Daley Debutantes Baton & Drum Corps History

The following information was discovered on an expired website page on an Internet archive. It was not easy to find or navigate. But, we’re glad we were able to preserve this in an easily accessed location, especially the images. The article was written in 2005. We added the subheads. We have dated the article 2005, because that is when it was first published; however, it was posted on this site in May 2023.

50th Anniversary

After more than 1,000 parades and more than 94 world, national, and state titles, the World Champion Daley Debutantes Baton and Drum Corps celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2005. Founded in 1955, by Sherry Daley, the Debs made their first public appearance in the West Allis Fourth of July Parade. Since then, the 114-plus members of the Corps have become a familiar sight at Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Fourth of July, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and Christmas parades, as well as the South Shore Water Frolic, St. Francis Days, Irish Fest, West Allis Western Days, Wisconsin State Fair, and Milwaukee’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Southeastern Wisconsin area. Today, the Daley Debutantes are the oldest, largest, and most celebrated baton corps in Wisconsin.

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Years of hard work and a tradition of excellence have advanced the reputation of the Daley Debutantes throughout the United States and Europe. Each year since 1962, with the exception of 1999 and 2003, the Corps has performed in Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, capturing in excess of 22 parade corps awards and trophies. In 1988, the Corps won the Mayor Richard J Daley trophy for being the outstanding unit in the parade, defeating nearly 200 entries from four states and Ireland.

Sugar Bowl Pre-Game Show

In addition to parade performances, the Daley Debutantes twirlers have been asked to perform at many national events. The twirlers have made two appearances at the annual Kick-Off Classic football halftime show at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ in 1988 and 1995. On January 1, 1989, team members participated in the Sugar Bowl pre-game show in New Orleans, LA and on December 31, 1990, members of the Daley Debs winning teams and color guard were the only twirling teams who performed at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, FL.

The Fugitive

Other special performances include a parade/chase scene in the 1993 blockbuster film “The Fugitive” starring Harrison Ford and Tommie Lee Jones, halftime shows for Marquette University Basketball games and Milwaukee Bucks NBA basketball games, and huge corporate events for Quadgraphics Printing Company and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.’s National Convention.

Dublin, Ireland

Over the years, the Corps has been asked to perform in Spain, France, Russia, and Sweden and on cruise ships to Bermuda and the Bahamas. However, the highlights of the group’s performance career were their appearances in the 1999 and 2003 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland. Both times, they dazzled the ¾ of a million spectators with their exciting music, flag, and twirling performances!

The Daley Debutantes Baton & Drum Corps has always participated in competitions at the local, state, national, and world levels. Their winning tradition has culminated in 19 Grand World Parade Corps, 33 National Parade Corps, and 48 Wisconsin State Parade Corps wins. Their most recent achievement is the 2005 Grand World Parade Corps Championship for Corps with Live Music at America’s Youth on Parade at the University of Notre Dame…

The following photos of a halftime performance at Marquette University in 1972, were preserved from the archive. They are credited to Mark Goff. No copyright infringement is intended. To request removal, please contact info@vintage-baton-twirler.org.

This article is also being extracted from the same archive. It features similar information; however, focuses more on the Daley sisters. Again, we added subheads.

A Tradition of Excellence: The Daley Debutantes Baton & Drum Corps / Co-Directors ~ Sherry Daley Jung, Marcy Daley Blaufuss, Patti Daley Wertschnig

The Daley Debutantes Baton & Drum Corps’ tradition of excellence began when the Corps was founded and marched in its first parade in 1955. Over a period of years, the Daley Sisters won 65 state and national majorette championships in contests from coast to coast. From early childhood through college graduation, they were professional entertainers, appearing at conventions, dinners, sports shows, community celebrations, theaters, and supper clubs. They “grew up” on Wisconsin’s first television station as regular staff performers on Milwaukee’s WTMJ-TV and also appeared on national television shows such as Ed Sullivan, Laraine Day-Leo Durocher, and Ted Mack. The founder of the Corps at age 15,


Sherry won the junior National Majorette championship at St. Paul and six Wisconsin state solo baton championships. She was a finalist for both Miss Majorette of America and Mrs. Majorette of America and was Drum Major Magazine’s Contest Director of the Year in 1968. A graduate of Marquette University, Sherry was the featured twirler and oboist with the Warrior band. She served for six years as board member and vice-president of the Association of Marquette University Women.

