Since first playing a snare drum in 1969, Dale Adair has demonstrated a high level of expertise in many drum and bugle corps categories, including managing, judging, arranging, instructing and performing. He is highly regarded by students and fellow instructors for his creativity, style, enthusiasm and approach to arranging and teaching and for the initiative he has demonstrated in these areas. Members of drum lines he taught were always well prepared and well schooled. His judging opinions were presented in a professional manner and considered by fellow judges to be right on point. He was a percussion judge with the National Judges Association from 1983 to 2005. He began judging with the Cavalcade Judges Association in 2006. He served on the Crossmen’s board of directors in 1993-1994. He has arranged for and taught several highly regarded senior corps since 1982, including Archer-Epler Musketeers, Reading Buccaneers, New York Skyliners and Reilly Raiders Alumni. He was assistant drum instructor with Madison Scouts in the late 1980s and served as arranger and instructor for P.A.L. Cadets, Cramer Hill and the Shadettes earlier. He is an accomplished drummer, winning the first place medal in the first individual snare drum contest he entered. A member of a well-known drum corps family, he started playing snare drum with the Golden Eagles in 1969. Over the following 10 years, he performed with the 507 Hornets and Crossmen, before moving up to the senior category to play snare drum with Archer-Epler Musketeers in 1982 and Reilly Raiders Alumni from 2004 to 2009.
RITA MACEY BERNERT
Rita Macey Bernert was the dominant snare
drummer of the 1950s, winning nine out 10 individual snare drum contests she
entered while she marched in the Audubon Bon Bons drum line. She also competed
as a member of the Audubon drum quartet, earning several more first place
awards. She won the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national individual contest
in Miami, Florida in 1957. The same year, the Audubon drum line took top score
at the American Legion (AL) national championships in Atlantic City, New
Jersey. She played snare drum with Audubon from 1952 to 1958, also serving as
the assistant percussion instructor, working with Bill Reamer, from 1956 to
1958. During those same three years, she was the arranger and instructor for
the drum lines of Saint Nicholas All Girls and Bracken Cadets. She is a
lifetime member of the National Association of Rudimental Drummers. She began
playing snare drum with the Olde Citie Fife and Drum Corps of Philadelphia in
1976, performing at ceremonies with audiences including such dignitaries as
Queen Elizabeth II of England, several United States presidents and other world
Allan Buell is a superb administrator who has also reached a high level of achievement as a color guard visual designer and instructor and a judge. He served as business manager of Rochester’s Empire Statesmen, the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) champions in 2004, from 2003 to 2011, while simultaneously heading up the organization of DCA world championship tournament weekends. Initially, he served as chair of the local organizing committee when the DCA championships returned to Rochester from Scranton, Pennsylvania. DCA appointed him as operations director in 2005. He was appointed vice president of DCA in 2011. He also worked closely with Empire Statesmen and World Drum Corps Hall of Fame founder Vince Bruni in organizing the DCA championships in Rochester in 1996. He instructed the Winter Guard International (WGI) champion Bishop Kearney High School color guard ensemble with Hall of Fame member Vince Monacelli from 1991 through 1998, winning the WGI title an unprecedented five years in row from 1993 to 1997. He served as president of the North East Color Guard Circuit from 2001 to 2009. He was inducted into the Circuit’s Hall of Fame in 2009. He has also served as guard visual designer and instructor with Empire Statesmen and Rochester Crusaders. He has judged with several associations since 1999, including the New York Federation of Contest Judges and Pennsylvania Federation of Contest Judges. Between 1988 and 2003, he marched in the color guard of Empire Statesmen, Les Metropolitans, Syracuse Brigadiers and Rochester Crusaders, also serving as Crusaders business manager in 2002 and 2003.
Ray Fallon is widely recognized as one of the most creative brass arrangers in the drum and bugle corps community. After serving in the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1970 to 1974, he arranged for and taught the brass sections of such well known groups as Bayonne Bridgemen, Milford Shoreliners, Crossmen, Boston Crusaders, Sunrisers, Archer-Epler Musketeers and Connecticut Hurricanes when they won the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship in 1981. He helped spark the alumni drum corps movement in 1978, serving as the coordinator, arranger and drum major for Archer-Epler Musketeers’ re-appearance at the 1978 Dream Contest. He has since worked with other alumni corps, including Baltimore’s Yankee Rebels, Boston Crusaders and the Bridgemen. He was inducted into the Hurricanes Hall of Fame in 2002, the Sunrisers Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Buglers Hall of Fame in 2006. He was also the DCA individual contra bass champion in 1992. He began his long association with drum and bugle corps activity playing baritone horn from 1960 to 1969 with Legionnaires Ocean Side junior corps. After his USAF service, he played baritone with Sunrisers from 1974 to 1976.
BOBBY HOFFMAN (deceased)
Bobby Hoffman brought a new level of creativity and a zany sense of humor to drum and bugle corps field show activity over more than 20 years of show design before his passing in January 1991. His unique new approach to show design was perhaps best exemplified by the Bayonne Bridgemen when he served as show designer, coordinator and marching instructor from 1976 to 1982. He was also director of the Bridgemen from 1978 to 1982. Earlier in the 1970s, he handled both show design and marching instruction for such well-known junior corps of the time as Garfield Cadets, Anaheim Kingsmen and Blue Stars of Lacrosse, Wisconsin. In the years following his activity with the Bridgemen, he brought his special blend of show design, show coordination and marching instruction to the west coast, working in California with Valley Fever of Fresno and Velvet Knights of Anaheim. During his years with New York Skyliners in the early 1970s, he introduced the visual depiction of a New York City style traffic jam on the contest field, one of the most crowd-pleasing, clever and effective pieces of show drill of all time. He was also a percussion pioneer. He introduced timbales while performing with the Hawthorne Caballeros drum line in 1961. The sound of the two relatively high pitched small drums mounted on a carrying harness helped create a Latin percussion sound that corps members, judges and audiences all loved to hear. Before joining Hawthorne, he played tenor drum with three New Jersey junior drum and bugle corps: the Ravens of Bergenfield in 1956 and 1957; the Dumont Police Cadets in 1958 and 1959 and St. Ann’s Cadets of Fairlawn in 1960.
VIC KULINSKI JR.
Vic Kulinski Jr. already had an impressive record of achievement as a judge, administrator and percussion instructor by the time he played a significant role in helping Drum Corps Associates (DCA) expand into the southeastern sunshine states. After co-founding Heat Wave of Orlando, Florida in 1992, he served as executive director and board member until 2005 while also responsible for percussion visual instruction, playing snare drum in the line and then marching out front as drum major. He was the co-founder and initial coordinator of DCA South in 2003. He served on the board of the Corps Vets of Atlanta, Georgia from 2006 to 2010. Before his southern involvement, he served as executive director of the Connecticut Hurricanes from 1985 to 1989 and was instrumental in the restart of the Hurricanes in 1986. He founded Class ACTE winter guard in 1980 and served as director until 1985. He also founded two winter percussion ensembles: the Spitfire ensemble and the Riptide ensemble. He has been a percussion judge since 1977, with the North East Circuit, Florida Band Masters and Field Marching Band Conference. He taught the Hurricanes’ percussion section from 1976 to 1989 while also teaching Connecticut Vagabonds from 1981 to 1983. He handled the percussion visual caption for Corps Vets from 2006 to 2010 and began teaching the percussion section of the Sun Devils of Inverness, Florida in 2013. He also handled percussion duties with several junior corps from 1975 to 1992, including Explorers of Oxford, Connecticut, Connecticut Classics and Magic of Orlando. He first played snare drum with Carey’s Cadets Fife and Drum Corps in 1967, subsequently playing with Connecticut Royal Lancers, Prospect Fife, Drum and Bugle Corps, Oxford Explorers and St. Andrew’s Bridgemen. He has performed or marched as drum major with several corps, including Hurricanes, Bahia Shriners Drum Corps, Heat Wave, Bridgemen Alumni and Atlanta Corps Vets. He was named a charter member of the Hurricanes Hall of Fame in 1994. He has won many individual snare drumming awards since 1970, including the New England Individual and Hurricanes National Invitational titles, finished second in the Bridgemen National Open, finished in the top five in DCA snare competitions 10 times since 1998 and won the DCA Class A best drum major award six times since 1997.
President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013
BOB BELLAROSA (deceased)
Bob ‘Kid’ Bellarosa spent a lifetime in the drum and bugle corps community, participating and contributing in many areas of the activity stretching across 70 years from his first involvement as a young boy in 1942 to his longstanding duties as publisher of Eastern Review and Heritage magazine for more than 50 years, from 1956 until his passing in 2011. Along the way, he played French horn with both arch rivals New York Skyliners and Hawthorne Caballeros and several well-known junior corps of the 1940s and 1950s. He constantly promoted the value of drum corps involvement as a recreation outlet and educational activity for youth especially in communities and neighborhoods where teenage programs were scarce.
He founded the Blessed Sacrament Alumni Corps in 1990. He also founded and operated the Drum Corps Hall of Fame and Museum in a four-storey building in Brooklyn, packed with pictures, trophies, old uniforms and other memorabilia to help publicize the individuals and groups who were the leaders of the activity. For many years, he served many groups as a roving instructor who neither asked for any fee, nor accepted money for teaching. He was a member of the Buglers Hall of Fame, a highly skilled mid-range brass player who won more than 50 individual competitions at the circuit, state and national level. He was a fierce competitor in another competitive sport: a Golden Gloves boxer who won 68 of 75 bouts. He was a familiar figure to thousands of fans at drum corps events: the short man in a Skyliners jacket and overseas cap adorned with his competition medals. He entered the drum and bugle corps world in 1942, carrying a rifle and playing drum with St. Helen’s Cadets. He moved on top play alto horn with Todd Memorial in 1945 then became a French horn player with Holy Name Cadets in 1948 and was voted Cadet of the Year in 1952. He moved to Edison Post junior corps in 1953 and then Our Lady of Grace Lancers in 1954. Over the following 15 years he played French horn with Skyliners for 13 years, moved to Caballeros for a couple of years then returned to Skyliners.
For more than 30 years, George Hopkins has been a major proponent of changes in instrumentation, education and contest guidelines, such as initiating the use of band instruments, electronics, removal of sidelines and other alternatives. During those three decades he has served as director of The Cadets, winners of 10 Drum Corps International (DCI) championships during that time. He is also the chief executive officer of Youth Education in the Arts (YEA), the umbrella group that operates the Cadets and also serves 60,000 marching band members through the U.S. Scholastic Band Association. About 200 city youth attend the Urban Arts Center of Allentown, Pennsylvania at no fee. He has been a member of the DCI board of directors for 28 years, the DCI executive committee for 20 years and has served as chairman of the DCI finance committee. He has served as percussion instructor and coordinator for a number of prominent junior corps since 1979, including the Cadets, Crossmen, Boston Crusaders and Carolina Crown. He began his drum corps activity by playing snare drum with Holts Hornets in 1968.
Joel Matuzak is already widely recognized for his contributions to drum corps activity in arranging, drill writing, serving as a clinician and adjudicating. He is a member of the Minnesota Brass Hall of Fame and the Minnesota Percussion Association Hall of Fame. He has taken part if every area of drum corps activity: marching, instructing, managing, judging and serving as coordinator. He has helped expand exposure of drum and bugle corps activity through his efforts as creative director of the Minnesota Brass indoor drum line and the Minnesota Vikings Skol Line, which provides game-day entertainment for the National Football League team. (Skol, Vikings is the title of the team’s fight song.) He has been program coordinator of Minnesota Brass since 2002. He has been percussion caption head since 1997 and percussion and music arranger since 1998. The corps won the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) title in 2011 and finished second in 2008, 2009 and 2010. While he has been percussion caption head, the corps has taken top scores at the DCA championships in 2003, 2004 and 2010. He has served on many DCA judging committees and task forces. He has judged percussion, music and visual captions for several regional judging associations. He first became involved with Minnesota Brass in 1986, playing snare drum.
Dan Rippon’s most important contributions to the drum corps community have been off the contest field. He proposed and served as the first coordinator of the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) Class A division. Ten Class A corps competed in the 2005 DCA championship preliminaries, making it the largest prelim show in DCA history to that date. He provided computer automation support to the National Judges Association for Website design and a judging profile system. He also provided design and support services for the computerized DCA tabulation system. He has served in many DCA positions, including secretary, vice president, business manager, executive board member and assistant treasurer. He was the first outside member of the board elected to Five Star Brass Productions. When the Westshoremen were facing difficult times, he stepped in to serve as corps director, helping to create a successful turnaround. He has judged for DCA and the National Judges Association. In his early years in the activity, he marched with several corps, including Rochester Crusaders, Grey Knights of St. Mary, Pennsylvania and Johnsonburg Diplomats. He first marched with the Buck-tail Regiment, playing cymbals in 1976 and 1977.
During his drum corps involvement spanning more than 50 years, Anthony Smith has made a major impact on the activity as a percussionist, visual designer and through his work in administration and management. He won several individual championships as a snare drummer. As a member of Boston Crusaders at age 18, he helped design and played the first double bass drum in drum corps history. When he auditioned for the United States Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps, not only was he accepted immediately but offered a teaching position moments after his audition. However, he chose to attend private college instead of marching. He helped restructure the Boston Crusaders in 1983 to keep the corps from folding then remained corps director until 1995. Since he rejoined the Concord Blue Devils in 2006 as visual design consultant the corps has won three Drum Corps International (DCI) titles. He had also been design consultant from 1979 to 1982. As the visual caption chairman for Drum Corps Associates (DCA)), he has helped pioneer a new judging system that takes into effect the entertainment values of field programs. He began judging percussion and visual captions for DCI, DCA and MJA in the early 1970s. He has been a drill designer or consultant with such well-known units as New York Skyliners, Crossmen, Boston Crusaders. He joined Boston Crusaders in 1962 as a baritone player then switched to play snare drum with the Valiants for two years before returning to Crusaders in 1965. His brother Neal Smith was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2008.
John “Duke” Terreri
Duke Terreri has been involved with drum and bugle corps activity since 1956 when he was a horn player with St. Lucy’s Cadets. He has been a major contributor to the alumni drum and bugle corps movement for more than two decades, providing services as music instructor, assistant instructor, arranger or performer with such high profile alumni organizations as Archer Epler Musketeers, Hawthorne Caballeros, New York Skyliners, Reilly Raiders, St. Lucy’s, Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, Morristown Colonials, Lambertville Volunteers. He served as director of St. Lucy’s senior corps for three years and has arranged and taught the brass section of such corps as New York Skyliners, Hawthorne Caballeros and St. Lucy’s. He is highly proficient at teaching the techniques and styles required to get the most out of his ensembles. He is the current conductor and music director of the Audubon Bon Bons All Girl Drum and Bugle Corps alumni chorus. He has played horn with Archer Epler Musketeers, New York Skyliners and Hawthorne Caballeros and arranged for and instructed a number of junior, senior and alumni corps since 1973. He has also been director of St. Lucy’s senior corps and co-director of St. Lucy’s Alumni corps. He has judged music and brass captions for Drum Corps Associates (DCA), Metro Adjudicators Association and Eastern Marching Bands Association. He served in the United States Army from 1970 – 72 with the 33rd Army Band Special Troops Group in Heidelberg, Germany and was bandmaster from 1995 to 1997 while serving as a captain in the Pennsylvania State Army Reserve Band. He was recently elected to the New Jersey Drum Corps Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Drum Corps Hall of Fame.
John Bosworth reinforces the word “World” in the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. His drumming career spans two centuries and nearly 70 years. He has performed in 28 countries, from the Azores to Wales, from Austria to Australia. He has taught drum corps and drumming in countries such as Switzerland, Scotland, Oman, and, of course, the U.S.A. He played in nearly all of the U.S. states and all of the Canadian provinces, for various world leaders and kings and queens, including Queen Elizabeth of England and Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union. He has performed in front of 11 U.S. Presidents, from Harry Truman to George Bush.He began drumming in 1942 at the age of three. By the time he was 12, he was traveling by bus from his hometown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania to New York City, where he took drum lessons from Gene Krupa and Cozy Cole. In 1954, he joined the Williamsport Black Eagles Sr. Drum Corps, with whom he played for four years. During his final years of playing with the Black Eagles the corps was taught by John Dowlan, who was also the percussion instructor for the United States Air Force (USAF) Drum Corps. He encouraged John to audition in Washington, D.C., which led not only to a 28 year career in Air Force musical groups, but to a lifetime of travel, performing, instructing, and arranging. He performed with the USAF Drum Corps from 1958 until the Corps’ demise in 1970. He was simultaneously playing with the USAF Pipe Band, which had once been a part of the AF Drum Corps and later became a separate unit. After the AF Drum Corps was disbanded, he was the percussion instructor and lead snare drummer for the USAF Pipe Band, until it was terminated in 1974. After that, he played with USAF Ceremonial Band and the USAF Band. Because of his exceptional service with various elements of USAF Band Squadron, he was awarded the prestigious Meritorious Service Medal from Colonel Arnold Gabriel. Concurrent with his AF career were many instruction and arranging opportunities, including instruction of drum corps such as the Williamsport Black Eagles, Milton Keystoners, Esquires, and the VIPs from Washington, D.C. After his discharge, he became the founder and director of the American Originals Fife and Drum Corps, which brought innovative rudimental drumming and visual effects to a different medium. Later, his career in instruction led him to Switzerland, where he taught the world renowned Top Secret Drum Corps from Basel, a job that eventually led him to the middle eastern country of Oman, where he originated, directed, and instructed the Royal Guard Drum Corps of the Sultanate of Oman for seven years.
INDUCTED 2011Joseph Alletag
Joe Alletag was active in a wide range of positions in the drum and bugle corps community, including soprano horn player, music instructor, assistant director, corps president and judge over a span of more than three decades. After marching with a junior corps, he played soprano horn with Reilly Raiders for 10 years. He served as assistant music director for Liberty Bell Cadets for two years and East German Cadets for three years. For 10 years, he was music instructor for Rising Sun Cadets. He also served as music instructor for Lamplighters for four years and Bellaires for six years. His responsibilities as an administrator included serving as assistant director of Rising Sun Cadets for four years and as corps president of Reilly Raiders for five years. After winding up his activities as a performer and instructor, he judged the visual music caption with the Eastern States Judging Association for five years and the Mid Atlantic Judging Association for 30 years. He has also served as chief judge of the Cavalcade of Bands Circuit.
Mike Duffy started his drum corps activities on the west coast and worked his way as far east as Toronto, Ontario, performing as a top ranked soprano soloist and blazing new trails as a creative, exciting brass arranger and teacher. Several corps in Canada and the United States reached their highest level of performance when he taught them. He is the only brass arranger to have his corps finish in the top two positions in the Drum Corps International (DCI) finals in the same year. He began playing a soprano horn with Pasco Columbians in 1957. He also played with Portland Hawks, Seattle Thunderbirds and Seattle Shamrocks before aging out of junior ranks in 1965. During the early 1960s, he finished in the top three in the soprano individual category for three consecutive years at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national convention. He was one of the first to creatively arrange brass music specifically for drum and bugle corps rather than simply transposing marching band charts. His career as brass arranger and instructor began with the Thunderbirds in 1963. He worked with Casper Troopers from 1968 to 1971. The Troopers won the VFW national title in 1970. In 1972, he arranged for and taught both Anaheim Kingsmen, who won the DCI title and LaCrosse Blue Stars, who finished second, their highest position ever. In 1974 DeLaSalle Oaklands of Toronto finished sixth at DCI and, known as Oakland Crusaders the following year, finished fifth, the highest placing of any corps from outside the United States at DCI finals. Other corps under his guidance included Seattle Marksmen, Seattle Imperials, Alberta All Girls and Anaheim Kingsmen Alumni Corps. He served as music director for the Columbians, Shamrocks and Alberta All Girls at various times from 1964 to 1978.
After performing in the percussion section with the Crossmen from 1976 to 1978, Chris Thompson began arranging and teaching junior and all-age drum and bugle corps across the United States and Europe. Every percussion section he taught over a thirty-year span finished among the top 10 finalists in Drum Corps International (DCI) and Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship contests. He arranged for and taught Madison Scouts’ percussion section for eight years from 1984 to 1992, finishing in the top five every year. In various years since 1979, he has been percussion instructor and arranger for Crossmen and percussion instructor for Northern Aurora in the junior ranks and percussion instructor and arranger for many top ranked all-age corps: Reading Buccaneers, New York Skyliners, Minnesota Brass, Rochester Crusaders and Racine Scouts senior corps. Overseas, he was instructor and arranger for Beatrix Drum Corps in the Netherlands from 1991 to 1995 and arranger for Beacon Sunrisers Drum Corps in the United Kingdom in 1992. He has also served as the instructor of the University of Michigan marching band percussion section and as a clinician for Yamaha percussion instruments.
Jim Allen has excelled as an instructor and performer with a number of junior and all-age drum and bugle corps that consistently finished at the top in state and national championship contests. He was visual designer for Syracuse Brigadiers from 1997 to 2007. In that period, the Brigs won the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) title five times: in 1997 and four years in a row from 1999 to 2002. He was also responsible for visual design with both of Rochester’s national-caliber corps: Empire Statesmen in 2008 and 2009 and the Crusaders in 1971 and 1973 and again from 1980 to 1983. In the 1970s, he was visual designer at various times for Empire State Express of Elmira, Rochester Patriots and St. Joseph’s of Batavia when they won the Canadian Open Championship title. He was also the brass instructor with St. Joe’s and Bayonne Bridgemen during that decade. His lifelong involvement with drum and bugle corps activity began in 1956, when he played soprano bugle with the Dutchtown Ramblers. He played soprano with Rochester’s Ridge Culver Statesmen for three years then was a soprano soloist with St. Joe’s from 1963 to 1970. During that time, St. Joe’s won eight New York State American Legion titles and made the finals in the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national championships four times. He has served as assistant director and director with St. Joe’s and assistant director of American Patrol of Batavia. He judged marching for the New York Chapter of the All-American Judging Association from 1971 to 1974 and with the New York Federation of Contest Judges since 1974. He was the chair of the local organizing committee when the Drum Corps International (DCI) championships were held in Buffalo, New York in 1990 and 1995.
John Mayer has dedicated more than a quarter of a century to insuring that the Govenaires, the oldest competing drum and bugle corps in North America, continues to flourish. The corps originated in 1927 as the St. Peter Legion Corps and had several name changes before becoming the Govenaires in the 1960s, named in honor of the five state governors who came from the town. Since playing in the Govenaires drum line from 1980 until 1986, he has taught every caption except brass, won several best drum major awards at Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship tournaments, and led the corps to championships in 2006 and 2008 in the DCA Class A category for small corps. He began arranging for and teaching the Govenaires drum line in 1985. Since then, he has served as both program and visual designer for almost 20 years. He has also been the corps director since 2002. His record of continual service with the Govenaires was interrupted only when he played tenor drum with Madison Scouts in 1987 and ’88.
Ron Gehris has contributed to the success of the Reading Buccaneers by serving in positions ranging from marching in the honor guard to serving as corps director and president. In addition, he has driven the corps truck, donated food and purchased a new trailer for the corps. He was serving his first year as president and corps director when the Buccaneers won the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship title in 1979 then repeated their top place finish in 1980. He was named the DCA director of the year for both those years. The Buccaneers finished in the top five at DCA championship tournaments during eight of the 13 years he served as head of the organization. He also served as the Buccaneers business manager and financial manager at various times between 1976 and 1993. He was the guard coordinator from 1973 to 1981 and marching instructor from 1973 to 1984, winning a number of color guard titles, including best guard at the DCA finals. His participation in drum corps activity began in 1957 with the Kenhorst Green Hornets junior corps in Reading. Over the following five years he played soprano and French horn. He marched with the Junior Buccaneers from 1962 to 1966, playing soprano horn. In 1971, he marched with the Buccaneers honor guard, carried a flash flag from 1972 to 1976 and served as color guard captain from 1973 to 1980. He was named the Buccaneer of the 1980s by the organization and is one of 10 charter inductees in the Buccaneer Hall of Fame.
Solon ‘Hardy’ Carrasas
Hardy Carrasas was not only one of the top solo soprano players of the 1950’s and 1960’s, while with the Geneva Appleknockers, but widely considered one of the best show designers and marching and maneuvering instructors in those two decades and right through the 1970s as well. In all his years of instructing he designed more than fifty field shows for drum corps and nearly that same amount for competitive color guards. He instilled a love of the activity in many participants who went on to become top ranked instructors and judges, including several who are now members of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. The senior drum and bugle corps he taught from upstate New York were among the best in the country including the Geneva Appleknockers, Rochester Crusaders, Hamburg Kingsmen and the Utica Executives. The junior corps he taught were equally as well known on a national basis such as: the Geneva Appleknockers Juniors, St. Joseph’s of Batavia, Watkins Glen Squires, Auburn Purple Lancers, the Corning Barons of Steuben and the Owego Mello Dears All Girls corps. He judged all of the marching and maneuvering and color guard captions with the All-American Judges Association, the New York Federation of Contest Judges, and Drum Corps Associates (DCA), as well as judging many American Legion regional and national events. He also served as Chief Judge while with the New York Federation of Contest Judges.
