World Drum Corps Hall Of Fame Class Of 2013 Announced

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The seven individuals to be inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame during a luncheon ceremony in Annapolis, Maryland on Saturday, August 31 represent devotion to the drum and bugle corps community that stretches in time from the early 1940s to the present day, from the Atlantic seaboard all the way across the continent to California.

The 2013 regular inductees are Dale Adair of Edgewater Park, New Jersey; Rita Macey Bernert of Blackwood, New Jersey; Allen Buell of Rochester, New York; Ray Fallon of Euless, Texas; Bobby Hoffman (deceased); Vic Kuluski Jr. of Orlando, Florida. The winner of this year’s President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, to be inducted as a regular member, is Bob Bellarosa (deceased) of Brooklyn, New York.

The induction ceremony will take place on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend at the Doubletree Hotel, 210 Holiday Court. Members of the public are welcome to view an exhibition of memorabilia featuring this year’s inductees and notable drum and bugle corps of the past during the social hour that precedes the induction luncheon. For luncheon ticket information, visit the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame website at

The World Drum Corps Hall of Fame proceedings, which include the annual general meeting for members after the induction ceremony, is one of several events held during Drum Corps Associates’ (DCA) annual championship tournament weekend. Although the Hall of Fame induction is traditionally held on the same weekend as the DCA championships there is no formal connection between the two organizations.

Inductees are elected by current members for their dedication, contributions and achievements over a long period of time in administration, arranging, adjudication, instruction, innovation and design.

Dale Adair of Edgewater Park, New Jersey

Since first playing a snare drum in 1969, Dale Adair has demonstrated a high level of expertise in many drum and bugle corps categories, including managing, judging, arranging, instructing and performing. He is highly regarded by students and fellow instructors for his creativity, style, enthusiasm and approach to arranging and teaching and for the initiative he has demonstrated in these areas. Members of drum lines he taught were always well prepared and well schooled. His judging opinions were presented in a professional manner and considered by fellow judges to be right on point. He was a percussion judge with the National Judges Association from 1983 to 2005. He began judging with the Cavalcade Judges Association in 2006. He served on the Crossmen’s board of directors in 1993-1994. He has arranged for and taught several highly regarded senior corps since 1982, including Archer-Epler Musketeers, Reading Buccaneers, New York Skyliners and Reilly Raiders Alumni. He was assistant drum instructor with Madison Scouts in the late 1980s and served as arranger and instructor for P.A.L. Cadets, Cramer Hill and the Shadettes earlier. He is an accomplished drummer, winning the first place medal in the first individual snare drum contest he entered. A member of a well-known drum corps family, he started playing snare drum with the Golden Eagles in 1969. Over the following 10 years, he performed with the 507 Hornets and Crossmen, before moving up to the senior category to play snare drum with Archer-Epler Musketeers in 1982 and Reilly Raiders Alumni from 2004 to 2009.

Rita Macey Bernert of Blackwood, New Jersey

Rita Macey Bernert was the dominant snare drummer of the 1950s, winning nine out 10 individual snare drum contests she entered while she marched in the Audubon Bon Bons drum line. She also competed as a member of the Audubon drum quartet, earning several more first place awards. She won the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national individual contest in Miami, Florida in 1957. The same year, the Audubon drum line took top score at the American Legion (AL) national championships in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She played snare drum with Audubon from 1952 to 1958, also serving as the assistant percussion instructor, working with Bill Reamer, from 1956 to 1958. During those same three years, she was the arranger and instructor for the drum lines of Saint Nicholas All Girls and Bracken Cadets. She is a lifetime member of the National Association of Rudimental Drummers. She began playing snare drum with the Olde Citie Fife and Drum Corps of Philadelphia in 1976, performing at ceremonies with audiences including such dignitaries as Queen Elizabeth II of England, several United States presidents and other world leaders.

