Where it all began.
A Legacy of Greatness.
The General Butler Vagabonds
The General Butler Vagabonds hail from Lyndora (Butler), Pennsylvania, approximately 35 miles north of Pittsburgh. The corps serves the Western Pennsylvania region, providing a low-cost musical experience for youth ages 12–21.
The Vagabonds were affiliated with Drum Corps International until 2000 and are now sponsoring an indoor percussion ensemble, aptly named Nomad Indoor.
Founded in 1966 by Andrew Yaracs and others, the Vagabonds at first was an all-male corps.
By 1971, however, the Vagabonds were gender integrated. They won the U.S. Open Class A Championship in Marion, Ohio, in 1969, 1971, and 1972.
The 1970s were the corps' heyday, when it placed well in DCI competition and became an Associate member of DCI in 1975.
The 80's & 90's
The Vagabonds returned to the parade route in the late 1980s in order to rebuild their organization, and eventually returned to competition in the mid-80s to moderate success.
In the late 1990s, the General Butler Vagabonds entered a new era. While much smaller than the corps of the 1970s and 1980s, the Vagabonds enjoyed success in the DCI Division III.
The Vagabonds made DCI Finals as a Division III corps in 1997 with their ground-breaking "Fiddler on the Roof" show, received the coveted "Spirit of Disney" award for the most entertaining program in 1997, and the bronze medal and 3rd place in Division III in 1998.
The 99 program finished 4th and secured the High Brass trophy. Unfortunately, by 2000, the corps was to take another sabbatical from the field.
What happened next?
For the period from 2000 to 2012, the corps featured younger performers and did mostly local parades and performances at the Veteran's Administration under the directorship, once again, of Andy Yaracs, until his passing in 2012.
After several abbreviated attempts to relaunch the corps as a competitive group until 2016, the new board of directors decided to try their hand at the exciting world of indoor percussion; Nomad Indoor was then founded in 2017.
Nomad Indoor continues to provide quality musical instruction and complex visual productions as a competing ensemble in Winter Guard International. The group has been a national finalist in three of the four years they have participated. Members are between the ages of 14 and 22 and are selected by audition.
The members come from all around the Western Pennsylvania Area.
Nomad was promoted into Open Class in the Spring of 2023.