Harold ‘Skip’ Groff
Skip Groff was one of the activity’s best solo soprano players during his years of participation in drum and bugle corps events. He competed in dozens of American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) individual contests and won them all. For one notable contest, he played the Carnival of Venice on a French horn. He wrote music and instructed a number of well-known corps in Pennsylvania and Maryland and produced immediate improvement in each of them. In 1954 and ’55, he played soprano bugle with the Westshoremen. He became a solo soprano player with the United States Air Force Drum Corps in Washington, DC from 1955 - 1959. Following that he was the soloist with Yankee Rebels from 1958 to 1966 and Archer-Epler/Reilly Raiders in 1967 and 1968. From the late 1950s until 1972 he was the brass arranger and instructor for Westshoremen and Yankee Rebels. In 1968, he performed the same service with the Archie/Reilly corps. He was arranger and instructor with Hanover Lancers for a full decade starting in 1960 and with Milton Keystoners from 1960 to 1964. During the 1960s, he also arranged for and taught two prominent junior corps: Dundalk Cadets and York White Roses.
frank j. neill
Frank Neill has made a major impact on the activities of Reilly Raiders during two eras and spearheaded the formation of an alumni corps association to benefit this growing area of the activity. In 1956, as a nine-year old snare drummer, he joined the Yearsley Blackhawks, based in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. Taught by Lee Boyce, the Blackhawks were a parade corps in the process of reorganizing following its championship years. On Memorial Day, 1959, his corps assembled next to Reilly Raiders in an Acme parking lot for the parade down Germantown Avenue. He knew instantly he would become one of them. In 1961, he left Yearsley to join the Ridley Park Rangers to compete on the field. The corps went to the national championship contest in Minneapolis, Minnesota the following year, launching him into a level of competition that he had never before known. When the corps ceased operations in late May 1964, he and a dozen friends joined Reilly Raiders. It was too late in the season to learn the drum parts, so he marched in the rifle line. The following year, Reilly introduced a drum line featuring five snares and five tenor drums, which was undefeated that season. He served in the United States Air Force from 1966 to 1970. He rejoined the Reilly organization in 1994 when plans for the Reilly Raiders alumni corps were being finalized. He became director of the board in 2003, helping Reilly advance to a new level of activity including its first appearance in this year’s Drum Corps Associates (DCA) Alumni Spectacular in Rochester New York on Labor Day weekend. Also in 2003, he organized a meeting of 23 alumni corps to create an association. The business model introduced then is still effective and is being used in reviving Alumni Drum Corps Associates.
Don Angelica’s visions of musical and visual excellence helped push drum and bugle corps activity to new levels of achievement. While serving as the Chief Judge Administrator of Drum Corps International (DCI) in the 1970s, he was able to influence the scoring system to encourage instructors and designers to explore new musical themes and new visual design patterns for field shows. He proposed that drum and bugle corps participants view their activity as part of a much larger scale of activity, which includes all types of music making. He was well known to music leaders outside the drum corps movement, once taking some of his students to Lincoln Center to observe a rehearsal of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by his friend Leonard Bernstein. He was known as one of the top music adjudicators on the continent. In addition to serving as DCI’s judges administrator from 1975 to 1984, he also served as brass caption co-ordinator. He was the music arranger and instructor for many nationally known corps, including Hawthorne Caballeros, Casper Troopers and Holy Name Cadets, later known as Garfield Cadets. He was considered one of the best soprano soloists of his time, performing with Hawthorne. He was a music student of Hall of Fame member Dr. Bernard Baggs. His drum corps activities began when he joined Holy Name Cadets in Garfield, New Jersey in 1954. After leaving the Cadets in 1958, he was solo soprano with the Caballeros from 1959 to 1966. He was one of the charter members of the DCI Hall of Fame, inducted in 1985. He was also a charter member of the class of 1984 Garfield Cadets.
Jim Gruber’s record of drum corps activity is a model of consistency, with participation as a performer and administrator over 35 years all with the same organization: Reading Buccaneers. Although the Buccaneers were selected by World Drum Corps Hall of Fame as the corps of the decade for the years 2000 to 2009, the organization faced a serious crisis in the mid 1990s, following seven straight below average seasons. In 1995, he was selected executive director at a meeting to determine if the corps should cease activity or continue. With no previous drum corps administration experience, he made an immediate positive impact. During the following four seasons, the Bucs regained their Drum Corps Associates (DCA) top 10 status, rising to second place in the finals by 1999 and settling on classical music as a continuing theme. He also served as membership chairman in 1997 and 1998. Under his direction, the Buccaneers won five straight DCA titles from 2005 to 2009, scoring 99.025 in 2009, the highest score ever recorded in the finals. During this championship reign, the Buccaneers won 47 consecutive contests. He was DCA’s director of the year in 1999, 2005, 2006 and 2007. During his 14 years as executive director, the Bucs have finished in DCA’s top three in 10 of those years. Beginning in 1976, he marched in the horn line, at various times playing mellophone, French horn, soprano, baritone and alto horns. While he performed in the horn line, the Bucs won DCA titles in 1979 and 1980. He is a charter member of the Buccaneers alumni corps, established in 1987. He was inducted as a lifetime member of the Pennsylvania Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2010. He was named a charter associate member of the Hall of Fame in 2001 and was inducted into the Reading Buccaneer Hall of Fame in 1999.
Mike Linton is one of the most versatile
individuals in the drum and bugle corps community, having marched in every
position, including drum major, color guard, drum line and horn section while
also setting high standards as a judge, instructor, visual designer and
administrator. He has contributed to the success of several of the best-known
corps in western New York since the 1960s, developing a number of championship
color guards. He has served as a visual judge in all captions with organizations
in the United States and Canada, including the New York Federation of Judges,
the Canadian Judges Association and New York/Pennsylvania Judges Association. He
held a number of positions with the Rochester Crusaders over many years. He was
executive director from 1997 to 2004, assistant director from 1995 to 1997 and
show co-ordinator in 1996 and 1997. He was Crusaders’ visual show designer and
instructor over a 20 year period beginning in 1971. He also handled visual
design and instruction for Rochester Patriots, Imperial Regiment and Hamburg
Kingsmen between 1974 and 1981. He first performed as a cymbal player with
Rochester Grey Knight Squires junior corps in 1960, switching to soprano horn in
1963 and then snare drum for the 1969 and 1970 seasons. He marched in the
Rochester Crusaders color guard from 1971 to 1974, before playing soprano horn
again from 1977 to 2004. He was also the Crusaders drum major in 1983 and 1998.
Dick Mercurio was the lead snare drummer for one of New York state’s first junior super corps in the early 1950s. Under the influence of World Drum Corps Hall of Fame drum instructor Bobby Thompson, he became widely known for drum line arrangements that cleverly integrated rudiments to support and enhance the musical arrangements. He was a respected percussion judge for a number of associations, including the New York chapter of the All American Judges Association from 1956 to 1974, New York Federation of Contest Judges in 1975 and 1976 and Drum Corps Associates (DCA) from 1968 to 1972. He had a long association with Syracuse Brigadiers, playing snare drum from 1955 to 1964, and arranging for and instructing the drum line in 1963 and 1964. Earlier, he played snare drum with the Polish Legion of American Veterans (PLAV), a forerunner of the Brigadiers, in 1954 and 1955. He also arranged for and taught the drum line of Fulton Gauchos senior corps in 1961 and 1962. From 1960 to 1976, he arranged percussion parts and instructed such top New York state junior corps as St. Joseph’s of Batavia, Auburn Purple Lancers, Frankfort Starlighters, Syracuse Marauders and Yankee Marauders. He first played snare drum with the Italian American Veterans junior corps in 1950 and 1951. When he was lead snare with American Legion Post 41 junior corps, the group went undefeated in 1951 and 1952 while winning two New York state championships. He played snare drum with Brigadiers alumni corps from 1996 to 2002.
Rick Morey’s abilities as both visual designer and show co-ordinator for Syracuse Brigadiers allowed the corps to win five Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship titles in six years: in 1997 and then four years in a row from 1999 to 2002. In a very successful run as one of DCA’s top corps, the Brigadiers finished either first or second in championship tournaments from 1997 to 2004. He served as director of the Brigadiers in 2004 and 2005. He was the visual designer and instructor for Pioneer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin when the corps advanced to the Drum Corps International (DCI) semi-finals in 1999 and 2000, the highest standing in the group’s history. He has also served as visual designer and instructor for two other well- known DCI corps: the Colts of Dubuque, Iowa and Magic of Orlando. He handled the visual design and instruction for Steel City Ambassadors of Pittsburgh from 1984 to 1990, Brigadiers in 1992 and 1993, Rochester Empire Statesmen in 1994, when the corps won its second DCA title. He served as New York Federation of Contest Judges visual caption co-ordinator from 1974 to 1978 and chief judge from 1978 to 1986. He is a past president of the New York Federation of Contest Judges. Since first adjudicating in 1974, he has judged the visual caption for New York Federation of Contest Judges, DCI and DCA.
Not only is John Oddo an expert drummer and instructor who maintains consistently high standards, many of his students have become instructors throughout the drum corps community. Throughout more than 40 years of activity he has served as percussion arranger, instructor, and consultant for many top ranked corps in both Drum Corps Associates (DCA) and Drum Corps International (DCI). He served as percussion caption judge with the New Jersey chapter of the National Judges Association in 1983 and 1984. He was percussion instructor and consultant with Syracuse Brigadiers when the corps won four straight DCA titles, beginning in 1999. He was percussion instructor with Sunrisers in 1989 and served as both arranger and instructor with Connecticut Hurricanes from 1993 to 1995 and New York Skyliners from 1989 to 1992. He was arranger and instructor with Bengal Lancers of Trumbull, Connecticut from 1976 to 1979. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, he was arranger, instructor or consultant for several nationally recognized junior corps, including DCI finalists Sky Ryders of Kansas; Bridgemen of Bayonne, New Jersey; St. Ignatius All Girls of Hicksville, New York, five times World Open champions and three times DCI Class A champs; Long Island Grenadiers of Medford, New York and New York City Lancers. His first involvement dates back almost 50 years to 1962 when he began to play snare drum with Babylon Islanders. From 1968 through 1973, he played snare drum with St. Joseph Patron Cadets junior corps, which became St. Rita’s Brassmen of Brooklyn in 1969. He is the founder and percussion director of Rage, Long Island’s first independent indoor marching percussion ensemble. He has also served as arranger and instructor for Park City Pride alumni corps of Bridgeport, Connecticut.
By the time he reached the age of 50,
John Zimny had been involved in drum and bugle corps activity for more than 40
years. He began playing a soprano horn with the Viscounts of McHenry, Illinois
in 1956 at age eight. In 1961 the corps won the national Sons of the American
Legion Championship. By the late 1960s, he was soprano soloist with Chicago
Royal Airs. Following his involvement at the junior corps level, he marched as a
soprano horn player with the Air Force Academy drum and bugle corps from 1968 to
1971. He later served as chief arranger for the Academy. He is best known for
his work as music arranger, teacher and program co-ordinator with Sacramento
Freelancers beginning in 1976 and extending through the 1990s. In the early
1970s, he was brass instructor with Des Plaines Vanguard and Ottawa Crusaders in
Illinois. He taught the brass section of the Knights in 1986. In addition to his
work with various drum and bugle corps, he has been a music teacher in the
Folsom, California school system. Downbeat magazine named his group the best
middle school jazz band in America.
The odds are that anyone who has attended a major drum corps contest or listened to the introductions on classic Fleetwood Records contest recordings has heard the voice of Wes Hobby. He is also the narrator on the Fleetwood “Reflections” series of recordings. For more than 40 years, he served as the stadium announcer at major junior and senior contests across New England and beyond. He graduated in 1948 after two years of study at Boston’s School of Radio, Television and Theatre and worked as a staff member and sports announcer at a number of radio stations in New England. During his morning radio show on station WADS in Ansonia, Connecticut he began playing a drum corps selection on the air each day. There were no drum corps recordings available to the public yet: his selections were tapes borrowed from Frank Ogle of the Connecticut Hurricanes. The Hurricanes invited him to announce their contest in 1958, the first of a steady stream of engagements over the next four decades. He has been the announcer for such notable events as Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championships, the Barnum Festival, the World Open championships, Mission Drums, the U.S. Open championships, Blue Grass Nationals, Parade of Champions, the Grand Prix contest, An Evening With The Corps in Carnegie Hall, the Connecticut American Legion state championships, the SuperBowl of Music and Drum Corps International (DCI) East championships. His voice has been heard by audiences in such well known venues as Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, Meadowlands Stadium, Newark Symphony Hall, University of Kentucky and many other local stadiums and concert locations. Many drum and bugle corps fans refer to him as “the voice of drum corps.”
Roger Grupp has made significant contributions to drum corps activity in the Midwest, but is perhaps best known as one of the activity’s best high soprano soloists, marching with Minnesota Brass Inc. (MBI) for 35 years until he retired from field contests in 2006 at age 60. He has been equally busy off the field. He created the first drum and bugle corps Web site, and administered it for MBI for 14 years. He served as the corps’ personnel director for more than 20 years, starting in1980. He is considered one of the best mentors and educators in the drum corps community, taking time to educate younger members about the activity. Drum Corps Associates (DCA) named him best soloist during the 1993 championship tournament. He received the MBI Brassy lifetime achievement award in 1979. He has been a member of Classic Brass Inc., a professional brass quintet comprised of MBI players and alumni, since 1989.
Doug Kleinhans has an outstanding record of percussion performing, arranging, instructing and judging drum and bugle corps that stretches all the way back to 1947. In recent years, he has also been associated with the most prominent percussion groups on the continent, including the American Patriots Rudimental Drumming Club (APRDC), the National Association of Rudimental Drummers (NARD), Canadian Associates Drumming Rudimental Excellence (CADRE), the New York Percussion Department (NYPD) and the International Association of Traditional Drummers (IATD). He has developed many players who went on to write, instruct and perform on a national level. He began his drum corps activity playing snare drum with Lockport Firemen junior drum and bugle corps in 1947. Between 1958 and 1980, he was percussion arranger and instructor for more than a dozen prominent junior corps in New York, Ohio and Ontario, including Niagara Falls Cavaliers, Staten Island Thunderbirds, Neptune Shoreliners, Emerald Cadets, Emerald Statesmen, Marion Cadets, Cadets of Greece, Geneva Appleknockers, Richmond Hawks, Barons of Steuben County, Watkins Glen Squires, Mark Twain Cadets and Dutch Boy Cadets. During many of those years, he was also teaching a number of well-known senior corps, including Hamburg Kingsmen, Albion Grenadiers, Dunkirk Patriots, Pittsburgh Rockets and Niagara Regionaires.
Al Tierney was one Canada’s most accomplished organizers, administrators and historians, making substantial contributions to the operations of the Toronto Optimists drum and bugle corps, the Seneca Optimists, formed through the merger of the Optimists and Seneca Princemen, St. John’s all girl corps of Brantford, Ontario and the Ontario Drum Corps Association (ODCA). In addition to holding various administrative positions, he was a writer with several drum corps publications over a period of 20 years. He also wrote and published a history of the evolution of Canadian drum and bugle corps from 1934 to 1984, marking the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Drum Corps Association. He served as assistant director of the Optimists, becoming director in 1975. Following the merger with Princemen, Seneca Optimists fielded what many observers felt was the greatest Canadian drum corps ever in 1977, the only Canadian corps to win the United States Open title. When the Ontario chapter of the Canadian Drum Corps Association was incorporated as the autonomous Ontario Drum Corps Association on May 6, 1976, he became the first president, serving until 1979. In 1983, he became executive director of ODCA.
Richard Warga has been contributing to the drum and bugle corps community as a performer, instructor, judge and administrator for more than 50 years. His participation dates back to his days as a baritone horn player with the Bridgeport, Connecticut PAL Cadets junior corps from 1959 to 1964. He played baritone and soprano horn and marched as drum major of New York Skyliners from 1969 to 1977 and again from 1984 to 1993. He played soprano horn when he performed with Hawthorne Caballeros from 1994 to 2000. He taught marching and manoeuvring and served as caption head with a number of well-known junior corps from 1969 to 1977, including Kingston Indians, Westchester Horizons, Colonades drum corps and color guard, Avant Garde of Saratoga County New York, St. Raphael’s Golden Buccaneers of Bridgeport, Garfield Cadets, Milford Shoreliners and Waterbury PAL. He served as marching and manoeuvring caption head with Long Island Sunrisers in 1980. He was New York Skyliners’ drill designer and instructor from 1974 to 1977, and taught M&M from 1989 to 1993. He taught marching and manoeuvring with Hawthorne Caballeros from 2001 to 2003. Both Skyliners and Caballeros won a Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship while he was teaching them. He was business manager for the Bayonne Raiders junior drum and bugle corps in 1998 and 1999. He served as assistant director with New York Skyliners in 1992 and 1993. He was assistant business manager for Hawthorne Caballeros from 2003 to 2008 and in 2009 became Caballeros treasurer. He judged marching and manoeuvring and color guard with the Metro All American Judges Association from 1969 to 1976 and has served as an advisor to a number of associations and circuits. He served as committee chairman for the Hall of Fame’s indoor concert series since its inception. He is also the founder, charter member and first director of the Skyliners Alumni Drum Corps.
Robert Woods (deceased)
Bob Woods, who passed away in 1993, was one of the Connecticut Hurricanes’ innovative drill designers who helped move field shows away from a strict military style to a more creative, free flowing style of drill emphasizing audience entertainment, while still requiring a high degree of precision. He worked closely with his long time drum corps partner Edward Condon and their mentor, Hall of Fame charter member Vinny Radford, to create new design patterns that have evolved into modern drum and bugle corps field show standards. He drummed in the percussion section of the Hurricanes from 1955 to 1961, and handled drill design until 1969. His designs incorporated the color guard into the drill patterns for the first time, complimenting the music and percussion to create a more crowd-pleasing presentation and enhance overall audience enjoyment. The emphasis on marching precision earned the Hurricanes the nickname Green Machine. When the corps won its first World Open title in 1964, the Hurricanes took the marching and manoeuvring (M and M) caption by two and a half points, providing the entire margin of victory. Over the following five years of competition, the Hurricanes recorded high M and M scores in 90 per cent of their contests. After his departure as drill designer, he remained active with the Hurricanes as a performance instructor, working to help clean the drills created by Hall of Fame member Carman Cluna. He served as a judge with the All American Judges Association for three years. He was also the drill designer for a number of organizations in New England from 1960 until 1977, including St. Rose’s color guard, Notre Dame All Girls, Hot Shots of Norwalk, Connecticut and East Haven drum and bugle corps.
Bob Zarfoss has been a percussion performer, composer, instructor, judge and administrator for several corps in southern Pennsylvania for more than half a century, with time out from the activity from 1981 to 1997 while he was a high school administrator. Since 1997, he has served as Hanover Lancers Alumni Corps’ percussion instructor, composer and arranger and has served as a member of the board of directors since 1998. While performing, arranging and teaching with the United States Air Force (USAF) Drum and Bugle Corps drum line in 1958, he was the first percussion arranger to work with Hall of Fame member Truman Crawford. He was succeeded in that position by John Dowlan, another Hall of Fame member. His career began as a snare drummer with York White Roses senior corps in 1952-1953 and 1953-1954. He then played snare drum with the United States Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps in Washington, D.C. from September 1954 until August 1958. He was a snare drummer with Archer Epler Musketeers in 1961 and 1962 and with Westshoremen in 1972. He served as Hanover Lancers Senior Drum and Bugle Corps’ percussion instructor, composer and arranger in1959 and from 1961 to 1977. He was percussion instructor, composer and arranger with York White Roses Senior Corps from 1958 to 1960 and York White Roses Junior Corps from 1961 to 1969. In the early 1970s, he was percussion composer, arranger and instructor with Westshoremen Senior Corps and Belvederes Junior Corps. He was one of several founders of York White Roses Junior Corps and served on the board of directors from 1961 to 1969. He was a percussion judge with the National Judges Association from 1961 through 1980, and previously offered freelance judging services in the Washington, D.C. area from 1956 – 1958. Upon his discharge from the Air Force drum corps, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English and two Master’s Degrees as well, while he was judging, teaching drum lines, arranging, and giving private lessons. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Drum Corps Hall of Fame and the American Patriots Rudimental Drum Club Hall of Fame. He has been an associate member of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame since 2001.
Iacono has being displaying his great love and passionate support of drum and
bugle corps activity since the early 1980s, when he helped North Star Drum and
Bugle Corps, of
North Shore, Massachusetts by providing a nightly practice site
at Marshalls stores. Marshalls is one of the TJX Companies, Inc., the world's
leading off-price retailer of apparel and home fashions, operating T.J. Maxx,
Marshalls, HomeGoods and A.J. Wright in the United States, as well as Winners,
HomeSense, and STYLESENSE in Canada. He arranged A.J. Wright’s sponsorship of
Drum Corps Associates (DCA) activities valued at more than $300,000 in the years
2005, 2006 and 2007, including support for five shows during the contest season,
10 truck sponsorships and major sponsorship of the DCA World Championships,
which helped make the DCA all-age expansion a reality. During his early years of
activity, he also gave annual financial support to The Cadets of Allentown
through his Value City stores. From 1984 through 1997 he sponsored Drum Corps
International (DCI) activity in Columbus, Ohio. After going to a poorly attended
DCI show at Cooper Stadium, he arranged for Value City to operate the contest.
With television, radio and newspaper advertising, he was able to fill the
concert side of the stadium yearly. From 2005 through 2007 he gave financial
support to the Hawthorne Caballeros and The Cadets, including sponsoring the
Cadets’ shows in Allentown. Through A.J. Wright, he has helped sponsor many DCI
shows, such as the Bean Pot Show and the Boston Crusaders East Coast Classic.
With the help of a friend he has also sponsored Boston marching band shows. At
the same time, he helped DCA by supporting shows in Rhode Island. In addition to
all of that, he was lead sponsor for DCA World Championships and other circuit
contests, including smaller DCA shows. As a way to advertise his companies, he
gave equipment trucks to the Caballeros and Orlando Magic, with the store’s logo
on it. To help promote the activity, he has used drum and bugle corps many times
in the openings of his stores. Entertainment at three of the most memorable
openings was provided by the Chicago Royal Airs in Scranton, Pennsylvania; the
Hawthorne Caballeros at the 100th A.J. Wright store opening in Springfield,
Massachusetts and the Boston Crusaders at the TJX Annual Picnic in Framingham,
Massachusetts. He has always felt that paying corps for performing is money well
Bob Cardaneo, who represents the third generation of family involvement in the drum and bugle corps activity, has long been helping keep the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame afloat financially through fund raising ocean cruises organized by his own cruise travel agency. Since 2001, he has helped raise more than $40,000.00 as the booking agency for the Friends and Fans of Drum Corps Cruises, sponsored by the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. Bob played French horn with the Garfield Cadets in 1967. He also served as horn instructor for the Garfield Plebes for many years. Bob began judging in 1969 with the All Eastern Judges Association. He has judged with the NJA and is currently with the East Coast Judges Guild. He has judged for both DCI and DCA. He has been Brass Caption Head for DCA for the past 7 years.
Steve Cooley began his career playing a baritone horn for the junior Appleknockers from 1961 - 1972. In 1970, he became their brass arranger and instructor. He has also arranged for the Dunkirk Patriots, Hamburg Kingsmen, Pittsburgh Rockets, Rochester Phoenix, Rochester Crusaders, Steel City Ambassadors, and Guelph Royalaires. He began a 25 year association as arranger and instructor with the Erie Thunderbirds in 1979. He was the arranger and instructor for the Syracuse Brigadiers when the corps became active again as a parade unit in 1991 and when they returned to the contest field in 1992. Steve also was brass instructor for the DCA World Champion Empire Statesmen in 2004. Steve has judged music with the New York All American Judges, New York State Federation of Contest Judges, DCA, and DCI.
Larry Darch has participated in every aspect of the activity as a snare drummer, percussion instructor and arranger, business manager, contest chairman, board of director member and percussion judge. He entered the activity as a snare drummer with St. Joseph's of Batavia in 1950. He became their percussion instructor and arranger in 1968. He also was a snare drummer with the Hamburg Kingsmen and the Rochester Crusaders. Three of his drum lines won national championships: Mighty St. Joe's in 1968; Guelph Opti-Knights in 1970; and Rochester Crusaders in 1972. He has been closely involved as a drummer and instructor with Mighty St. Joe's Alumni Corps, which began activities in 1991. He has served on the DCI championship judging panel four times. For 30 years beginning in 1962, he judged all percussion captions with six different associations, All American Association, New York State Federation of Contest Judges, Canadian Judging Association, DCA, DCI, and New York State Field Band Conference.
Thom Hannum took the pageantry of drum and bugle corps field shows to the Broadway stage, with the Star of Indiana's Brass Theater production of "Blast". Thom is a five time DCI champion for arranging and instructing the percussion sections of the Cadets of Bergen County, and Star of Indiana. He began his career playing snare drum with the Brookhaven Crusaders and the Crossmen. He served as arranger and instructor for the Crossmen from 1978 - 1983, also serving as program coordinator during most of those years. Thom is regarded as one of North America's foremost percussion clinicians, presenting seminars and workshops throughout the United States and overseas. He is a product consultant and clinician for Avedis Zildjian Cymbal Company, Vic Firth, and the Pearl Corporation. He is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society and has served as president of the Massachusetts chapter. He has published a textbook/workbook titled "Championship Concepts for Marching Percussion".
Art has been one of the most highly regarded solo soprano players and horn instructors in Connecticut for more than 50 years. Art was one of the first real musicians to play and teach in drum corps, giving instruction to hundreds of "street" players with no previous musical experience. He was the the soloist when the Connecticut Hurricanes. first known as the John H. Collins Post 24 Fife and Drum Corps, were reorganized in 1955 as a field corps. He performed and was the horn instructor with the Hurricanes until 1969 and with the Connecticut Yankees in 1970 and 1971. Between 1957 and 1973, Art was the horn instructor for seven of Connecticut's top juniors; Derby Cyclone, Royal Lancers, Connecticut Classics, Golden Buccaneers, Milford Shoreliners, Stateliners and Troubadors. He is a charter member and horn instructor of both the Connecticut Alumni and Park City Pride. Art judged brass captions for the Northeastern Judges Association from 1968-1973. He is a member of the Connecticut Alumni and the Hurricanes' Hall of Fame. He is also a charter member of the Buglers Hall of Fame.
