLUMB, KATHY KLUMB,  DEL KLUBALL, SHELLY KUESTER, MARK KUESTER, LIZ LA PIENE, BOB LAUTERBACH, BRAD LAUTERBACH, MARY MACY, NANCY MADDEN, SHELLI MANTHEI, LAURA MARSHALL, DEE ANN METZ, SCOTT MEIER, ROBERT MILLER, ANN NISLEIT, DIANE PINKOWSKI, RACHEL RASMUSSEN, ANN REICK, VICKI ROBINSON, KATHLEEN SEMMAN,  NANCY STEIN, NADINE STEIN, JEFF SPIEKER, JIM STEPNIEWSKI, KATHLEEN STEPNIEWSKI, ANNETTE TUPPER, MICHELLE TUPPER, JEFFERY WESTCOTT, LAURA WESTCOTT, HOLLY WEISER
 
1977
New uniforms
 
Thunderbolts 1977
 
SUE BAEHRING, BETH BARTELT, CHARLES BARTELT, RONALD BOEHM, MARIANNE CLARK, DAN DEMBOWIAK, JoANNE DEREXLER, KATHY DREXLER, CANDY EHANEY, CHERYL EHANEY, CHRIS FAUST, STUART  GIERACH, SCOTT GRELL, LAURIE GUSE, TONY HADLER, DAVID HALL, MARCIA HALLARON, TAMMY HERNIG, KIRK HUTCHINSON, DAVID KIDD, MIKE KIDD, KEN KLUMB, KATHY KLUMB, DAVE LANCELLO, BOB LAUTERBACH, BRAD LAUTERBACH, STEVE LOOS, NANCY MADDEN, KAREN MADDEN, MIKE MANTHEI, SHEILA MANTHEI, MARK MEIER, SCOTT MEIER, CRESCENT METZ, ROBERT  MILLER, BRAD MOMBERG, RUTH MUELLER, SHARON PITTS, PAT PREST, ANN REICK, TIM SANAFOLEAN, HANDY SCHIERRA, SHELLY SCHIERRA, KATHLEEN SEMMAN, DUANE SMITH, NANCY STEIN, NADINE STEIN,  KARI STEFFEN, JIM STEPNIEWSKI, TODD SULZER, STEVE THIEL, JEFFERY WESTCOTT, LAURA WESTCOTT, HOLLY WEISER
 
 
1978
 
Thunderbolts 1978
 
COLOR GUARD: STACY ADAMS, SUE BAEHRING, RENEE BARTON, LORI BURY, KELLY DINEEN, LAURA DRIGOT, BARBARA EHR, JUDY EVEN, GIA FISTE, AMY FRAKES, PAULINE GARSTECKI, SIMONE GUETCHIDJIAN, LAURIE GUSE, JENNIFER JACKIMS, JANET KLIMKE, DAWN KRIER, MIRIAM KRUEGER, DEANNE METZ, DIANE NEWBERG, SUE PETERS,  ANN REICK, BETH SCHAFER, KATHY SEMMANN, WENDY SHIVENAR, KARI STEFFEN, GRETCHEN STIEGLITZ, HOLLY WISER, LAURA WESTCOTT, SUE WRIGHT, CINDY VICKIO
PERCUSSION: JEFF ADRIANO, BECKY ANDERSON, CONNIE APITZ, STANLEY BARTON, MARK DZIAK, ELLEMN FULLHART, STUART GIERACH, GREG GIESEGH, JANICE GUETCHIDJIAN, JEFF HASS, DAVE KIDD, MARGIE KOST, DAVE LANCELLO, MIKE MANTHEI, BRAD MOMBERG, RUTH MUELLER, KERRI O’SULLIVAN, KEVIN O’SULLIVAN, PAUL SCHNEIDER, TODD SCHNEIDER, ROBERT SCHWINGHAMMER, TODD SULZER, ANDY WAMHOFF, ROBERT TREMPALA,
BUGLES: MARIBETH BINSFIELD, SCOTT BURY, BOB CASTELLANO, DON CASTELLANO, DAVE CATINA, MARIANNE CLARKE, CHRIS CLAUER, CATHY DREXLER, JOANNE DREXLER, CANDIS EHANEY, ED FULLHART, PAULINE GARSTECKI, TOM GIESEGH, MARK GILES, JIM GRAHAM. LISA HAAS, DAVID HALL, JENNIFER JOCKIMS, MARK JOHNSON, KEN KALLAUR, KATHY KIESEGH, KRIS KLOEHN, PAT KLOEHN, DOUG KOPACZ, MIRIAM KRUEGER. JODIE KULPA, STEVE LOOS, NANCY MADDEN, SHEILA MANTHEI, ANDY MEIER, SCOTT MEIER, BETH MILLER, ANN MUELLER, JILL NERBY, DAVID NOURSE, LYNN OTTESON, TINA OTTESON, CINDY PRZYBYLSKI, ANN REICK, JOEY ROBLES, JIM SARAFOLEAN, TIM SARAFOLEAN, DAVE SASAFOLEAN, RANDY SCHIERA, SHELLY SCHIERA, JIM SCHOLTEN, MARK STEPANSKI, KRISTIN SULZER, TONI VEY, CINDY VICKIO, CLAY WACHOLZ, JOE WALDRON, AMY WINTER, SUE WRIGHT, JONI YENCH
 
