Celebrating the Monroe Girls Drum & Bugle Corp

This past Sunday marked a celebration (and a reunion!) of the nationally renowned Monroe Girls Drum and Bugle Corp. The Guild welcomed a full house of members, visitors and past Monroe Girls Corp performers, including the Corp’s first drum major, Flonny Carrellton, to view the retrospective exhibit currently on display in the main gallery.

The Monroe Girls Drum and Bugle Corp was started in 1949 under the direction of Wayne Shields and with support from VFW Post 4421. Monroe girls in grades 6-12 auditioned each year to have the privilege of practicing five days each week, 51 weeks out of the year to prepare for performances held around the country including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC. Gail Towler Carrell, a Girls Corp bugle and snail drummer of seven years, shared that the group was typically comprised of 40-50 girls and that Wayne Shields maintained high expectations of the girls and their performances. One look at the video showcasing the Corp’s precision performance proves that dedication and a commitment to excellence was evident.

The exhibit contains a rich collection of uniforms, national press clippings and photographs, scrapbooks, memorabilia (including director Wayne Shield’s books for tracking demerits) and original musical instruments. This show will be on display in the main gallery through June.

Monroe Girls Corp Members at the Opening Reception for the Retrospective Show

1949 Original Monroe Girls Corp Members in Attendance

Photo Credit: Stephanie Roberts