HAROLD "ROBBY" ROBINSON, SR.
Robby Robinson, Sr. is the founding director of the Crossmen, formed by merging two junior corps, 507 Hornets and Keystone Regiment, in the Philadelphia area in 1974. He served in that position until 1986. The Crossmen finished in DCI finals 22 times in the following 30 years. He began his career as a snare drummer with the Tri Community Cadets from 1952- 1960. He taught m M & M to the Haddon Heights Vagabonds in 1960 taught the percussion section of the 1st State Cadets of Delaware from 1961- 1963. He was the M & M instructor for the Bellaires of Belmar, NJ from 1961 - 1966 and Tri Community Cadets from 1968 - 1971 He became director of Tri Community in 1971, then served as director of the Keystone Regiment from 1972 - 1974. He judged M & M for the National Judges Association of Judges from 1961 - 1985 and percussion from 1961 - 1975. Robby was a member of the first DCI judging task force from 1981 - 1984. He is a member of the Crossmen Hall of Fame.
Neal Smith's design innovations helped change the look of field shows. His visual design talents help North Star become a DCI finalist in their third year of competition. He created the field show design for the Connecticut Hurricanes in 1981, winning all visual captions at the DCA championships. The following year, the Hurricanes won high visual at the DCA championships. Neal performed with the Boston Crusaders from 1961 - 1971 as soprano soloist and drum major. Neal has been a CYO national champion four times; three times as a performer and once as a designer. In the 20 years following his first design for North Star in 1976, he was visual designer for many other top rated corps in the northeast, including 27th Lancers, Rockland Defenders, Boston Crusaders, Connecticut Hurricanes, Rhode Island Matadors, and the Hawthorne Caballeros. He has also served as a visual judge for DCA, Massachusetts Judges Association, New England Scholastic Band Association, and the United States Scholastic Band Association.
Jim began his involvement playing baritone horn, spending his first year with Yearsley Blackhawk Cadets, then six years with Liberty Bell Cadets. While serving in the United States Navy for 15 months, he played snare drum, marched as drum major and served as director of the corps. Many of his accomplishments were achieved during his association with PAL Cadets of Philadelphia. He was co-founder and director of the corps and served as marching and maneuvering instructor, brass arranger and show coordinator for 16 years. He was also show coordinator with Cranford Patriots for two years. He has served as president of Reilly Raiders Alumni, vice president of the Garden State Association, and judged music and M & M for the Mid-Atlantic Judging Association. As director of the PAL Cadets, he obtained more than 300 college scholarships and financial aid for drum corps members. He also helped initiate a college program in music education for new drum and bugle corps members with limited formal music education.
Between 1956 and 1967, Ray Eyler was the soprano soloist with three different corps: the Tri-Community Cadets, the United States Air Force drum and bugle corps and Archer-Epler Musketeers. He served as horn instructor for the Audubon Bon Bons all-girls corps from 1964 to 1977 and from 1956 to 1959 was the music arranger and instructor for Brook Haven junior drum and bugle corps. In the 1970s, he was both music arranger and instructor for a number of well-known Pennsylvania corps, including the Keystoners, Crossmen and Our Lady of Perpetual Help. From 1960 to 1964, he judged music for the New Jersey Judging Association. Also beginning in 1960, he served as music caption head for the Mid-Atlantic Judging Association and Drum Corps Associates.
David helped form the organization that in 1972 became Drum Corps International (DCI). He is a charter member of the DCI Hall of Fame, and currently serves as chairman of the DCI Hall of Fame nominating committee. He was a drummer with several corps, including the Phantom Regiment and LaCrosse Commanders senior corps from 1948 to 1959. In the mid-1960s, he judged overall general effect for both the All American Judging Association, and the Wisconsin chapter. During more than 30 years of continuous participation in various aspects of drum corps activity, he most recently served with the Drum Corps Midwest Judges Guild. In addition to serving as drum instructor and marching and maneuvering instructor with Blue Stars from 1969 to 1980 he also served as corps director and chairman of the executive board. While he was executive director, he helped form a group of seven Midwest corps known as The Combine, which became DCI. He has served as the DCI board chairman.
J. FRANK NASH
J. Frank Nash got off to a fast start in drum corps activity, beginning at age six, then playing snare drum for more than 40 consecutive years with various groups. His career as a drummer began in 1958, with the Royal Order of Odd Fellows, followed by participation in the drum lines of PAL Wynn Center Toppers, St. Joseph’s Patrons and St. Rita’s Brassmen. Moving up to the senior ranks, he drummed with New York Skyliners from 1973 to 1984. He served as player/snare instructor with the Bushwackers 1985-1993. From 1994 through 1999 he was with the Hawthorne Caballeros and in 2000 marched with the Syracuse Brigadiers, his final year of marching. He has been percussion instructor and arranger for many other corps since 1978, including Hawthorne Caballeros, New York Skyliners and Atlanta Corps Vets. As a corps member, he has won nine Drum Corps Associates (DCA) titles, seven percussion titles including a record six consecutive with the Bushwackers As an individual, he has won three individual snare titles. Possessing extra-ordinary drumming talent, he learned to read and arrange music in order to develop teaching skills to help those around him to become better musicians and corps members.
Robbie Robinson is the first drummer ever to win three Drum Corps International (DCI) individual snare-drumming titles. He was the DCI champion in 1979, 1980 and again in 1982. His drum corps involvement began in 1970, with the Tri-Community Cadets. He also drummed with the Keystone Regiment for two years before joining the Crossmen, the corps founded and directed initially by his father. He has also performed in the drum lines of the Blue Devils and Reading Buccaneers. In the 1990s, he began instructing and arranging for a number of top senior corps, including the Buccaneers, Bushwackers, Skyliners and Caballeros. Also during the 1990s, he was a percussion judge with the National Judges Association and Drum Corps Associates. He introduced the triple bass drum stack, first used by Bushwackers in 1992. The previous year, in 1991, he was percussion arranger, instructor and caption head when the Bushwackers drum line won the DCA high drum award.
Scotty Wild marched in the color guard of the Chicago Cavaliers from 1954 to 1959, then became one of the top drill writers and show designers in the Midwest. He has been associated with Minnesota Brass for more than 15 years, serving as visual caption head and corps director. He is a member of the Minnesota Brass Hall of Fame, and was one of the initial group of World Drum Corps Hall of Fame associate members inducted in 2001. In the 30 years after becoming the Cavaliers’ drill instructor in 1960, he wrote drill for such highly regarded corps as Des Plaines Vanguard, Kansas Sky Ryders, Blue Rock, Schaumberg Guardsmen, Boston Crusaders, Garfield Cadets and Minnesota Brass. He has also served as corps director of the Vanguard, Guardsmen and Minnesota Brass. He served as a visual judge for Central States Judges for more than 40 years and a Drum Corps International (DCI) judge for almost 30 years up until 2001. He judged the first DCI championship contest in 1972. He served as caption chairman and director of the Central States Judges Association (CSJA) and has judged for high school marching band circuits across the country. He has been the chief organizer of the Drum Beauty, a major DCI contest in Stillwater, Minnesota, for more than 25 years and has served on the Drum Corps Midwest executive for many years.
Bob Gaff, of Mount Laurel, New Jersey is the 2007 winner of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame President’s Lifetime Achievement Award; his fourth such honor by prominent drum corps organizations. Gaff, who was among the first Hall of Fame associate members inducted when that category was introduced in 2001, was selected for the lifetime achievement honor this year by president George Bull, of Baltimore, Maryland. He will be inducted as a regular member in September. Gaff was inducted into the Buglers’ Hall of Fame in Bridgeport, Connecticut in July 2005; 50 years after his first involvement in drum corps. In September 2005 he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Drum Corps Hall of Fame. He was elected to the Massachusetts Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2001. His drum corps career began when he spent seven years with St. Rose of Chelsea, Maryland, beginning in 1955. In 1963 and 1964, he played with St. Kevin’s Emerald Knights in Boston, and was a member of the undefeated national champion brass quartet in both years. In the later years of the 1960s, he marched with Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, the United States Air Force Academy Drum & Bugle Corps, and the Reilly Raiders. He was a member of the Yankee Rebels, of Baltimore, from 1969 to 1974, winning three American Legion national championships: in 1969, 1970 and 1971. In 1994, he marched with the Bushwackers, of Harrison, NJ. He has marched with several alumni corps, including Yankee Rebels, Archer-Epler Musketeers, Reilly Raiders, St. Lucy’s Cadets, Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, New York Skyliners and the Princemen. He was named a lifetime member of the Reilly Raiders in 2000.
Collin Campbell began his drum corps life as a snare drummer in 1954, for his local fire department’s parade corps in East Rochester, New York. After five seasons, he played snare drum with the Ridge-Culver Statesmen of Irondequoit/Rochester. He was a snare drummer, drumline instructor and arranger for the Crusaders of Rochester, Irondequoit and Hilton from 1959 to 1969 and again from 1974 to1977. Under his direction, the Crusaders were the top drum line at the American Legion (AL) National Championships in Portland, Oregon, and took top honors the following year at the AL Nationals in Washington, DC. He was a performer, instructor and arranger with the Hamburg Kingsmen from 1970 to 1973. He was instructor and arranger for the Alpine Girls drum and bugle corps of Rochester for 11 seasons, and for three high school bands and three other junior corps. He was an active member of the All American and New York State Federation of Contest Judges in 1973-74 and from 1978 to 1980. He served on various Drum Corps Associates (DCA) committees from 1966 to 1977 and the Crusaders’ board of directors from 1960 to 1969.
Dominic J. Fulginiti
Dom Fulginiti has been judging drum and bugle corps contests for almost 40 years, beginning with the National Judges Association in 1967. He has also been judging for Drum Corps Associates (DCA) since 1970. He served as the coordinator of the New Jersey Color Guard Association indoor contest circuit for almost 20 years, from 1975 to 1994. During that time, he also served as the judging coordinator with Drum Corps Associates (DCA), and was director of the National Judges Association for five years. He was the Mid-Atlantic Judges Association music caption head from 1963 to 1967, and brass caption head for the Red Carpet Association international contest circuit from 1967 to 1975. His drum corps activity began when he played soprano horn with Vasella Musketeers from 1957 to 1962. He marched as drum major of two junior corps, Hadden Heights and Bordentown Jersey Devils, before joining Archer-Epler Musketeers as a baritone horn player in 1964. During the 1960s, he was active with a number of junior corps. He was brass technician for Gloucester Brigadiers and Hadden Heights; program coordinator for Brookhaven Crusaders and First Staters; brass instructor for the Greater Chester Movement.
Jerry Kelsey played three different horns, soprano, mellophone and baritone, from 1961 to 1971 with St. Joseph’s of Batavia. He was drum major of Auburn Purple Lancers in 1975. In the years since 1978, he has been brass arranger for some of the best-known corps in the country: the Crossmen, Suncoast Sound, Rochester Crusaders, Rochester Empire Statesmen, Racine Kilties, Boston Crusaders, Reading Buccaneers, Capital Regiment, San Francisco Renegades and Madison Scouts. He was brass arranger and instructor in 1998, when the Empire Statesmen became the only drum corps in history to win the triple crown: the World Show Band Championship, with the highest score ever recorded in that contest, in London, England, the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) title and the American Legion (AL) championship. He first proposed that Drum Corps International (DCI) horn lines convert to three-valve instruments. Three-valve horns are now the standard for the activity. He has served as program and staff coordinator for Capital Regiment and Racine Kilties since 2000. Since beginning to judge in 1974, he has served with the New York State Judges Federation, the Southern States Association and the Indiana School of Music.
Vince Monocelli has been one of the activity’s most-admired drill designers since 1977, when he began teaching the Watkins Glen Squires junior drum and bugle corps in western New York. In the following years, he created memorable drills for such well-known drum and bugle corps on both sides of the border as the Cadets of Greece, Crossmen, Dutch Boy, Blue Coats, Rochester Crusaders and Empire Statesmen. He has been particularly successful as a Winter Guard International (WGI) instructor, winning four national color guard championships in a row in the mid-1990s. He taught a number of Rochester and area
high school winter guards that made it to WGI finals: Bishop Kearney, Eastbury, Eastridge, Canandaigua Academy and Orchard Park. He was a color guard and marching judge with the New York Federation of Judges from 1979 to 1996, and judged marching for Drum Corps International (DCI) and Drum Corps East (DCE) from 1979 to 1981. His career in
drum and bugle corps activity began when he played in the horn line of St. Joseph’s of Batavia from 1966 to 1972.
An accomplished performer and arranger, Ken Norman is also one of the great innovators in the drum corps community. He was the chief proponent of the adoption of the G-F bugle, considered by many to be the single most important development in brass instrumentation. He was also a major contributor to the music analysis judging sheet, the first “non-tick” caption sheet, first used in 1971. He was instrumental in the first use of the mellophone as a solo and ensemble instrument in brass voicing. His major contribution to drum corps activity is arranging music. He has created charts for more than 100 drum and bugle corps around the world, including Anaheim Kingsmen, Velvet Knights, DeLaSalle Oaklands, Etobicoke Oakland Crusaders, Belleville Black Knights, Reading Buccaneers, Syracuse Brigadiers, Spirit of ‘76 and the United States Air Force Academy drum and bugle corps. His arrangement of Auld Lang Syne is performed throughout the drum corps community. He first performed on French horn with Racine Kilties juniors in 1962, and later played mellophone with Kenosha Kingsmen and the Kilties senior corps. He was the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national French horn champion in 1963 and 1964.
Richie Price has been a dazzling solo soprano player since 1966, when he first joined York White Roses junior drum and bugle corps. He received the Maynard Ferguson Silver Trumpet award for excellence at Berklee College of Music. He has performed with such well-known corps as Reading Buccaneers, Rhode Island Matadors, Sunrisers, and Empire Statesmen. He also marched as drum major of the Matadors between 1976 and 1982. He has been music arranger or brass technician with several corps since 1969, when he was assistant arranger with York White Roses. Since then, he has been arranger or technician for Framingham Sharpshooters, 27th Lancers, Rhode Island Picadors, Rhode Island Matadors, and Sunrisers.
Tom Peashey has been participating in all phases of the drum and bugle corps activity for more than 50 years. Since first performing as a soprano and French horn player with Oswego Pathfinders and Mexico Grey Barons in the 1950s, he has been an instructor, corps director, circuit administrator, judge and contest announcer. For many years, he hosted a weekly drum corps radio show in Central New York and in 1974 was the color commentator of the first ever Drum Corps International (DCI) championship television broadcast on PBS. As chief financial officer of Rochester Patriots from 1979 to 2002, he helped guide them to a DCI Division II world championship and his Gates Center Bingo was named one of the top 10 halls in North America by Bingo Managers Magazine. He was appointed director of operations for the Northwest Youth Music Association and the Seattle Cascades junior drum and bugle corps in 2005. He was director of marketing and public relations for Drum Corps Associates (DCA) from 1994 to 2005. He has been corps director of the Rochester Crusaders, a member of the board of directors of the Syracuse Brigadiers, co- founder and co-director of the Oswego Black Knights as well as visual chief judge for New York Federation of Contest Judges and Drum Corps Associates. He has adjudicated numerous drum corps, color guard and marching band championships including seven DCA world championships. While performing on the field for more than 20 seasons, he played French horn, mellophone or soprano for such well-known New York corps as Rochester Crusaders, Syracuse Brigadiers and Fulton Gauchos. He was elected to the Rochester Crusaders and Northeast Color Guard Circuit Halls of Fame and was awarded a lifetime membership in the Syracuse Brigadiers Alumni Association.
A drummer's drummer, Mr. Bowser is a two time individual VFW Senior National Champion snare drummer. He began his percussion career in 1946 with the Kenwood Cadets. A long time member of the Championship Reilly Raiders drum line, he also was a member of the Yankee Rebels and the alumni corps of both organizations. Jim also instructed the Dundalk Cadets, Williamsport Black Eagles, and St. James of Baltimore, MD. In more recent years, Jim was instrumental in the 1988 rebirth of the Yankee Rebels Alumni Corps and the early success of the Reilly Raiders Alumni Corps.
Mr. Mihok has the distinction of winning the individual VFW National Snare Drum Championship as both a junior in 1949 as an Osmond Cadet and as a senior in 1957 with Archer Epler Musketeers. In addition to Osmond, as a junior, Don played with Rising Sun and McCall. As a senior, he played with Archie. A long time member of the NARD, Don instructed Vasella, Haddon Heights, East Germantown, Bangor Yellow Jackets, and the Reilly Raiders Alumni. He has also judged percussion with the Mid Atlantic, All-American, and DCA Judges Associations.
Frank Lozar has a record of lifetime dedication to drum & bugle corps. He began playing a soprano horn in 1947 and has continued marching and playing without interruption for 58 years. At the age of 77, he still marches and plays with a competitive corps, the Minnesota Brass. Frank was the Director of MB from 1963-1969. He also performed with Hamms Indians for 6 years and has also performed with the Zuhral Shrine.
Mr. Pace turned his marching experience as a junior with Vasella and as a senior with the Archer Epler Musketeers into a storied career instructing and designing field shows. He has instructed Blue Rock, 27th Lancers, Chicago Cavaliers, Crossmen, Phantom Regiment, Spirit of Atlanta and the Reading Buccaneers during their Championship years. Ralph also spent 25 years judging with YEA and the National Judges Association. Mr. Pace is also currently a member of the Massachusetts Hall of Fame, the Crossmen Hall of Fame, and the DCI Hall of Fame.
Mr. Petersen has occupied the past 54 years playing soprano solos for the enjoyment of audiences everywhere. He was the soloist with the Geneva Appleknockers for 16 years. He also soloed with the 1991 DCA World Champion Empire Statesmen. He currently is solo soprano with St. Joe's Alumni and the Ghost Riders Mini Corps. He is also the Administrator for the Ghost Riders. He has instructed the Firebells, Tri-County Cadets, Geneva Appleknockers, and Mello-Dears. From 1964-72, he was the Director of the Appleknockers. Ace has won numerous individual championships in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Canada.
Mr. Pronti is the innovator who began the DCA I & E in 1988. Dick began his drum corps career in 1958 with the Shortsville Shamrocks. He also marched with the Geneva Appleknockers Jr. & Sr., Emerald Cadets, Syracuse Brigadiers, and the Suburban Knights of Buffalo. He has been a Visual and Staff consultant for the Hawthorne Caballeros for the past 12 years. The past 25 years have seen Dick holding the posts of President and visual caption head for the New York Federation of Judges. He was the Chief Judge Coordinator for DCA from 1987-91. He has also judged with the New York All American.
Mr. Winzer began his career in drum corps with the Reading Buccaneers in 1957 playing a baritone. He also played with the USAF Drum & Bugle Corps. He has been the brass arranger and/or instructor for the Wilmington Blue Rock, Haddonfield Royaleers, Emmaus Sentinels, Reading Buccaneers, Yankee Rebels, and Archer Epler Musketeers. He also was the brass caption head for the Yankee Rebels Alumni and the Reading Buccaneers Alumni. Red has judged music for the Mid-Atlantic, DCI, and National Judges Association.
Mr. Boulanger began his percussion career at Ste-Dominique School in 1953. He became a snare drummer with Les Diplomates De Quebec in 1961 and continued to play snare while serving as their Instructor/Arranger from 1970 – 1973. Michele served as consultant to the Chicago Cavaliers, Spirit of Atlanta, and the Concord Blue Devils. In 1974, he was appointed Percussion Quality Control Manager for DCA. He pioneered score sheet changes that separated the marching drum line from the stationary pit ensemble. He has judged percussion for DCA, DCI, and the Canadian Judges Association.
RAYMOND A. CAPPICCILLE
The year 1950 was the beginning of Mr. Cappiccille’s drum corps career when he joined the Holy Name Cadets playing French horn. He continued playing French horn with the Hawthorne Caballeros as a senior and switched to the mellophone when he joined Hawthorne alumni. He was the drill designer/instructor for the Garfield Cadets from 1967-1973 and their Program Coordinator from 1974-1978. He has judged marching/GE with NY All-American, NJA, Mid Atlantic, DCA, DCI, and WGI.
Ed Condon played fife and bass baritone horn with the John H. Collins Post fife, drum and bugle corps for almost 10 years, from 1947 to 1955, before beginning a long association with the Connecticut Hurricanes. Over the years, he played bass baritone, taught drill to the Hurricanes and several color guards. He and long time partner Robert Woods introduced innovative new drill designs that helped move away from strict military patterns by using the color guard in the drill patterns to create free flowing presentations with high audience appeal. He was a marching and maneuvering (M&M) judge with the All American Judges Association. During the years he taught drill to the Hurricanes, the corps was undefeated in M&M during 41 consecutive contests. The Hurricanes scored top drill marks during the first four Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship tournaments. During the years he taught drill to the Hurricanes, the corps won virtually every top contest of the day, including the Dream Contest, the Connecticut state championship, the World Open championship and the American Legion championship
Mr. Dorritie’s performance began with Scout Pack NYC in 1958 before moving on to St. Catherine’s Queensmen. He then spent 10 years as the soprano soloist with the Long Island Sunrisers, becoming their brass instructor/arranger during his last three years. He has been the instructor/arranger for Garfield, Blue Devils, Santa Clara Vanguards, Bridgemen, 27th Lancers, Bluecoats, Hurricanes, Westshoremen and most recently the San Francisco Renegades. Mr. Dorritie has also been an audio producer since 1977. He has received 9 Grammy nominations and 2 Grammy awards. He has served as brass and music judge for a number of associations, and, in 1999 was the first judge from the United States to participate in judging 40 African corps, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mr. Hurley began his odyssey into drum corps in 1955 playing snare drum for the Neptune Shoreliners. He also played with Blessed Sacrament and the Hawthorne Caballeros. He was the percussion instructor/arranger for the Stardusters, Bleu Raiders, Belleville Black Knights and Phantom Regiment. He has conducted percussion clinics for the Regional and National meetings of the Music Educators Conferences. He is a marching percussion clinician for Sabian Cymbals.
Mr. Roberts initial foray into drum corps was in 1949 playing a baritone for a local Legion Post. In 1951, he joined the Liberty Bell Cadets. As a senior, he played a baritone with Reilly Raiders and switched to Contra Bass when he migrated to Archer Epler and the Air Force Drum & Bugle Corps. He has instructed M&M for Vassella, Belles of St. Mary, York White Roses, Archie, and the Yankee Rebels. He was a Chief Judge for the NJA for 36 years. He has also judged for DCA. Mr. Roberts is also active with High School bands and color guards.
The quintessential Caballero, Mr. Storck began his career in 1955 with Our Lady of Lourdes. He joined the Caballeros in 1966 and remains active today. Mr. Storck has been the Operations Manager for the Caballeros since 1985. He is an active color guard and high school band instructor. Lou currently instructs M&M for the Kearny and Nutley High School bands. The Persuasion Color Guard has won 8 Championships under Mr. Storck’s tutelage. He has been a dynamic presence at DCA congresses for the past twenty years.
Mr. Sullivan began life in drum corps as a percussionist with St. Joseph’s of Batavia in 1942. As a senior, he marched with the Brockport Grenadiers. He was the Drill Instructor for St. Josephs from 1956-1961 and served as their Director from 1956 – 1971. He also served as Director of the Rochester Crusaders from 1980 - 1982. He has been the Director of Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni since 1992.
Mr. Burns was a soprano soloist with the Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights during their championship years. He finished in the top 3 Soprano Individuals at the VFW Nationals 4 years in a row. When he aged out, he became an arranger/instructor for BS and progressed to instruct and arrange for many junior and senior corps. He has been the Bugle, Brass, GE caption chief for the All American and All States judging associations. Dick was also the Brass Caption Chair for the American Legion Congress.
Mr. Hook began his career in drum corps with Shrine of the Little Flower in 1949. He played a soprano horn in Bracken, Reilly Raiders, and the Yankee Rebels. Harry Was the Vice President of the Yankee Rebels Alumni Association for a 3 years before becoming the President of the same organization for the next 10 years. He was a staff member of the Appaloosa Color Guard. He was one of the original members of the Yankee Rebels Alumni Drum Corps.
Mr. Landis began his junior career as a snare drummer with the York White Roses. His senior career was spent with the U.S. Air Force Drum & Bugle Corps, Reading Buccaneers, Bangor Yellow Jackets and Archer Epler. He has been the Percussion Instructor for the Bon Bons, Chessmen, Crossmen, Garfield Cadets, and Archer Epler. He has judged DCI and DCA contests and spent 15 years judging percussion with the National Judges Association.
Mr. Latinik began playing a soprano in 1938 for the Salem, MA. VFW. He instructed brass and M&M for Salem P.L.A.V., St. Jeans Lynn, Most Precious Blood, I.C. Rockettes and Arbellas. Harry performed with the Salem Philharmonic Orchestra and was owner and leader of two dance bands. He was the Director of P.L.A.V. and Manager of St. Jeans. In 1948, he began an 18 year career playing obbligato for the Princemen. He is the only known individual to have successfully played "Carnival of Venice" on two soprano bugles simultaneously. Mr. Latinik was a member of VFW National Champion Brass Quartets and was 3 time National Champion Individual Soprano. Harry founded the Princemen Alumni group in 1982 and served on the Board of Directors until his passing.
Mr. Macciocchi began his music career in 1939 playing horn with St. Mary's, Toronto. In 1946 he became their music instructor. A long career of brass instruction followed including Del LaSalle, Scout House, Jolly Jesters, Commander, and the Royalaires. He was the Director of St. Mary's and the Founder and Director of the Jolly Jesters and Commander. Vince was the Chief Judge, Brass, for the Canadian Judges Association for 28 years. He judged brass for both DCI and DCA.