1979
 
THUNDERBOLTS 1979

DRUM MAJOR: Dave Lancello
COLOR GUARD SARGEANT: Laurie Guese

COLOR GUARD:  RENEE BARTON, LORI BURY, BARBARA EHR, JUDY EVEN, GIA FISTE,  PAULINE GARSTECKI, BETH GILES, JENNIFER JACKIMS, JANET KLIMKE, DAWN KRIER, MIRIAM KRUEGER, AUDREY MEIER, LISA HASS, SUE PETERS,  SANDY PETERS, BETH SCHAFER, WENDY SHIVENAR, CHERYL WAHMOFF, HOLLY WISER, LAURA WESTCOTT, SUE WRIGHT.

PERCUSSION: JEFF ADRIANO, BECKY ANDERSON, CONNIE APITZ, STANLEY BARTON, STUART GIERACH, GREG GIESEGH, JEFF HASS, MARGIE KOST, MIKE MANTHEI, RUTH MUELLER, KEVIN O’SULLIVAN, TODD SCHNEIDER, ROBERT SCHWINGHAMMER, TODD SULZER, ANDY WAHNHOFF, THERESA WAHNHOFF

BUGLES: LORRI ADRIANO, CHRISTY ADRIANO, TOSCA APPITZ, MARIBETH BINSFIELD, MARK BLUMENBERG, SCOTT BURY, CATHY DREXLER, KATHY GIESEGH, MARK GILES, DAVE HALL, MARCIA HALLARON, KATHY KLUMB, KEN KLUMB, BOB LAUTERBACH,NANCY MADDEN, MARK MEIER, SCOTT MEIER, BETH MILLER, ANN MUELLER, JEAN MUELLER, CINDY PRZYBYLSKI, JIM SCHOLTEN, MARK STAPANSKI, KRISTIN SULZER, TONI VEY, CLAY WACHOLZ, JEFF WESTCOTT, AMY WINTER, JONI YENCH

From Audrey Milton: The corps folded for the following field season. We continued marching parades until our first season competing as a winter guard in 1981.
   
THE THUNDERBOLT COLOR GUARD
Written by Mark Giles who was a member of the Thunderbolt drum corps in 1978-1979, then marched on the winter guard from 1981-1989. He  taught until 1993 when the organization folded. (from Audrey Milton)

   
The Thunderbolt name was perpetuated by the organization's cadet corps, the Thunderbolt Kadets. Eventually fully independent of the Milwaukee group, the Thunderbolts of Cedarburg competed in Class A drum corps competitions throughout the Midwest from 1976-1979, including apperances at the prestigious US Open in Marion, OH and American International Open in Butler, PA, and the inaugural Drum Corps Midwest Championships in DeKalb, IL.

