Introducing The 2015 World Drum Corps Hall Of Fame Inductees

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WDCHOF_100X100The seven new World Drum Corps Hall of Fame members who will be inducted in September have made contributions to drum and bugle corps activity from coast to coast across North America and around the world in South America, Europe, Africa and the Far East for more than 50 years, beginning in the early 1960s. Rich Templin, President of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, announced the names of those who will be inducted during the 39th annual ceremony on Friday evening September 4 in Rochester, New York.

The new inductees and their areas of specialization are: Gavin Burnham, Administrative; Kenton Clarke and Mike Longdo, Brass; Dan DeLong and Scott Johnson, Percussion; Steve Brubaker and Michael Kelly, Visual.

The winners of the 2015 Professional Achievement Award, the President’s Award and the names of those to be inducted as Associate Members will be announced shortly.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is one of the highlights of the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) Labor Day championship tournament weekend, along with individual and small ensemble competitions; a mini corps contest, day-long preliminaries on Saturday for all competing corps and an Alumni Spectacular field show concert and championship finals on Sunday. Although there is no connection between the two organizations, the Hall of Fame induction banquet is traditionally held on the DCA championship weekend.

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

The new inductees and categories are:

Administrative: Gavin Burnham of Vadnais Heights, Minnesota
The year 2015 marks Gavin Burnham’s 20th anniversary as the executive leader of Minnesota Brass Inc. (MBI). His involvement with the corps started 10 years before he became corps director in 1995, beginning when he first marched as a lead soprano and soloist in 1985. He moved into administration in 1988, serving until 1994 as financial officer. Since serving as corps director from 1995 to 2001, he has been MBI’s executive director and president. He received the Brassy, MBI’s lifetime achievement award, in 1989. During his years of service, Minnesota Brass won the DCA Open Class championship in 2011, finished in the top three for the past seven years, placed in the top six for the past 17 years and has participated in DCA championship contests for 26 years. As finance officer, he was instrumental in helping MBI overcome its large debt, allowing the corps to strengthen its creative and administrative staff. MBI is now financially stable with strong partnerships with various associations and leaders of other corps. He participates in DCA rules congress meetings, leadership task forces and other committees, helping to create performance opportunities for other all age drum and bugle corps. He helped bring a well-attended Drum Corps International (DCI) showcase event to Minnesota. Because he believes marching arts must include more than drum and bugle corps activity, he is a strong supporter and leader for Youth In America, a high school marching band championship contest drawing bands from five states.

Brass: Kenton Clarke of Southport, Connecticut
When Kenton Clarke became the youngest instructor in New York Skyliners’ history in 1974, the horn line immediately responded by winning top brass scores in both the 1974 and 1975 DCA championship finals. He was brass instructor when Milford Shoreliners won the World Open and Northeast championships in 1977. Bengal Lancers also won the Northeast championship when he was brass instructor in 1979. He founded the Buglers Hall of Fame, which already has more than 100 members, in 2001 and still serves as board chairman. Throughout the 1970s, he was brass adjudicator for the Metro Judges Association and brass caption chair with the Northeast Circuit. His drum and bugle corps involvement began in 1961 when he played soprano horn with PAL in Fairfield, Connecticut. Over the following 15 years, he was soprano soloist with St. Raphael’s Buccaneers, Connecticut Hurricanes, Connecticut Yankees and Skyliners. His notable solos include Trumpet Blues with St. Raphael’s and Battle Hymn, McArthur Park and Make Me Smile with Connecticut Yankees. He has established a record of high achievement in the business world while serving as founder, president and CEO of Computer Consulting Associates International, one of the country’s leading multicultural IT consulting firms. The company provides full scholarships at Norwalk Community Technical College.

Brass: Mike Longdo of Kissimmee, Florida
Mike Longdo’s involvement in the drum corps community began almost 50 years ago in 1968 and continued through the turn of the century. He served as brass caption head and assistant arranger with Hawthorne Caballeros from 1990 through 1996, continuing his service as brass caption head in 1998 and again from 2003 to 2005. During his years of service, Caballeros finished in the top three every year in DCA finals, winning the championship in 1995, placing second three times and finishing third twice. He also served as brass caption head with Long Island Sunrisers from 1986 to 1989, during which time the corps finished in top place in DCA finals twice and in second place once. He was brass instructor for Magic of Orlanda from 2003 to 2006. His career as an instructor began in 1980 with Garfield Cadets. He served as a music caption judge with three organizations: National Judges Association from 1979 to 1997; CMBC in 1990 and 1991; Metro in 1988 and 1989. His years of activity began playing mellophone and marching as drum major with Green Sabres junior drum and bugle corps from 1968 to 1972. He also played mellophone with New York Skyliners in 1981. He played baritone and contra bass with Sunrisers in 1986 and 1987, while he was also serving as brass caption head. He has also been associated with many marching bands over the years.

