2007 Inductees To World Drum Corps Hall Of Fame
The six new members who will be inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame on Labor Day weekend have helped increase exposure to the activity and provided educational opportunities for hundreds of young participants through leadership and administrative skills developed over many decades.
The six men who will be inducted during the Hall of Fame’s annual luncheon, to be held at noon, Saturday September 1, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Rochester, New York are: Jim Bell, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Ray Eyler, of Audubon, New Jersey; David Kampschroer, of City Lady Lakes, Florida; Joseph ‘Fast Franky’ Nash, of Hackettstown, New Jersey; Robbie Robinson, of West Chester, Pennsylvania and Scotty Wild, of St. Paul Minnesota.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is part of the 2007 Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship tournament weekend. The Crowne Plaza is located across the Genesee River from the venues for the Individual and Ensemble (I&E) competitions and old fashioned outdoor drum corps party to be held Friday evening August 31, and just a few blocks from PAETEC Park Stadium, where the DCA preliminaries, Alumni Classic concert and DCA finals will take place.
The largest number of Hall of Fame voters ever to participate in the selection process elected this year’s inductees from about one hundred nominees. Nominations are first reviewed by the Hall of Fame selection committee, with all regular members eligible to vote to determine the six new inductees. Contributions and achievements of the 2007 inductees are as follows.
• Jim Bell: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jim Bell’s contributions to the North American drum and bugle corps community have been recognized by religious, education, civic and service organizations, reflecting the positive impact he made on hundreds of young people. He 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 manoeuvring instructor, brass arranger and show co-ordinator for 16 years. He was also show co-ordinator 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. He has received leadership awards from many agencies, including the American Legion, the Chapel of the Four Chaplains for community service, the city of Philadelphia for youth work, the Philadelphia Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Peggy Lee Award for work with music and youth, the Police Athletic League for providing decades of music education. 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.
•Ray Eyler: Audubon, New Jersey
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 (DCA).
•David Kampschroer: Lady Lake, Florida
David Kampschroer 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 manoeuvring 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.
•Joseph ‘Fast Franky’ Nash: Hackettstown, New Jersey
Joseph 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 Oddfellows, 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. More than 45 years after his debut at age six, he was still drumming with Harrison Bushwackers. By 2004, the Bushwackers organization included his wife and both sons. He has served as percussion instructor with the Bushwackers since 1987. He has been percussion instructor and arranger for many other corps since 1978, including Hawthorne Caballeros, New York Skyliners and Atlanta CorpsVets. As a corps member, he has won seven DCA titles. 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: West Chester, Pennsylvania
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: St. Paul, Minnesota
Scotty Wild marched in the color guard of the Chicago Cavaliers from 1954 to 1959, then became on the top drill writers and show designers in the Midwest. 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, Guardsmen 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 almost 40 years and a DCI judge for almost 30 years up until 2001. He has been the chief organizer of a major Drum Corps International contest in Minnesota for more than 25 years and has served on the Drum Corps Midwest executive for many years.
Since its founding in 1976 by the late Vince Bruni, of Rochester, NY, membership in the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame has grown from six charter members to more than 400 regular and associate members from the United States and Canada, who have contributed to the activity across North America, Europe, Africa and Japan. Bruni also founded the Empire Statesmen, the five time DCA championship corps which is sponsoring the 2007 DCA tournament in Rochester for the second year in a row on Labor Day weekend.
More information about the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame is available at www.worlddrumcorpshof.org/