World Drum Corps Hall Of Fame Member Earl Joyce Obituary

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WDCHOF_100X100Funeral services for World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Earl Joyce Sr. were held the morning of Saturday, September 6 from Lawn Funeral Home in Burbank, Illinois with a funeral mass following at St. Louis de Montfort Church. Interment is in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Burbank, a southwestern suburb of Chicago.

A veteran of the United States Army, he was regarded as the “father of modern judging” in drum and bugle corps activities. He was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1988. He is also a member of the Drum Corps International (DCI) and Central States Judges Association (CSJA) Hall of Fame. During his association with CSJA, he helped establish national judging and terminology standards in marching and manoeuvring.

Earl Joyce’s first association with drum and bugle corps activity was as a drummer and drum major with the General George Bell Post junior drum and bugle corps from 1942 to 1951. He then became a drummer and drum major with the Chicago Cavaliers.

He began instructing drums and teaching marching and manoeuvring in 1949 with George Bell Post, then Cavaliers, then many other drum and bugle corps and marching bands until 1977. He was a judge with several other associations, including All American and Midwest Color Guard, Drum Corps International (DCI), Drum Corps Associates (DCA), Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) and Winter Guard International (WGI). His music training began in 1943, when he first played drums in the St. Angela elementary school band. Later in the 1940s, he won several Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) individual and ensemble drumming titles at the Illinois state and the national level.

He is survived by his wife Noreen (nee West), sons Earl (Monika), Michael (Mary Lynn), John (Terry), Joseph (Suzanne) and his sister Rita Grace (the late Harrison) Reid. His son Patrick Joyce and sister Marie (Harold) Kern are previously deceased. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Earl Joyce Sr. is the fifth member of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame to pass away since late July. The others are Gene Bennett, Len Piekarski, Michael ‘Red’ Corso and charter member and past president George Bull.

The late Vince Bruni of Rochester, New York founded the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1976. The six charter members were Vince Bruni, George Bull, Jim Costello, Henry “Lefty” Mayer, Harvey Olderman, Vinnie Ratford. The Hall of Fame now includes 472 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.

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

Posted by on Wednesday, September 10th, 2014. Filed under DCA News, FrontPage Feature.