Memorial Service To Be Announced For WDCHOF Member Swan

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Memorial services for World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Tom “Bucky” Swan will be announced at a future date through the Carmen F. Spezzi Funeral Home, following a private cremation service. He passed away at age 79 on Friday September 6. Letters of condolence may be sent to the family at

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.

Born in Newark New Jersey, he had resided in South Amboy since 1987. Inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1995, he played with only two groups during his involvement with drum and bugle corps and was a soprano soloist with both: St. Joseph Cadets of Newark, New Jersey and New York Skyliners. He was also assistant horn instructor with St. Joseph’s from 1947 to 1955.

He served in the United States Army from 1957 to 1959. Then, over a period of 20 years, with some breaks, he was a solo soprano player and instructor with New York Skyliners. He was a member of the Skyliners organization when the corps won a number of championships, including the 1975 Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world title.

He was a self-employed music teacher of thousands of youngsters in corps in the New Jersey and New York metropolitan area from the 1950s through the present and was a respected instructor and arranger. As a teacher and arranger, he was encouraged by Hall of Fame members Hy Dreitzer and George Rodrigues. He arranged for and taught Skyliners brass section from 1980 to 1984. He also taught the Skyliners Alumni horn line.

He was most recently arranger and instructor for the New York Skyliners Alumni Chorus and recently retired as the long time instructor and arranger for the New Jersey American Legion parade champion Melrose Blackhawks junior drum and bugle corps.

He judged for the New York Metropolitan Judges Association. He was also a member of the New Jersey Drum Corps Hall of Fame and the Buglers Hall of Fame.

He is predeceased by his parents Thomas and Eileen Trainor Swan. Surviving are his companion of 29 years Althea Mazar, his daughters Karen Adelfio, Audrey Durando and Maureen Swan-Layton, his sons Thomas, John and Kevin Swan, his sister Ann M. Mulligan and 12 grandchildren.

Tom Swan was the second member of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame to pass away in the past few weeks. Rod Goodhart, drum instructor of Baltimore’s Yankee Rebels for about 10 years and a percussion judge for Drum Corps International (DCI) passed away on September 3 at age 75.

The late Vince Bruni of Rochester, New York, who passed away 10 years ago on the Friday evening of the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship tournament weekend in 2003, founded the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1976. Membership has since grown from six charter members – Vince Bruni, George Bull, Jim Costello, Henry “Lefty” Mayer, Harvey Olderman, Vinnie Ratford – to 277 regular and 194 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 of 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 each decade since 1940. Those corps are:

1940s: Holy Name Cadets and Lt. Norman Prince

1950s: St. Vincent’s Cadets and Reilly Raiders

1960s: Chicago Cavaliers and Hawthorne Caballeros

1970s: Santa Clara Vanguard and Hawthorne Caballeros

1980s: Blue Devils and Sunrisers

1990s: Cadets of Bergen County and Empire Statesmen

2000s: Cavaliers of Rosemont and Reading Buccaneers

For more information about the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, visit the web site at:

Posted by on Thursday, September 19th, 2013. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.