Skyliners’ Long Time Drum Instructor Eric Perrilloux Passes

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Eric Perrilloux, best known for his long service as New York Skyliners drum instructor, passed away peacefully at noon on Monday, January 21 at the age of 91, after suffering a heart attack a week earlier. He was born March 20, 1921 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

He was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1984. He was also a member of the Drummers Hall of Fame.

He is survived by Agnes, his wife of 68 years; daughters Patricia McCall of Orlando, Florida, Susan Dolce of Bryam, New Jersey and Diane Goodman of Wall, New Jersey and six grandchildren. He was predeceased by a son Robert and a sister Florence Mohn.

Burial at Valleau Cemetery in Ridgewood, New Jersey will place at 10 am Thursday January 24, following visitations in the afternoon and evening of Wednesday January 23 at C.C. Van Emburgh Funeral Home in Ridgewood.

Eric Perrilloux was drum instructor for two of the best known senior corps in the Golden Era of the 1950s and 1960s: the Reilly Raiders of Philadelphia and the New York Skyliners. He also taught well-known junior corps Selden Cadets and St. Rita’s Brassmen.

He was one of the first percussion arrangers to discard the layering of snare, tenor and bass drum parts. He made the three areas separate, but woven into the total music package. He strongly advocated the use of drums to complement the music of the brass section.

Many observers feel he had the most impressive background in rudimental drumming, developing his skills with the famous Charles T. Kirk Fife, Drum and Bugle corps of Brooklyn, a standstill unit considered the leader among rudimental drum sections of the day. As a member of the Kirks from 1937 to 1953, he won the New York State individual snare championship five times, the North Eastern Snare championship and other titles outside New York state.

He performed in the drum line of the New York Skyliners in 1953 and 1954. In 1955 he became drum instructor for Reilly Raiders of Philadelphia, and taught that group for three seasons. He moved back top the Skyliners in 1958, writing and instructing for 13 more seasons.

Eric Perrilloux is the second World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member to pass away since the beginning of the year. Lee Wolf, best remembered as horn arranger and instructor with Archer-Epler Musketeers and other prominent Philadelphia area corps, passed away January 4 at age 84.

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 459 regular and associate members from the United States and Canada, who have contributed to the activity across North America, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Middle East, South Africa, Japan and Australia.

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 all age (senior) corps of the decade.

For more information about the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, visit the website at

Posted by on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.