Allen Buell of Rochester, New York

Allan Buell is a superb administrator who has also reached a high level of achievement as a color guard visual designer and instructor and a judge. He served as business manager of Rochester’s Empire Statesmen, the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) champions in 2004, from 2003 to 2011, while simultaneously heading up the organization of DCA world championship tournament weekends. Initially, he served as chair of the local organizing committee when the DCA championships returned to Rochester from Scranton, Pennsylvania. DCA appointed him as operations director in 2005. He was appointed vice president of DCA in 2011. He also worked closely with Empire Statesmen and World Drum Corps Hall of Fame founder Vince Bruni in organizing the DCA championships in Rochester in 1996. He instructed the Winter Guard International (WGI) champion Bishop Kearney High School color guard ensemble with Hall of Fame member Vince Monacelli from 1991 through 1998, winning the WGI title an unprecedented five years in row from 1993 to 1997. He served as president of the North East Color Guard Circuit from 2001 to 2009. He was inducted into the Circuit’s Hall of Fame in 2009. He has also served as guard visual designer and instructor with Empire Statesmen and Rochester Crusaders. He has judged with several associations since 1999, including the New York Federation of Contest Judges and Pennsylvania Federation of Contest Judges. Between 1988 and 2003, he marched in the color guard of Empire Statesmen, Les Metropolitans, Syracuse Brigadiers and Rochester Crusaders, also serving as Crusaders business manager in 2002 and 2003.

Ray Fallon of Euless, Texas

Ray Fallon is widely recognized as one of the most creative brass arrangers in the drum and bugle corps community. After serving in the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1970 to 1974, he arranged for and taught the brass sections of such well known groups as Bayonne Bridgemen, Milford Shoreliners, Crossmen, Boston Crusaders, Sunrisers, Archer-Epler Musketeers and Connecticut Hurricanes when they won the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship in 1981. He helped spark the alumni drum corps movement in 1978, serving as the coordinator, arranger and drum major for Archer-Epler Musketeers’ re-appearance at the 1978 Dream Contest. He has since worked with other alumni corps, including Baltimore’s Yankee Rebels, Boston Crusaders and the Bridgemen. He was inducted into the Hurricanes Hall of Fame in 2002, the Sunrisers Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Buglers Hall of Fame in 2006. He was also the DCA individual contra bass champion in 1992. He began his long association with drum and bugle corps activity playing baritone horn from 1960 to 1969 with Legionnaires Ocean Side junior corps. After his USAF service, he played baritone with Sunrisers from 1974 to 1976.

Bobby Hoffman (deceased)

Bobby Hoffman brought a new level of creativity and a zany sense of humor to drum and bugle corps field show activity over more than 20 years of show design before his passing in January 1991. His unique new approach to show design was perhaps best exemplified by the Bayonne Bridgemen when he served as show designer, coordinator and marching instructor from 1976 to 1982. He was also director of the Bridgemen from 1978 to 1982. Earlier in the 1970s, he handled both show design and marching instruction for such well-known junior corps of the time as Garfield Cadets, Anaheim Kingsmen and Blue Stars of Lacrosse, Wisconsin. In the years following his activity with the Bridgemen, he brought his special blend of show design, show coordination and marching instruction to the west coast, working in California with Valley Fever of Fresno and Velvet Knights of Anaheim. During his years with New York Skyliners in the early 1970s, he introduced the visual depiction of a New York City style traffic jam on the contest field, one of the most crowd-pleasing, clever and effective pieces of show drill of all time. He was also a percussion pioneer. He introduced timbales while performing with the Hawthorne Caballeros drum line in 1961. The sound of the two relatively high pitched small drums mounted on a carrying harness helped create a Latin percussion sound that corps members, judges and audiences all loved to hear. Before joining Hawthorne, he played tenor drum with three New Jersey junior drum and bugle corps: the Ravens of Bergenfield in 1956 and 1957; the Dumont Police Cadets in 1958 and 1959 and St. Ann’s Cadets of Fairlawn in 1960.

