Reading Buccaneers Announce 2019 Hall Of Fame Inductees

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The Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps announced today that Chuck Jacobs, John Sando, and Mark Thurston will be inducted into the Buccaneers Hall of Fame at the corps’ annual year-end banquet on Saturday, November 30.

Jacobs, Sando and Thurston join 111 other members of the Buccaneers Hall of Fame. Each of these individuals has made a lasting impact on the Buccaneers and the drum corps activity.

CHUCK JACOBS’ tenure with the corps has spanned the unprecedented run of competitive and organizational success the Buccaneers have enjoyed since the 2004 DCA Championships. But make no mistake, Chuck has not been merely the beneficiary of that success; rather, he has been a significant contributor to that success, in many roles over an extended period of time. Chuck is an accomplished teacher, and he brings an educator’s style to his work with the corps. Chuck joined the corps for the now-immortal 2005 season as a tuba player. And immediately distinguished himself for his performance skills and, most important, for his leadership, esprit de corps and his commitment to the Buccaneers and the Buccaneer way of doing things. He continued as a stalwart in the tuba section in 2006 and 2007. In 2006, after only one year in the corps, Chuck was honored to serve as Horn Sergeant, a role he repeated in the corps’ 50th anniversary season in 2007. Chuck’s leadership skills took him to next to the podium, where he served as assistant drum major in 2008 and as drum major in 2009 and 2010. He provided steady, reliable leadership to the corps on the podium and, most important, off it. He led the 2009 Buccaneers to the then-highest ever score, all while the corps was mourning the sudden and tragic loss of beloved member Geoff Silver. Chuck’s steady leadership helped the corps through this heartbreaking experience and the corps responded by honoring Geoff with a performance for the ages. Chuck met his lovely bride Melissa in the corps and they were married following the 2010 season. Chuck returned to the corps in 2012 as a tuba tech, and helped guide the Buccaneers to another world championship, eclipsing its record for the all-time highest score. Chuck then stepped away for a few years to focus on his brand new family. But he was never far away from the corps he loved. Following the 2016 season, Chuck volunteered to chair the corps’ signature home show, Big Sounds in Motion. Big Sounds had long-held a well-earned reputation as being one of the best-run shows in DCA, and Chuck had very large shoes to fill. He has done so admirably, and for the past three years has chaired our signature event with style and class. He has kept and built upon all the things that have made this event a success and has also managed to add his own unique touch to the event. Planning and executing an event like Big Sounds is a major undertaking that consumes countless hours of planning and dedication. Chuck has also been actively involved in supporting The Buccaneer Classic, the Spring Preview and other corps events. Chuck has been a science teacher in Abington since 2000. In addition to his work with the Buccaneers, he has taught numerous marching bands during this time, including Abington HS, Plymouth-Whitemarsh HS, Haverford HS, William Tennent HS and Hatboro-Horsham HS. Chuck leads by example, not by antics or noise. He has a calm and steady demeanor and he can be counted on to use his dry, often self-deprecating sense of humor to diffuse tension or build rapport. For more than a decade, he has made the Buccaneers a stronger organization because of his involvement and has made the people around him better because of their association with him. His commitment and dedication to the organization may not be the loudest or most visible, but it runs deep and is impactful in the best possible way. For his significant and varied contributions to the success of the Buccaneers, and for the power of his example as a Buccaneer, Chuck Jacobs is worthy of induction into the Buccaneers Hall of Fame.

As a member of both Buccaneer organizations, JOHN SANDO has been and is one of those “backbone” people. They are those individuals that an organization relies on to make it succeed – reliable, devoted, dedicated, energetic, enthusiastic, committed, loyal, hard-working, conscientious and generous individuals. Members like John provide the strength and support required to keep an organization vigorous, solid and strong. John performed on the baritone in the Buccaneers horn line in 1969, 1975 and 1980 through 1983. He was a charter member of the Buccaneer Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps, performing baritone from 1987 through 1994 and from 2007 to the present day. From 1995 through 2006, John was serving his country with the Army National Guard. John has served as Secretary of the Alumni Association since 2016. His performance resume includes Hershey Chocolatiers (1965-1968, 1973-1974, 1978-1979) and the Belvederes (1970-1971, 2008-present). John is always ready to help wherever help is needed. If someone in any of their corps affiliations is in need of assistance or support John will be there to lend a hand, offer support or just lend an ear. He has a genuine “heart of blue” and demonstrates his sincere, honest, heartfelt concern and caring for his fellow Buccaneers, family and friends. Along with his wife Norma, he has offered his loving support to many members of the Buccaneers over the years. He has “adopted” members that may have required some special attention or additional care and support due to that member’s family or financial situation. He remains in contact with many of these individuals today as they have become like family. John can always be found in the stands at competitions during the summer season, and he is a fixture in the Buccaneer Blue Block during DCA Championship weekend. He is a driving force behind the “Booty Bags” that mean so much to the competing corps members. For many years, John Sando has shown exceptional dedication and support, and most importantly, the “heart of a Buccaneer,” worthy of induction into the Buccaneers Hall of Fame.

