The Bishop Watterson Drumline has been in existence officially since 1982, but the first year that the Watterson Marching Band started to perform and compete was 1984. In the first 4 years, the drumline mainly existed within the marching band season, and consisted of a typical "traditional" style set up: snares; tri-toms; basses; cymbals; and marching bells. As the band started to gain more success in the competetive arena, and the tenets of being a competetive drumline started to become important, new elements and demands started to come in. In the fall of 1987, the band qualified for for OMEA State Finals for the first time. From this starting point, the drumline started turning it's sights towards a more serious and up to date approach, and took on the style of a competetive drumline.
The addition of a Front Ensemble in 1991 was the first major step in this direction. The shows started taking on a more competetive nature, and drum parts started to evolve away from stock charts to custom written parts and the drill demand became more challenging. The mid '90's saw the drumline starting to win many "High Drum" trophies, as well as a swell in numbers participating. The mid '90's also saw the program and students involved start to participate in outside activities like solo and ensemble participation, private lessons, summer camps. The numbers grew to sustain an average of 21 members for the past 15 years. The largest line was in 1997 with 25 members.