She was one of five nationally noted twirling figures cited at the National Baton Twirling Association’s 1977 America’s Youth on Parade Pageant for “dedication to the art of baton twirling”. She is a charter member of the NBTA. For many years, Sherry has served as a judge at pageants and competitions across the country. Recognizing her leadership and contributions to the community, Milwaukee Magazine named her “One of Milwaukee’s Most Interesting People of 1986”.


As a baton twirler, Marcy won five Wisconsin state solo baton championships, and established a still-existent Veterans of Foreign Wars record by winning six VFW National Majorette championships. Marcy, Milwaukee’s first Junior Miss, performed at the Cotton Bowl and was the state’s first senior Miss Wisconsin Majorette. A graduate of Marquette University, Marcy was the featured twirler and first chair alto clarinetist with the Warrior band. For six years, she was famed Coach Al McGuire’s coordinator of cheerleaders for the Marquette Warrior basketball team, including the 1977 NCAA champions.

In 1974, she was named Drum Major Magazine’s Twirling Teacher of the Year. She has judged NBTA Nationals at St. Paul, Las Vegas and the University of Notre Dame, as well as Miss Majorette of America Pageants, Canadian Nationals, and Miss Majorette of Canada Pageants. Because of her community involvement, as well as her leadership in the Daley Debutantes organization, Milwaukee Magazine named her “One of Milwaukee’s Most Interesting People of 1985”. In 1993, the National Baton Twirling Association honored Marcy as the “International Corps Director of the Year”.


As the youngest Daley sister, Patti was the first Junior Miss Majorette of Wisconsin and won Wisconsin state and national solo baton championships of the VFW, DAV, and DMA. She succeeded Sherry and Marcy as head majorette with Cathedral High School’s national champion Catholic high school band. She twirled throughout the country with the Milwaukee Letter Carrier’s Band for 21 years. Patti twirled with the Marquette University band and is a graduate of Spencerian College. She was a “Top Ten College Majorette” at the Gasparilla Pirates Invasion in Tampa, Fla. Like her sisters, Patti modeled professionally and judged beauty pageants and twirling contests across the country.

Today, the Daley sisters are renowned directors of the famous Daley Debutantes who recently won their 17th Grand International World Championship, their 31st United States National Parade Corps Championship, and their 46th Wisconsin State Championship. Each year, under their direction, new music and choreography that captivates audiences and keeps the winning traditions alive is perfected. As baton twirling instructors, they have taught thousands of students who have successfully competed for thousands of local, state, regional, and national titles.

Premier Baton and Drum Corps

The Daley sisters’ hard work and dedication to the Daley Debutantes has created an incredible legacy of excellence and status as the premier Baton and Drum Corps in the world. This has resulted in invitations to perform worldwide representing America in France, Spain, Sweden, Russia, and on cruise ships. In both March 1999 and March 2003, the world champion Daley Debutantes represented the United States in Dublin, Ireland for the famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade before ¾ of a million spectators.

In 2002, all three Daley sisters were inducted into the Baton Twirling Hall of Fame. In addition, in that same year, the Wisconsin Drum Instructor’s Guild presented all three sisters with the Lifetime Achievement Award. A vibrant Corps membership of 114 current members plus many adult supporters represents 24 communities in southeastern Wisconsin. Guided by the leadership of the Daley sisters Sherry, Marcy, and Patti, the Daley Debutantes Baton and Drum Corps will continue their world champion traditions.

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