Percussion: Dan DeLong of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
During more than 25 straight years of instruction, Dan DeLong produced top rated percussion sections for DCA and Drum Corps International (DCI) corps. He was also director of percussion and arranger for the all star drum and bugle corps marching in the internationally-televised NBC/Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parades in 1992 and 1994. His term as Westshoremen’s arranger and percussion caption head from 1989 to 1996 was particularly productive: Westshoremen won the DCA title in 1996; the percussion section had top scores in the 1995 and 1996 championship finals, winning all three captions; the section won high execution scores at DCA finals in 1989 and 1991. When he served as arranger and percussion caption head with DCI’s Bluecoats the corps moved up into the top 12 ranking with total score or percussion score increasing every year between 2000 and 2003. He was percussion arranger with Bushwackers in 2005 and 2006 and served as a percussion consultant with Caballeros in 2011 and 2012 and Syracuse Brigadiers in 1998. His initial involvement with drum corps activity was as a tenor drummer with Pioneer Scouts, Westshoremen and Crossmen from 1981 to 1985. From 1986 to 1988 he served as tenor tech then percussion consultant with Crossmen. He was music effect judge with DCA from 2008 to 2011. The Pennsylvania Drum Corps Hall of Fame inducted him as a lifetime member in 2011. He is also a member of the Keystone Indoor Drill Association (KIDA) Hall of Fame, inducted in 2104.

Percussion: Scott Johnson, of Pittsburg, California
Scott Johnson’s percussion expertise has helped drummers around the world, including drum and bugle corps members from California across the country to New York state, then beyond the Atlantic Ocean to Holland. He has held popular percussion clinics in countries including the United States, Canada, Scotland, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, South Africa and Guatemala. His video instruction sessions, including ScoJo’s Lick of the Week, are widely seen on the internet where he posts tips and answers questions on various social media sites including Facebook. His personal award collection is bulging with gold medals including:
*16 DCI gold medal championships
*13 DCI high percussion titles
*2 Winter Guard International (WGI) championships
*3 DCA championships
*2 DCA high percussion titles
*10 Drum Corps Europe (DCE) championships
*9 DCE high percussion titles
*8 high percussion titles with groups in Japan
*197 DCI and Percussive Arts Society (PAS) individual snare championships
In 2012, he was inducted into both the DCI and WGI Hall of Fame. He has been associated with Concord Blue Devils and Santa Clara Vanguard as percussion director and arranger and San Francisco Renegades as percussion arranger in various years since 1976. He was percussion consultant with Syracuse Brigadiers from 2000 to 2003, with the Brigs capturing the DCA championship in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He has been percussion arranger with Beatrix drum corps of Holland, one of the consistently top rated corps in Europe. He has been a percussion judge with PAS, DCI, Bands of America and US Bands for many years. He was snare drummer with Blue Devils from 1976 to 1979 while he was also percussion director and arranger. He also played snare drum with Red Knights drum and bugle corps and the RoyalAirs.

Visual: Steve Brubaker (Deceased: He passed away January 28, 1993 after battling brain cancer.)
Steve Brubaker lifted field drill high above the functional level to new emotional heights combining visual and musical moments. He believed that musical nuances could be represented visually. He based his design concepts on the co-ordinate system developed by Hall of Fame member Ralph Pace, of Reading Buccaneers, being careful to insure that the music was staged properly even if it compromised a great visual idea. Many of his original design concepts and use of the coordinate system are studied and imitated by today’s designers. His drum corps career began when he marched in the Buccaneers’ color guard in the early and mid 1970s. He also marched with the Chicago Connection guard in 1978, the same year he became guard instructor of the Chicago Cavalier Cadets. He then served as Chicago Cavaliers color guard instructor from 1978 to 1981. For the next 10 years he was the drill designer and visual coordinator of the Cavaliers. He was the driving force behind the organization’s steady rise during his decade of involvement, winning WGI championships in 1981, 1982 and 1983 then transferring his winter guard ideas and concepts for the contest field. Cavaliers became one of the elite DCI corps by the mid 1980s, winning their first DCI championship in 1992. His drill designs for Star of Indiana, Bluecoats and SkyRyders in the late 1980s helped each corps develop distinct identities with his careful coordination of musical staging and visual design.

Michael Kelly of Monroe, New Jersey
Mickey Kelly has dedicated more than 50 years of his life to drum corps activity, producing championship color guard and drill routines for several corps over a 10-year period. He handled drill design for World Open and NorthEast Circuit champion Shoreliners of Milford, Connecticut in 1977. He also designed the drill for Bengal Lancers of Trumbull, Connecticut when the corps won five state championships in the late 1970s. In the 1980s, he produced championship guards three times each for Hawthorne Caballeros and Connecticut Hurricanes. Over the past 10 years he has served as a general effect visual guard judge for DCA, DCI and East Coast Judges Association. In the 1980s, he served as visual guard caption head for 27th Lancers, Hawthorne Muchachos, Hawthorne Caballeros and Bushwackers. He was drill designer and show coordinator with Connecticut Hurricanes from 1990 to 1994. He also handled the color guard visual caption for Cadets of Bergen County in 1979 and 1980. His drum corps activity began playing a baritone horn with St. Raphael’s Golden Buccaneers of Bridgeport, Connecticut from 1961 to 1968. He marched in the color guard of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) Ridgemen from 1969 to 1971.

With this year’s induction ceremony, Mike Longdo joins his father Brad as a World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member, bringing the number of parent/son combinations to eight. They include Robert and Dale Adair, Joe and Florence Bernert and son Rip, Vince and David Bruni, Joe and Jim Mallen, William and Irene McGrath and son Bill, Harold and Robbie Robinson, Duke and John Terreri.

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 479 regular and associate members from the United States and Canada, who have contributed to the activity around the world.

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 web site at

Posted by on Monday, May 18th, 2015. Filed under DCA News, FrontPage Feature.