Ruocco, Hammond Named 2008 Buccaneers Coordinators

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The three-time defending Drum Corps Associates world champion Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps announced today the appointment of the creative tandem of Carl Ruocco and Rich Hammond as coordinators for the 2008 season. Ruocco will reprise the role of Staff Coordinator he has held since 2005, and Hammond will step into the Program Coordinator role. He will also continue in his role as Percussion Arranger and Caption Head.

Ruocco is looking forward to his fourth year with the Buccaneers. “I’m thrilled to be continuing my association with this organization,” said Ruocco. “The administrative team is top-notch, and they’re committed to excellence and to providing members with a fantastic experience in which they grow as performers and people. For 2008, we’ll continue to build on the approach that has worked so well for the corps in recent years. We will push ourselves to be better than the 2007 Buccaneers. We will be announcing the designers and caption heads very shortly. We’re assembling another fantastic design and teaching team for this corps.”

“I’m excited about our plans for 2008,” said Hammond. “I’m looking forward to working with Carl and the rest of the design team to put together a program that showcases entertainment, innovation and excellence in every caption area, and gives our members an opportunity to develop their skills. We have a great ‘total team’ concept in this drum corps, and it all starts with the design of the program.”

“Carl and Rich both bring a wealth of talent, experience and passion to their roles in this drum corps,” said Corps Director James C. Gruber. “They’ve been key components of the corps’ success lately, and I and the rest of the administrative team here are thrilled they’ll be back with us in 2008.”

A resident of Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, Ruocco has enjoyed a long and influential career in both the drum corps and marching band activities. As a teacher and administrator, his drum corps resume includes service to Star of Indiana, the Crossmen, Jersey Surf, Spirit from Jacksonville State University and the Santa Clara Vanguard. He has been a long-time member of the New York Skyliners organization, and presently serves the Skyliners Alumni as its drum major. He has judged the Drum Corps International world championships three times and the Drum Corps Associates world championships twice.

A graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts, Hammond attended the University of the Arts and the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He has been a marching member of the Hamilton Knights, the Reading Buccaneers and the Crossmen. In addition, he has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. His drum corps teaching stints have included the Crossmen, the Glassmen and the Reading Buccaneers, where he has produced four world championship percussion programs. In addition to his work in drum corps, Hammond worked with the WGI world champion Hatboro-Horsham and the USSBA Group 6 Open Champion North Penn Marching Knights, where he is Director of Percussion.

“Since 1997, Lee Umberger has brought his considerable talent to the Buccaneers as brass arranger and program coordinator and he has been a key reason for the corps’ success,” said Gruber. “His duties as Assistant Principal of the Governor Mifflin Middle School require him to scale back his drum corps activities this year. While we will miss him as a coordinator this year, we’re happy he’ll assume a consulting role with the corps. In addition to his talent, he is a wonderful friend to the Buccaneers, and we all thank him for his exceptional contributions to our organization.”

On Sunday, November, 25, 2007, the Buccaneers will host Membership Day 2008, at Twin Valley High School, Elverson, PA. Registration begins at 11:00. All persons interested in learning more about the Reading Buccaneers and being part of the 2008 corps are invited to attend. Please visit the for more information.

Founded in 1957, the Buccaneers are a non-profit, education-oriented musical organization. The Buccaneers are a charter member of Drum Corps Associates and won the first-ever DCA world championships in 1965. Additional titles followed in 1968, 1979, 1980 and, most recently, in 2005, 2006 and 2007 all three undefeated championship seasons.

The Buccaneers are sponsored in part by Behler-Hein American Legion Post 637, Hamburg, Pennsylvania, and Roy A. Master American Legion Post 217, Topton, Pennsylvania

For more information, visit

Posted by on Monday, October 8th, 2007. Filed under DCA News.