Recent Passing Of Long Time Hall Of Fame Member Dr. Almo Sebastianelli
Dr. Almo J. Sebastianelli, one of the longest-serving members of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, passed away on February 25. His funeral will be held Saturday, February 28 from the Louis M. Margotta Funeral Home, 511 Church St., in Jessup, Pennsylvania with mass at 11:30 a.m. in St. Mary’s Assumption Church. Interment will be at St. Francis Cemetery.
Dr. Sebastianelli, a lifelong resident of Jessup, near Scranton, passed away at the age of 93. He was a graduate of Jessup High School, St. Thomas College and the University of Pittsburgh Dental School. He was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1978, just two years after the organization was founded in 1976 by the late Vince Bruni of Rochester, New York.
He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and, later, the United States Air Force. He received a certificate of appreciation from President Harry Truman in 1946 and a certificate of appreciation from Gen. Henry Arnold, commanding general of Army Air Forces, in 1946.
He practiced dentistry for more than 60 years. He was a member and past commander of the Michael Steiner American Legion Post 411, where he served as finance officer, past post commander, past president of the Home Association and as service officer for the past 35 years. He was past commander of the 11th District of the American Legion, 1953-1955, and served for many years as general chairman of the 11th District annual Parade of Champions drum and bugle corps competition. He had served the American Legion Department of Pennsylvania as a member of the Scotland School Committee and chairman of the Scholarship Endowment Fund. In 1975, he served on a special committee that created the American Legion Department of Pennsylvania "Paid Up For Life Plan."
Dr. Sebastianelli, affectionately known as “Doc” by his friends in the drum corps community, was pleased and proud to have been a part of the formation of Drum Corps Associates (DCA) in 1963 and for his longtime affiliation with the American Legion.
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.
At age 90, he served as the local chairman for the 2005 DCA world championships in Scranton, PA. During the same summer, he flew to Hawaii to represent Pennsylvania’s 11th District of the American Legion at its national convention. He served as the chair of the Parade of Champions contest for more than 40 years.
He was involved in a number of community organizations, receiving many awards of recognition for his contributions. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania American Legion Sports Hall of Fame in 1983. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Certificate and Medal by the Department of Pennsylvania. He was cited by the National Legion Rehabilitation Commission for meritorious service in 1982, and, in 1980, by the Legion of Honor — Four Chaplains and the 11th District Baseball League for contributions to the youth baseball program. He was a recipient of the Frank O’Hara Alumni Award.
He was named an honorary life member of Anivicus (Army, Navy and Air Force Veteran in Canada) in 1973. He was a third degree member of the Knights of Columbus Council 3635 in nearby Dunmore, and was a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus, St. Ann’s Assembly. He was a member of BPOE Elks Lodge 123, past president of the Mid-Valley Kiwanis Club and a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. He was also cited by the states of Georgia, Maine, Nebraska and Minnesota and was a recipient of the Chic Feldman Humanitarian Award for service to youth, community, state and nation in 1985.
The World Drum Corps Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization honoring those individuals who have contributed significantly over many years to the development and continuing excellence drum and bugle corps activity. The organization also seeks to preserve the history of the drum and bugle corps movement in North America by selecting a noteworthy junior and senior “corps of the decade.”
Since its founding in 1976 membership in the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame has grown from six charter members to 430 regular and associate members from the United States and Canada, who have contributed to the activity across North America, England, the Netherlands, the Middle East, South Africa and Japan.
More information about the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame is available at www.worlddrumcorpshof.org/