Black Knights


Other Names:East St. Louis AMVETS AL Post #121, Amvets Post #207, East St. Louis VFW Post #805, St. Clair County Black Knights

Belleville, IL United States
Founded: 1953

Inactive Junior
YearPositionScoreTheme/Songs
1955 There's No Business Like Show Business * National Emblem March * Waiting For The Robert E. Lee * If I Loved You * June Is Bustin' Out All Over * You'll Never Walk Alone * Whiffenpoof Song * Battle Hymn of the Republic  
1956 5 90.000 March of the Toys (from Babes in Toyland) * Barnum and Bailey's Favorite * Hot Toddy * Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah * When You Wish Upon a Star (from Pinocchio) * Semper Fidelis  
1957 3 92.000 National Emblem March * Tuxedo Junction * September Song * Whiffenpoof Song * Columbia the Gem of the Ocean * March of the Toys (from Babes in Toyland)  
1958 6 84.175 Battle Hymn of the Republic * Ain't She Sweet * Bullfighter * There's No Business Like Show Business (from Annie, Get Your Gun) * Invercargill March * Me And My Shadow * Washington Post March * I Only Have Eyes For You (from Dames)  
1959 2 89.450 National Emblem March * September Song * Battle Hymn of the Republic  
1960 6 83.150 I Could Have Danced All Night (from My Fair Lady) * Poinciana * National Emblem March * Perfidia * Thunderer March * Around the World in Eighty Days * Battle Hymn of the Republic * Pagliacci * I Love You Truly  
1961 5 84.950 Poinciana * National Emblem March * Perfidia * Sherwood's Forest * On The Square * Battle Hymn of the Republic * It Had To Be You  
1962 9 77.300 Entrance Of Pontius Pilate * King of Kings * Serenata * Sherwood's Forest * On The Square * Battle Hymn of the Republic * It Had To Be You * Exodus  
1963 Victory at Sea * My One And Only Love * Johnny One Note (from Babes in Arms) * That's Entertainment * It Had To Be You * Battle Hymn of the Republic * Johnson Rag * One Hand One Heart (from West Side Story) * Maria (from West Side Story)  
1964 26 74.200 Victory at Sea * My One And Only Love * Johnny One Note (from Babes in Arms) * It Had To Be You * Battle Hymn of the Republic * Johnson Rag * One Hand One Heart (from West Side Story) * Maria (from West Side Story)  
1965 St. Louis Blues * Goldfinger * From Russia With Love * Softly As I Leave You  
1966 Entrance of the Knights * Battle Hymn of the Republic * Alabama Jubilee * Theme From Hud * 76 Trombones (from The Music Man) * I Wish You Love  
1967 On A Wonderful Day Like Today (from Roar of the Greasepaint) * Alabama Jubilee * Born Free * Battle Hymn of the Republic * I Wish You Love  
1968 Major Dundee * Battle Hymn of the Republic * Who Can I Turn To (from Roar of the Greasepaint) * The Joker (from Roar of the Greasepaint) * Step to the Rear (from How Now, Dow Jones) * On A Wonderful Day Like Today (from Roar of the Greasepaint) * Sweet Beginning (from Roar of the Greasepaint)  
1969 Major Dundee * Battle Hymn of the Republic * Who Can I Turn To (from Roar of the Greasepaint) * Classical Gas * The Rat Race * I Wish You Love  
1970 12 74.000 Camelot * Battle Hymn of the Republic * Classical Gas * When Johnny Comes Marching Home * I Wish You Love  
1971 12 75.500 Jubilee March * Walk on the Wild Side * Lucretia McEvil * The Great Race March * We've Only Just Begun  
