Sudbury Imperial Knights

Sudbury, ONT Canada

Inactive Senior
No information available
Position 200+ indicates Division II, Position 300+ indicates Division III, Position 400+ indicates Mini Corps.

CORPS Photos

The Sudbury Imperial Knights was a senior marching and maneuvering corps. The group first took shape when a dozen drum corps enthusiasts got together in 1964, in the northern Ontario city of Sudbury. For lack of space and funds, the fledgling corps practiced in the men's washroom area of the Sudbury arena early on. For inspiration they traveled to southern Ontario to watch the great Canadian senior drum corps of that era: the Ambassadors, the Canadian Commanders, and Les Diplomates.

Corps members raised funds and recruited across the Sudbury area, a city of 100,000 French and English speaking residents. Within six years the Imperial Knights grew from their men’s room beginnings to 75 marching members and a staff of instructors. The Imperial Knights gained many new members from age-outs of the Sudbury Blue Saints junior drum corps. The Knights began performing by marching in local parades, and by 1970 they had finished their first field marching and maneuvering program.

The corps’ field career began in Lindsay, Ontario, in 1970 competing with the Guelph Royalairs, the Kawartha Cavaliers, and the Kingston Grenadiers. Their repertoire included "Cherish" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You,” considered appropriate since no one in the drum corps world had ever heard of the Imperial Knights from Sudbury before then. They competed in four contests that year, including the Canadian Nationals.

In 1972 the Imperial Knights joined the Red Carpet Senior Drum Corps Association and sponsored their first drum corps competition, the Northern Fanfare, in Sudbury. It was the northern-most location for any drum corps contest at that time.

By 1973 the Imperial Knights’ competitors included the Matadors, Phoenix, and the Rochester Crusaders. Against these corps, in the Red Carpet Finals the Knights placed in the top five out of 20 overall. They also placed first in the Canadian Senior B competitions. Their repertoire included such elements as the rock symphony "Tommy," the Beatles's "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and a unique drum solo derived from "Smoke On the Water." Members of the 1974 Knights also successfully competed in the Connecticut Hurricane's winter Individuals in Bridgeport.

By 1976 the Knights had grown to almost a hundred members, had their own buses and practice hall, and were regular participants in contests in Ontario, New York, and Pennsylvania. At Canadian winter Individual competitions, the Knights won first place in drum quartet, drum duet, brass sextet, and snare solos.

By the late 1970s, after 15 years of active competition and camaraderie, the Sudbury Imperial Knights disbanded. Members of the corps went on to teach other drum corps throughout Ontario and become drum corps judges in the Canadian Judges Association. Some of the members now have children who march with the Sudbury Blue Saints junior drum corps.

The Imperial Knights retain the distinction of being the northernmost corps in North American drum corps history.

[Gregory Saville]

Members (2)

Member Name Section Years Involved
regimbal, michel DRUM LINE 1972 to 1981
Scott, John Brass & instuction 1964 to 1974

CORPS 4 items

Sudbury Imperial Knights

ImperialKnights,Sudbury,ON,Pin1-Knight(DCOM)AA_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection
Sudbury Imperial Knights

ImperialKnights,Sudbury,ON,Pin2-SudburyOptimist(RCR)J_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection
Sudbury Imperial Knights

ImperialKnights,Sudbury,ON,Pin3-RedKnight(RCR)J_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection
Sudbury Imperial Knights

ImperialKnights,Sudbury,ON,Pin4-1971-Provincial&NationalChamps(RCR)J_U_S from the Richard Elmquist Collection


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