Our Lady of Grace Lancers, Hoboken, NJ, was the first stop in Mr. Mallen's musical career as a drummer. His junior career also included St. Patrick's Cadets and Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights. As a senior, he played with the Hawthorne Caballeros and the Cabs Alumni. He has been a Percussion Instructor/Arranger for the C-W Townsmen, Garfield Cadets, Cranford Patriots, Hawthorne Caballeros, Sunrisers, and Blessed Sacrament Alumni Corps. He has judged with National Judges Association, IJA, and has judged DCA, DCI, and DCUK.
Mr. Nichols began a long career of involving boys and girls in Drum Corps in 1935 with the Boys and Girls Clubs of New York and Brooklyn. He was a drummer for Thunderbolt of New York City. Uncle Nick was the Quartermaster for both the Washington Carver Gay Blades and the Long Island Sunrisers. He taught Marching and Maneuvering for the Boys and Girls Club, Lark of Brooklyn, St. Peter's Church, Hudson Ave. Boys Club, Thunderbolts, Carver Gay Blades, and the Sunrisers.
Hiram Walker dedicated more than two decades to the young people involved in drum and bugle corps activity. He was director of the Osmond Post Cadets drum and bugle corps for 23 years. During that time, the corps won 7 Pennsylvania VFW State titles and 2 VFW National championships in 1948 in St. Louis, and 1949 in Miami. Their nickname, "The Hurricanes" reflected the weather conditions they experienced following their win in Miami, delaying their trip home. He founded the national Association of Junior Drum and Bugle Corps, and served as general chairman of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Competing Drum and Bugle Corps Committee. Throughout his years of activity, he was primarily concerned about teaching corps members how to become good citizens. Many of his former Osmond Post Cadets advanced to become corps directors, judges and instructors later in life. Eight of his former members have been inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.
Mr. Attanasio began his career as a drummer in 1932 as a snare drum Sergeant with the Mill Rock VFW Fife Drum & Bugle Corps. He began playing rudimental bass drum with the Knights of Columbus in 1939. He has been playing bass drum with the Civil War Troopers since 1945. He has been a percussion instructor with the Cohoes Grenadiers, Civil War Troopers and numerous Fife and Drum Corps. Nick held various executive positions with the Hudson Valley Drum Corps Association. He has won numerous state, regional and national championships.
Eugene Bennett entered the field of competition as a snare and tenor drummer with the Blue Jacket Guard in 1948. He continued as a baritone horn player with the Wynn Center Toppers. As a Senior, he was the Assistant Drum Major with the Washington Carver Gay Blades. Gene has instructed M&M for the Sunrisers during their Championship years of 1977 & 1978, Bushwackers, and the Kingsmen. He also was the Business Manager for the Privateers. Gene has judged M&M with the NJA and IJA. He was the Committee Chairman when the DCA Rule Book was rewritten. He was also the DCE Contest Coordinator.
James Cossetti began studying trumpet in 1959. In 1962 he joined the Archer Epler Musketeers Senior Drum & Bugle Corps as a solo soprano. In 1967 he played lead soprano and taught brass with Blue Rock Senior Drum & Bugle Corps. 1968 saw Jim teaching basic musicianship, reading, brass instrumentation and marching as staff member and Music Director of the Vanguard (Blue Rock) Drum & Bugle Corps of Wilm., DE He was a staff consultant to Mr. Ted Sciarra, Director, Blue Rock junior drum & bugle corps, which won three National Championships during this period. Jim was the Director of Archie from 1988-1995. In October 1990 Jim was selected as a member of the Great Alliance of Seniors Steering Committee and in January 1991 was elected the first President of this organization.
Mr. Cagney was the Color Guard Captain and Drum Major of the Pittsburgh Rockets from 1956-1972. He has taught M&M, Color Guard, and Drill Design, among others, to the General Butler Vagabonds, Pittsburgh Rockets, and Steel City Ambassadors. Ed was the Founder and President of both the Carolinas Drum & Bugle Corps Circuit and the West Penn Color Guard Circuit. Ed was the Publicity Director for DCA from 1990 - 1997 He has been judging with the NJA since 1991. Ed has been writing for Drum Corps since 1957.
Ray’s performance history began in 1956 with the Connecticut Yankees Sr. Drum & Bugle Corps, Stratford, CT. He marched as a snare drummer with the Yankees until 1963. At the end of 1963 he brought his talents to the Connecticut Hurricanes where he was percussion arranger, performance caption head and snare line member (until the early 1970’s). Ray provided percussion design and performance instruction for the the Connecticut Royal Lancers, St. Raphael’s Buccaneers, and New Bedford Whalers Sr. Corps, and many others. Ray was a member of the Northeast Judging Association in the Percussion execution and general effect captions. He was involved in numerous percussion clinics for drum corps, bands and judging associations. He was the Connecticut State Individual Snare Drum champion for six consecutive years. As both a performing snare drummer and instructor/arranger for the Hurricanes, the corps won every major DCA and pre-DCA title including the Senior World Open, the American Legion Nationals, the Dream Championship, and the DCA World Championships (twice under Ray’s tenure with the corps).
Art Mura began his career with the Holy Name Cadets in 1937 as a Junior Drum Major for three years, played a bugle for one year, then changed over to snare drum from 1941 to 1949. He twice won the New Jersey State individual snare drumming title in 1946 &’47
and was runner-up the next two years. In 1953 he was a member of the Hawthorne Caballeros snare line. His more than 20 years as a rudimental drum instructor included the Garfield Cadets, West Paterson Cadets, Dumont Police Cadets, Wood Ridge Townsmen, and Hawthorne Muchachos. Mr. Mura was a percussion judge with the Charles R. Nabor Eastern States Judges Association, Midatlantic and DCA judges associations from 1958 until 1982.
R. DOUGLAS REYNOLDS
Mr. Reynolds began his career as a percussionist in 1953 with the Niagara Falls Air Cadets. As a Senior, he continued playing snare drum with the Niagara Falls Memorial Militaires, Hamburg Kingsmen, and Rochester Crusaders. He has taught percussion to, among others, the Grantham Police Boys Band, L'Alliance, Militaires, Kingsmen, and the Welland Lancers. Doug was Director of the Militaires from 1962 - 1963. He has won many national, regional, and state individual snare championships. He has judged percussion for both DCA and DCI at countless National and State Championships.
Mr. Yanklich began his career with the Reading Buccaneers in 1970 as a soprano horn. In 1973 he switched to the mellophone. He was Drum Major for the Bucs in 1976. He has arranged and instructed brass for the Crossmen, Chicago Cavaliers, and the Reading Buccaneers during their Championship years. He arranged and taught music to the Buccaneers from 1976 - 2000. Tony has also been the music arranger and instructor for various high school and college bands.
David Bruni has been drum major of the Empire Statesmen since the corps was founded in 1983. He has been the Statesmen’s drill instructor since 1983 and show coordinator since 1996. He has four times been chosen top drum major during the DCA championships: in 1996 in front of home town fans in Rochester, NY, in 1999 in Allentown, PA, and in 2004 and 2005 in Scranton, PA. He has served as drill instructor and overall show coordinator. He has instructed and coordinated shows for many high school bands, including Eastridge High School, which has been New York State champion five times. He was named DCA corps director of the year in 2004, the first year he served in the top management position with the Empire Statesmen after his father, Vince Bruni, passed away. During his early years of involvement, he participated in every area of activity, including color guard, percussion and brass with such groups as the Rochester Crusaders, Niagara Regionaires, and the Cadets of Greece. From 1975 to 79 he was in the percussion section of the Rochester Crusaders. In 1980, he played soprano horn with the Firebirds. In 1981, he moved to the Greece Cadets as drum major.
Mr. Doucette became a boy bugler with the Sacred Heart Drum & Bugle Corps in 1940. In 1952, he advanced to senior corps, playing the soprano and French horn for Lt. Norman Prince Drum & Bugle Corps. He was Drum Major for the Renegades from 1969-1972. Dick founded, managed and instructed the Saint Rose Drum & Bugle Corps. Dick has been a music instructor for many Junior Corps in the Boston area. Dick has been a member of the Princemen Chorus since 1982. He founded and is a member of the Princetones Harmonica Group and the Lost Chords Comedy Group. He is a member of the Princemen Bugle Quartet and the Princemen Brass Ensemble.
Mr. Friesing began his percussion career with the Joseph B Garrity Post American Legion in 1938. He also played with Phoebe Hearst and Raymond A. Gabarina. He was a rudimental drummer with the Son's of Liberty and is still drumming with the Minute Men Fife and Drum Corps. Don has arranged and instructed many junior and senior corps in the Greater New York City region including Our Lady of Loretto, Connecticut Hurricanes, Ballantine Brewers, Rae Post, Babylon Islanders, St. Ignatius, Washington Carver, and St. Rocco's. Don was a participant in the founding meeting for the organization of the DCA. Don was a percussion judge with the Northeastern Circuit, Long Island Circuit, Greater New York, and Eastern States judging associations.
Mr. Kerchner began his drum corps experience with 10 years in Blue Rock. He played soprano, French horn, contra, and mellophone. He began to arrange music while still in Blue Rock. Larry has arranged and instructed for the Bridgemen, Muchachos, Crossmen, Star of Indiana, Troopers, Sky Ryders, Hawthorne Caballeros, Royal Brigade Skyliners, Bushwackers, and the Reilly Raider Alumni Corps. He has judged music and horns with the Middle Atlantic, Bay State, Cavalcade of Bands, and Yea judging associations. Larry has written and/or taught over 120 corps. He has 300 compositions published and was a Grammy Award Nominee. Larry designed and used the 1st. Flugelhorn bugle.
Mr. Marotta was a solo soprano with Our Lady of Lourdes for 9 years. When he advanced to senior corps, he joined the Hawthorne Caballeros where he was a soprano soloist and assistant instructor for 20 years. Gene is currently the Assistant Instructor and soloist for the Hawthorne Caballeros Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps. Gene has been the music instructor for Our Lady of Lourdes, Hanover, Cabrienaires, Fairlawn Police Cadets, and the Stardusters. Gene introduced the 2 valve horn to DCA in 1969. He was the game trumpeter for the New York Giants for 6 years. He also performed with the Maynard Ferguson Band. Gene currently serves as President of the Caballeros Alumni Association.
THOMAS F. McANDREW
Mr. McAndrew began his career at the age of 6 with Saint Kevin's Emerald Knights playing soprano. At the age of 16 he moved to Boston Crusaders where he played french horn. As a senior, he played with Reilly Raiders, New York Skyliners, and the Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights Alumni Corps. He has arranged music and instructed St. Thomas Moore, Long Island Sunrisers, Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, and the New York Skyliners. While going to school in Europe, he arranged and instructed for Crusaders, Dagenham, England; Beechmen, Birmingham, England, and Jubal, Dodrecht, Holland. Tom has judged with the Massachusetts All-American, Mass. Judging Association, DCA, DCUK, and Metropolitan Judges Association.
Mr. Ruocco began his involvement in drum corps with the Dumont Police Cadets in 1960 playing the tenor drum. As a senior, he played in the percussion section of the New York Skyliners. He instructed the Ridgemen, Colts, Star of Indiana, New York Skyliners, and the Westshoremen. Carl was the Assistant Director of Star of Indiana and the Director of the Crossmen. He judged with the International Judges Association, and was percussion caption head of the National Judges Association for 11 years. Carl has also arranged and instructed the David Brealy, Bayonne, and Pennsauken High School Bands.
WAYNE R. DOWNEY
Mr. Downey began his drum corps experience with the Commack Chiefs Fife Drum & G Bugle Corps in 1960 playing the G bugle. He became the soprano soloist with the Smithtown Freelancers in 1966. In 1969 he became the soprano soloist with the Long Island Sunrisers. Migration to California found him playing solo soprano and instructing brass with the Santa Clara Vanguard. He moved to the Blue Devils in 1974 where he is currently the brass instructor and arranger. Wayne has also arranged for the Hawthorne Caballeros, New York Skyliners, and Rochester Crusaders of DCA. Wayne's work with bands and musical groups in Europe and Asia has resulted in increased interest in these areas.
Mrs. Hooton marched in her first parade as Drum Major at the age of seven. She began studying trumpet at the age of 8 and continued trumpet study for 17 years, the majority of time at the Eastman School for the Performing Arts. She was solo trumpet in her high school marching band, church, and solo soprano with the Henrietta Drum Corps. She marched with the Chili Crimson Cadets, Gates-Chili, and the Crusaders as a glockenspiel player, drum major, and color guard captain. Carol was one of the first women to be certified to judge brass for the All-American Judges Association. During her marching career, Carol wrote for Drum Corps News, Off the Line, Drum Corps World, Eastern Review and Cadence Magazine. Carol is currently the Informations System Chairman for the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.
Mr. Manlove began marching in 1940 with the 29th Division. He joined the Yankee Rebels in 1955 and played Baritone and Contra with them until they were disbanded in 1976. He taught Contrabass for 5 of those years. During his tenure with the Yankee Rebels, John has assumed a number of administrative posts, most notably Finance Officer. He also judged horns with the Penn Mar Circuit. Mr. Manlove is celebrating his 55th year in Drum Corps playing contra with the Yankee Rebels Alumni.
IRENE F. MCGRATH
Mrs. McGrath has been donating her time to the drum corps activity for 57 years. She started tabulating for the Western New York Judges Association in 1956. She also tabulated for the NY All-American Judges Association for 12 years. Irene was the Business Manager for the Point Pleasant Cadets, Emerald Cadets, and Emerald Statesmen. She was also Secretary for the Competitive Judges Association and the Western NY Judges Association. She was also an administrator at various times for the NY-Canadian Association, The Penn-York Association, and the United Drum Corps Association.
Mr. O'Connor joins the illustrious ranks of drummers in the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. He began his career playing snare drum for the St. Patrick's Fire Department Drum & Bugle Corps in 1950. After 40 years in Drum Corps, he is still playing snare in the Skyliner's Alumni Corps. Bob has been a professional musician since 1957, touring, playing recording sessions and working night clubs. During his musical career he has also found time to judge percussion with the National Judges Association, DCA Judges, and the Fife and Drum Association. Bob has also arranged and instructed percussion for the Bridgemen, St. Joseph's, and others. He is a member of the Fifers & Drummers Hall of Fame.
Mr. Simpson was a public school instrumental music teacher from 1969 to his retirement in 1999. He began playing with the Sky Ryders in 1954. He also played horn with the USAF Drum & Bugle Corps and the Skyliners. He was the brass instructor for the Sky Ryders for 30 years. He also instructed brass for the Bridgemen, Star of Indiana, Troopers, North Star, and the Yankee Rebels. John was also brass consultant for the Hawthorne Caballeros.
Richard Templin joined the Milton Comancheros in 1959. He marched with the Milton Keystoners, York White Roses and the Westshoremen, He was the Show Designer for the Westshoremen, Skyliners, and Archer Epler. He was the Drill Instructor for the Hawthorne Caballeros from 1982-1984, He has judged Visual with the Mid Atlantic, Cavalcade of Bands, Keystone Indoor Drill Association and was the DCA Visual Caption Chair. He currently judges for the National Judging Association. He was the Co-Founder of the Keystone Indoor Drill Association.
Mr. Tuthill began his drum corps experience with St. Anne's Cadets in 1957 as a snare drummer. He was also a snare drummer with the Fairlawn Police Cadets and the Hawthorne Caballeros. From 1972 - 1978 George was the Assistant Drum Major with Hawthorne. He was percussion instructor and arranger for numerous corps including Garfield Cadets, Blessed Sacrament, Cavaliers, Sky Ryders, Hawthorne Caballeros, and Long Island Sunrisers. He was also the Executive Director of the Hutchinson Sky Ryders, Argonauts, and the Kansas City Sky Ryders. Mr. Tuthill has judged with the Mid Atlantic, All State and DCI judges Associations.
BRUCE E. ENGLEHART
Bruce Englehart is a charter member of the Reading Buccaneers, one of five people who worked together to form the corps in 1957. His first drum corps experience took place years earlier, in 1946. He had already been taking trumpet lessons for four years when he was accepted as a member of the Kenhorst Cadets junior drum and bugle corps, a well-known local parade and competition unit sponsored by the fire department. He then played solo soprano with top-ranked Temple Cadets from 1948 until 1952. The Temple Cadets disbanded after about seventy-five per cent of its members were called by the military to serve in Korea. After serving in the United States Navy for four years, he and other former members of corps in the Reading, PA area organized the Buccaneers. For many members of the new group, it was a hard transition from award-winning junior corps to struggling senior corps. He played solo soprano with the Buccaneers for 17 years. He assisted drill instructor Bud Johnston from 1959 to 1970, served as corps vice president from 1960 to 1964 and was co-chairman of the Big Sounds in Motion contest committee from 1966 to 1969. In 1986, he repeated his initial duties with the Buccaneers, becoming the founder and charter member of the Buc’s alumni association and alumni corps. He still plays lead soprano in the alumni corps,
Mr. Filkins junior corps experience was with the Archer Epler Junior Drum & Bugle Corps and the Liberty Bell Cadets. In 1956 he became a member of the USAF Drum and Bugle Corps as a section leader in the Percussion Section. From 1959-62, he was the drum instructor and a playing member of the Archer Epler Musketeers. Dick has been the Drum Instructor for the Stardusters, Miami Vanguard, Blue Raiders, and Rochester Grey Knights. Dick was also the Director of the Miami Vanguard 1961-73. Dick was involved in the development of Stingray Percussion and served as president for six years before retiring in 1996.
Mr. LeGault spent his junior corps years as a Drum Major with LaSalle Cadets and Les Compagnons d'Embrun. As a senior, he was Drum Major for Les Troubadours de Hull, Les Diplomates, L'Odyssee, Rochester Crusaders, Syracuse Brigadiers, and the Kingston Grenadiers. He was also the brass and drill arranger for LaSalle Cadets and Les Troubadours. Maurice founded the Central Canada Circuit. He has devoted over 42 years of his life to the Drum Corps activity.
Mr. Mallen began his Drum Corps life as a snare drummer with Our Lady of Grace Fife, Drum, & Bugle Corps in 1934. As a junior he drummed with Hoboken Boys, Polish Falcons, & the Grand St. Boys. He was also the Drum Major for Oulton Kraft VFW in 1939-40. His Senior years were spent as a snare drummer with Phoebe Aperson Hearst, Hoboken, Consolidated Edison, Raymond A. Gabarina, & Hawthorne. He was the Drum Instructor for Harry Vandermocher, Colonial D&B Corps, St. Joseph's Cadets, Greenwood Lake All Girls, C&W Townsmen, Hoboken, Consolidated Edison, Young Post, Lenape Lancers, and The Presidents. From 1950-69 he was the Chief Drum Examiner for the Eastern States Judging Association.
H. DAVID MARTIN
Mr. Martin began his career with SAL. He marched and was soprano soloist with the Dutchtown Lancers, Irondequoit Statesmen, & Emerald Statesmen. In 1965 he began his senior experience with the Rochester Crusaders. He was a charter member, Music Director & Arranger, and soprano soloist with Rochester Phoenix. He was soloist and Charter Member of the Empire Statesmen. He was also the Musical Director and arranger with the Empire Statesmen from 1983-87. He has also instructed the Blue Angels, Mighty Liberators, Greece Cadets, Owego Mello-Dears, Rochester Patriots, and Rochester Crusaders. Mr. Martin is currently an All-Music Judge for the New York Federation of Contest Judges. He also judges for DCE and DCA.
REV. WILLIAM R.
Father Smalley began his Drum Corps life in St. Vincent's Cadets drum line in 1940. He marched until he aged out in 1948. He then marched with the Doremus Post as a senior. He returned to St. Vincent's to be the Drum Instructor and GE Drill & Music Assistant & Business Manager. He was the Director, Drill, Drum & GE Music Instructor for St.Vincent's Girls' Corps from 1946-49. He instructed Drill, Drums, and GE Music for St. Joseph's Cadets from 1946-61. Fr. Smalley was also on the Organization Committee for the Dream Contest. He has been the DCA Chaplain since 1992.
JOHN F. J. TULLY
Mr. Tully began his playing career at age 6. He spent most of his junior Drum Corps life with the Rising Sun and the Liberty Bell Cadets. In 1958, he joined the Archer Epler Musketeers and marched as a soprano horn until 1964 when he joined the Reilly Raiders. He has instructed the Vagabonds, R.W. Luttenbach, St. Joseph's, Keystone Regiment, Crossmen, Ridgemen, Lincoln Invaders, Blessed Sacrament Alumni, and the Reilly Raiders Alumni. Mr. Tully has been the Business Manager for the Lincoln Invaders, Archer Epler, Ridgemen, and the Reilly Raiders Alumni. Mr. Tully was the Individual Soprano Champion in 1957. John has an outstanding reputation as innovator in the instructional field of visual presentation. He is currently a judge with the National Judges Association. He also is Publisher and Editor of the "Celtic Herald".
Beginning in 1948, Carmen Circlincione spent eight years as a brass player with St. Joseph’s Cadets of Newark, NJ, and another eight as a brass player and business manager of Archer-Epler Musketeers. From the late 1960s through the 1990s, he taught a number of corps, including the Oakland Rangers and Newark Marching 100. At various times, he served as business manager or director for St. Joseph Cadets, Patriots of Cranford, NJ, Marching 100 of Newark and Reilly Raider Musketeers. He was a highly-regarded music judge in the All American and National associations from 1957 through the 1990s, also serving as chief judge when required. He was a long-serving president of the Garden State Circuit and a vice president of Drum Corps Associates (DCA) from 1963 to 1975.
Mr. Gabriel joined the Syracuse Brigadiers as a 1st soprano. After 4 years with the Brigs, he joined the Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps and remained with them for the next 7 years. He also played 1st soprano with the USAF Academy Drum & Bugle Corps and Archer Epler. He has been a soprano soloist with the Yankee Rebels for 30 years. Mr. Gabriel was a brass instructor with the Reilly Raiders, Dundalk Cadets, VIP's, Columbians, Denver Blue Knights, USAF Academy Drum & Bugle Corps, USAF Drum Corps, and the Yankee Rebels. Mr. Gabriel was also a Brass Caption Judge for DCA.
Mark Fulcomer is a co-founder of the Great Alliance of Seniors (GAS), the fraternal association which stimulated the development of alumni corps across the United States and Canada, as an outgrowth of the annual GAS reunion weekends which began in the mid-1980s. The alumni movement gained great momentum as society generally was swept in a wave of nostalgia at the approach of the new century. His involvement in drum corps began in 1960 with the Scarlet Raiders junior corps, of Youngstown, Ohio. He is also a long time member and Director of The Archer-Epler Musketeers.
Bob Hamilton was a snare drummer for three top junior corps, Melrose Baysiders, St. Vincent’s Cadets and St. Lucy’s Cadets of New Jersey, and three top senior corps, Archer-Epler Musketeers, New York Skyliners and Reilly Raiders Alumni Corps. He performed as a drummer from 1956 through the 1990s. After serving a term in the United States Army, he joined the Skyliners drum line in 1968, and served as drum sergeant and assistant instructor until 1975. He was also a percussion instructor for groups including the Baysiders, Miami Vanguard, Skyliners, Hawthorne Caballeros and the Musketeers.. He judged percussion for the National Judges Association for almost 20 years, beginning in 1970. He suffered a severe injury to his left hand in a home injury in 1994, resulting in the loss of fingers. Following treatment and therapy, he resumed drumming with the Reilly Raiders alumni corps.
Fred Johnson’s drumming career started with military bands. In 1946, he began drumming with the 180th Air Cadets. In the early 1950s, he drummed with the 8th Signals Regiment of Toronto, then joined the Second Signals, the group which became Canada’s Marching Ambassadors in 1954. He remained in the Ambassadors organization until 1970 as a drummer, instructor and member of the board of directors.. He also taught drumming and did field show design for such top-flight Canadian corps as Preston Scout House, La Salle Cadets of Ottawa, Sarnia Sertomanaires, Grantham Township Scarlet Princes, York Lions, Niagara Falls Memorial Militaires, Hamilton Viscounts, and Kitchener Flying Dutchmen. He was the Canadian individual snare drumming champion three years in a row: 1951, 1952 and 1953. He has judged with the Canadian Judges Association, Drum Corps Associates, Drum Corps International and the Red Carpet Association. He served as DCA’s drumming quality control manager, successfully designing a system to implement a contest scoring system for the “degree of excellence” concept first proposed by Eric Perrilloux. In the early 1990s, he founded Canadian Associates Drumming Rudimental Excellence (CADRE), a group dedicated to promoting rudimental drumming. The annual CADRE “Shake” weekends of workshops, exhibitions and good fellowship, held in southern Ontario in October, attract drummers from as far away as New Jersey
Frank Kubinak began his drum corps involvement in 1937, as a brass player with Rossville PAL junior corps. He later marched with the Gabarino-Mazarakas American Legion Post drum and bugle corps, which became internationally famous as the New York Skyliners, and Hawthorne Caballeros. He was widely admired for his “no nonsense” approach to color guard and marching and maneuvering instruction. He taught such top units as Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, Caballeros, Archer-Epler Musketeers and Baltimore Yankee Rebels.
Gus Wilke was a bugler with four junior corps, beginning in 1940, before joining New York Skyliners in 1958. He first played with the Jersey City Department of Recreation and Fisk Post VFW corps, then spent several years with each of St. Joseph’s of Union City NJ, Cusik Post 15 of West New York, NJ and Our Lady of Grace of Hoboken, NJ. In addition to playing with, instructing and helping with administration of New York Skyliners from 1975 to 1994, he was brass instructor for a number of other corps, including St. Andrew’s Bridgemen, of Bayonne, NJ. He was an active member of the Skyliner Alumni Chorus for many years. He served as assistant director of Secaucus Meadowlarks for several years. He judged brass and general effect for the Metropolitan All American Judges Association.
