Dick Pronti, 1943-2011
World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Dick Pronti passed away in the early morning on December 24, after being in intensive care at Thompson Health centre in Canandaigua since the beginning of the month with a severe viral infection.
A retired schoolteacher, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005. For more than 50 years, he contributed to the drum and bugle corps movement as a horn player, drum major, color guard member, visual designer, staff consultant and judge. In 1988, he initiated the Individual and Ensemble contests that have become a highly popular part of the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship tournaments on Labor Day weekends.
He played horn and marched as drum major with Shortsville Shamrocks from 1958 to 1967. For several years in the 1960s, his involvement with the Shamrocks overlapped his duties as winter drum major with the Emerald Cadets of Rochester and horn player with Geneva Appleknockers. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he marched in the Syracuse Brigadiers color guard, was drum major of the junior Appleknockers and the Suburban Knights senior corps of Buffalo. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he served as the visual designer for a number of corps, including Appleknockers juniors, Dunkirk Patriots, Tri-Town Cadets and the Shamrocks.
His judging activities date back to 1974. He was a visual judge, caption head, president or past president of the New York Federation of Contest Judges over a period of more than 30 years. He was also a visual judge in DCA contests, adjudicating many DCA championships. He was chief judge and judging coordinator of DCA from 1987 to 1991
He served as show consultant with the Hawthorne Caballeros for almost 20 years, beginning in 1992.
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 www.worlddrumcorpshof.org/