2017 World Drum Corps Hall Of Fame Inductees

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Three of the six individuals chosen for 2017 induction into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame have made outstanding contributions in the percussion field in North America and overseas, beginning more than 40 years ago in the mid-1970s.

The 2017 banquet and induction ceremony will take place in Rochester, New York on Labor Day weekend, one of several special events to be held during the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championship tournament weekend on September 1, 2 and 3. There is no formal connection between the two organizations although the Hall of Fame induction banquet is traditionally held on the DCA championship weekend.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is one of the highlights of the DCA weekend, along with individual and small ensemble competitions; mini corps contest, day-long preliminaries on Saturday for competing corps in two categories, an Alumni Spectacular field show concert Sunday morning and championship finals Sunday evening. The Hall of Fame was founded in 1976 by the late Vince Bruni who served as director of two national championship corps in two different eras: the Rochester Crusaders and the Empire Statesmen of Rochester.

The winners of the Hall of Fame’s 2017 Professional Achievement Award, the President’s Award and the names of those to be inducted as associate members will be announced shortly.

The new regular Hall of Fame inductees and their areas of specialization are: Alan Katz, Administration; John “Corky” Whitlock, Brass; Tom Aungst, Ralph Hardimon and Charles Poole, Percussion; Michael Cesario, Visual.

The new inductees and categories are:
Administration: Alan Katz of West Milford, New Jersey
Alan Katz has established notable achievements in performing and instruction to go along with his outstanding record in administration during a drum and bugle corps career that spans almost 50 years since he first played lead baritone horn with the Monarchs of Oakland/Wayne, New Jersey in 1968.

His title with Hawthorne Caballeros since 2002 has been business manager but in effect he has been directing the corps during those years. While he has been serving as business manager the Caballeros have won the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world championship and the American Legion national championship. He has simultaneously also served as chairman of the Cabs at the Beach and Grand Prix championship contests and held a position on the Caballeros board of trustees.

His administration responsibilities began by serving as assistant director of Kings Regiment of Wayne in 1977. He moved to the Caballeros management team in 1988, serving as fund raising chair and assistant business manager before becoming business manager. He was a visual staff member when Caballeros were three-time visual caption champions and undefeated DCA champions in 1995.

He was solo baritone player with Hawthorne from 1979 to 1993, after playing lead baritone with Kings Regiment. While he performed with Hawthorne, the Caballeros won the American Legion national championship, Dream Contest title, the American Legion New Jersey state title and undefeated DCA championships in 1984 and 1985.

He is a recipient of the Caballeros of All Years award. He was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2002 as an associate member.

Brass: John “Corky” Whitlock of St. Paul, Minnesota
Since 1959, “Corky” Whitlock has been brass arranger for more than 20 corps throughout Midwestern states and Washington state, including Blue Notes, Blue Stars, Buddhist Scouts, Great Northern Railway, Northernaires, Rivermen, St. Paul Scouts and Minnesota Brass. During the same time period, he was brass instructor with more than a dozen corps. His contributions are largely responsible for helping to insure the survival of drum and bugle corps activity through the 1960s and 1970s in northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s upper peninsula.

He was music director and soloist with Minnesota Brass, which he helped co-found, while also serving as show coordinator.

He has also been music director of Rivermen and St. Paul Scouts. He was previously a soprano soloist with Hamms Indians and Laidlaw Torreadores senior corps. He spent a year marching with St. Francis de Sales in 1956 then became a soloist with St. Paul Scouts from 1957 to 1964.

He has been a brass judge since 1964 with Drum Corps International (DCI), Drum Corps Midwest (DCM), Central States Judges Association and the Federation of Contest Judges, adjudicating contests across the country as well as DCI preliminary and final competitions. He was part of the group that initiated female membership in drum and bugle corps activity.

He instituted the mini-corps concept in the Midwest with the Minnesota Brass small corps using traditional and non-standard drum corps instruments in a jazz/big band setting. He is a charter member of the Century College Adult Jazz Ensemble, which has toured in South America and China, performing alongside jazz performers including Clark Terry, Bill Watrous, Wayne Bergeron, Eric Marienthal, Andy Martin, Terry Gibbs and others. He was the founder, leader and mellophone player with the Dirty Shorts Brass Band, a New Orleans styled group.

He is a member of Bugles Across America. He has received the Brassy Award, considered the Minnesota Brass Hall of Fame and lifetime achievement award. He became an associate member of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2002.

Percussion: Tom Aungst of New Bedford, Massachusetts
Tom Aungst is widely recognized throughout the drum and bugle corps community as a top-level leader, designer, composer, instructor, clinician, adjudicator and performer. During almost 40 years of activity, he has served as percussion arranger, caption head and musical consultant with junior and all age corps across the country, most recently as percussion caption head and arranger with The Cadets of Allentown, Pennsylvania. He provided the same services to The Cadets from 1985 to 2008.

Other DCI corps he has also been associated with are Blue Stars, Pacific Crest and Carolina Crown. The DCA corps he has worked with since 2009 are Hawthorne Caballeros, Connecticut Hurricanes, Fusion Core and Cadets2.

He performed as a member of The Cadets’ percussion section from 1981 to 1984 before serving as percussion caption head and arranger until 2008. During his time with the organization, The Cadets won nine DCI World Championships and seven DCI high percussion awards. He was already a two-time world champion when he joined The Cadets. He drummed with Reading Buccaneers in 1979 and 1980 when they won the DCA World Championships.

