Johan Friso is a junior marching and maneuvering corps based in Middelburg, Netherlands. It is the feeder corps for Juliana.
One automatically thinks of Johan Friso when speaking of the youth of Juliana, but it is important to remember that the older Juliana was also originally a youth activity. The corps was set up for very young musicians who, when they were older, were taken over by the big corps. That was the plan, but a world war intervened.
A number of members lived through the war as members of “Young Juliana,” but at the corps’ relaunch in 1945, all members came together into one corps as "Old Juliana." In the years following the war, there was little need for a youth corps, and everyone performed in the same large group.
It was 25 years later, in 1970, that enough interest had developed for a junior corps. When a membership drive uncovered a lot of potential members in the 10- to 12-year-old age group (the minimum age for Juliana was 14), it was clear that a youth corps could be successfully organized.
The new group, to be named later, was formed in February, 1971, and rehearsals started immediately. Acting on an idea by the corps chairman, the group eventually chose a name based on the Dutch royal family. Since the corps was a "grandson" of the Juliana corps, it took the name of the royal grandson, Johan Friso, and the corps Johan Friso proudly paraded before the public on the Queen's birthday, 30 April 1971.
The corps had uniforms in that inaugural appearance, but there hadn't been time to prepare any music! Seven months later, during the yearly presentation in November 1971, the group managed to utter their first shaky 32 bars.
From that unsteady beginning, the young Johan Friso corps has been held up as an example to many. In 1981, Johan Friso has already been CDSD champion three times, and in 1999 became DCH Cadet Class Champions for the twelfth time.