Stanley Knaub’s marching career started in Southern California with the Lakewood High School band where he went on to march with the Lynwood Diplomats Drum and Bugle Corps and later with the Anaheim Kingsmen as a french horn. Stanley later moved north to play mellophone with the Santa Clara Vanguard, marching with other DCI Hall of Fame legends – Jim Ott, Mike Moxley and Wayne Downey all under the legend Gail Royer. Those who marched with Stanley would remember him on the practice field, wrapped in a blanket instead of a coat as his clothing of choice to keep warm. While a talented horn player, Stanley’s forte came through his intricate design and flare working in the color guard world. He started instructing the Santa Clara Vanguard Color Guard during the1974-1976 seasons, with his color guard winning the DCI Championship. Stanley’s creativity and innovations work with color guard continued through the Winter Guard competitions.
At that time California seem to be the hot bed for new ideas flag-rifle-sabre work, and innovators like Sherlee Whitcomb (WGI Hall of Famer) and Stanley Knaub (WGI Hall of Famer) turned the drum corps world around in adding visual color and effect, changing drum corps field shows from the old standard regimented flag work to new flowing and evolving design work that blew the drum corps world away. Stanley later went on to work with other drum corps, amazing everyone when his color guard (the Seattle Imperials) showed up at a competition wearing ballet slippers versus the standard marching boot – a first! His designs and creativity pushed Drum Corps visuals into the ‘90’s and the new millennium. Stanley’s visual art form of color guards blended amazingly well with what has become today’s total visual effects concept, incorporating moving flag work, spinning rifles, saber movement and one of the first to introduce dance to the drum corps world.
He produced numerous instructional videos (“State of the Art Clinic”), which became the standard for all drum corps color guards. Stanley’s visual impact on color guard revolutionized the activity with the addition of dance to make color guard and drum corps more visually pleasing to the crowd. His visionary work with numerous drum corps and winter guards throughout the drum corps world will continue to impact marching for decades to come.
Stanley passed away in 2002 in Seattle, Washington. While greatly missed, his legacy lives on in the creative and colorful visual impact central to today’s Drum Corps.