The Thunderbolts did not field a corps in 1980, but a nucleus of dedicated members kept the organization alive with a parade corps that summer.

The Thunderbolts entered winter guard competition in 1981. Their first performance (in jeans and T-shirts from the old drum corps) was at the Pioneer's Men of Brass contest on January 3, 1981. New uniforms (constructed by dedicated parents) and lots of native talent led to a fifth place showing at the WGI Midwest Regional Class A prelims, just behind the eventual circuit champions Illiana Lancers.

The guard was active in the highly competitive Midwest Color Guard Circuit throughout the 1980s, and finally became WGI finalists in 1988 after placing between 17th and 21st every year from 1982 - 1987 (first in Class A and then Open Class). 1983 was particularly heartbreaking - the guard had been told they were contenders first for WGI Open Class finals and then, when expectations were lowered, for the A Class title by their instructors (on a one-year hiatus from the Accents of Sheboygan). Not quite - 18th Place in Class A prelims!

The Thunderbolt Kadets returned as a Class B guard in 1983, eventually moving up to Class A as Thunderbolts A. Over the years, the staff was predominantly Thunderbolt alumni. In their later years, Thunderbolts A won the MWCGC Class A title that had eluded the Thunderbolts in 1982 and made strong showings at the WGI Championships. Many alumni of the A guard performed with the Thunderbolts in the WGI World Class finals in 2003.

By 1991, a third Kadet unit took the floor, and that year all three units won all independent classes in the Midwest Color Guard Circuit.

The Thunderbolts are extremely proud to have represented the venerable Midwest Color Guard Circuit and to be listed on its impressive roster of champions, which includes the Buccaneers, Guardsmen, Phantom Regiment, Cavaliers, and State Street Review - some of the activity's greatest names.

1981 - Don Ellis
9th Place Class A - Midwest Color Guard Circuit

1982 - Earth, Wind and Fire / Rolling Stones / Emerson, Lake and Palmer
2nd Place Class A - Midwest Color Guard Circuit
17th Place Class A - WGI Olympics, Nashville, TN

1983 - Barbra Streisand
8th Place Open Class - Midwest Color Guard Circuit
18th Place Class A - WGI Olympics, Dayton, OH

1984 - Frank Stallone / Saga / Earth, Wind and Fire
5th Place Open Class - Midwest Color Guard Circuit
18th Place Open (World) Class - WGI Olympics, Dayton, OH

1985 - Maynard Ferguson / Manhattan Transfer
7th Place Open Class - Midwest Color Guard Circuit
21st Place Open (World) Class - WGI Olympics, Dayton, OH

1986 - Music from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (John Williams)
4th Place Open Class - Midwest Color Guard Circuit
18th Place Open (World) Class - WGI Championships, Dayton, OH

1987 - Tangerine Dream - "Tangram"
7th Place Open Class - Midwest Color Guard Circuit
20th Place Open (World) Class - WGI Championships, Dayton, OH

1988 - "Gray Skies"
music of Yanni
6th Place Open Class - Midwest Color Guard Circuit
15th Place Open (World) Class - WGI Championships, Dayton, OH

1989 - Peyote Road Kill (Short Suite) - The Composition
2nd Place Open Class - Midwest Color Guard Circuit
12th Place Open (World) Class - WGI Championships, Dayton, OH

1990 - "Captives of Industry"
original composition by Taras Nahirniak
Midwest Color Guard Circuit Open Class Champions
7th Place Open (World) Class - WGI Championships, Buffalo, NY

1991 - "Interplay"
original composition by Taras Nahirniak
Midwest Color Guard Circuit Open Class Champions
9th Place Open (World) Class - WGI Championships, Dayton, OH

1992 - A Slice of Jazz (aka "I'm So Schurr")
music of Diane Schuur
2nd Place World Class- MWCGC
16th Place World Class - WGI Championships, Dayton, OH

1993 - The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
2nd Place World Class- MWCGC
14th Place World Class - WGI Championships, Dayton, O