He has produced championship percussion groups in Winter Guard International (WGI) indoor percussion activity. As Director of Percussion since 1998, students from grades 5 to 12 under his direction in the Dartmouth, Massachusetts school system have captured five world class titles and consistently placed among the WGI’s top three Scholastic World programs. His Dartmouth programs have also won 15 high percussion awards at US Bands National Championships, twice receiving perfect scores, and 24 high percussion awards at New England Scholastic Band Association (NESBA) Marching Band Championships and four more perfect scores.

His composing and instructing style for all levels emphasizes highly demanding technical passages demonstrating artistic skill and musicality. He is a long-serving judge with the Percussive Arts Society marching section, US Bands and NESBA Indoor Percussion.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from West Chester University and a Master’s degree in Jazz Performance from Rutgers University. He is a Vic Firth, Yamaha, Zildjian and Remo artist.

Percussion: Ralph Hardimon of Denver, Colorado
Ralph Hardimon is widely considered the innovator in marching percussion ensemble composition and arranging that pushed drum and bugle corps activity into a higher level of integration and musicality by highlighting the voice of the entire percussion ensemble. His scores made use of the full spectrum of percussion elements, including the battery and front ensemble.

While he was director of percussion for Santa Clara Vanguard from 1976 to 1990, his ensembles won five high percussion awards in driving the Vanguard to four DCI world championship titles. He was a key member of the Anaheim Kingsmen drum line during the first years of DCI in the early 1970s, helping set a new standard in rudimental performance and execution that attracted a new level of interest in youth around the world.

He is a world traveller himself, conducting clinics in the Japanese cities of Nagoya, Tokyo, Kagoshima, Osaka, Okayama and Yokohama. He has conducted drum clinic tours for both Pearl and Premier Drums. His signature drum sticks are considered the industry standard, used by ensembles around the world.

He has served as percussion coordinator, arranger or consultant for other DCI corps, including Blue Knights, Bluecoats, Capitol Regiment, The Academy, Troopers, Kingsmen, Blue Devils, Crossmen and Freelancers.

His extensive judging history includes service with WGI percussion, Southern California Percussion Alliance, Bands of America and Percussive Arts Society. His percussion activities began more than 50 years ago in 1965 as a snare drummer with the Los Angeles Police Band. His notable achievements in the recording industry include Grammy nominations in the jazz and rhythm and blues categories. He has been a member of the DCI Hall of Fame since 2004. He has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Sabian. He was inducted into the Santa Clara Vanguard Hall of Fame in 2014.

Percussion: Charles Poole of Everett, Massachusetts
Charley Poole has been a fixture on the New England drum and bugle corps scene for more than 60 years since he first played snare drum with St. Paul’s Drum Corps in 1956. He moved to Prospect Drum Corps for seven years starting in 1962, then played snare drum with Boston Crusaders in 1970 and 1971.

He won individual snare drum titles at the state, regional and national levels: four Connecticut state championships; four Northeastern state championships and three national individual snare drum titles.

He has been the arranger, caption head and instructor for many of the best-known New England drum lines, including 27th Lancers of Revere, Massachusetts from 1977 to 1986; East Coast Jazz of Malden, Massachusetts; Fitchburg Kingsmen; Connecticut Yanks Ancient Fife and Drum Corps of Bristol; Fifth Maine Regiment of Portland; St. Aedan’s Emerald Cadets of New Haven and Connecticut Hurricanes.

He has served as a judge with DCI, DCA, WGI and Bands of America. He has taught, arranged and adjudicated drum corps, percussion ensemble and marching band events across the United States, Canada and Japan.

He is a member of the National Association for Music Educators, Massachusetts Music Educators Association, National Association of Rudimental Drummers and the Marching Percussion Committee of the Percussive Arts Society. He has presented clinics for the Massachusetts Music Educators Association and Ohio Music Conferences. He is a signature artist with Pro-Mark Drum Sticks, Evans Drum Heads, Zildjian Cymbals and Pearl Drums. He is a member of the Massachusetts Drum Corps Hall of Fame and the DCI Hall of Fame.

Visual: Michael Cesario of Palm City, Florida
Michael Cesario defined the look of present day drum and bugle corps through his creation of a dazzling array of uniforms, guard costumes and flags that helped produce the distinctive personalities of corps in the United States and Canada.

He aims to have corps involve and engage the audience through a high level of communication. His achievements as uniform and costume designer combined with contributions as program consultant and advisor have helped shape successful editions of such award winning groups as Garfield Cadets, DCI champions 1983 – 1985; Phantom Regiment, DCI champions 1996; Syracuse Brigadiers, DCA champions 1997, 1999 – 2002.

His wide knowledge of various musical idioms and instincts for theatrical engagement come together to create successful field show productions. He has worked with many popular and successful corps including The Academy, Star of Indiana, Troopers, Colts, Madison Scouts, Dutch Boy, Glassmen, Cavaliers, Pioneer, Carolina Crown, Blue Devils, Crossmen, Connecticut Hurricanes, Empire Statesmen.

He developed the first DCI Tour of Champions, which has helped increase exposure to the public for the top corps of the day. Serving as host and research expert on DCI telecasts on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has also helped increase audiences.

He has been DCI’s artistic director since 2010 after previously serving as visual rep on the DCI Task Force for more than 20 years. His willingness to engage with and motivate members and staff of the corps he works with is an important factor in producing successful outcomes.

Regular World Drum Corps Hall of Fame members are honored for their dedication, contributions and achievements over a long period of time in categories including administration, arranging, adjudication, instruction, innovation and design. Associate members have dedicated at least five consecutive years of service to any drum and bugle corps as a performer or in a support role.

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 the 1940s.

For more information about the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame visit the web site at http://www.worlddrumcorpshof.org

Posted by on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.