1972 15 74.750 Jubilee March * America The Beautiful * Get It On * Jesus Christ Superstar * King Herod's Song (from Jesus Christ Superstar) * The Crucifixion (from Jesus Christ Superstar) * I Don't Know How to Love Him (from Jesus Christ Superstar)  
1973 10 75.750 Crown Imperial * Get It On * Russian Sailor's Dance (from The Red Poppy) * Man of La Mancha Overture * Man of La Mancha * Dulcinea (from Man of La Mancha) * Knight of the Woeful Countenance (from Man of La Mancha) * The Psalm (from Man of La Mancha) * The Impossible Dream (from Man of La Mancha)  
1974 15 76.450 Entrance of the Emperor and His Court (from the Hary Janos Suite) * In the Mood * Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy * Man of La Mancha * The Impossible Dream (from Man of La Mancha)  
1975 15 77.850 Crown Imperial * Let It Be * Eleanor Rigby * A Hard Day's Night * And I Love Her * Something * Hey Jude * Yesterday  
1976 42 60.150 Commencement (from Adventures in Time) * Ponteo * A Chorus Line Medley  
1977 40 59.700 Henry V * Street Scene * I Feel the Earth Move * Old Man River (from Show Boat) * Touch Me in the Morning  
1978 Man of La Mancha * Dulcinea (from Man of La Mancha) * Knight of the Woeful Countenance (from Man of La Mancha) * The Psalm (from Man of La Mancha) * The Impossible Dream (from Man of La Mancha) * Street Scene (from How To Marry A Millionaire) * New York, New York (from On the Town) * Every Street's A Boulevard In Old New York  
1979 Coronation of Boris Godunov * Copacabana * Yesterday  
1980 Coronation of Boris Godunov * My Favorite Things (from The Sound Of Music) * I Feel the Earth Move * Battle Hymn of the Republic  
1981 Russian Sailor's Dance (from The Red Poppy) * My Favorite Things (from The Sound Of Music) * Cannon * Joust * Civil War Melody  
1982 208 57.250 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band * Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da * Magical Mystery Tour * Lady Madonna  
1983 37 43.700 Eye of the Needle * Long Live Politzania * I Only Have Eyes For You (from Dames) * Late in the Evening * Same Time Next Year  
1984 45 50.400 Four Scottish Dances * Cherokee * Same Time Next Year  
1985 37 59.800 Four Scottish Dances * Karn Evil 9 * Amazing Grace * Down South Camp Meetin' * Same Time Next Year  
1986 209 67.700 St. Louis Blues * Golliwog's Cakewalk * Get It On * Down South Camp Meetin' * Civil War melody  
1987 315 54.300 El Capitan * Tommy * Pinball Wizard (from Tommy) * I Write The Songs  
1988 216 59.800 Selections from Tommy - Peter Townshend - Pinball Wizard (from Tommy) * See Me, Feel Me (from Tommy) * We're Not Gonna Take It (from Tommy) * Smash the Mirror (from Tommy) * Tommy  
1989 321 49.900 They're Playing Our Song * Let It Be Me  
Position 200+ indicates Division II, Position 300+ indicates Division III, Position 400+ indicates Mini Corps.
The Black Knights were formed in 1953 as an all male junior drum & bugle corps based in Belleville, Illinois. The corps was founded by two friends who had marched together in the Belleville Ainad Shrine Drum and Bugle Corps, Forrest T. Creson and Vern Poole. They remained in charge of the organization until Vern Poole passed away in 1967 followed by Forrest Creson in 1971. Roger Kaiser, Black Knights drum major in 1958 & '59, took over as corps director in1972.

