Connecticut Hurricanes Class Of 2010 Hall Of Fame Inductees
At the recent Connecticut Hurricanes Awards Banquet, four new members were added to the Hurricane Hall of Fame. Mark Burel was a stalwart in the Hurricanes soprano line for fifteen years, from 1970 thru 1984. Early on he displayed the grit it takes to be a part of a top quality corps by being named “Most Improved” in the horn line in 1974. He was famously recognized by his peers throughout his career as a man who approached life from a fun loving perspective earning him the moniker “The Amazing Marko”. Not belying the humor though, was his work ethic and a tenacious competitive attitude as his goal and level of performance was consistently focused on excellence. Mark’s interest in music began in the 3rd grade when he chose the trumpet in his school band. Recognizing his passion, his father enrolled him at the Bob Weller music school for private tutoring. In 1964 he joined the Stratford PAL Jr. Drum Corps. From 1966 thru 1968 he was a member of the Connecticut Royal Lancers and in 1969 he played with the Connecticut Yankees. While in high school, in addition to his drum corps activities, Mark participated in the jazz, concert, and marching bands of Stratford High School.
Peter Propfe has been involved with drum corps for well over forty years. He began his career in 1967 as a soprano bugler with the Torrington Vagabonds Sr. Drum and Bugle Corps. In 1972 he joined the Oxford Explorers and in 1974 went to the New York Skyliners. 1976 brought Pete to the Berkshire Marauders through 1979. 1980 found Pete back where he started with the Vagabonds, where he served as director, drum major and bugler. In 1988 Pete rejoined the Skyliners and in 1989 his varied drum corps travels brought him to the Connecticut Hurricanes where he’s been ever since. Pete has totally embraced the Hurricane mystique and made it a family passion, with his wife Nancy and son Tyler also becoming members of the Hurricane family. In 1995 he became corps personnel manager while in 1996 and 1997 he served as assistant director before taking on the roll as Corps Director in 1998. Now into his third decade, excelling in the mellophone line, Pete has been part of the proud Hurricane tradition and has worn many hats throughout his exemplary career.
Hector Scarpa (deceased)was an original in the truest sense of the word. As part of a group of guys who decided to give a new hobby a try back in 1932, Hector was a charter member of the newly created John H. Collins American Legion Post’s new drum corps. He embraced his new pastime with a passion that would fuel his dedication for the rest of his long life. As a marching member, Hector played the fife for several years and later transferred to the color guard through 1955. Beginning early in his drum corps career he was a part of the “inner circle”, influential and tirelessly devoting his efforts towards building and refining the organization into one of the finest corps in the country. Hector served as Secretary/Treasurer in the formative years assisting directors Gene Imperato and later Moe Mahaleik as well as Pete Burns until 1967. Hector passed in the late 60’s, and until that time was a regular presence at rehearsals, exuding the pride and satisfaction he surely must have felt in seeing the success of what he’d played so much a part of building…… the Connecticut Hurricanes.
Robert Wilcox began his journey as a Hurricane in the fall of 1975 as a tom player in the percussion section. In 1976 and 1977 he was section leader, arranged mallets and was quad leader in 1978 thru 1980. His contribution in the championship year of 1981 was devoted to instruction but 1982 brought him back to marching as well as teaching, where he continued to do thru 1989 when he retired to spend time with his family. Bob started his drum corps career in 1959 with the Naugatuck Fife and Drum Corps. He went on to join Torrington’s Vagabonds in 1966 and then moved on to the Connecticut Yankees in 1967 prior to a long association with the Connecticut Classics. He has taught and arranged percussion for many drum corps and bands over the years some of which include the Park City Pride of Bridgeport, Connecticut Classics of East Haven, the Seymour Vanguard and Milford Shoreliners as well as marching bands at East Lyme, Naugatuck, Stamford, and Brookfield High Schools. Bob continues to teach today. In addition to his legacy as an active member of the corps, Bob takes pride in having had many of his students go on to march with the Hurricanes, with some becoming valued staff members for the corps.