Fred (Frederick Val Sanford) began his drum corps with the Casper Troopers in 1959, and in 1968 moved to Santa Clara to instruct the Santa Clara Vanguard, working with fellow Casper Trooper Pete Emmons, and SCV Director Gail Royer to create some of the most progressive percussion lines the drum corps world has ever seen. Fred spent more than 15 years developing percussion writing into a symphonic art. Some of his best known arrangements for the Santa Clara Vanguard were his work on “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Appalachian Spring”, and “Young Person’s Guide to Drum Corps”,
while mentoring many new percussionists into drum corps, such as Rob Carson, Curt Moore, Paul Siebert and Mike LaPorta to name just a few. During his tenure with the Vanguard, his drum line won an unprecedented five national “high drum” titles (in 1973, 1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979). In a fitting tribute, the DCI “high drum” award has been named in his honor, titled the “Fred Sanford Award for Best Percussion Performance.” Fred passed away in January of 2000 but his contributions to the drum corps world and the Santa Clara Vanguard will live on.