The Black Knights were AmVets National Champions from 1954 - 1956 and under the sponsorship of the Belleville, IL Tancred Chapter of the Order of DeMolay from 1954 to 1971. They participated in DCI competitions from 1972 through1989. Their highest finishes were tenth at Drum Corps International Championships Open Class in 1973 and fourth in Class A in 1985. In VFW competition, the Black Knights finished as high as second in 1959 at VFW Nationals in Los Angeles and second in 1973 at VFW Nationals in New Orleans.

Their distinctive black uniforms from 1954 to 1972 where either a cadet style or satin top with a white sash, white cummerbund and white left sleeve. In 1973 corps director, Roger Kaiser, designed a new uniform styled after the British Cavalry Honor Guard, that was black and white with gold trim, topped with a chrome helmet and horse hair plume. The Black Knights also became a coed corps that year and broke away from their previous affiliation with the DeMolay. Through most of the eighties the corps wore a white tunic, black pants with a red sash and the chrome helmet.

The Black Knights disbanded at the end of the 1989 season.

[DCW, 5/02, p.3; A History of Drum & Bugle Corps; DCW, 2/04, p.14]

Members (42)

Member Name Section Years Involved
Baker, Kent French Horn 1981
Berry, Chuck Contra 1984 to 1989
Brethauer, Craig Horn line 1973 to 1978
Brown, Mike Drumline 1980 to 1986
Cochran, Fred Rifles 1961 to 1967
Cochran, Fred Color Guard 1962 to 1967
Compton, Rory Drum Line 1974 to 1976
Creson, Steve Lead Soprano Soloist 1962 to 1968
Dick, Ishmael Baratone Bugle/Drum Major 1956 to 1962
Ford, Wayne administration 1978 to 1979
Frog, GW Assisted with souvies 1989
Greene, Rob Color Guard/Flag 1984 to 1986
Greene, Rob Color Guard 1984; 1986
HAMILTON, JAMES HORN LINE 1959 to 1965
Hommel, Timothy drumline 1971 to 1973
Hopper, Mike Drum line 1973 to 1974
Jackson, Sam Drum line 1967 to 1969
McCarty, Steve Baritone 1970 to 1976
McCarty, Steve Corps Director 1989
Messamore, Amy Colorguard 1988 to 1989
Miller, Scott Contra 1986 to 1989
NICOL, KEVIN LEAD SOPRANO-SOLOIST 1967 to 1971
O'Neil, Larry Drumline 1976
Pierce, Kevin Soprano 1969 to 1973
Poole, Kevin Percussion 1962 to 1971
Rogers, John Drums 1963 to 1965
Sansom, Tammy Color Guard 1979 to 1982
Scott, Dave Soprano 1966
Scott, Dave Brass Tech 1969 to 1972
Smith, Dean Baritone Soloist 1978 to 1985
Stegall, Floyd Management 1983
Waggoner, Scott Snare 1982 to 1983
West, Joel Snare Line 1958 to 1964
Willingham, Alan Color Guard 1986 to 1987
YOUNG, MARK FRENCH HORN 1976 to 1980
Young, Mark french horn 1976 to 1980
french, cindi color guard-rifle line 1971 to 1977
hamilton, charlie percussion line 1982 to 1989
hamilton, jim soprano 1959 to 1965
leggans, charles horn 1960 to 1963
poole, ron baritone 1953 to 1957
thoms, william contra/baritone 1980 to 1986

CORPS 56 items

Black Knights

Bellville Black Knights from the Bill Ives Collection
Black Knights

Black Knights Transportation Staff Jacket from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Jim Hamilton
Black Knights

Black Knights Transportation Staff Jacket from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Jim Hamilton
Black Knights

Black Knights Transportation Staff Jacket from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Jim Hamilton
Black Knights

Black Knights White Linen Jacket from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Jim Hamilton
Black Knights

Black Knights Corps Jacket from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Jim Hamilton
Black Knights

Black Knights Corps Jacket from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Jim Hamilton
Black Knights

Black Knights White DeMolay Patch Jacket from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Jim Hamilton
Black Knights

Black Knights White DeMolay Patch Jacket from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Jim Hamilton
Black Knights

Belleville Black Knights from the Bill Ives Collection
Black Knights

Belleville Black Knights from the Bill Ives Collection
Black Knights

Belleville BK White Red Sash 1979 Uniform from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Jim Hamilton
Black Knights

Belleville BK Black White Sash 1954 Uniform from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Jim Hamilton
Black Knights

Belleville BK Drum Major uniform with Crest Placard Shield A from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Jim Hamilton
Black Knights

Belleville BK with Crest Placard Shield A from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Jim Hamilton
Black Knights

Belleville BK Drum Major uniform with Crest Placard Shield B from the Bill Ives Collection Contributed by Jim Hamilton
Black Knights

1971 Belleville Black Knights Drum & Bugle Corps @ VFW Dallas from the Roy Perez Collection
Black Knights

1971 Belleville Black Knights Drum and Bugle Corps-VFW Nationals Dallas from the Roy Perez Collection
Black Knights
PDF Document

160-161, Belleville Black Knig from the Steve Vickers Collection
Black Knights

Black Knighs Recruitment Poster from the Steve Vickers Collection

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