World Drum Corps Hall Of Fame Member Don Pesceone Passes Away

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WDCHOF_100X100World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Don Pesceone, who served as Drum Corps International’s (DCI) first full-time executive director from 1973 to 1994, passed away at age 75 on Wednesday July 8, 2015 at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital with complications from pulmonary fibrosis. He was a longtime resident of Villa Park, Illinois.

He was also a member of the DCI Hall of Fame, inducted in 1986 followed by induction to the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1989. He was also one of the first inductees of the Central States Judges Association (CSJA) Hall of Fame.

When he was hired as DCI’s first full-time executive director, the headquarters consisted of his desk at home and a few files. He gave up his regular job to build DCI, a considerable financial risk for his family, which included his wife Mary and three young children. Mary became the first important staff member of DCI, handling most of the office tasks. She is also a member of the DCI Hall of Fame, inducted in 1990.

He replaced two part-time DCI directors. He had previously worked for well-known music business McCormick’s Enterprises and in the credit department of Marquette Cement Manufacturing.

Under his direction, DCI soon hired more people to handle such elements as show promotion throughout the United States and Canada, public relations, and merchandising, resulting in a move into DCI’s first headquarters in the suburbs of Chicago.

During his years as DCI executive director, Don Pesceone worked closely with World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Pepe Notaro to establish the A/A-60 divisions in DCI, to allow smaller units to compete for an international championship with other corps of the same calibre. His drum and bugle corps activity included playing French horn with the Mel Tierney and Skokie Vanguard junior drum and bugle corps in the Chicago area and the Winfield Scott Rebels senior corps of Maywood, Illinois. He was a marching instructor and designer for the Vanguard, the Argonne Rebels and Salina Silver Sabres of Kansas and Stockton Commodores of California.

He was business manager of Skokie Vanguard in 1961 and 1962. He was a marching and manoeuvring judge with the All American and Central States Judges Association. He judged marching and manoeuvring and served as chairman of the board of directors of the Central States Judges Association from 1967 to 1972 and chief judge in 1971 and 1972.

He is survived by his wife Mary, daughters Jill Showalter, Cheryl Osorio and son Donald, sister Sharon Case and four grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Saturday, July 11 at Steuerle Funeral Home, 350 South Ardmore Ave., Villa Park, Illinois. Memorials can be sent to Friends of DCI, Attn: Scholarship fund/pesceone, 110 West Washington Street,
Suite C, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204.

The late Vince Bruni of Rochester, New York, who passed away in 2003, founded the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1976. Membership has grown from six charter members – Vince Bruni, George Bull, Jim Costello, Henry “Lefty” Mayer, Harvey Olderman, Vinnie Ratford – to 481 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. George Bull, the last surviving charter member, passed away in September 2014.

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

Posted by on Tuesday, July 21st, 2015. Filed under DCI World, FrontPage Feature.