St. Wenceslas Junior Corps was the first stop in Mr. Biscotti's Drum Corps life. His membership in the snare line initiated what would become a 50 year career. As a Junior, he also drummed with the 29th Division, Kenwood Cadets, and St. James. After age out, he joined the Yankee Rebels and then the Reilly Raiders. Nick was a member of the National Champion Reilly drum line in 1958 & 1959. He returned to the Rebels in 1960 and was a member and Assistant Instructor of their Championship Drum line in 1969, 1970, and 1971. He was a member of the Rebels until the competing corps disbanded. He was instrumental in the formation of the Yankee Rebels Alumni and continues to be their Assistant Instructor and a member of the snare line.
Gene Bunting was active in drum corps from 1950 through the 1990's, as a performer, instructor and adjudicator. He began his career with the McCall He was an outstanding soloist with both the Liberty Bell Cadets and Reilly Raiders. Gene was the original soloist for Reilly's rendition of "Stardust". He continued his outstanding performances with the Archer-Epler Musketeers, and returned to Philadelphia to play again with Reilly Raiders.
Jim Centorino is widely recognized not just as an accomplished trumpet player, but also as a prolific composer. While attending Boston College, he was both soloist and president of the college band. He was also a soloist and instructor for Boston Crusaders and Rhode Island Matadors. He often played to packed stands during Boston Bruins hockey games and Boston Celtics basketball games. On the west coast, he often played at Los Angeles Lakers basketball and Los Angeles Kings hockey games. He holds a Master’s degree in Geology and Geophysics, and a Master’s degree in Composition and Trumpet from Boston Conservatory of Music.
MICHAEL DEL VECCHIO
Mike Del Vecchio was a playing member of junior and senior corps for more than two decades, performing first with the Dover Cadets, then playing solo soprano with Hawthorne Caballeros. He has been an instructor for a number of corps, helping guide the lives of hundreds of young men and women. He has also served as assistant director, lyricist and spokesperson for the Caballeros' Alumni Chorus. He has adjudicated for both the Eastern States Judges Association and the National Judges Association.
Norm Peth played drums professionally with the Jerry Wald Orchestra for a short time and many other groups during the Big Band era, working for and with many of the great jazz drummers of the day. Over the years, he was involved with 114 different music groups ranging from street parade corps to big field competition drum and bugle corps. He has had students playing professionally on the road from Las Vegas to Singapore. He made contributions in every area of drum and bugle corps activity: playing, instructing, organizing and adjudicating, mainly in western New York. A list of his students is a virtual “who’s who” of high achievers in drumming. In addition to teaching drum and bugle corps percussion sections, he had students that later played with and taught the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and West Point Hellcats drum lines. Other students became high school and college teachers and professional drummers. Under his instruction, the Seneca Chiefs drum quartet won the New York/Canadian ensemble championship for three straight years, from 1963 through 1965. He has been retired from the activity for more than 30 years, now enjoying the sunny climate of Florida. During his retirement he has continued to play with various night club groups and, occasionally, live theatre bands. He can’t quite refuse to teach new students who look him up from time to time.
Mike Stefanowicz starting making music at age 12, and by 1940 was known across the country as one of the best drummers in the activity. His skill was also recognized outside the United States. After finishing as the first runner up in the individuals at the American Legion national convention in Boston, he finished as first runner up in the World Senior Open Championships during the World’s Fair, in Flushing, NY. In addition to performing with several fife and drum corps, he performed with the Seattle Hurricanes drum and bugle corps. He also instructed the drum lines of the Hurricanes and Thunderbirds of Seattle.
Duke Terreri first performed on snare drum with St. Lucy’s fife and drum corps in 1929. During the years of his drum corps activity, he also played with St. Lucy’s drum and bugle corps, the National Fife and Drum Corps, New York Skyliners, New Jersey Colonial Militia and the New Jersey Field Music unit. He also instructed the drum lines of all these groups. For 10 years, he was an adjudicator for the New Jersey Federation of Field Music.
John Arietano has been taking part in drum corps activities continuously since he began performing in the brass line of St. Helena Cadets in 1958. He has been the brass instructor and arranger for several junior and senior corps over the years, beginning with the Brooklyn, NY Riversiders junior corps in 1967 and extending to the Westshoremen in the mid 1990s. Other well-known corps he taught during that interval include Sacred Heart Crusaders, Belleville Black Knights, Long Island Sunrisers, Hawthorne Caballeros, and Connecticut Hurricanes. Sunrisers won the DCA title four times while he was brass instructor: in 1977, 1978, 1982 and 1983. He taught Caballeros when that group won two consecutive Drum Corps Associates (DCA) titles in 1984 and 1985. He was with Westshoremen in 1996, earning a seventh DCA title. He has also been involved with a number of high school marching bands. His formal music education includes earning an AAS Degree in Music Performance at Bronx Community College, a BA in Music at Queens College, and five years of private study in arranging, theory and technique. He has played in many jazz and Latin big bands and combos, community orchestras, wind ensembles and several mummers groups. He won DCA’s best soloist award at the championship contest in Syracuse, NY in 2000 . He was inducted into the Buglers Hall of Fame in June, 2005.
Roman Blenski began playing bugle in 1957 at the start of a lifelong involvement with the drum and bugle corps community. He was also color guard, drill and bugle instructor for a number of corps from 1958 to 1961. He
is the long-time executive director of Drum Corps Midwest (DCM), the organization which includes about 30 drum and bugle corps located mostly west of the Great Lakes. At the same time he has also served as executive of Pioneer junior drum and bugle corps, and co-ordinator of the Drum Corps International Division II and III corps. The high-quality performances by DCM corps make the championship tournament a popular annual event. The Midwest All-Star Corps often appears in internationally-televised football bowl parades during Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
Bill Boerner’s drum and bugle corps career began in 1936 and spanned more than five decades, during which time he was a snare drummer and drum instructor for a number of junior and senior corps and served two terms as corps director of New York Skyliners. Between 1936 and 1943, he drummed with Bill Brown American Legion (AL) Post drum and bugle corps, American Patrol Naval Cadets, Charles W. Heisser AL Post fife drum and bugle corps, Grand Street Boys and Phoebe Apperson Hearst AL Post. After serving in the United States Navy, he became a charter member of New York Skyliners in 1946. He was the drum instructor for eight junior corps and three senior corps, including Skyliners, in locations across New York and New Jersey for almost twenty years, from the late 1940s to the late 1960s. His activities in the 1990s included marching with three fife and drum corps: the Sons of Liberty, the Minutemen and the Blue and Grey. He also participated in the Skyliners chorus, and belonged to the Skyliners Alumni Association.
Dan played baritone horn for the Junior Archer Epler Musketeers prior to World War II. Returning from the war, he joined the newly formed Archer Epler Musketeer Senior Corps. In the 1950's, he was Archie's Corps Director for eight years and was a member of their American Legion and VFW posts. He was also instrumental in forming, managing, and supporting the Archer Epler Alumni Corps.
George Rodriguez was a soprano soloist with the Grand Street Boys and the Phoebe Apperson Hearst drum corps in the 1940s. For the following two decades he played the dual role of soprano soloist and horn instructor, first with New York Skyliners then with Hawthorne Caballeros from 1963 to 1971. Throughout this entire period, he also instructed a number of junior drum and bugle corps. He was corps director of the Skyliners from 1957 to 1961. He was also associated with the Eastern and all American Judges Associations
ALVAN "AL" SAIA
Al Saia was a bugle player with Sacred Heart Crusaders in 1937. He became the corps drum major in the 1940s, before moving to the Lieutenant Norman Prince senior corps. He was drum major for the Princemen in the 1950s. During the 1960s and 1970s, he served as both bugle and general effect judge with the the All American Judges Association, Drum Corps Associates, the Massachusetts Judges Association and the Bay State Judges Association. He was music director of Cambridge Caballeros when the group performed at a Boston Pops orchestra concert, under the direction of world famous conductor Arthur Fiedler.
John Sasso’s long involvement in drum and bugle corps activity began in 1952, when he was a French horn player with St. Catherine’s of Sienna Queensmen junior drum and bugle corps on Long Island. For the 10 years from 1962 to 1972, he performed with Long Island Sunrisers on soprano, French horn or mellophone. He was also Sunrisers’ drum major during this time and corps director from 1962 to 1966. He was widely known as a music arranger and instructor for many junior corps from 1961 to 1975, including St. Lucy’s Cadets and Garfield Cadets. He had a long time affiliation with the Eastern States Judging Association, adjudicating in all brass captions.
Gil Silva performed with Holy Rosary Caballeros for 10 years, first as a tenor drummer, then as a baritone horn player. For 19 years, he served in a number of positions with Rhode Island Matadors, including baritone horn player, drill instructor, business manager and assistant director. He also worked with several junior corps as a drill designer and instructor. His administration history also includes spending six years as director of the Rhode Island Picadors junior corps, and six years as director and business manager of the Rhode Island Toreadors. More recently he served as chief judge of Drum Corps Associates (DCA) judging association. He became president of DCA in 2004, following the unexpected passing of long-time DCA president Mickey Petrone.
Mr. Adair began his career with the Osmond Post Cadets in 1939 playing a soprano. He assisted with drill design and instruction during the period in which Osmond won 2 National titles. Reilly Raiders was his choice as a senior corps where he continued playing lead soprano. Don joined the Marine Corps Divisional Band as a percussionist. He was the brass arranger/instructor for the Hadden Heights Vagabonds, Ridley Park Rangers, PAL Cadets, Bracken Cavaliers, and Reilly Raiders Alumni. Don was a charter member of the NJA and the original original brass caption head.
Donnie Allen has been involved with drum and bugle corps activity since he was a teenager playing soprano horn with St. Joseph’s of Batavia and Purple Lancers of Auburn, N Y. He was lead solo soprano player, arranger and brass instructor for Empire Statesmen in the early 1990s, during years the corps twice won the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world title and was extending performance opportunities with overseas tours and winter stage concerts. In 1994, he received the DCA individual showmanship award. Since then, he has served as brass arranger and instructor for Syracuse Brigadiers, Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni and Rochester Crusaders. He has also been either brass arranger or instructor for the Cadets of Greece, Mighty Liberators of Rochester, Firebirds of Rochester, Rochester Northmen and Diplomats of Malden, MA. He has also served as music director of Eastridge High School and music director of Bloomfield High School Marching Band, both in Rochester. In 1992 and again in 1994, he was music director of the all-star group of more than 300 musicians who participated in the nationally-televised Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City. He is a member of the New York State Federation of Contest Judges.
Joe Campos was an active member of the Hawthorne Caballeros for 30 years, beginning in 1963. Over those years, he marched in the color guard, and after that served as equipment manager and assistant to the corps director. He was a member of the committee which organized the original Grand Prix contest, and still serves on the committee. He served on the original board of directors of the Great Alliance of Seniors (GAS), representing Hawthorne Caballeros, and has chaired the group organizing the GAS reunions hosted by the Caballeros. He was the original director of the Caballeros Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps, serving in that position for four years. He was appointed vice president of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2003, following the passing of founding president Vince Bruni.
In his year of induction, Bill Mitten had been involved in drum and bugle corps activity for 55 years. From 1929 to 1942, he was a member of the Osmond Post Cadets. During the following three years, he was a member of the Army Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps. He was an original member of Reilly Raiders in 1946 and performed with corps until 1958. He was a horn player, but also marched as drum major when required. He was one of the first drill instructors to include dance steps, gimmicks, body movements and choreography in field contest routines. He served as an instructor with a number of corps, including Osmond, Soby-American Legion and Norristown O’Hara Todd. For 35 years, he was a judge with Eastern States, Mid-Atlantic, Drum Corps Associates and the Cavalcade of Bands judging Associations.
Wes Myers started playing snare drum with Troop 46 Boy Scouts in 1952, and went on to perform with a number of junior and senior corps in New York and New Jersey. He drummed with Staten Island PAL in 1953, then performed with St. Vincent’s Cadets and Amboy Dukes. He was member of Ballantine Brewers when the corps was undefeated in 1963 and 1964. He joined New York Skyliners in 1965 and marched in the drum line until 1970 and again in 1974. He arranged and taught Sky’s drum books from 1971 through 1984. During that time, Skyliners won the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) title in 1971 and again in 1975, and won the 1980 DCA high percussion award and the 1981 DCA high execution score for percussion. His use of two separate drum lines and two percussion books was revolutionary in drum corps circles in the mid-1970s. He has been percussion arranger for a number of junior and senior corps, including Melrose Black Hawks. He has been affiliated with the National Judges Association and the Drum Corps East Judges Association.
Sandra Opie, a vocal music instructor, started her career in drum and bugle corps in the late 1950s, instructing the Argonne Rebels, a small corps in Great Bend, Kansas. She had never marched in a drum and bugle corps, but immediately recognized its potential as an activity for enhancing the life of youngsters in her community. She overcame resistance from local marching band instructors who did not consider drum corps rehearsals a legitimate form of music instruction, and eventually attracted many youngsters to the Rebels. The brass lines she taught rapidly became noted for their technical abilities and musicality. She became widely known for producing outstanding horn lines, leading the Rebels to national prominence and three national championships in the 1970s. For more than a quarter of a century, her love of the activity helped influence the lives of hundreds of young men and women. Her level of devotion to members of the corps was so high that she would not accept any salary during the 15 years she was associated with the Argonne Rebels. She was widely admired as a music judge with the Central Judging Association and Drum Corps International (DCI) who treated each competitor fairly and objectively and was always willing to explain her decisions during critiques following contests. Hall of Fame member Truman Crawford recalls his musical association with Sandra Opie and the Rebels as “one of the highlights of my civilian drum corps career.” She has also been affiliated with American Legion (AL) and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national contest judging associations.
Tom Swan played with only two corps during his involvement with drum and bugle corps, and was a soprano soloist with both: St. Joseph Cadets of Newark, NJ and New York Skyliners. He was also assistant horn instructor with St. Joseph’s from 1947 to 1955. Then, over a period of 20 years, with some breaks, he was a solo soprano player and instructor with New York Skyliners. He was a member of the Skyliner organization when the corps won a number of championships, including the 1975 Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world title. As a teacher and arranger, he was encouraged by Hall of Fame Members Hy Dreitzer and George Rodrigues. He arranged and taught Skyliners brass section from 1980 to 1984. He has also taught the Skyliners Alumni horn line. He has served as corps president, arranger and horn instructor for Melrose Black Hawks junior corps. He has also been a member of the Skyliner Alumni Chorus, assisting with instruction for the vocal group. He has judged for the New York Metropolitan Judges Association.
In a drum corps career that spanned two decades from 1949 to 1969, Jim D’Amico was a lead soprano for both the Holy Name Cadets and St. Joseph Cadets before graduating to the senior ranks as both instructor and lead soprano for such top-ranked corps as Hawthorne Caballeros, New York Skyliners and Ballantine Brewers. He also served as executive director, horn instructor and music arranger for Garfield Cadets. On the contest field, he was a field horns judge with the All American, national and Eastern States judging associations.
George Hayek started his drum corps activity in 1936 as a drummer with the Sacrted Heart Crusaders, a small church corps in Paterson, NJ. He became a snare drummer with St. George Cadets in 1939. He served in the armed forces during World War II, then resumed drumming with the new corps that Jim Costello and several former St. George Cadets organized in 1946: the Hawthorne Caballeros. He played snare drum with Caballeros until 1956, then played tenor drum until 1971. He taught both drumming and drill to a number of corps, and trained hundreds of young people who went to on to play with a number of top competing corps. From 1964 until 1992, he was a member of the Hawthorne Drum Corps Grand Prix planning committee, as chairman of the program/advertising book committee. He performed the same function for the 7th annual GAS Reunion committee. He has also been affiliated with the All Coast Color Guard Judging Association. He helped organize the Caballeros Alumni Corps in 1994, and was still marching with the group in 2006. He was inducted into the New Jersey Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2001.
Louise Mayer has devoted her entire adult life to the drum and bugle corps community. In 1941, she joined the Joseph B. Garity American Legion senior fife, drum and bugle corps. In 1951, when her husband ‘Lefty’ joined the Garbarina-Mazarakos Skyliners, she also became a part of the Skyliner family. In 1965, the all-male Skyliner organization awarded her a lifetime membership, designating her as the “First Lady of the Skyliners.” She was instrumental in initiating the sale of corps items as souvenir tables, as a regular fund-raising project. She was closely associated with the operation of the Skyliners Alumni for more than a decade. She also served as the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame treasurer for 10 years. She has been involved with Drum Corps Associates (DCA) since the organization was formed in the1960s. She has served for a number of years on the board of governors of the Great Alliance of Seniors (GAS). Her late husband Henry ‘Lefty’ Mayer was a charter member of the Hall of Fame.
WILLIAM McGRATH, JR.
Bill McGrath Jr. was a member of the Chili Crimson Cadets drum and bugle corps, of Chili, NY from 1953 to 1958. He then moved to the Emerald Cadets/Emerald Statesmen of Irondequoit, NY, performing until 1969 and also serving as drum instructor from 1964 to 1969. He was the New York-Canadian (NY/C) circuit individual snare drum champion in 1968; a member of the NY/C champion drum quartet in 1964 and 1965; a member of the drum quartet which finished second in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national drum quartet contest in 1965. He was a member of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) drum and bugle corps from 1968 to 1971. In 1971, he was percussion writer and instructor for both the USMC corps of Washington and the Yankee Rebels of Baltimore, MD. The Rebels won the American Legion (AL) national championship in ‘71, with the drum line taking high score. While instructing the Rebels, he implemented the Chapin method of jazz/beebop drumming in a percussion solo. In 1972, he taught the drum line of Rochester Crusaders, again taking top score at the AL nationals. From 1974 to ‘79, he was percussion writer and instructor for Phoenix drum and bugle corps, New York state champions in 1976. He served as a Drum Corps Associates (DCA) percussion judge from 1978 to 1991. He was inducted into the Rochester Crusaders Hall of Fame in 1997. He has been a staff advisor with the Grenadiers, of Kingston, Ontario since 1996.
Bobby Peterson’s 40 years of drum corps involvement began with the St. George Cadets. During more than four decades of activity, he taught drumming to more than two dozen corps, and founded the All States Judging Association and judged contests for the Mid Atlantic, Eastern States, DCI and DCA associations. He played in the Holy Name Cadets’ drum line in the mid 1950s, and later played with Hawthorne Caballeros. He played a snare drum in the first parade of the Hawthorne Caballeros alumni drum and bugle corps.
Gerry Shellmer first played snare drum with Most Precious Crusaders before moving up to the drum line of the Princemen. For almost 20 years from 1959 to 1978, he was the percussion instructor for many well-known junior and senior corps, including the Garfield Cadets. In 1962, he was the first senior individual national drumming champion. He is widely known and admired for his innovations in percussion instrumentation, and has contributed a number of unique ideas in percussion arranging.
In 1961, Steve Vickers was a cymbal player with the Jets, the feeder corps for the Sky Ryders. He became the Jet’s corps director while still a junior in high school. After performing with Sky Ryders from 1967 through 1970, he graduated from the University of Kansas in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism. He used his advertising and journalism skills to perform public relations and administrative duties with Sky Ryders, Blue Knights, Madison Scouts and Capitol Aires. From 1985 until 1992, he was chairman of the DCI championships planning group. He is perhaps best known as the publisher of Drum Corps World (DCW), the publication which has become the activity’s key source of information for all types of pageantry units. He first worked as an editor at DCW in 1973, then purchased the newspaper the following year from founders Don Whiteley and Jim Jones. He served on the Madison Scouts board of directors for 15 years, and handled the travel arrangements for the Scout’s 16-day tour of Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in 1988. He published A History of Drum and Bugle Corps, a 432-page hardcover book about the activity in 2002. A second volume was published a few years later.
PHILIP J. CERIMELI
Phil Ceremili played in the horn lines of several junior and senior corps, spending 18 years with Syracuse Brigadiers. He also served as the Brigadiers’ director for 10 years, and was business manager for three years. He served as the drill coordinator of the Cicero-North Syracuse Northstars marching band and color guard for 15 years. He was also associated with the All American and New York State Federation of Judges.
CLIFFORD M. FISHER
Cliff Fisher was a drummer and drum instructor with the Old Doremus Post drum and bugle corps, the Princemen and the Milton Post corps for 11 years. He also served as the combination drum and drill instructor for such well-known corps as Most Precious Blood Crusaders, St. Kevin’s Emerald Knights, Immaculate Conception Reveries, Herald and Andrew Post and the Marlboro drum corps. He was a member of the Princemen’s executive board for 35 years, and a judge with the All American and Bay States judging associations for 20 years. He was named National Legionnaire of the Year in 1960.
St. Andrew's of Baltimore was the initial stop for Mr. Gentile on a drum corps life which would span 6 decades. He began there as a soprano horn in 1949. He was also a soprano in St. James Cadets before joining the Dundalk Cadets as their Drum Major. As a senior he joined Archer Epler as their drum major in 1960. The Yankee Rebels was his next stop in 1962 and there he remains. He has served as a soprano horn, drill and horn instructor, Drum Major, Program Coordinator, Assistant Director, and Director.
George Parks served in a number of roles with Reading Buccaneers, including horn player, head drill instructor and show coordinator, from 1975 until 1987. He is the founder and president of the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy, an Applied Tuba professor, director of the Minutemen Marching Band and a music professor at the University of Massachusetts. Known as the “Mace-Bearing Professor,” he revolutionized the art of drum majoring. He dazzled audiences for many years with his high levels of showmanship, professionalism and his actions as a field general.
James Pinette began his drum corps involvement in 1936 with the Immaculate Conception Cadets of Malden, Massachusetts, and was still active more than 50 years later, with the Lieutenant Norman Prince Alumni Association and Chorus. His long time association with the Princemen began in 1946. Over many years, he was the drill instructor for the corps, president of the alumni association and director and manager of the Princemen chorus and alumni group. He also played with Sacred Heart Crusaders from 1942 to 1945. His instructing career stretched from 1946 to 1958, teaching drill to such other organizations as the Sacred Heart Crusaders, Immaculate Conception drum corps and drill team. He also served as a judge for the All American, Bay States, and Continental judging associations.
Jim Prime’s drum corps career spanned more than 40 years. He was a baritone player with the Yellow Jackets, Sentinels and Blue Eagles, all from Pennsylvania. He was the music aranger for the Chessmen, Minutemen, Silver Beavers, Yellow Jackets, Sentinels and Blue Eagles. He also held various positions with the National Judges Association, Drum Corps Associates, Drum Corps International and the New Jersey Color Guard Association.
Jim Russo’s drum corps involvement began when he was just seven years old. Over the years, he has been a horn player, drummer and drum major with a number of corps. He served as a marching instructor with a number of groups for more than 20 years. For two decades, he was a marching instructor, administrator and drum major with Hawthorne Caballeros. He is probably best known for his charismatic appearances as the Cabs’ drum major. He has been a judge with the MAA, Eastern and New Jersey judging associations. He has also marched as drum major of the Hawthorne Caballeros Alumni Corps. He was drum major when the Alumni Corps made its first appearance in Canada, during the New Waterloo Band Festival in Waterloo, Ontario in August, 2005. He has also been a consultant with Empire Statesmen, of Rochester, NY.
‘Butch’ Anderson is best remembered as the flamboyant drum major of the New York Skyliners throughout the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. He joined Skyliners in 1970, as a soprano player. He left for a season to march as drum major of Syracuse Brigadiers, then returned to New York in 1972 as assistant drum major behind Walter Winkelman. His early music education began in the fourth grade, with teacher Brad Longdo, and continued through the end of high school. He was also a solo soprano player, horn instructor and show co-ordinator with Skyliners. He previously played a horn with both the Schuylerville Green Sabres and the Interstatesmen, of Troy, NY and Pittsfield, MA, and marched as drum major with both the Marksmen and Syracuse Brigadiers. He was horn instructor for many corps, notably Pittsfield Skyhawks, Pittsfield Pom Poms, Saratoga Hurricanes, Emerald Knights, Muchachos and Johnstown Patriots. He served as show co-ordinator for the Skyliners during two separate periods in the 1980s, and helped institute a contest in Albany NY organized by a group of lawyers, called Law, Order and Justice
During Frank Gerris’ long association with Hawthorne Caballeros, the corps won five Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world championships up until 1992. He served as drill designer and instructor for the Caballeros, and provided the same services for the Woodsiders and Hawthorne Muchachos. He was drum major of Ballantine Brewers drum and bugle corps; drum major and soprano player with Woodsiders; and soprano player with Our Lady of Good Counsel. He was both brass instructor and director of St. Michael’s of Jersey City, NJ. He has judged many contests for marching bands, drum and bugle corps and color guards, including DCA and Drum Corps International (DCI) contests. His activity began in 1947, playing soprano horn with Our Lady of Good Counsel then joining the Woodsiders in 1956. His proposal that field judges use tape recorders while evaluating corps on the contest field was accepted by DCI, and his proposal to allow competing corps to start their routine at any position on the field was accepted by DCA. He has served as chair of the DCA marching and manoeuvring rules congress and helped re-write the DCA rule book.
