Reading Buccaneers Announce Additions To Organization’s Leadership

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The ten-time Drum Corps Associates world champion Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps announced today the election of William Snook, William Powers and Daniel Wildonger to the corps’ Executive Committee, effective this month. In addition, Jami Mills has assumed the newly created role of Tour Director. The Buccaneers Executive Committee is an all-volunteer board that sets direction and policy for the organization and manages logistics and personnel for the corps. The corps’ success in programming and competition is a direct result of the untiring work and vision of this group and the many other volunteers they enlist and lead.

Snook, Powers and Wildonger join corps director James C. Gruber and Treasurer I. Timothy O’Mara at the helm of the Balance in Blue. Louis D. Tierno, Jr. and Gerald D. Ware rotate off the Executive Committee as assistant director and business manager, respectively, and will continue to serve the Buccaneers as consultants on special projects.

William Snook was elected Assistant Director of the corps. Bill’s volunteer work with the Buccaneers over the years has been considerable and impactful, and he brings a unique combination of passion, expertise and wisdom to his new role. He spent three years as a member of the corps’ bass drum section in 1984, 1985 and 1990. His volunteer work with the Buccaneers began in 1986, and from 1999 through the present day he has been a mainstay as a key volunteer for the corps. He has handled logistics and show operations for Big Sounds in Motion for many years and has served the corps as Quartermaster since 2005. The equipment and logistical needs of the Buccaneers are significant, and Bill’s leadership in this area has been a key factor in the corps’ success on and off the field. Bill’s volunteer work includes more than two decades on the Drum Corps International Eastern Classic committee and service to the Conrad Weiser High School and Blue Mountain High School drum lines and, most recently, the Brandywine Heights High School drum line and color guard. He was elected to the Buccaneers Hall of Fame in 2009.

William Powers joins the Buccaneers Executive Committee as Business Manager. Bill brings to the Buccaneers a legendary resume as a Pennsylvania music educator, conductor, adjudicator and performer. A native of York, PA, Bill holds degrees in music education from Gettysburg College and the Pennsylvania State University. From 1974 to 1977 he was band director in the West York Area School District. He was Director of Bands and Instructor of Music at Gettysburg College from 1977 to 1983. From 1983 to 2009 he was Band Director at Hempfield Area School District, serving as K-12 Music Department Supervisor from 1983 to 2009. Since 2009 he has instructed in the music programs at Millersville University and West Chester University. For many years, Powers was an active leader in the Cavalcade of Bands Association, serving as its president from 2000 through 2008, when he was elected to that association’s hall of fame. He currently serves as Cavalcade’s marching band administrator. His other awards, honors and distinctions are vast. He marched with the York White Roses in 1972 and returned to the field of drum corps competition in 2010 as a Reading Buccaneer, where he distinguished himself as a member of the corps’ baritone section and surpassed Walter Street as the oldest member the horn line – although his enthusiasm for his role in the corps and his zest for the experience belied his age by decades. Bill’s experience, wisdom and passion for music education will be invaluable as the Buccaneers continue to enhance and improve the member experience.

Daniel Wildonger was reelected for an additional two-year term as Secretary. The Buccaneers are so special because of the sustained hard work of a lot of committed people. Dan Wildonger is one of those people who’s constantly working for the betterment of the corps, yet he’s not always visible and vocal about it – he does all that he does because he loves the corps with everything he has and serves the corps and its members tirelessly. He was a marching member in the horn line in 1988 and from 1997 through 2007. He has served on the Executive Committee as Secretary since 2005. He is blessed with tremendous experience and wisdom, and he is a tireless advocate for the member experience. Dan leads by example and by doing, and the Buccaneers’ identity would not be as rich and proud as it is today without his sustained efforts.

We welcome Jami Mills back to the Buccaneers as she joins the administration team in a newly created, appointed role as Tour Director. In this role, Jami will join the business manager in developing and fostering the corps’ many site contacts and will be the corps’ point person for many of the details associated with corps travel, performances and logistics. Jami will also be an invaluable resource to marching members and staff alike as they soak up the complete Buccaneer experience. Jami began her DCA experience in 2002 as a marimba and xylophone player for the Empire Statesmen. She then went to Drum Corps International to play marimba and vibraphone in the front ensemble at Capital Regiment in 2003 and aged out as co-section leader in 2004. She was a standpoint marimba player for the Buccaneers from 2005 through 2008. She began teaching at the DCA level in 2009 as a Buccaneers front ensemble technician, transitioning to the Connecticut Hurricanes in 2010 in the same capacity, and the Hawthorne Caballeros in 2011, where she was front ensemble coordinator.

Jami has also been teaching & arranging at the high school level since 2000 for various groups throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland. She is currently the front ensemble coordinator at Northern York High School in Dillsburg, PA and the indoor percussion caption head at Parkland Senior High School in Orefield, PA. She is also a percussion adjudicator for the National Judges Association, judging ensembles in Tournament of Bands and Tournament Indoor Association.

“The Reading Buccaneers’ number-one priority is to deliver a world-class educational experience for our members,” said corps director James C. Gruber. “That’s possible because of the tireless work of our volunteers, starting with my colleagues on the Executive Committee. I look forward to working with Bill, Dan, Bill and Jami to help build on our past successes and be an even better organization and drum corps. This is also bittersweet, as we thank Lou Tierno and Jerry Ware for all they’ve done for the Buccaneers in their roles. They’re significant members of our family and we look forward to their continued contributions to the Buccaneers.”

Louis D. Tierno, Jr. rotates off the Executive Committee, having served the Buccanners leadership for almost two decades. Lou came to the Buccaneers from the Archer-Epler Musketeers, where he marched soprano from 1981 to 1984. He played soprano and mellophone for the Buccaneers from 1985 to 1995 and from 1998 to 2000. He served as Business Manager from 1993 to 1995 and from 1997 to 1998. He was a consultant from 2001 to 2002, and served as Assistant Director from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2003 to 2011. He was elected to the Buccaneers Hall of Fame in 2001.

Gerald D. Ware also rotates off the Executive Committee, having made an indelible imprint on the Buccaneers. He joined the Archer-Epler Musketeers in 1981 and was a member through 1995, playing in the hornline and serving as instructor, assistant director and drum major. He was a member of the Reilly Raiders from 2000 to 2002. He marched in the Buccaneers horn line as a baritone player in 1999 and 2003 through 2005, when he organized the first Spring Preview indoor concert. From 2006 through 2011 he was the corps’ Business Manager, and greatly expanded the scope and reach of that role.

Founded in 1957, the Buccaneers are an education-oriented musical organization. The Buccaneers were founding members 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, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 – all six undefeated championship seasons. At the 2009 DCA World Championships, the Buccaneers earned the highest score in DCA history, with a 99.025 out of a possible 100 points. In 2010, the Buccaneers set or extended DCA records for most consecutive wins, most consecutive world championships (6) and most overall world championships (10). From 2005 through 2011, the Buccaneers won a record 64 consecutive contests.

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Posted by on Tuesday, September 20th, 2011. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.