The History of the Corps

“Hey, has your scout group got a band, because I’ve got some drums for sale”.
This remark was made to a parent of a 37th scout group member over 40 years ago, and it eventually led to the formation of the 37th Bristol Scout Band in 1969, initially with a membership of twelve drummers. This laid the foundations for the present day 37th Kingswood Drum and Bugle Corps. 

The Band has changed beyond recognition since then.  A wind section was added; initially using Bb brass, but changing to American ‘G’ pitched instrumentation in the mid 1980’s, returning to modern version of the Bb’s in 2002.  On the visual side, a colour guard was added and scout dress was replaced with full show uniform.  Although original scout rules only permitted a male membership, the Corps now contains a large number of females.    

Show routines are very different these days, with traditional scout marches now replaced with music and drill with a very strong American DCI influence.  Our musical style is now based very much around jazz, Spanish and Latin American music.
 There have been plenty of ups and downs over the years, but the Corps continued to make steady progress.  By the early 1990s, they had firmly established themselves in the Premier League of the BYBA (British Youth Band Association).  The ultimate goal was to win their first Premier Class title at the BYBA National Championships.  This contest brought together the top ten units from the BYBA Premier League, who had battled it out at contests around the UK during the season to qualify for ‘Finals’.  

The Corps came close in ’92 when they took runners up spot and they followed that with a third place in ’93.  1994 was the 37th’s Silver Jubilee year and they were determined to go all out for that elusive title.  Ten contests were entered on the circuit and ten were won, with the long-standing BYBA maximum points record being broken by the Corps three times in one two week period.  The National Championships arrived and the Corps achieved their dream, when they blew away the opposition to win the Premier Class title by a large margin.

1995 and 1996 also saw Kingswood take Premier League and Premier Class champion’s titles and only missed a record 4th consecutive champion’s title in 1997 when a points scoring error by a finals judge was only found out after the title had been awarded to another band, relegating the 37th to second place.  The Corps has shown amazing consistency during the 1990s, with a single fourth place being the only time they have finished outside the top three since 1991.