The Thunderbirds were formed in Meadville, Pennsylvania in 1956 as a parade corps and in 1968 joined with members of the Shoreliners Drum and Bugle corps from North East, Pennsylvania to form The Erie Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds quickly rose to the top, capturing several American Legion and RCA Championships. In 1976 and 1979 The Thunderbirds placed 8th in the DCA Senior Championships, and maintained a placing in the top 10 into the early 80's, when in 1984, a lack of funding forced the corps to disband.

In the spring of 1991, several former members of The Thunderbirds, along with members of other regional disbanded corps, met and decided to bring the drum corps tradition back to the City of Erie. Out of this meeting came the rebirth of The Erie Thunderbird Drum and Bugle Corps!

In 1993, The Thunderbirds returned to the DCA World Championships for the first time in nearly 10 years. Not as a field corps, but as a smaller delegation determined to win the first ever DCA Mini Corps Championship! Not only did the Corps win that championship, but went on to place a strangle hold on that title that spanned 4 consecutive years. The Corps has since, returned to the DCA National Championships and were successful in reclaiming their title in 1998, and again in 2002.

The Corps performs at many local and regional events including; The Tartan Ball, Erie St. Patrick's Day Parade and Bar Tour, Erie Zoo Parade, North East Fireman's Festival, and at many area DCA and DCI Contests.

The Corps has also traveled extensively throughout the Northeastern United States, performing in shows in cities such as: Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Harrisburg, Boston, and Scranton. Several members of the Corps have participated in "All Star" events such as The Galvaston Texas Mardi Gras Parade, San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade, the Daytona Beach Florida Christmas Parade and The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

In 2014, the Corps reorganized with their eyes on the field of competition. The corps competed in the SDCA Eastern Midwest circuit. The Thunderbirds placed first in the parade and second in competition in Dubois, PA. In North East, PA at the Cherry Festival - the Thunderbirds placed first in the parade and first in competition for the first time. With doing so, this handed the Steel City Ambassadors (from Pittsburgh, PA) their first lost in the 3 year existence of the SDCA region.  

In 2015, the Thunderbirds were approved by DCA to compete as a field corps in DCA World Championships. This was the first time in over 30 years the Thunderbirds have competed on the field in competition. The corps had a very successful season in SDCA, and finished 6th in Class A. Our director, Sean Bartlett, was voted by his peers as Class A Director of the Year. 

In 2016, the Thunderbirds  celebrated their 60th anniversary. The Thunderbirds completed their second season back on the competitive field participating in both SDCA and DCA. The Erie Thunderbirds broke the corps best score in the history of the corps in Prelims, and also made history in making DCA Finals for the first time since 1981. At finals, the corps broke their highest score from prelims and scored 77.75 to take Second Place in Class A. The Thunderbirds also took home awards for High Color Guard and our Drum Major, Kelly Woodward, took home the award for Best Drum Major. Trisha Hardner also took home her second straight medal for her individual performance on marimba. 

In 2017, the Erie Thunderbirds took on their first show in June traveling to Scranton, PA. The corps competed in DCI All-Age for the first time as well as participation in SDCA and many other DCA events. The Thunderbirds placed 3rd in Class A Finals with a final score of 77.33. The Thunderbirds Small Brass ensemble also placed 4th at the Individual and Ensemble competition.

In 2018, the Erie Thunderbirds once again competed twice in June, and for the first time traveled to participate in the Barnum Festival parade in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The Thunderbirds placed 6th in a stacked Class A at the 2018 Drum Corps Association Championship in Williamsport, Pennsylvania with a score of 74.025. The Thunderbirds  also participated in a contest in New Jersey as well as traveling to Connecticut twice.

In 2019, the Erie Thunderbirds were unable to field a DCA Corps due to low membership. ThunderLine was created by the Board of Directors. 




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