The Oregon Crusaders may seem like a recent phenomenon, but OC has a history larger than you might think. The organization has restarted at least 5 times, most recently in 2007 under the management and direction of Dr. Phil Marshall, Mike Quillen, Jeff Bush and Travis Moddison. But while the “Little Team from Oregon” you see today grew from those modest 2007 roots, our prior chapters tell a larger tale of drum corps in Oregon, dating back to 1971. It was at that time that David and Ron Jones, only 15 and 16 years old, decided to start a drum corps called the Oregon Crusaders. David and Ron went on to do wonderful things in their lives, and they remain close to the OC organization today. Yet more chapters of OC were driven by extremely generous people, from Rick Wise with the help of Dan Perry restarted the Southern Oregon Crusaders, and Bill Perkins who returned the group to Portland in 2002. The history of our organization is about people – all who have heroically devoted a portion of their lives to making this organization great. Can we hear a hallelujah?!
And now World Class, the pinnacle of marching music in the world
For the 2013 season, the corps has achieved World Class status from Drum Corp International. With the addition of Visual Caption Supervisor Mike Fanning, along with numerous other talents to the design and instructional team, the corps dazzled audiences with its 2013 program “My Heart. My Battle. My Soul.” told the story of love, loss and longing set in the south, with selections to include Going Home, Summertime, House of the Rising Sun, Adelle’s Rollin in the Deep, and Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho. The corps ended up in 17th, achieving its highest score in corps history of 81.05.
In 2014, the corps announced that for the first time ever, it will be marching the maximum-allowed 150 members, with an 80 member brass line. The 2014 program “Nevermore” loosely based upon Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”, was again designed by Travis Moddison, Chris Whyte Mike Stevens, JC Caceres, and Todd Zimbelman. Ian Flint joined as Visual Caption Head. The repertoire utilizes original arrangements of Mind Heist from Inception (Zack Hemsey), Huapango (Kevin Walczyk, who teaches at Western Oregon University and lives in McMinnville, Oregon), The Hymn of Axciom (Vienna Teng), Nocturne, Op. 33 and Medea, Dance of Vengeance (Samuel Barber) and The Alabados Song (Paul Bissell).
In 2015 the corps announced some big moves in their staffing, with Ian Flint promoted to Program Coordinator, and the addition of Brad Green and Alex Blue for brass and Mitch Rogers in drillwriting, and Chris Cordova as colorguard caption head. Their 2015 program “The Midnight Garden” features the Cinderella Suite of Prokofiev, “Who is She?” (From Cinderella) , and “Pumpkin Pursuit” (From Cinderella), both by Patrick Doyle.
In addition to the summer Drum and Bugle Corps, Oregon Crusaders runs the OC Indoor winter drumline program, founded by Jeff Bush and now led by Mike Stevens. OCI received the gold medal in WGI (PIA) in 2009, and the bronze medal in WGI (PIO) in 2010. In 2011, they were granted World Class status, and advanced to the WGI finals with their innovative show “The Red Shoes,” which combined a world-class colorguard component with their world-class drumline. In 2012 they competed in World Class competition with their program “Shine.” In 2013, they were World Class Finalists with their program “Voodoo”.
In July, 2013, it was announced that the visual ensemble portion of OC Indoor would break off as its own WGI color guard ensemble called “OC Independent” led by long-time OC instructors Charlotte Morrow, Melissa Goodling, Jeff Capponi and designer JC Caceres.
The Oregon Crusaders is funded through the donations of kind individuals, the fees paid by our marching members, and through other fundraising activities. Our budget is over $700,000 a year and as OC continues to grow, we greatly appreciate your contributions and support.