Death Of World Drum Corps Hall Of Fame Member Marty Hurley

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World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Marty Hurley, age 65, passed away in New Orleans early this week after suffering complications from a stroke several weeks earlier.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004 and was also named a member of the Louisiana Music Educators Association in 2010. He had been band director at Brother Martin High School for boys since 1974. He was named teacher of the year at the school in 1999. Seventy-one of his percussion students have been named to the All-State Band.

His passing was marked at his school with a special prayer service the morning of Tuesday, September 13. Visitation will take place October 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Brother Mark Thornton Terrace in the Ridgley Center at Brother Martin High School, 4401 Elysian Fields Ave. A memorial Mass will be conducted October 5, at 9:45 a.m. in the school gymnasium.

He is survived by his wife Paulette Purser-Hurley; two stepsons, John and Kevin Purser; brother Jimmy Hurley and two step grandchildren.

Marty Hurley began his odyssey into drum corps in 1955 playing snare drum for the Neptune Shoreliners. He also played with Blessed Sacrament and the Hawthorne Caballeros. For several years in the 1970s, he was the percussion instructor/arranger for three Louisiana corps: the Stardusters, Bleu Raiders and Southern Rebels.

He also taught and arranged for Belleville Black Knights and Phantom Regiment. He served as percussion judge for the Percussive Arts Society for four years, and conducted percussion clinics for the national meetings of Music Educators Conferences, and regional Music Educators sessions in Louisiana and Texas. He was also a marching percussion clinician for Sabian Cymbals.

He designed field shows for his band using wooden blocks and poker chips to represent different squads and sections within the band.

He earned a music education degree from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and was soon after drafted into the United States Air Force, stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. He began to visit nearby New Orleans to teach students marching with various area drum and bugle corps. After Brother Martin band director Arthur Hardy noticed the improvement in some of his students’ percussion skills, he invited Hurley to apply for the job of co-director. He was hired immediately.

For more information about the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, including biographies of members and a listing of corps of the decade since the 1940s, visit the Web site at

Posted by on Tuesday, September 13th, 2011. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.