Vic Kuluski Jr. of Orlando, Florida

Vic Kuluski Jr. already had an impressive record of achievement as a judge, administrator and percussion instructor by the time he played a significant role in helping Drum Corps Associates (DCA) expand into the southeastern sunshine states. After co-founding Heat Wave of Orlando, Florida in 1992, he served as executive director and board member until 2005 while also responsible for percussion visual instruction, playing snare drum in the line and then marching out front as drum major. He was the co-founder and initial coordinator of DCA South in 2003. He served on the board of the Corps Vets of Atlanta, Georgia from 2006 to 2010. Before his southern involvement, he served as executive director of the Connecticut Hurricanes from 1985 to 1989 and was instrumental in the restart of the Hurricanes in 1986. He founded Class ACTE winter guard in 1980 and served as director until 1985. He also founded two winter percussion ensembles: the Spitfire ensemble and the Riptide ensemble. He has been a percussion judge since 1977, with the North East Circuit, Florida Band Masters and Field Marching Band Conference. He taught the Hurricanes’ percussion section from 1976 to 1989 while also teaching Connecticut Vagabonds from 1981 to 1983. He handled the percussion visual caption for Corps Vets from 2006 to 2010 and began teaching the percussion section of the Sun Devils of Inverness, Florida in 2013. He also handled percussion duties with several junior corps from 1975 to 1992, including Explorers of Oxford, Connecticut, Connecticut Classics and Magic of Orlando. He first played snare drum with Carey’s Cadets Fife and Drum Corps in 1967, subsequently playing with Connecticut Royal Lancers, Prospect Fife, Drum and Bugle Corps, Oxford Explorers and St. Andrew’s Bridgemen. He has performed or marched as drum major with several corps, including Hurricanes, Bahia Shriners Drum Corps, Heat Wave, Bridgemen Alumni and Atlanta Corps Vets. He was named a charter member of the Hurricanes Hall of Fame in 1994. He has won many individual snare drumming awards since 1970, including the New England Individual and Hurricanes National Invitational titles, finished second in the Bridgemen National Open, finished in the top five in DCA snare competitions 10 times since 1998 and won the DCA Class A best drum major award six times since 1997.

President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013

Bob Bellarosa of Brooklyn, New York (deceased)

Bob ‘Kid’ Bellarosa spent a lifetime in the drum and bugle corps community, participating and contributing in many areas of the activity stretching across 70 years from his first involvement as a young boy in 1942 to his longstanding duties as publisher of Eastern Review and Heritage magazine for more than 50 years, from 1956 until his passing in 2011. Along the way, he played French horn with both arch rivals New York Skyliners and Hawthorne Caballeros and several well-known junior corps of the 1940s and 1950s. He constantly promoted the value of drum corps involvement as a recreation outlet and educational activity for youth especially in communities and neighborhoods where teenage programs were scarce.

He founded the Blessed Sacrament Alumni Corps in 1990. He also founded and operated the Drum Corps Hall of Fame and Museum in a four-storey building in Brooklyn, packed with pictures, trophies, old uniforms and other memorabilia to help publicize the individuals and groups who were the leaders of the activity. For many years, he served many groups as a roving instructor who neither asked for any fee, nor accepted money for teaching. He was a member of the Buglers Hall of Fame, a highly skilled mid-range brass player who won more than 50 individual competitions at the circuit, state and national level. He was a fierce competitor in another competitive sport: a Golden Gloves boxer who won 68 of 75 bouts. He was a familiar figure to thousands of fans at drum corps events: the short man in a Skyliners jacket and overseas cap adorned with his competition medals. He entered the drum and bugle corps world in 1942, carrying a rifle and playing drum with St. Helen’s Cadets. He moved on top play alto horn with Todd Memorial in 1945 then became a French horn player with Holy Name Cadets in 1948 and was voted Cadet of the Year in 1952. He moved to Edison Post junior corps in 1953 and then Our Lady of Grace Lancers in 1954. Over the following 15 years he played French horn with Skyliners for 13 years, moved to Caballeros for a couple of years then returned to Skyliners.

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 466 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 and Japan.

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.

Posted by on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.