2009 World Drum Corps Hall Of Fame Inductees
Six new World Drum Corps Hall of Fame regular members and the winner of the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award to be inducted this year have been making contributions to the drum and bugle corps community in the United States and Canada as performers, arrangers, instructors, judges, administrators and fund raisers since 1947.
This year’s inductees are Roger Grupp, of St. Paul, Minnesota; Doug Kleinhans, of Medina, New York; Al Tierney (deceased); Richard Warga, Pompton Plains, New Jersey; Robert Woods (deceased); Bob Zarfoss, York, Pennsylvania. George Iacono, of Gloucester, Massachusetts, is the President’s Lifetime Achievement award winner for 2009.
Roger Grupp: St. Paul, Minnesota
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 was MBI’s brass arranger and instructor from 1990 to 2001 then carried out the same duties with Blue Stars, of La Crosse, Wisconsin, starting in 2003. 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. He has also contributed financially over the years to support the activity and various drum corps. He served as MBI assistant director from 1978 through 1981, running a successful fund-raising event in 1978 and helping run three MBI-sponsored drum corps contests in 1978, 1979 and 1980. He served on the board of directors from 1978 to 1983, including a term as board chair. He even handled MBI concession sales for three years. At the beginning of his drum corps career, he performed as baritone soloist with Pine City Saints in 1961 and 1962 and with St. Paul Scouts in 1963 and 1964. He played baritone horn with Spirit of ’76 in ‘76 and was guest soloist with Bayou City Blues in 1999. He began marching with Minnesota Brass in 1971. He was named horn player of the year by MBI in 1975, when he played baritone and again in 1988 and 2006 as a soprano player. Drum Corps Associates (DCA) named him best soloist during the 1993 championship tournament. In 1995, his small brass ensemble scored 99.9 in the DCA Individual and Ensemble contest, with judges demanding an encore performance. He was one of the organizers of Minne-Brass, winner of the DCA mini-corps championship in its first year of competition in 2005. He was inducted as a World Drum Corps Hall of Fame associate member in 2001. His wife, Tina Cavitt, was inducted as a Hall of Fame associate member in 2002. 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: Medina, New York
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 is widely considered to be an exceptional writer of percussion scores combining extreme difficulty with great musicianship. He has developed many players who went on to write, instruct and perform on a national level. While judging with the New York State All American Association from 1960 to 1973 and Drum Corps Associates (DCA) from 1966 to 1970 he was respected for his ability to analyze, rank and rate drum lines efficiently while providing extensive feedback and constructive criticism. He began his drum corps activity playing snare drum with Lockport Firemen junior drum and bugle corps in 1947 and 1948 then played snare with Lockport Blazers from 1948 to 1954. He was a highly skilled drummer with the United States Army West Point Field Music Hellcats. From 1958 to 1963, he drummed with Buffalo Continentals, Interstatesmen and Hawthorne Caballeros. He also played snare drum with Hamburg Kingsmen in 1971. 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 (deceased)
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 founded the ODCA newsletter, which came to be known as Parades and Pageantry, and served as editor and publisher for many 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 the Canadian Judges Association caption head for timing and penalties for five years. His early drum corps experience included playing a bugle for two years with the Royal Canadian Air Force. His strong association with the Toronto Optimists began in 1966 when his two sons joined the corps. In the early 1970s, he was called on to organize a second feeder corps for the Toronto Optimists, following his involvement in founding a kiddie corps in the late 1960s. His executive and planning abilities were so extraordinary that on registration day more than 250 kids signed up to become members of the Optimists organization. In addition to serving as founder and director of the Optimists Cadets, he also taught marching and manoeuvring for a year. 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. They also won the Canadian championship and finished ninth at Drum Corps International (DCI) finals, with a spectacular drill featuring a large black and white parachute which covered the corps at the high point of the field routine. He served as a co-director, director and business manager of St. John’s from 1972 to 1975. 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: Pompton Plains, New Jersey
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 1958 until the group disbanded in 1968. He then performed at various times from 1969 to 1993 with New York Skyliners as a baritone player and drum major. He switched to soprano horn when he moved to Hawthorne Caballeros in 1994. He taught marching and manoeuvring and served as caption head with a number of well-known junior corps from 1969 to 1978, including Kingston Indians, Westchester Horizons, Avant Garde of Saratoga County New York, St. Raphael’s Golden Buccaneers of Bridgeport, Garfield Cadets and Milford Shoreliners. He also served as marching and manoeuvring caption head with the Colonades, a Connecticut senior drum and bugle corps, from 1970 to 1976 and Long Island Sunrisers in 1979. He was New York Skyliners’ drill designer and instructor in 1974, 1978 and from 1985 to 1992. He began teaching marching and manoeuvring with Hawthorne Caballeros in 2001. Both Skyliners and Caballeros won a Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship while he was teaching them. He was assistant corps director with Skyliners in 1992 and 1993, a member of Hawthorne Caballeros’ advisory committee from 1997 to 2001 and business manager of the Bayonne Raiders junior corps from 1998 to 1999. He judged marching and manoeuvring and color guard with the All American Judges Association from 1969 to 1978 and 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 a founder and a charter member 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: York, Pennsylvania
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.
President’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner
George Iacono: Gloucester, Massachusetts
George 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 spent.
These new members will be inducted during the Hall of Fame’s annual luncheon, to be in downtown Rochester, New York on Labor Day weekend during the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world championship tournament. Members of the public are welcome to attend the social hour before the luncheon and induction ceremony. For ticket information, visit the Hall of Fame Web site. at www.worlddrumcorpshof.org/
An important part of the Hall of Fame’s purpose is to enhance a feeling of good fellowship among individuals and organizations involved with drum and bugle corps activity, thereby enhancing constructive contributions in all areas.
Since its founding in 1976 by the late Vince Bruni, of Rochester, New York, membership in the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame has grown from six charter members to 437 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.
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.”