Over a period of 20 years, Larry Hershman played all the percussion instruments and soprano horn with the Westshoremen, of Harrisburg, PA. He then devoted many more years to the corps as marching and maneuvering instructor, show coordinator, business manager and director. He was the show coordinator and marching instructor for the United States Naval Academy drum and bugle corps from 1983 to 1986. While serving on the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) board of directors, he chaired the committee which completely revised the organization’s bylaws, rules and regulations and devised the mileage system used by DCA in dealing with contest sponsors. He also applied his skills as a marching instructor and program director with the Bluecoats junior drum and bugle corps, of Canton, Ohio. He has judged for several organizations, including Mid Atlantic, National, KIDA, CIDA, CBA and the International Band Fest. He organized a number of ongoing drum and bugle corps contests and concerts, including the Carlisle Review of the Corps, Serenade in Brass and the Hershey Invitational senior/junior contest.
Bob Holton played soprano horn for the F. A. MacKenzie Post 165 drum and bugle corps and St. Vincent’s Cadets, of Bayonne, NJ. He then marched for more than 30 years in the color guard of New York Skyliners. He also functioned as Skyliners’ drill designer, marching instructor and show coordinator. He was also treasurer, assistant director and director of Skyliners. He was color guard coordinator and marching instructor for St. Andrew’s Bridgemen. He was also marching instructor for other corps, including New London Surfers, Cranford Patriots, New York Lancers and Wayne Monarchs. He was a judge in a number of organizations, including Eastern States, Cavalcade, All American and National judges associations. He was the first to use a live animal in a field show: when the Bridgemen played the William Tell Overture, popularly known as the theme from The Lone Ranger television show, a white horse and rider entered the field and galloped to the 50 yard line, where the horse rose on its hind legs to salute the crowd. He was also the first to depart from the use of conventional flags, when he designed a stylized black, red and white “S” flag used by Skyliners’ color guard.
Jack Reilly played first soprano for a remarkable 46 years with Archer-Epler Musketeers. In addition to this impressive performance record, he also coordinated many contests sponsored by the corps. His long record of commitment and dedication to his own group and the drum corps community in general earned him widespread admiration. He was considered by many of his peers to be an ideal marching member.
Ed Trainer was active in the drum and bugle corps community in New England for more than half a century. He served as director of the Braintree Class C and Class A junior drum and bugle corps from 1949 well into the 1960s and was both treasurer and director of Lieutenant Norman Prince drum and bugle corps. He devoted 35 years to the Eastern Massachusetts Drum and Bugle Corps Association, serving as treasurer and coordinator. He also served as an administrator on the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) executive board. He organized and ran the Princemen’s Drumfest contest for 12 years
‘Windy’ Wildemore participated in drum and bugle corps activity for more than 60 years, starting with a Boy Scout group in 1933, and performing as a horn player, drummer, administrator and judge at various times. He played soprano horn for the Community League junior corps for 10 years. He served in the United States Navy from 1942 to 1944 during World War II. In 1946, he helped organize the Imhof Thunderbirds senior corps in Pennsylvania. The Thunderbirds won the American Legion state championship for several years. Beginning in 1950, he performed in the percussion section of the Reilly Raiders and was business manager of the corps for more than 10 years. Reilly Raiders were selected as the corps of the decade by the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame during these years. He organized and served as chief judge of the National Judges Association (NJA) for three decades and was chief judge of Drum Corps Associates (DCA) for four years. Over a number of years, he helped form several drum and bugle corps, marching band and color guard contest circuits and championship contests, including the Eastern States Circuit, which had 30 member corps and the NJA Indoor Guard Association, with more than 100 member color guards.
Michael ‘Red’ Corso has held positions in the brass sections of such corps as Antonia Mangione Post drum and bugle corps, Troop 77 BSA drum and bugle corps, Skylarks and the Matadors. He instructed both the brass and percussion sections of Troop 77, the brass section of the Longhorns. He was corps director of Troop 77, and founded the Longhorns, Skylarks and the Matadors. He has also been a member of the Rhode Island Drum Corps Association, the Greater New England Yankee Circuit, and served on the executive board of the Red Carpet Association. He held the position of treasurer of Drum Corps Associates (DCA) for 15 years.
Frank Ferraro was in the brass section of the Greater Reading Post 179 corps and West Reading Police Cadets before becoming drum major of Reading Buccaneers. He served as music director or arranger with such corps as West Reading, Schuylkill Haven, York White Roses, Milton Keystoners, Westshoremen and the Buccaneers. He has also been a judge with the Mid Atlantic, All American, DCA and CBA judges associations. He was a judge for such major events as the Festival of States, Cherry Festival, Miss America parade and more. He won the VFW national champion soprano bugler title in 1951, at the convention held in New York City. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music from West Chester University, a Master of Arts Degree in Music from Columbia University and worked as a music educator in Pennsylvania public schools for 40 years.
Bill Hayes was first affiliated with the Sal MacKenzie Post corps. Like many other drum corps veterans in the northeast, he played with and instructed both Hawthorne Caballeros and New York Skyliners at various times during his drum corps career. He also developed outstanding brass sections for Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, St. Catharine’s of Sienna Queensmen, and Florida Vanguard of Miami. He also judged marching and maneuvering, horns and music for several judging associations. While playing for the Caballeros, he was widely admired and recognized for his soprano solo in “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White.”
Bob Neuhoff has been affiliated with the brass sections of St. Michael’s, St. Patrick’s, St. Vincent’s, St. Anne’s and Saldarini Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post drum corps. He also performed in the brass section of the S. H. Young American Legion Post corps, and later served as color guard captain. With the Skyliners, he instructed the guard, taught marching and maneuvering, and also served as show coordinator, director, business manager and a trustee of the corporation. He was chairman of the popular “Evening With The Corps” and “Afternoon With The Guards” shows, and organized many Drum Corps Associates (DCA) contests. He has been involved with a number of high school marching bands and has held administrative positions with several drum and bugle contest circuits.
Frank Pisillo was a baritone soloist with several leading corps, including: West New York Post 15 American Legion, Hawthorne Caballeros, Our Lady of Grace and Con Edison. He also instructed the brass sections of Knights of Columbus, St. Lucy’s Cadets, Hawthorne Muchachos, Bayonne Bridgemen and Caballeros. He served as director of the Knights of Columbus and show coordinator, president and public relations director for the Caballeros. He judged all brass captions for the All American and National Judges Associations. After retiring and moving to Dunnellon, FL he was responsible for the formation of a highly-regarded chorus.
Cosmo Barbaro has been affiliated with a number of the best-known corps in upstate New York, and several in other areas. At various times, he was associated with Geneva Appleknockers, Auburn Purple Lancers, Rochester Crusaders, Rochester Empire Statesmen, Dutch Boy, of Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario, Connecticut Hurricanes and Chicago Cavaliers. He has served as a judge with Drum Corps International (DCI) and Drum Corps Associates (DCA), the All American Judges Association, the Pennsylvania Federation of Judges and Central States Judges. He is a past president of the Percussive Arts Society, and has served as a clinician and endorser with Ludwig Drums.
Dennis De Lucia has been a clinician and endorser for number of major percussion instrument manufacturers, and has taught many of the top drum lines in North America. He has been associated with a number of well-known and championship corps, including Dumont Police Cadets, Hawthorne Muchachos, Bayonne Bridgemen, Long Island Sunrisers, Hawthorne Caballeros, Star of Indiana, Velvet Knights of California, and the Crossmen of Pennsylvania. He is widely known as a color commentator during telecasts of the Drum Corps International (DCI) championships.
‘Duke’ Ducharme was associated with corps in New England for more than five decades, beginning in 1933 playing bass drum and cymbals with Our Lady of Hope drum and bugle corps. From 1934 to 1939, he played cymbals, bugle and then marched as drum major of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 70 drum and bugle corps in Springfield, Massachusetts. He played bugle and twirled baton with American Legion (AL) Post 21 in Springfield when he returned to drum corps activity following World War II. He had been drum major of the 104th Infantry Band of the National Guard during high school, and marched as drum major of three different United States Army bands during his years of service. He organized the VFW Post 70 Dukes in 1952, and in 1956 organized the Springfield Marksmen. His other corps affiliations included the Targets, Olympians, Holy Name of Massachusetts, Patrick Triggs corps and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. He was also affiliated with the Massachusetts and Connecticut Fife and Drum organization and the Yankee Drum and Bugle Corps circuit. He judged for the All American Judges Association. He was a marching and maneuvering judge on the Northeastern Circuit for many years. He was also a regular contributor to the Drum Corps International (DCI) scholarship fund.
Mo Kazazian was a well-known clinician for judging associations across the United States. He was also a long-serving judge with a number of associations, including Drum Corps International (DCI) and Drum Corps Associates (DCA), Eastern States, American Legion and CYO.
Bill Lawler was a member of the Archer-Epler Musketeers, sponsored at the time by the Upper Darby Post 214. He was also associated with a number of other Pennsylvania corps, including Blackwood Brigadiers, Media Fawns, Yearsley Cadets, John Wanamaker American Legion Post, Honeybrook senior corps, Sahler Sedan Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) senior corps and Westchester VFW seniors. He judged for both Drum Corps Associates (DCA) and the Mid Atlantic Judges Association.
Jack Pratt is one of the most prolific percussion writers in the drum corps community. He served as rudimental drum instructor of field music with the U.S. Military Academy band at West Point from 1950 to 1969, and was one the first to urge the use of large drum lines, paving the way to modern percussion sections of 30 or more members which began to appear on the contest field by the late 1960s. As an exponent of large drum lines, he urged that the level of difficulty not be reduced and that various performance factors not be sacrificed. His contributions and achievements in drumming were further recognized when he was inducted as a member of the world-wide Percussive Arts Society. He taught the Interstatesmen in the 1960s, when he introduced the rudimental bass drum to the drum corps community, as part of his unique concept of percussion voicing. He has been associated with a number of other corps, including Geneva Appleknockers, Troop 12 Indians, Kingsmen, Lakers, Criterions, Hawthorne Caballeros, King’s Regiment, Doremus Post, Crimson Kings Tri-County Cavaliers, Rochester Grey Knights, Ambassadors. He has judged for the All American and Metro All American associations.
DANNY RAYMOND SR.
Danny Raymond taught the drum lines of such well-known corps as St. Vincent’s Cadets, St. Lucy’s Cadets, Garfield Cadets, Keyport Continentals, Garden Statesmen and New York Skyliners. He judged for the Charlie Nabors Judges Association, the Mid Atlantic Judges Association, the National Judges Association and DCA.
Joe Marrella’s half-century association with drum and bugle corps began with instruction in rudimental drumming with the Vasella Musketeers in 1956. He was snare drummer and section leader in the drum line known as the best in the country and its nationally-known drum quartet. His 25 years of teaching drums began at age 20 in 1963, with the Haddonfield Royaleers all girl drum and bugle corps. In the following quarter-century he taught many area corps at the same time, often spending five nights a week with his students. He fielded a Blue Rock drum line with eight snares in 1971, the first time such a large snare section had been featured by a junior corps. That drum line won the National Drum Trophy awarded by the Ludwig company with a score of 19.1 out of 20, the highest score ever recorded to that point. He has been associated with such other nationally-ranked junior corps as Hawthorne Muchachos and Casper Troopers. With 27th Lancers, he served as both drum instructor and show coordinator. He was associated with a number of senior corps, including Reading Buccaneers, Yankee Rebels, Erie Thunderbirds, Rochester Crusaders, Westshoremen and Skyliners. He has served as a judge and clinician with Drum Corps Associates (DCA), and developed a general effect clinic for DCA judges. He has been a judge for American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and major independent contests.
Joe McNaught served in every elected position in with the administration of Lt. Norman Prince (the Princemen) senior drum and bugle corps, including secretary, treasurer, president, instructor and music arranger. He was also an arranger for St. Thomas More Cadets and Immaculate Conception Reveries junior corps. He was the founder, director and arranger for the Norman Prince Alumni Chorus. He served as chair of the committee which arranged the Senior Corps Reunion (now known as the Great Alliance of Seniors, or GAS) of 1989. From 1961 to 1964, he judged horns and general effect horns for the All American Judges Association. His drum corps activities began when he joined the Immaculate Conception Grammar School Cadets, of Malden, Massachusetts in 1936, as a bugler.
Al Mura was an original member of the Holy Name Cadets (later the Garfield Cadets) when the Corps started in 1934. Starting as a solo soprano bugler, he later became Drum Major in 1939, leading them to their first, of many American Legion National Championships, at Boston in 1940. He retained that position until 1942 when he entered the U.S. Navy. In 1948, he was asked to become the Musical Director, Brass Instructor and arranger for the Hawthorne Caballeros. He was solo soprano and Concertmaster until 1963, seeing the Cabs win many State and National titles. Many present HOF members were under his tutelage. He was a member of Eastern States, Northeastern States, and National Judges Associations, judging all Brass captions for 36 years. He judged many State and National, DCA, and DCI contests. Al has a BA and MA in Music from Montclair State and Columbia University. From 1949-1954, Al was Brass Instructor and Arranger for the Holy Name Cadets, seeing them win numerous State and National titles. He also taught the St. George Cadets and CW Townsmen.
Don Pesceone was named executive director of Drum Corps International (DCI) when the organization was formed in the 1973, and served in that position until 1994. He worked closely with Hall of Fame member Pepe Notaro to establish the A/A-60 divisions in DCI, to allow smaller units to compete for an international championship with other corps of the same caliber. His drum and bugle corps activity included playing French horn with the Mel Tierney and Skokie Vanguard junior drum and bugle corps in the Chicago area and the Winfield Scott Rebels senior corps of Maywood, Illinois. He has been a marching instructor and designer for the Vanguard, the Argonne Rebels and Salina Silver Sabres of Kansas and Stockton Commodores of California. He was business manager of Skokie Vanguard in 1961 and 1962. He was a marching and manoeuvring judge with the All American and Central States Judges Association. When he was hired to be DCI’s first executive director, the headquarters consisted of his desk at home and a few files. He gave up his regular job to build DCI, a considerable financial risk for his family, which included his wife Mary and three young children. Mary became the first important staff member of DCI, taking on the positions of ticket seller, secretary, cook, office manager, director’s liaison, chauffeur, contest coordinator, tabulator, shipping and postal clerk. Both Don and Mary Pesceone are members of the DCI Hall of Fame.
Dave Richards was a baritone bugler with the Militaires of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a playing member, instructor and arranger for the Boys of ‘76 drum and bugle corps in Racine, Wisconsin from 1956 to 1970. He also served as instructor and arranger for the Yankee Rebels of Baltimore and Harvey Seeds drum and bugle corps of Miami Florida. He was corps director and show coordinator with the Capitolaires all-girls corps of Madison, Wisconsin in 1976. He has been a music arranger, instructor, consultant and guest instructor for junior corps on both sides of the U.S./Canada border, including St. John’s Girls of Brantford, Ontario, the Troopers of Casper, Wyoming, Our Lady of Mercy Girls, Starlites and St. Mathias Cadets all of Milwaukee, Des Plaines Vanguard. He was an adjudicator for 25 years with the All American, Central States, Wisconsin Federation of Judges and Drum Corps International (DCI) and Drum Corps Midwest (DCM). He has also served in several other positions with DCI, including administrator of the annual solo and ensemble contests.
Ray Samora spent his business life in music and video productions. He created the Drum Corps News publication and also established and headed Fleetwood Recording Studios, which recorded drum and bugle corps competitions across the continent in the 1950s and ‘60s, then produced and distributed LP records through a wide variety of retail outlets. Fleetwood introduced hi-fi and stereo sound to drum corps albums, eight track and tape cassettes. Fleetwood, founded with partner Vincent Giarusso, also produced sports albums, including one titled “Impossible Dream,” which chronicled the 1967 Boston Red Sox baseball team. He was producer of the World Open Championships and Danny Thomas Invitational contests for many years. He also produced the Carnegie Hall and Felt Forum indoor winter concerts. The World Open Championship was the first international championship contest, the forerunner of later national-scale competitions as the CYO Championships, U.S. Open, Drum Corps International (DCI) and Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship tournaments.
Jack Whelan played soprano bugle for 16 years: eight with the Y.D. drum and bugle corps from 1933 to 1941, and eight more with Lieutenant Norman Prince, from 1948 to 1955. He also served on the Princemen’s board of directors for three years. He taught marching and maneuvering to many of the best-known corps in New England, including Most Precious Blood of Hyde Park, Immaculate Conception of Winchester and St. Mary’s Cardinals of Beverly. St. Anthony’s drill team won the VFW nationals 12 times while he was instructor. He served as a judge with the All American, National, Eastern States and Massachusetts judges associations, and judged in both the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Drum Corps International national contests.. He was one of the organizers of the Northeastern Judges Association, and was chief judge and co-ordinator for the Maine Band Directors Association. He served as the World Open co-director and chief judge; the CYO Nationals coordinator and judge.
Joe Cook was affiliated with Syracuse Brigadiers for many years: 12 years as a horn player, and six years as business manager. He was widely recognized for his organizational abilities. He served as New York State American Legion Contests chairman, and was a member of the American Legion National Contests committee for many years. He was a member of the New York State Federation of Contest Judges. He co-founded the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) sales program. His drum corps activity began when he was a bugler with Troop 42 Boy Scouts drum and bugle corps. Before joining the Brigadiers, he spent five years as a bugler with Bordeaux Post Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) junior drum corps. He later served as corps director of Bordeaux Post
Earl Joyce’s first association with drum and bugle corps activity was as a drummer and drum major with the George Bell Junior drum and bugle corps from 1942 to 1951. He then became a drummer and drum major with the Chicago Cavaliers. He began instructing drums and teaching marching and maneuvering in 1949 with George Bell, then Cavaliers, then many other corps and bands until 1977. He was a judge with several associations, including Central States Judging Association (CSJA), All American and Midwest Color Guard, Drum Corps International (DCI), Drum Corps Associates (DCA), Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) and Winter Guard International (WGI). During his association with CSJA, he helped establish national judging and terminology standards in marching and maneuvering. His music training began in 1943, when he first played drums in the St. Angela grade school band. Later in the 1940s, he won several Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) individual and ensemble drumming titles at the Illinois state level and the national level.
Bill Kaufmann was affiliated with most of the best-known junior and senior corps in the northeast. At various times, he was associated with Liberty Bell Cadets and Garfield Cadets in the junior category and Reilly Raiders and Archer-Epler Musketeers senior corps. He has also been a percussion adjudicator with the National Judges Association, Drum Corps Associates (DCA) and Drum Corps International (DCI). He first played soprano horn with Hamilton Fish Cadets in 1949, before marching with Liberty Bell for the next seven years, when he played soprano horn and tenor and snare drum. In addition to instructing Garfield and Archer-Epler, he has taught the percussion sections of Hawthorne Caballeros, Reading Buccaneers, Westshoremen, Bracken Cavaliers, Audubon Bon-Bons, Ridley Park Rangers, 507 Hornets, Crossmen and Oakenshield.
Lew Keppler was affiliated with one of central Pennsylvania’s best-known senior corps: the Milton Keystoners. He first played bugle with the junior corps in Milton, then marched as the Keystoners drum major for nine years, winning six best drum major awards. He was also the drill instructor and business manager for many years. Under his direction and management, the Keystoners won two Senior B class American Legion (AL) state championships and one Senior B class Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national title. The Keystoners often had higher marching and maneuvering scores than such nationally-recognized corps as Reilly Raiders and Archer-Epler Musketeers. He served on the Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) contests committee. In the 1950s, he was well-known as the organizer of the popular Cavalcade of Champions annual contest, held in Bucknell University stadium.
Tommy Martin first played a horn with St. Brigid’s Fife, Drum and Bugle Corps, sponsored by the fire department in Ridgewood, Queens, in 1945. He became a member of Consolidated Edison Lamplighters for the 1951 season, then marched with St. Joseph’s Ironbound Cadets, of Newark, NJ through 1955. The New York Skyliners became his drum corps home in 1956. He is best remembered as an exciting soprano soloist with a super-articulated approach that became well-known throughout the drum corps world. His solos also helped create a unique identity for the United States Air Force Blue Eagles drum and bugle corps when he served from 1959 through 1963. He has also been affiliated with such well-known East Coast corps as St. Rita’s Brassmen, Ignatius All-Girls Drum and Bugle Corps, New Image and New Image II. He has also served as brass instructor for the exhibition and parade corps sponsored by the Desiderata and Nassau County police departments. He was inducted into the Buglers Hall of Fame on June 25, 2005 at the Champions on Parade in Bridgeport, CT.
‘Scotty’ McFee was associated with several of the top senior corps of his day: Archer-Epler Musketeers, Lieutenant Norman Prince and, most notably, New York Skyliners. He was a member of the Raymond Garbarina American Legion Post, the original sponsor of the Skyliners, in 1946 and served as corps director briefly in 1951. He has worn many hats in the Skyliners organization, including quartermaster and administration member. He was the founder and editor of the R.A.G. publication. He was widely admired for his dedication and devotion to the drum and bugle corps activity. Along with ‘Lefty’ Mayer and Dr. Almo Sebastianelli, he was instrumental in developing the major contest in Scranton, PA.
Lee Wolf began his long career as a performer, instructor and arranger by playing first soprano bugle for 10 years with the Osmond Cadets Junior Drum and Bugle Corps in Philadelphia. For the next seven years, he played first soprano with Archer-Epler Musketeers. He was still a teenager when he became the music arranger and instructor with Osmond Cadets. Although he had no formal music education, his arrangements, often featuring moving, smoothly-flowing baritone parts, quickly became recognized and admired throughout the drum corps community. He became the music arranger and instructor with the Musketeers in 1952, and held the position for 14 years. His strength as an arranger was his natural talent in creating instrument voicing and his ability to adapt all styles of music to drum and bugle corps instrumentation: traditional military marches, ballads, jazz, Dixieland, Broadway show tunes, even rock and roll numbers. Several of his protégés are also Hall of Fame members, including Bob Adair and Rip Bernert.
While teaching music at Nabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts from 1949 to 1951, Darcy Davis became the school’s first full time band director, played soprano horn with Lieutenant Norman Prince and won the VFW national individual soprano title at the convention in Chicago. He won the individual title again in 1953, in Miami, as the Princemen again also won the VFW title. His involvement in drum corps activity began in 1939, as a member of Troop 31 Boy Scout Drum Corps. By 1940, he was the drill, drum and bugle instructor for the VFW junior drum and bugle corps in North Adams, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of the Boston University College of Music, with post-graduate studies at Harvard, Columbia and Hartt College of Music. He has served as a judge with the All American and Northeast associations as well as DCA and DCI. He has also judged in the World Open, US Open, VFW Nationals, DCI, DCA, CYO and International Open contests.
In 1935, John joined the Osmond Post Cadets Junior Corps in Philadelphia as a rookie drummer. During the years that followed John practiced long hours to obtain a firm rudimental drumming foundation. It was during this time John also developed and refined his practice techniques commonly known today as BackSticking." In 1946 following his Army military service in the Philippines during WW2 John returned to Osmond and became drum instructor. A new senior drum corps was being formed known as A.K. Street VFW Sr. Corps and they were auditioning drummers. He soon joined. The corps' name was later changed to the Reilly Raiders in memory of a former junior corps member Frederick J. Reilly. During his 7 year tenure with Reilly John won many snare drum accolades including the VFW Senior Individual National Snare Drum Championship in 1949 in Miami, again in 1950 in Chicago and again in 1951 in New York City. To show his versatility John also played soprano bugle in the National Championship Senior Brass Quartet. In 1957, John was selected by M/Sgt Truman Crawford to teach and arrange percussion for the drum line of the USAF Drum Corps, Washington, DC. While there the Air Force drummers introduced the World to John's BackSticking Techniques. During John's drum corps career he has instructed in excess of 50 top junior and senior drum corps and hundreds of drummers. Some of these drummers are members of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame today.
Corky Fabrizio has been a well-known horn soloist, music writer, instructor and show coordinator for corps in western New York state and beyond since 1950, when he was the soloist with Cortland Moose Lodge drum and bugle corps. He was the solo soprano player with Syracuse Brigadiers from 1954 to 1958, then left the activity while he served in the United States Army for two years. He returned to the Cortland Matadors as music writer for two years, then marched as drum major and wrote the music for Syracuse Brigadiers from 1963 to 1970. During the 1970s, he was drum major and music writer for Rochester Crusaders and Phoenix of Rochester. From 1985 to 1992, he was music writer and program director for the Crusaders. He was already writing music in 1950, for St. Joseph’s of Batavia, NY. He also wrote for Watkins Glen Squires in 1954, the Greece Cadets in 1958, the Casper Troopers in 1960, Auburn Purple Lancers in 1974 and Avant Guard of western New York in 1975. From 1979 to 1982, he wrote the music and instructed the horn line of Chicago Cavaliers.
Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut in the mid-1940s, Bob Findley knew what he wanted to do the first time he saw a senior drum and bugle corps contest. However, he was much too young to join a senior corps at that time. By the late 1950s, junior drum and bugle corps were springing up across the state. His involvement began when he was recruited to play drum in St. Ann’s School drum and bugle corps. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1963 and served until 1966. He returned home to resume his drum corps career, eventually becoming drum major for such highly regarded senior corps as Connecticut Hurricanes, Connecticut Yankees, Rhode Island Matadors, Connecticut Alumni and the Park City Pride alumni corps. He began instructing in 1969 and became a drill and show designer for many drum and bugle corps, high school bands and winter color guards along the East Coast and throughout the Midwest, winning many titles and awards. In addition to these continuing commitments, he is the drum major and visual coordinator for the Park City Pride. He is a member of the Rhode Island Matadors Hall of Fame and a charter member of the Connecticut Hurricanes Hall of Fame.
