The Colts Youth Organization is guided by its simple mission: "We use music and excellence to teach each other about success in life." This is what drives the organization and ensures its continued success. Our programs serve young people who desire high levels of challenge, achievement and success and they carry an expectation that our members are committed to hard work and dedication.
The Colts have been a continuous thread in Dubuque’s artistic and educational fabric since 1963, providing access for thousands of young people and enriching the community for all those who have experienced a performance. Our programs include the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps, Colt Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps, Colts Summer Band, and Colts Summer Pans Steel Drum Ensemble. Over 600 young people ages 8-21 annually participate in a Colts program.
The purpose of the Colts organization is to provide motivated young people an opportunity to participate in intensive and accelerated performing arts ensembles, and in the process learn life skills that will allow them to grow as leaders of the future. Our priorities also include a focus on underserved students in Dubuque and nearby communities, as well as students from across Iowa. These priorities are supported by a commitment to fiscal responsibility while making our programs accessible to all interested students.
The Colts were proud to represent the State of Iowa in the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C. They rank as one of the top marching ensembles in the world placing in the Top 25 at the DCI World Championships every year since 1982 — a remarkable record of consistency. We are proud to represent Dubuque and be recognized as "Iowa's Ambassadors of Music" — a proclamation made by Iowa Governors Terry Branstad and Chet Culver.