Five youth were present at the first organizational meeting of the new corps, held in January of 1965 at Consumers Power in Saginaw, Michigan. The corps was officially organized in the fall of 1965 by Bob Waskoviak and Thomas B. Sims under the name The Saginaires Drum & Bugle Corps, under the umbrella organization of the Saginaires Youth Organization. The SYO later grew to encompass such groups as the Saginaires Youth Band and the Saginaires Eagles, a feeder corps. This project was affiliated with the Jaycees, and helped earn Mr. Sims the honor of being elected Man of the Year.
The corps' colors at this time were established as red, white, and black.
Starting as a parade corps in 1966, The Saginaires moved into the competitive arena during the early seventies. The corps rapidly moved up to become Michigan's all-time highest ranked Drum & Bugle Corps, which is a title they have retained ever since.
As with most corps at the time, much of the support for the Saginaires came from VFW and American Legion posts.
The Saginaires' first major title was earned in 1971, when the corps became the GLDCA (Great Lakes Drum Corps Association) Class B Champions. 1974 saw the Saginaires gain the title of Michigan VFW Champions. The corps retained this title for nine years, through 1983. The Saginaires became American Legion State Champions in 1977, and continued their reign through the 1981 season. In 1978, the Saginaires were VFW National Champions and US Open Class A Champions. The corps also earned the title of GLDCA Open Class Champions, which they held through 1982.
In 1979, the Saginaires marched 121 members, including 56 brass -- a larger corps than all but the top 6 DCI corps. When the corps first hit the field that year, they scored only 5 to 7 points from some DCI Top-12 finalists.
Until the early eighties, most of the corps' members came from the greater Saginaw area. With the gaining strength of DCI and the increased tour scheduling, local membership began to drop. This tended to spell the end for most Michigan drumcorps. The Saginaires decided to start recruiting from outside the area, unlike most corps in the Michigan area.
In 1980, the Saginaires Eagles Drum and Bugle Corps was created as a 'feeder' corps for the Saginaires.
The Saginaires Drum & Bugle Corps had the privilege and honor to take part in the opening ceremonies at the Republican National Convention in Detroit, Michigan on July 14, 1980. The corps has also played for President Ford.
1982 saw the Saginaires have a successful DCM season, placing first in competitions in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
In 1985 a decision was made to change the name from the Saginaires to Northern Aurora. With such a large percentage of the membership coming from outside the Saginaw area, a name that would be less limited was more appropriate. The new colors became powder blue, lime green, and gray. The green and gray later became dark blue and white.
The newly named corps continued to excel, as Great Lakes Drum Corps Association Champion in 1986 and Drum Corps Midwest Division III Champion from 1986 to 1987. Northern Aurora was also named Drum Corps Midwest Division II Champion in 1987 [and 1992].
In 1992, The Northern Aurora Drum & Bugle Corps became Michigan's first DCI Member corps, a title they proudly retained for two years.
In 1996, the Northern Aurora brought a "new" look to the field, once more sporting the red Saginaires' uniforms, along with the rainbow sash. 1996 was the corps' 31st year in competition.
In the Fall of 1996, a decision was made to once again classify Northern Aurora as a parade corps and temporarily withdraw from competition. This decision was made to financially stabilize the corps. The membership of the 1997 parade corps was less than expected, however, and Northern Aurora officially went inactive.
In 1998, however, the Saginaires Youth Organization formed a winterguard, Northcoast Academy. This group organized in December of 1998, and has been successfully competing during the 1999 and 2000 seasons, consistently winning awards and competitions.
Want to see the Saginaires and Northern Aurora's Historical Scores from corpsreps.com?
[soon to come: Repertoires for the Saginaires, Northern Aurora, and Northcoast Academy!]After 1983-84, only three corps remained in the state of Michigan. Today, no active junior corps remain.
~ This page last updated 30 June 2000 ~