In the world of marching percussion, MARK THURSTON is a living legend. His contributions to the marching arts have been significant and enduring. He has influenced countless Buccaneers performers and instructors, both as a result of his direct roles with the corps and his extended roles in the marching arts. Mark first played snare drum for the Royaleers at the advanced age of 7. His performance credits also include the Yankee Cadets, Avant Garde and the Crossmen. His instruction resume includes 14 years (1983-1996) with the Crossmen as arranger, instructor and percussion caption head. In the mid-1980s he served the Buccaneers as a percussion consultant. From 2012-2015 and from 2018-present, Mark has served as the Buccaneers’ Ensemble Director and Program Consultant, bringing his considerable talent to help the Buccaneers continue setting standards of innovation and excellence in design and performance, with a hallmark being excellence in every section, in every caption. Mark has also been the long-time percussion caption head and arranger for Spring-Ford High School. He has been a judge for Cavalcade of Bands, WGI, DCI and DCA. Countless performers whose lives have been shaped by their participation in indoor percussion programs – including generations of Buccaneers – have been shaped by Mark’s leadership. Mark has served as Director of Percussion for WGI since 1999. Mark has been inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, the Crossmen Hall of Fame and the WGI Hall of Fame. For his innovative and exemplary contributions to the Buccaneers’ success, and for this sustained and dramatic contributions to the marching arts, Mark Thurston has earned induction into the Buccaneers Hall of Fame.

1995 inductees: Norman DeTemple, Bruce Englehart, LaVern Rohrbach, Roy Miller, Ron Gehris, Edward Johnston, John Flowers, George Parks, Ned Baldinger and Frank Ferraro.

1996: John Ferraro, Willard Marcks, Tony Yaklich, Roland Hoffman and Elmer Winzer.

1997: John Derr, Diane Koenig, Michael Vilardo, Joe Jasinski and Donnie Solinger.

1998: Wilson Goodwin, Glenn Rhine, Bruce Young, Gary Koenig and Jack Wells.

1999: Norm Cimerol, Jim Gruber, Lou Werner, Candy Golding and Robert Weidenhammer.

2000: Thomas Brown, Grant Hill, Earl Price, Mike Doherty and Wayne Kauffman.

2001: Bill Battaglia, Louis Tierno, Fred Windish, Gary Smith and Darrell Weyman.

2002: Victor Brown, Mike Luckenbill, Donald Walls, Rich Koenig and Henry Smith.

2003: Ronald Ferraro, Phil Rabenold, Dan Fitzpatrick and John Rozum.

2004: Tom Bitner, Robert Gruber, Bernard Brown and Howard Nagel.

2005: Lois Tierno, Joel Miller, Randy Kerschner and Curt Rissmiller.

2006: Glen Brumbach, Francis Chupick, Matt Krempasky and Amy Snook.

2007: Ron Fisher, George Price, Carl Bagenstose, Roberta Doherty and Rich Hammond.

2008: Ken Honsberger, Ralph Pace, Jay Landis and Randy Mutter.

2009: Josh Decker, Chris Feist, Bill Snook and Lee Umberger

2010: Martie Hetherington, Al Cola, Robbie Robinson and Steve Vincent

2011: Wilson Black, Althea Mazar, Carl Ruocco, and Jerry Ware

2012: Dwight Bomberger, James Gaiewski, Yvonne Landis, and Ernie Shott

2013:Andrea Gwyn, Mary High, Marty Holahan and Dan Wildonger

2014: Bobby Jones, Laura Kauffman, Heidi Sarver, Wayne VanOstenbridge, Karen Wildonger and Randy Roy

2015: Lee Deshler, Eric Kitchenman, Dan McGrogan and Tom Moore

2016: Hank Manfra, Dino Myers and Lou Zanine

2017: Wally Cherasaro, Deanna Garber, Matthew Heckman and Johnny Trujillo

2018: Julia Confer, Mark Lortz, Mike McMullen and Richard Stoner

2019: Chuck Jacobs, John Sando and Mark Thurston

The Buccaneers are seeking members in all sections for the 2019 edition of the Balance in Blue. On Sunday, December 1, 2019, the Buccaneers will host Membership Day 2020, at Twin Valley High School, Elverson, PA. Registration begins at 11:00. All persons interested in learning more about membership in the Reading Buccaneers and being part of the 2020 corps are invited to contact Membership Manager Matt Heckman to indicate their interest. Visit us on Facebook or at for more information or email membership [at] readingbuccaneers [dot] org.

Founded in 1957, the mission of the Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps is to provide men and women of all ages a unique and enriching educational experience in the performing arts in which they develop as individuals and as performers. The Buccaneers were founding members of Drum Corps Associates and won the first-ever DCA World Championships in 1965 and won sixteen additional titles since.

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Posted by on Sunday, November 10th, 2019. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.