Social Hour Open To All Before Hall Of Fame Ceremony
Drum corps fans are welcome to rub elbows with members of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame during the social hour beginning at 11 am Saturday, September 1, before the noon luncheon to induct seven new members. A cash bar will be available.
Hall of Fame members, their families and friends and all others interested are welcome to socialize and view memorabilia on display on the mezzanine level, one floor above the lobby of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 70 State Street, in downtown Rochester, New York. The induction ceremony is held annually during the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world championship tournament weekend, although there is no formal connection between DCA and the Hall of Fame. Tickets purchased in advance are required to attend the luncheon induction ceremony. Ticket information is available from dinner program chairman Darcy Davis, at telephone (413) 786-7356.
The men who will be inducted as members are: Jim Bell, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Ray Eyler, of Audubon, New Jersey; David Kampschroer, of City Lady Lakes, Florida; J. Frank ‘Fast Frankie’ Nash, of Hackettstown, New Jersey; Robbie Robinson, of West Chester, Pennsylvania and Scotty Wild, of St. Paul Minnesota. Bob Gaff, of Mount Laurel, New Jersey is the 2007 winner of the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, his fourth such honor by prominent drum corps organizations.
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 six new inductees. Contributions and achievements of the 2007 inductees are as follows.
• Jim Bell
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 maneuvering 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.
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 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 ‘Fast Frankie’ 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 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. From 1994 through 1999 he was with the Hawthorne Caballeros and in 2000 marched with the Syracuse Brigadiers, his final year of marching. 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 nine Drum Corps Associates (DCA) titles and three drum 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
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 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.
Bob 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. He was among the first Hall of Fame associate members inducted when that category was introduced in 2001, and selected for the lifetime achievement honor this year by president George Bull, of Baltimore, Maryland. Gaff’s 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 corps, and 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.
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/