Sie Lurye was one of the first to recognize the importance of sponsorships to support and foster drum and bugle corps activity and was able to assemble a diverse group in the support young people in the Chicago area. He deeply believed that junior drum and bugle corps activity was a tremendous instrument to combat juvenile delinquency, which was a continent-wide concern in the 1950s. In the early fall of 1954, he began an association with the Alamo Rangers, and in 1957 was appointed the corps manager with a vision to create a competitive unit. The renamed Chicago Royal Airs struggled in 1958 and 1959, but expanded and improved as the corps incorporated neighborhood youth. With assistance and eager participation from the corps itself, he helped to bring an element of showmanship to drum corps activity. Through his efforts and leadership, the Royal Airs, and the activity in general, saw vast improvements in the early 1960s. Many observers have named the Chicago Royal Airs of 1965 as the best corps ever.
Hugh Quigley was 12 years old in 1934 when he attended St. Francis Parochial School in New Haven, Connecticut and began to play snare drum in the school’s fife and drum corps which had Earl Sturtze as the drum instructor. When his family moved to nearby Wallingford in 1936, Hugh would get up at 4 am on Saturday mornings and walk a mile to the neighboring farm to get a ride to New Haven on a milk truck. The driver provided the free ride on condition that Hugh help load 40 pound milk cans along the way. After arriving at the dairy about 7 am, he would walk around the city for an hour until his 8 am lesson with Sturtze began, followed by the St. Francis practice at 9 am. When practice ended at noon, he would walk 14 miles home. In 1941, Hugh joined the Lancraft Ancient Fife and Drum Corps, one of the oldest and most prestigious groups in Connecticut. During 50 years of involvement, he served as drum sergeant and corps president, traveling to Ireland and Switzerland with the group. In early years of individual competition, he was never able to defeat his friend Bob Redican, but in later years when both were senior competitors he won the Connecticut state title six times. He was also the undefeated American Legion national champion in the senior open class in 1952 and 1953. In total, he earned 62 first and second place medals during his competitive career.
Bob Redican and his friend Hugh Quigley, both from Connecticut, dominated rudimental snare drumming for almost 20 years, beginning in 1939 when they placed first and second in the junior division of the Connecticut State Field Day Championships for standstill rudimental drummers. Hall of Fame member Eric Perrilloux noted they “were able to produce the same unbelievable sound, the blinding speed, the purest of quality and the ability to maintain both at maximum expression range.” In the 1930s, ancient fife and drum corps in Connecticut were the primary influence in producing the finest drummers of the time. Drummers played in a style using full arm and wrist motions, causing their drumsticks to describe perfect arcs of 16 to 20 inches above the drumhead, producing a commanding authoritive sound. This drumming style eventually spread outside Connecticut and was widely used by marching and maneuvering drum and bugle corps after World War II.
Dom DelRa started playing baritone horn with the Empire State Grenadiers, Cohoes, New York at the age of 15. He received his Bachelor of Professional Studies in Music from Empire State College in 1978. He taught and arranged music for the Grenadiers, Interstatesmen, Marksmen, Hawthorne Caballeros, Syracuse Brigadiers, Pittsfield Boys Club, The Islanders, St. Lucy's, St. Vincent's and the Avant Guard. The Key of G Mellophone Bugle was made to his specifications by the Whaley-Royce Ltd. of Canada in 1963/64 and was used on the field for the first time in 1964. Dominick wanted an instrument that could produce the sound of a French horn in a middle-soprano register. He tried something with the Interstatesmen, playing a baritone horn with a soprano mouthpiece at the end of a show in 1963. Then he put together, using the body of a cornet, a large metal funnel, copper tubing and a valve /rotor from a soprano horn, the prototype, G Mellophone bugle. He spoke with a Whaley-Royce representative giving them the specifications and the Mellophone G Bugle was born. The Interstatesmen and the Marksmen were the first corps to get the Mellophone and he was able to complete his unique sound.
At age 14 in 1947, Sal Ferrera was a founding member of the Chicago Cavaliers. He played snare drum before becoming drum major then music director. He designed the Cavaliers’ uniform in 1951 and 1976. Under his musical direction, the Chicago Cavaliers won 12 national championships, 35 state championships and more than 200 contests between 1953 and 1977. He was the music director, bugle instructor, arranger and program director of the Cavaliers from 1953 to 1972. Other instructors during this period were Frank Arsenault on drums and Len Piekarski on drill, both also members of the Hall of Fame. From 1973 to 1977 while serving as executive vice president and corps director of the Cavaliers, he also served as a director of Drum Corps International (DCI). As an organizing director of DCI, he was instrumental in developing the early DCI policy and organizational structure. His most important contribution was the DCI revenue-sharing program for member corps.
WILLIAM KEMMERER, SR.
When you imagine who the quintessential great Director of the pre-DCI era might be, you need look no further than Bill Kemmerer, Sr., the Cadets' second longest serving Director. "The Chief," as he was known to his Cadets, was a giant of a man in stature, in execution of his responsibilities, and in his vision.
During the Second World War, with our older Cadets serving in the military, the younger Cadets remained active as a parade corps. Since gas was rationed the corps was transported to appearances on Garfield Fire Trucks. The driver of one of those trucks was Bill Kemmerer, Sr. It was the beginning of a labor of love for The Chief that covered a time span of 23 years, 14 of them as Director.
In 1950, following the death of his predecessor, Joe Huber, The Chief moved up from his position as Assistant Business Manager to become the Cadet's fifth Director (titles were a bit different during those years). He planned and executed the corps' first transcontinental tour to Los Angeles to successfully defend the Cadets American Legion National Title and retire the Championship Silver Drum for the Cadets' first 3-peat.
It was The Chief's trademark to travel the route of the corps' planned travel itinerary for the upcoming season during the preceding winter to find accommodations, rehearsal sites, restaurants, rest stops, and points of interest he thought the Cadets should see or events they should experience. With Bill Kemmerer it was first class for the Cadets. He would accept nothing less. More than any other person, The Chief was responsible for the Cadet experience becoming a life-changing experience.
The Cadets have been very fortunate to have several Directors that left a deep and lasting impression on the Cadets. Bill Kemmerer is one of those great men. To this day he is remembered in a thousand different ways, and when his name is brought up in conversations it is with reverence and respect.
In the nine years after winning his first competition as an individual soprano player, Riggie Laus won every local, state and national individual contest he entered, retiring undefeated in 1965. He was the first bugler to play Flight of the Bumble Bee and the only one to play it on a G-D, one valve slide bugle. He was inducted into the Buglers Hall of Fame in 2005. Riggie Laus graduated from Penn Hills High School in 1943, where he studied trumpet for five years. While serving with the United States Navy’s Fifth Amphibious Forces fleet in the Pacific from 1944 to ‘46, he fulfilled extra duties as the ship’s bugler. Returning home, he marched with several community bands before beginning a quarter of a century commitment to the Pittsburgh Rockets in 1948. He immediately began experimenting with the single valve bugle, using fine emery cloth to loosen the tuning slide for free movement to lower the pitch a full step. When slide bugles were introduced, he used the full length to obtain the notes F and A in the lower register and lip control for proper pitch and effect. For fast passages in the upper register, he combined alternate fingering and agile lip muscle movement to produce proper tone and effect. He composed a number of exercises designed to develop fast slide action, improve internal skills, develop slurring and regular, double and triple tonguing techniques. Between 1958 and 1982, he instructed many Pennsylvania drum and bugle corps, including Tarentum Red Knights, who were three times VFW state parade champions; Meadville Thunderbirds; Quasars; Sharpsburg Cadets; General Butler Vagabonds; Pittsburgh Rockets Juniors and Steel City Ambassadors
Rick Maass was considered to be one of the best marching and maneuvering instructors in the Midwest, where he was involved with many of the top junior corps of the day. He had a different vision of marching routines than other instructors of the time, and was valued for his teaching ability. He received widespread recognition and admiration for designing and teaching the Requiem drill, a dramatic representation of the American Civil War, for Baltimore Yankee Rebels senior corps. The outstanding concept and show resulted in the Yankee Rebels winning three American Legion national championships. His drum and bugle corps activities began in 1939, playing bugle, then snare drum, for the Washington D. Smyser School corps. He joined the Norwood Park Cadets, a feeder corps for the Imperials, in 1941. While with the Norwood Park Imperials, he played snare drum, then baritone horn, and also taught the drum line of the Portage Park Moose corps. He arranged music, taught the horn line, designed and taught the drill of Evanston Lancers when the corps won the Elks national championship. In 1953, he returned to the Imperials, marching as drum major then serving as music director, brass instructor and arranger, marching and maneuvering instructor, drill designer and interim corps manager. He was a judge with the All American Association, was one of the seven founders of the Midwest Color Guard Circuit, Central States Judges Association and was chief judge for Drum Corps International (DCI).
Frank McCormick was a charter member of the Reilly Raiders and one of the premier baritone players of the 40's and 50's. McCormick was multi talented and was the music/drill instructor for many corps including the Soby Cadets, Temple Cadets, Bordentown Little Devils, Earls of Bucks, Imhof Sr Corps, Lambertville Sr Corps, Reading Buccaneers and the Reilly Raiders, among others. Frank also spent 30+ years imparting his knowledge in the judging field with the Penna. All American Judging Association, the Eastern States Judging Group, and the National Judges Association.
Only a few Hall of Fame members were involved in drum corps activity earlier than Jack Shanahan, who joined the St. James Drum and Bugle Corps in 1934. His drum corps career stretched for more than 30 years. At age 16 in 1942, he began to instruct St. James. A few years later, he entered the U.S. Navy and taught music to the U.S. Navy Drum and Bugle Corps. Following his years of military service, he joined the Yankee Rebels of Baltimore, then under the direction of Hall of Fame member Joseph Sedlak. He also taught corps throughout Maryland and was instrumental in the formation of the Dundalk Cadets, the Maryland State Champions for more than 10 years, and American Legion national contest participants for a dozen years.
Dr. Bernard Baggs was a drum corps judge for more than 39 years, beginning in1946 when he was recruited to take the All American judges exam. Dr. Baggs served as the Drum Corps International (DCI) rules congress chairman and advisor to the DCI board of directors. His other assignments included serving as: chairman of the DCI task force on competitions, national caption head for brass, and brass judge for the DC1 World Championships. Dr. Baggs was a band director and school administrator in Bergenfield, N.J. Until his death in 1998, he was still active in the marching band circuit and was chairman of the board of directors of the National Music Bowl program.
Wilf Blum founded “Canada’s famous Scout House Bugle Band” in 1937, as an non-traditional activity for members of his 1st Preston Scout Troop. In the following 30 years, Scout House became one of continent’s most popular units, traveling from the Atlantic coast to the Midwest while compiling more than 80 major regional, national and international titles. Scout House was one of the first Canadian corps to compete in full field shows, and the stylized uniform, featuring tight black shorts, a high stepping marching style, and choreographed maneuvers on the field earned standing ovations at every performance.
Alan Smyth was not only a highly-regarded drum major with a number of corps, including the Interstatesmen, of Troy, NY and Pittsfield, MA and the Rochester Crusaders, but was an excellent baton twirler. He often competed in baton contests against top contestants from across the United States and Canada. He was associated with the Empire Statesmen, of Rochester, NY for several years in the 1990s, after retiring from field activity.
Harry Ginther, another Reilly Raider original who marched/taught the Raiders percussion line at intervals from 1946 through 1959. Ginther was responsible for many years of Championship percussion performances and arranged several field drum solos that are still being played in the 2000's by admiring corps. Harry also instructed the National Championship Osmond Cadets, the Temple Cadets, the Liberty Bell Cadets among others , and was a charter member of the National Judges Association. He was also a favorite of many horn instructors who knew that their musical arrangements would be enhanced by the percussion assistance of Harry Ginther.
WILLIAM McGRATH, SR.
Bill McGrath, Sr. began his drum and bugle corps involvement as a company bugler during World War II. He was director of the Barnard Blue Devils Senior Drum and Bugle Corps of Greece from 1949 to 1961. He also was the director of the Emerald Cadets Junior Drum and Bugle Corps, whose members included all five of his children. He was Director of the Emerald Statesmen from 1966 to 1967. He also instructed the Hamburg Kingsmen, Lakeview Shoreliners, Yankee Rebels, Mello-Dear All Girl Drum and Bugle Corps, Canadian Commanders, Sarnia Lionettes, and the Alpine Girls of Irondequoit. He was a staff member of the Empire Statesmen. He was the founder of the Western New York Judges Association in 1956, and a member of the All-American Band and Drum and Bugle Corps Association.
Bill Mullen joined the Arthur McArthur Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post parade corps in 1929. He played bugle with the group of about 30 members until 1934, when he joined Howard C. McCall American Legion (AL) Post 20 junior corps. In 1937, he moved to the Musketeers to play soprano bugle in the group sponsored by Archer-Epler Post 979 in Upper Darby, PA. The corps lost several members who served in World War II, but he and many other former members returned to the re-organized senior corps in 1947. As a baritone bugler, he won national VFW titles in Boston, Milwaukee, New York and Miami. He served as business manager of the Musketeers for many years, representing the corps at contest meetings. He organized the Philadelphia Senior Circuit, which included the Jersey Joes, of Riverside, NJ. This organization was one of the first regional circuits and served as a model for later organizations, including Drum Corps Associates (DCA). He instructed a number of area junior corps and such senior corps as Imhof, York White Roses and Baltimore Yankee Rebels. He organized the Mid-Atlantic Judges Association, and adjudicated in several caption areas for more than 25 years.
Carman Cluna created and taught field show drills that emphasized showmanship and audience appeal. He had a long association with New York Skyliners, but also taught many other junior and senior corps in the New York area. These other groups included St. Joseph Patron Cadets, St. Rita’s Brassmen, St. Ignatius All Girls, Our Lady Of Loretto, Floyd Bennett Golden Eagles, Carter Cadets, Emerald Cadets, Connecticut Firettes, Islanders, Babylon NY, Our Lady Of The Snows, Connecticut Hurricanes. After St. Joseph’s Patron Cadets won the Greater New York Championship, he designed and rewarded the entire corps with championship rings. When St. Joseph’s ran into financial difficulty, the corps picked up a new sponsor and became St. Rita’s Brassmen, of Brooklyn. He organized weekly bingo games, with every corps member required to volunteer, to maintain secure financing. Bingo funds paid for new uniforms, which he designed, and new drums. The Brassmen flourished in the late 1960s, but could not survive the transition to the Drum Corps International (DCI) era. He started his long involvement with the drum and bugle corps community in the early 1940s, playing bugle with Our Lady of Mt. Carmel drum and bugle corps in Brooklyn, NY. He played horn with St. Joseph’s of Newark, NJ in 1954, along with other Hall of Fame members Tommy Martin and Joe Genero. He joined Skyliners in 1955 and continued to play baritone horn for the next 10 years. Carman Cluna passed away July 15, 2001.
Rodney Goodhart is one of many accomplished drum and bugle corps participants who was a member of the United States Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps. Following his years of service, he was drum instructor of Baltimore’s Yankee Rebels for about 10 years. He was widely considered to be an excellent teacher and attracted many excellent drummers to the corps. He was the first instructor to field a 12-man snare drum line.. He was a percussion judge for Drum Corps International (DCI), beginning in 1971.
During his junior drum and bugle corps involvement, John Mazarakos was an outstanding snare drummer with the Phoebe Apperson Hearst American Legion Post and the Moe Wolff Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post corps. After World War II, he played snare drum with Garbarina Skyliners. He passed away in 1951, with complications from an illness contracted during World War II. In tribute, the Skyliners were renamed the Garbarina-Mazarakos Skyliners.
C.Russell Murphy was one of the early music instructors of Philadelphia area drum corps, having marched with and instructed, among others, the award winning Frankford D&B Corps, the A K Street D&B Corps, the Tioga Post. and the Glenside Community Concert Corps. The A K Street corps was the predecessor in 1946 to the famed Reilly Raiders which it became known as in 1947 and started a long history of Championship years. Murph was the lead arranger of Reilly from 1946 until about 1953 when Bill Hooton took over the reigns from his long time mentor.
Eric Perriloux was drum instructor for two of the best known senior corps in the Golden Era of the 1950s and 1960s: the Reilly Raiders of Philadelphia and the New York Skyliners. He was one of the first percussion arrangers to discard the layering of snare, tenor and bass drum parts. He made the three areas separate, but woven into the total music package. He strongly advocated the use of drum to complement the music of the brass section. He won his first of many individual drumming titles in 1939. Many observers feel he has the most impressive background in rudimental drumming, developing his skills with the famous Charles T. Kirk fife, drum and bugle corps of New York
Just one week after Gail Royer, a Santa Clara, California elementary school music teacher, was named director of a new drum corps, named the Vanguard, in March, 1967, the new corps won its first street parade competition. The Vanguard quickly grew into a prestigious and influential drum corps in the 1970s, earning recognition as the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame junior corps of the decade. He was one of the charter members of the Drum Corps International (DCI) board of directors, established in 1972, and served as one of DCI’s first chairmen. In 1973, the Vanguard lost just once, in an early season contest, and capped the season by winning their first DCI World Championship. He was widely regarded as one the important creative sparks in DCI. Under his leadership, the Santa Clara Vanguard pushed the boundaries of the music and visual captions. He wrote the corps brass book himself, while DCI Hall of Famer Fred Sanford composed the percussion book and fellow DCI Hall of Famer Pete Emmons wrote the drill. Prior to the formation of DCI, the Vanguard were the 1970 American Legion (AL) national champions, and the 1971 Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national champions. The Vanguard placed first at DCI World Championships in 1973, 1974, 1978, 1981 and 1989, never finishing lower than third in their first eight World Championship appearances. He lead the Vanguard until his retirement in 1992. He passed away in 1993.
In 1933, Bill St. John was director of the drum and bugle corps sponsored by the Moe Wolff Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Manhattan. One of his astute business moves was recruiting local young man Rudy Caprifolio, also a Hall of Fame member, because of his fund raising skills. Caprifolio eventually became his assistant director. Under their direction, the corps ended its association with the VFW and operated independently as the Manhattanville Boys Club, with club rooms that boy and girl members of the corps could use at their convenience. The corps was performing at the Polo Grounds at a football game between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn (football) Dodgers on December 7, 1941, when Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor. St. John, a World War I veteran who served with the Irish 69th Rainbow Division, enlisted in the United States Air Force. He passed away just a few months after returning home at the end of World War II, but was instrumental in helping form the senior corps that came to be known as the New York Skyliners.
John was a graduate of Queens College. He was a former member of the snare line of the New York Skyliners and Our Lady of Grace, Hoboken. NJ. He was the M&M instructor for the Bridgemen, Blessed Sacrament, Wynn Center Toppers and many other junior corps. He was a Chief judge for the National Judges Association and the DCA judging group. He was the original Quality Control Director of the DCA.
EDWARD "Bud" JOHNSTON
In 1956, when he was discharged from the Marine Corps, Bud joined Archer-Epler as a bass baritone player. He became the competing color guard instructor for the Howard C. McCall guard and later for Liberty Bell. Both were perennial contenders and were noted for their exciting drills and rifle work. He was Archer-Eplers' Drum Major from 1953 until 1955. In 1959, Bud went to the Reading Buccaneers as their drill instructor and Drum Major. He led them to several DCA championships. He was an early icon in high school bands where he had successful times at both Arch Bishop Wood and Arch Bishop Ryan High Schools. He had a long respected and creditable career in judging both high school bands and junior and senior drum and bugle corps.
Robert Notaro, better known to friends and fans in the drum corps world as Pepe, started his long career in drum corps with Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Brooklyn in 1949, at age 9. Carman Cluna handed him his first horn: a United States Army regulation bugle with no pistons and no slide. After playing with a number of junior corps in the New York City area, he became a highly popular French horn soloist with New York Skyliners. He also instructed junior and senior corps throughout the New York area for many years. He suggested that Great Alliance of Seniors (GAS) reunions schedule “talent shows,” which originated as a few solo performers and small ensembles and have become day-long events during GAS reunions. He was a strong supporter of Drum Corps International (DCI) Class A and A-60 (which later became Division II and III) drum and bugle corps, which allowed smaller corps to compete at regional and national events. More than any other activist, he opened the door so that all junior corps, regardless of size, talent, maturity and goals, had a place in the activity.
Started his drum and bugle corps career in Archer-Eplers' junior corps prior to World War II where he became their instructor and won several individual snare drum titles . He entered the US Army during the war and was assigned to the Army Band. After his Army service, he returned to the newly formed Archer-Epler senior corps and was again
their instructor. He became interested in the rudimental style drumming being played in fife and drum corps and believed that it could be utilized in marching and maneuvering corps. He started teaching it in Archer-Epler and The Howard C. McCall junior corps in Philadelphia. He reached early success at McCall when they won the American Legion National Championship in New York in 1947. In 1950 he became the drum instructor for the Audubon All Girl Corps, The Bon Bons. He took on the task of proving that girls could compete on a level with boys. Once again he achieved success as his drummers were winning individual snare, tenor and drum quartet titles at both a local and national level in 1955, 56, 57. and 58. His drum section had the highest score of both junior and senior
corps at the American Legion National competition held in Atlantic City in 1957. After retiring from the drum and bugle corps scene in 1968 he organized a fife and drum corps that performed at many events up to and including the bicentennial in 1976. During his retirement he opened a very successful drum shop where he made all types of rope
drums and drum sticks for individuals, military Bands and symphony orchestras.
Don Warren created the drum and bugle corps that became the Chicago Cavaliers, and worked on corps activities continually for 56 years, without ever serving as full time corps director or even learning how to read music. The corps he created was renamed the Cavaliers in 1951, when the members began wearing green, black and white uniforms. The corps originated as an activity for his Boy Scout troop, after he watched the Racine Scouts perform at Chicago’s Soldier Field stadium in 1946. Under his leadership, the Cavaliers won its first Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national championship title in Miami in 1957, performing in a steady rainstorm. In 1961, the Cavaliers went undefeated during the contest season and repeated the feat in 2002. Throughout the 1960s, the Cavaliers were so successful the corps was chosen as the Junior Corps of the Decade by the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. He initiated the discussions with Jim Jones, of Casper Troopers), Bill Howard of Madison Scouts, Dave Kampschroer of Blue Stars and Gail Royer of Santa Clara Vanguard that resulted in the founding of Drum Corps International (DCI) in the winter of 1970-71 DCI was designed to give competing junior corps more control over rules, judges and drum corps activities than was previously permitted by the VFW and American Legion (AL) organizations that had governed national and state drum and bugle corps competitions until that time. He designated day-to-day management of the Cavaliers to a corps manager in 1975, but remained active as president and chairman of the board.
Albert Beran was involved in drum and bugle corps activity for more than 60 years, beginning with St. James Cadets junior corps in the early 1930s. Following World War II, he became a charter member of the Yankee Rebels of Baltimore, MD. He was part of the Yankee Rebels organization for the following 30 years, until the corps disbanded in 1976. He then marched with the Westshoremen until his passing in the 1990s
Florence Bernert, affectionately known as ‘Mrs. B’, was the head chaperone from the time of the founding of the Audubon All Girl drum and bugle corps in 1938 to its demise in 1977. When the corps was incorporated, in 1948, she became president and served in that position for the entire remainder of the time the corps existed. She was the second mother to many of the girls, a friend to all and a great inspirational leader. Together with her husband Joseph Bernert, known as ‘JB’, they formed a strong organization, always surrounding themselves with good people. The World Drum Corps Hall of Fame has selected the Audubon Bon Bons as the best all girl corps of all time.
Joseph Bernert, better-known to many as ‘JB’, served in the United States Army, then became a New Jersey State Trooper and eventually joined the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company. He founded the Audubon All Girl drum and bugle corps in 1938. He served as corps director from that time until his death in 1974. He led the corps past many obstacles to significant achievements. The major achievement was proving that a girls corps could compete at the same high level as an all-boy corps, as shown by the Audubon Bon Bons’ many victories over the top corps in North America and their three runner-up finishes at the 1953 Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national championships in Milwaukee, the 1957 American Legion (AL) nationals in Atlantic City and the National Dream Contest in Bayonne, NJ.
Vince first marched and played first baritone for the 214 American Legion Junior Corps in Upper Darby, PA until 1950. However, he spent one year, 1948, in the Howard C. McCall Junior Corps from Philadelphia . In 1952 he was the horn instructor for the McCall Corps. At the same time, he joined Archer-Epler Senior Corps as a first baritone player and was a member of "Archie" until 1960. In 1957 and 1958 he took on the role as "The King" leading the corps with their Broadway Show of "The King and I ". He had a long career in judging both Drum & Bugle Corps and High School Bands. He was the Music Judges coordinator for DCA for several years. He was inducted into the WORLD DRUM AND BUGLE HALL OF FAME in 1982.
John Flowers has won an individual snare drum national championship, and the Reading Buccaneers drum line he instructed had the high percussion score three years in a row when the Bucs won the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national title in 1960, ‘61 and ‘62. The Bucs won high percussion, and top score overall again in 1968, while winning the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world title. He was drum instructor for the Buccaneers for 15 years, from 1959 to 1974. He was a major influence in judging changes to give credit to drum line visual appeal through the use of stick flips, eye-catching routines and visual presentations. His innovations include adding a voice to the percussion section by mounting bongo drums on a bass drum. He also developed a cymbal “tree”, made up of a harness to hold five different sized sets of cymbals. He created voices within the snare section, with three different sized snare drums in a section of nine to create different sounds. He has served as a judge with the Pennsylvania chapter of the All American Judging Association and the National Judges Association, and has served as head of quality control for percussion for DCA.
JAMES BURNS MOORE
Len Piekarski was a snare drummer who began marching in 1933, at age 7, with the Palmer Sons of the American Legion (SAL) drum and bugle corps of Chicago. He eventually marched with four different SAL drum and bugle corps. His longest involvement was seven years with Gladstone SAL. His drum corps involvement was interrupted while he served in the United States Navy for two years, including 19 months on a light cruiser in the Pacific Ocean. Following his service, he marched for one year with Commonwealth Edison. He wrote the drill and played in the snare line with Skokie Indians from 1952 to 1960, his last year as a marching member. During that time, the Skokie Indians won the American Legion (AL) national title three years in a row: in Miami, 1955; Los Angeles in 1956; and in Atlantic City in 1957. He was the long-time drill writer and instructor with the Chicago Cavaliers. During the period he taught drill, the Cavaliers attended 20 national veterans’ conventions, winning 10 national championships, nine second place awards, and two third place awards. The Cavaliers were selected as the best junior corps of the 1960s by the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. The other instructors during this period were Sal Ferrera on horns and Frank Arsenault on drums, a trio widely considered the most successful instructing staff in drum corps history. All are members of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. Seventy years after the first summer he marched, he instructed the Chicago Royal Airs alumni corps, riding in the bus all the way to Scranton, PA for the corps’ performance during the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) Alumni Classic concert at Lackawanna County Stadium, during the DCA world championship tournament on Labor Day weekend.
Jack Bullock is known for his innovations in bugle instruction and arranging, mainly with the Geneva Appleknockers in upstate New York. In the 1950s, he was one of the first to create jazz-styled horn arrangements. He also made performing a year-round activity, scheduling sit-down stage concerts during the winter months. For many winters, the Appleknockers attracted more members for the winter schedule of performances than for summer parades and field shows. He was instrumental in working with Whaley Royce and Co. manufacturers of Toronto, Canada in introducing the first contra-bass bugle, almost 10 years before the over-the-shoulder model became common. The Whaley Royce design produced the proper sound, but the horn was the conventional bugle shape. The weight of the instrument made it too heavy and cumbersome to manage while marching, and it was used only briefly by the Appleknockers. He had joined the Geneva Appleknockers senior drum and bugle corps as a bugler in the spring of 1948. In 1951, he was drafted into the United States Army, serving for two years. He rejoined the Appleknockers, serving as a bugler, arranger and instructor intermittently through the 1960s. When the Appleknockers ceased operations, he became arranger and instructor for a number of corps in western New York, including Geneva Junior Appleknockers, Auburn Purple Lancers and Rochester Crusaders. He was a well-known arranger and instrumental clinician with Warner Bros. Music, in Miami, FL for many years following his drum corps career
Tom, who was always addressed as "Major" by the members of the corps he was associated with, had a lifelong dedication to our activity. It was in the years after WWII that his impact emerged. At a time when the Catholic Church sponsored drum corps as a youth activity, Tom organized Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cadets who became a very successful corps in 1953-4. About the same time he organized Our Lady of Loretto, another respected corps. Again with another corps, he did it in another era and style, creating the St. Ignatius All Girls Corps. They won the Girls division of the DCI in 1975, the last year that division was held. Tom made a strong and favorable impression on all the kids with whom he came in contact and was a respected leader.
At age 15, Jim Jones was managing the Sons of the American Legion drum corps in Casper, Wyoming. After serving in the Army Air Force during World War II, he returned to Casper, and in 1957 borrowed $4,000 to establish the Troopers drum and bugle corps, the only competing corps in the entire state. He was a successful contractor, but devoted his time and energy to the Troopers, even designing the corps’ distinctive heritage uniforms. The Troopers represented the romantic era of the Old West by performing in uniforms consisting of a hat with crossed sabers, dark blue jackets with brass buttons and yellow kerchiefs, which are replicas of the garments worn by the Eleventh Ohio Cavalry in 1865, when Lt. Caspar Collins died in an Indian battle near present-day Casper, Wyoming. He revolutionized drum corps activity by taking the Troopers on the road to perform at competitions across the country, setting a precedent for touring drum corps that followed the Troopers’ example in the 1960s and 1970s. In its 33-year history, the Troopers have won 11 international championships and have consistently been among the top 20 drum corps in the world. He was also one of the founders of Drum Corps International (DCI), along with David Kampschroer of the Blue Stars, Gail Royer of Santa Clara Vanguard, Don Warren of Chicago Cavaliers and Bill Howard of the Madison Scouts, who created the Midwest Combine in 1971, which became the foundation for DCI. He was inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame as a charter member in 1985. In his honor DCI, established the Jim Jones Leadership Award, given each year to one drum major selected by a committee of DCI Hall of Fame members. He passed away in 1994.
Charles Nabor began his drum corps career at the age of nine when he joined the Trinity Cadets of West New York. From 1915 - 1932, he served in the Marine Corps, retiring as a Sergeant Major. He won the National American Legion Individual Soprano Championship in 1937 and also held the VFW National title from 1937-1946. He was the VFW National Champion Drum Major from 1937 through 1941. Mr. Nabor was a long time Chief Judge and "ran" more than 1000 contests. He judged brass for the American Legion Nationals for 8 years. He instructed or advised more than 15 corps including Hawthorne Caballeros, Doremus, St. Vincent's Cadets, Holy Name Cadets, New York Skyliners, and the Loretto Knights.
Larry started with the Osmond Cadets in the 1930's. He joined the Reilly Raiders upon their formation in 1946. One of the finest baritone soloists of the 1940-50 era. He will be remembered as the soloist in Reilly's rendition of " Serenade" from the Student Prince. He continued playing with Reilly and also served in various executive capacities until 1955. Scott also taught drill to the Osmond Cadets in addition to other local units, always referring to his students in later years as his "kids". In the mid 1950's he embarked on a judging career that concluded about 2002 after judging well over 1000 contests, with the Eastern States, Mid Atlantic, Cavalcade, and National Judges Assn. In many of the contests he was joined by his wife Ruth as Tabulator. Larry also participated with the Raiders Alumni Corps upon their re-birth in 1994.
Frank Arsenault was one of several students of legendary drum instructor Earl Sturtze who achieved remarkable success in drum and bugle corps activity. The roots of modern rudimental snare drumming grew deep in the soil of Connecticut in the 1930s, when ancient fife and drum corps flourished. Much of the drumming style developed in drum corps activities after World War II is based on the “golden era” of Connecticut rudimental standstill drumming, from 1937 to 1942. Frank Arsenault was considered the finest snare drummer of his day, winning the Connecticut State Field Day Junior Championship in 1937, flawlessly playing the long roll, two required rudiments and another selection at precise tempo. He was able to produce a high quality sound while playing at blinding speed, all the while maintaining both at maximum expression range. His success continued for decades after those early days of individual competition. When he served as drum instructor, the Chicago Cavaliers won 12 national championships, 35 state championships and more than 200 contests between 1953 and 1977.
Stan Biggs was director, business manager and drum major of one of the most successful senior corps in Canadian history: the Guelph Royalaires. Under his guidance, the Royalaires won the Canadian senior national championship six years in a row from 1959 to 1964. In all, the Royalaires won 16 national championships in 22 years. He also served for many years on the executive of the Ontario and Canadian Drum Corps Associations, and was involved with the winter instruction clinics that attracted corps personnel from across Ontario and western New York state. The Royalaires evolved from the 11th Field Regiment band in 1954, when the military organization first welcomed members of the public. The new name came from Guelph’s nickname as the Royal City. The group was established in 1932 as the Guelph Legion Bugle Band.
Rudy Caprifolio was orphaned shortly after being born on the Lower East Side of New York City, a block from Chinatown and half a block from Mulberry Street. When their parents died, he and his six brothers and sister were placed under the supervision of their aunt on the Upper West Side. He became interested in drum and bugle corps when his nephew became a member of the Moe Wolff Post VFW corps. Because of his fundraising skills, he was asked to serve as assistant director of the group, helping Bill St. John. The group then became independent, known as the Manhattanville Boys Club, which had its own clubroom for the boys and girls who were members to use at their convenience. Manhattanville sponsors in subsequent years included Colonel John R. Slattery American Legion Post, and the Phoebe Apperson Hearst American Legion Post, named after the mother of publishing giant Randolph Hearst. For seven years, the corps played at all the home games of the Brooklyn Dodgers football team, with drill and music revised for every performance. The corps was playing at the Polo Grounds during an exhibition game between the Dodgers and the New York Giants on December 7, 1941: the day Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Despite the sponsorship, the corps was considered a poor unit and rarely traveled by bus. On trips, corps members rode on the back of open trucks, and meals consisted of baloney and tomato sandwiches. After World War II, when many drum and bugle corps were re-organized and revitalized, he was associated with the formation of the New York Skyliners and remained part of the organization throughout the rest of his life.
Robert "Bobby" Jacobs played in the percussion section of the Reilly Raiders prior to taking over as Captain of the Color Guard from 1946 to 1953. Bob assisted in the formation of the National Judges Association in 1960 with Windy Wildemore and others and Judged with the organization until his passing in 1980. Bob suffered a heart attack while judging on the field at a DCI show in West Chester, Pa and unfortunately died that night
Jim Ott’s family was involved in drum and bugle corps activity, and his association with the Stockton Police drum corps began at an early age, in 1964. By 1968, he was arranging music for the Commodores as well as instructing the brass line. He continued his work with the corps until 1973, helping them to achieve top-12 status in Drum Corps International (DCI). He also arranged for and instructed the Concord Blue Devils and Spirit of Atlanta. It was during these years that he created some of his best arrangements, notably “Georgia” and “Chase the Clouds Away.” His influence was still heard in brass arrangements many years after he passed away in 1980
Mr. Sturtze represents 40 years of drumming experience with military and concert bands and in the rudimental field. He held National and New England Championships for rudimental drumming. In addition, he won state titles in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey. Among his students, all with title laden credits, are Frank Arsenault, Robert Redican, and Hugh Quigley just to name a few These gentlemen have all been inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. He instructed many champion rudimental bass drummers as well as drum sections. He was honored for his outstanding service to drumming at the New York World's Fair in 1940.
Walt Winkelman began his drum corps career in 1938, playing soprano horn with the Grand Street Boys and later with Phoebe Hearst Post drum and bugle corps in New York. After serving a hitch in the Merchant Marines during World War 11, he joined New York Skyliners in 1950, and played soprano horn through 1958. The following year, after losing his front teeth, he played cymbals. He is best remembered, though, as the dynamic drum major who marched in front of Skyliners from 1960 through the 1972 season. He was the assistant drum major from 1978 through 1984. He served as corps director of the Skyliners in 1963, 1966, 1968, 1970 and 1972.
‘Rip’ Bernert was a soprano bugler in the Howard C. McCall Junior Drum Corps and was their soloist when they won the American Legion (AL) national championship in 1947. He was music and drill arranger and instructor for the Audubon Bon Bons from 1950 until 1977. Both his parents were also involved with the Bon Bons: his father, Joseph, founded the corps in 1938 and his mother, Florence, served as head chaperone and corps president until 1977. The corps was runner up for several national titles and won 12 major all girl titles. He joined Archer-Epler in 1951 and became their drill arranger and instructor in 1952, retaining those duties until the mid 1960s. He was also horn instructor for many of those years. He is currently arranging and conducting music for the Bon Bons Alumni Chorus.
United States Marine Colonel Truman Crawford was one of the best-known arrangers in the drum corps community. Throughout the 1960s and ‘70s, every championship corps in the United States and Canada played his arrangements, which often featured swing versions of traditional show, pop, and military tunes. After graduating from high school in 1953, he was accepted into the U.S. Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps as a baritone bugler. The unit disbanded in 1963, so he moved to Chicago to run a music store and arrange music. In 1967, he was invited by the U.S. Marines to become chief music arranger. He was the arranger, instructor and drum major for Yankee Rebels when that senior corps won the American Legion national title twice in the early 1970s. He was commander of the Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps from 1973 to 1998. He was a strong influence in convincing manufacturers to produce bugles with two valves instead of one, thereby opening a larger musical scale. He was the oldest Marine on active duty when he retired in 1998
Bob Glovna was 10 years old, in 1955, when he first played trumpet in the Madison School Band in Bridgeport, Connecticut. After seeing Hawthorne Caballeros drum major Ralph Silverbrand at Hedges Field stadium during the Barnum Festival senior drum and bugle corps contest, he was inspired to join the newly-formed St. Raphael’s Buccaneers junior corps in Bridgeport, as a soprano player. He remained with the Buccaneers until 1960, then performed with Connecticut Hurricanes senior corps until 1970. At the end of the 1970 season, he became corps director and business manager of the Hurricanes, serving in that position until 1977. During his final two years as corps director, he also served as vice president of Drum Corps Associates (DCA), holding that office until 1983. Bridgeport’s week-long Barnum Festival each July honors P. T. Barnum, the renowned circus producer and a former mayor of Bridgeport. Bob Glovna was nominated as Barnum Festival Musical Chairman for Champions on Parade from 1975 to 1980, serving as grand marshal in the final year. He was show chairman for the Bright Lights DCA senior drum and bugle corps show from 1982 to 1985. A year after the formation of Park City Pride, an alumni corps representing a number of popular junior corps from the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s, the board of directors unanimously elected him as director and business manager.
William ‘Wild Bill’ Hooton began his drum corps career with Tioga Legion Post in 1931. He began as a bugle player, but soon switched to snare drum. He eventually became drum major while continuing with the snare drum. In 1936, he joined Street Post Junior Drum and Bugle Corps as drum major. He won several individual rudimental snare drum contests during this time. World War II intervened and he served on PT boats. When he returned from service, he joined the newly reformed Street Post Senior Drum and Bugle Corps as drum major. One of the former members of Street Post, Corporal Frederick W. Reilly died during the war and a new senior drum corps, The Reilly Raiders, was formed in 1946 to honor him. Russell Murphy, the musical director of the Glenside Concert Corps became Reilly’s arranger and brass instructor. Bill became one of Murphy’s pupils and began to arrange music for Reilly while also teaching the drill and performing as drum major. The Reilly Raiders won seven national championships and 16 Pennsylvania state titles and remain the only senior corps in the United States to claim the distinctive honor of winning both the American Legion and V.F.W. national championships. They were proclaimed the 1950 Corps of the Decade by the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. From 1946 to 1959, Reilly Raiders entered 129 contests, recording 90 first place finishes, 31 second places and eight third places. During this time, he also arranged and instructed drill for other corps. He taught Pittsburgh Rockets, Milton Keystoners, Liberty Bell, Interstatesmen, Belles of St. Mary’s, Little Flower, and many others. In 1960, he left Reilly and became drill instructor and drum major for the New York Skyliners. In 1962, he joined the Yankee Rebels as drill arranger/instructor and marched with the Rebels as one of their drum majors. A work-related move to Detroit ended his association with the Rebels in 1965. He moved east when he retired. Following his induction, he was named administrator for the Hall of Fame, a position he held until his death in 1998.
John McAuliffe was one of the founders of the Hawthorne Caballeros in 1947, and marched out front as the original drum major. He later served as corps director of the Hawthorne Muchachos, the Caballeros’ junior corps, from 1968 until 1977, when the corps disbanded. His sister Mary was the wife of Jim Costello, who spearheaded the team founding the Caballeros and then served as corps director for more than 50 years.
Joe Sedlak first took part in drum and bugle corps activities in Baltimore in the 1930s. He founded the Hamilton Squadron corps, sponsored by Hamilton American Legion Post 20. It became a well-known drum and bugle corps that prospered until World War II. Following the war, he founded the Hamilton Post’s senior corps, which came to be known as the Yankee Rebels. A strict disciplinarian, he was known by corps members fondly as “The Old Man.” He supervised all the administrative roles from 1946 to 1954. In addition to handling business and organizational affairs, he was also the bugle and marching and maneuvering instructor.
Bernie Beer was the first Canadian inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. He was associated with the famous Toronto Optimists drum and bugle corps which won 11 straight national championships, before becoming director of the Canadian Commanders, the first Canadian super-sized corps formed by the amalgamation of the Jesters of Toronto and the Viscounts, of Hamilton, Ontario. He was considered an expert administrator, widely admired for his ability to run the corps in a business like manner.
Joe Genero was an arranger and drum major for two of the top senior corps of his day: Hawthorne Caballeros and Connecticut Hurricanes. He began his drum corps career as a baritone horn player with the Mt. Carmel Cadets, of Brooklyn. He also marched with St. Joseph’s Cadets, of Newark, then went on to play with New York Skyliners before becoming arranger and drum major for the Caballeros and the Hurricanes. He also arranged and taught music with several well-known junior corps, including St. Vincent’s of Bayonne and St. Lucy’s of Newark. He arranged music for other corps in the New York area, including the Amboy Dukes, Ballentine Brewers and Rhode Island Matadors. His arrangements not only excited the crowd but were exciting for members of the brass line to play. His first arrangement for Hawthorne in the early 1960s was Flamenco Cha Cha, which was still being played by the Caballeros alumni corps more than 40 years later, producing the same enthusiastic response from audiences as when it was first performed on the competition field.
John Laskowski of Dewitt, NY was a long time Syracuse Brigadier serving in numerous capacities from color guard captain to drill arranger/instructor to business manager to corps director. During the late 50's and early 60's, John was one of the most prolific visual arrangers in drum corps, working with numerous corps. He also was a major show sponsor. He also developed his own business as a drum corps supplier and drum corps record producer. He was in charge of DCA Championship Recordings for many years. John's marketing of "Drum Corps Nut" memorabilia became the talk of the activity during this period. John was also active in adjudication serving as Chief Judge of New York All American Judges and later the New York Federation of Judges. He served DCA and the American Legion as chief judge and adjudication organizer. John, known affectionately as "Chooch" or "Choo Choo" to those who knew him, was very much a part of the growth of the post World War II drum corps activity and is remembered by many as one of the first all around drum corps activity leaders
At age 90, Dr. Almo J. Sebastianelli served as the local chairman for the 2005 Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world championships in Scranton, PA. He has served as the chair of the Parade of Champions contest for 43 years. His proposal in 1963 to hold discussions to help eliminate problems facing contest sponsors and competing corps led to the formation of DCA. The first talks with corps directors were held Sunday, August 25, 1963, the morning after one of the first Parade of Champions contests he organized. Those attending focused on five key issues: to secure contest dates not in conflict with other contests; establish adequate prize money levels; secure improved judging; improve the organization and presentation of contests; promote better relations between corps. At a second meeting a month later, the name Drum Corps Associates was chosen for the new organization. The first championship contest was held in Milford, CN, on September 11, 1965. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
During the late 1950s and 1960s, Ralph Silverbrand was probably the best-known drum corps personality in North America. He was the Hawthorne Caballeros drum major from 1956 through 1967. During those 12 years, the Cabs won nine American Legion (AL) national championships. Between 1953 and 1966, the corps won eleven national titles, He was the only member of the corps on the field for all 11 victories. He played baritone horn when he first joined the Caballeros, and almost quit the corps in 1956 when corps director Jim Costello asked him to become drum major, because he didn’t think he qualified for the position. He founded the Hawthorne Muchachos in 1959, to extend the benefits and enjoyment of drum corps activity to young people in Hawthorne and surrounding communities, and to create a ready pool of talent once members became too old for junior corps activities. The Muchachos wore the same basic uniform as the senior corps except for minor trim differences, and shared the instruction staff and rehearsal facilities with the Caballeros. Ralph and his wife Dot, a former drum major with Audubon Bon Bons, retired to live in the Adirondack region of upstate New York.
Scotty Chappell was one of the true pioneers in the development of modern day competitive drum and bugle corps. His association with the Lieutenant Norman Prince senior corps of the Boston area, more popularly known far and wide as the Princemen, began in the 1930s. He was involved in the instrument changes that allowed music arrangements to become more sophisticated as the horns evolved from bugles, to piston bugles, to piston bugles with rotors or slides. He was also considered one of the best drum majors of all time. The Princemen were chosen the corps of the decade for the 1940s by the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.
Jim Donnelly was a World War I veteran who modernized the North American drum and bugle corps activity through his musical genius and instrument innovations. He is best known as the musical director of St. Vincent’s Cadets, Bayonne, NJ, selected as the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame junior corps for the 1950's, but was earlier associated with the Harry Doremus American Legion Post in Paterson, NJ. He helped remove the musical limitations of straight G bugles through the introduction of the D crook and the piston. He helped introduce the French horn and obligato soprano horn to the brass line of drum and bugle corps. St. Vincent’s Cadets were Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) New Jersey state champions twelve times between 1944-57; American Legion state champions seven times between 1949-59; VFW national champions eight times between 1946-57; American Legion national champions 1951 through 1953. St. Vincent’s is the only corps ever to win the round robin twice: 1951-52 VFW state, Legion state, VFW nationals, and Legion nationals 1951, 52 and 53.
Hy Dreitzer began his drum corps career playing soprano horn with the Ketchem-Hennesy Post corps in Coney Island, New York, in the 1930s. He then played French horn with the Ruoff Post Drum Corps, of Queens, NY. He marched with Con Edison of New York City, playing lead soprano, then in 1952 joined the horn line of the New York Skyliners, playing soprano and French horn. He was the sole brass arranger for the Skyliners for more than 30 years, year after year creating new sounds and exploring new areas. He was one of the first drum and bugle corps brass arrangers to make the transition from military music to include classical music in the field show repertoire. He also taught many highly-regarded junior corps, including St. Joseph’s of Newark, St. Vincent’s of Bayonne, St. Andrew’s Bridgemen, Garfield Cadets, St. Ignatius All-Girl Corps, St. Rocco’s, and St. Rita’s Brassmen. He arranged music for many other corps, including Guelph Royalaires, Canada’s six-time senior national champions from 1959 to 1964.
A graduate of Manhattan College, Walter was a drum instructor for 27 years. He instructed St. Lucy's Cadets, Perth Amboy Dukes, Our Lady of Grace, and the Bay Way Grays. He spent 50+ years in drum corps and judged over 1300 contests. He was a Chief Judge for DCA.
Mickey Petrone was already a legendary drum corps figure as the Golden Age of the 1950s was dawning. During more than 50 years in the activity, he taught, judged and wrote drill routines. He was corps director of the St. Vincent’s Cadets, of Bayonne, NJ and guided them to many state and national titles, including both the American Legion (AL) and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national championships in 1951, 1952 and 1953. He created the Dream Contest, allowing audiences to see corps on the same field that otherwise competed in separate circuits. He was the long time president of Drum Corps Associates (DCA) at the time of his passing in September, 2003. DCA dedicated the 2004 contest season in memory of his many contributions.
REV. EDWARD WOJTYCHA
Monsignor Edward F. Wojtycha celebrated his 92nd birthday in late autumn, 2005 by attending a reunion of more than 100 former members of St. Vincent’s Cadets, of Bayonne, New Jersey. Monsignor Wojtycha was the corps founder and “chief” of St. Vincent’s Cadets throughout more than 20 years of the corps’ existence from the 1940s to the 1960s. Monsignor Wojtycha, along with corps director Mickey Petrone, a charter member of the Hall of Fame, guided St. Vincent’s to many state and national titles, including both the American Legion (AL) and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national championships in 1951, 1952 and 1953. The Cadets were chosen the Junior Corps of the Decade for the 1950s by the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.
CHARTER MEMBERS 1976
Vince Bruni dedicated his entire adult life to the drum and bugle corps community in the United States and Canada. He founded the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1976. He founded the Empire Statesmen of Rochester NY in 1983, and served in that position until his passing in 2003. He was one of the first DCA presidents after that organization was formed in 1964. His drum corps involvement began with Brockport Cavaliers when he was still a teenager. He guided the Hilton Crusaders through the transition from parade corps to competing field unit, and served as corps director of the Crusaders for 25 years, during which time they won two American Legion national titles. He greatly expanded performance opportunities for drum and bugle corps by scheduling major overseas tours during the summer and performing winter stage shows to support community groups across western New York and southern Ontario.
George Bull, a charter member of the Hall of Fame, served as secretary of the organization for 25 years, then assumed the president’s position in 2003 following the passing of founder Vince Bruni. He has been associated with the Yankee Rebels of Baltimore, MD for more than half a century, and is widely admired for his administration and organizational skills. The Yankee Rebels won the American Legion national title three times under his leadership in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was also a leader in the development of alumni corps activity, with the Yankee Rebels being one of the first corps to help popularize the alumni movement by playing traditional music from the so-called “Golden Era” of drum and bugle corps activity.
Jim Costello was an organizer and original member of the Hawthorne Caballeros, of New Jersey, when the corps was established in 1946, and served as director for the following 50 years. He was also the Cabs’ drum instructor from 1946 until 1958, and taught the drum line of the Holy Name Cadets (later to become Garfield Cadets) of Garfield, NJ from 1949 until 1969. He taught marching and maneuvering to Caballeros for more than 45 years. Under his leadership, the Caballeros become the most successful corps of all time, winning consecutive American Legion state and national titles for many years, and winning DCA world titles consistently.
‘Lefty’ Mayer joined the Charles W. Heisser senior drum and bugle corps as a drummer to begin his drum and bugle corps career. In 1951, he became business manager for the Garbarina-Mazarakos Skyliners. For the next 25 years, he served as either business manager or director of the New York Skyliners. He was a driving force in organizing Drum Corps Associates (DCA), the organization formed to allow senior drum and bugle corps in the United States and Canada move away from the control of the American Legion (AL) and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organizations. He served as the inaugural president of DCA.
Harvey Olderman was one of the six charter members of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, inducted in 1976. He first marched with a drum and bugle corps in 1930, and was still actively participating 53 years later, in 1983. For much of that time, he was associated with the Connecticut Hurricanes.
Vinnie Ratford began his long drum corps involvement as a tenor drummer in the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Post corps. After World War II, he played tenor drum with the national champion Garbarina (New York) Skyliners, then made the transition to drill instructor. He taught many corps, including Skyliners, St. Joseph’s of Batavia and Syracuse Brigadiers. In the 1950s, he designed the revolutionary “Merry Go Round” drill for the Brigadiers, the first use of non-linear drill formations on the contest field.