2022 World Drum Corps Hall Of Fame Associate Members

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Six new associate members will be inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame during the 2022 banquet and ceremony to be held in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in November. 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 new associates making up the class of 2022 are: Thomas Brown of Maricopa, Arizona; Gregory Cinzio of Garfield, New Jersey; Phil Dennesen of Beverly, Massachusetts; John Fisher of Estero, Florida; Rod Keppel of Webster, New York; Gary Richardson of Webster, New York.

Thomas Brown is already a member of the Reading Buccaneers Hall of Fame, after marching from 1970 to 1983 in the color guard, percussion section and sharing drum major duties with Hall of Fame member George Parks in 1979. He has instructed in a number of categories, including marching field tech with the Bucs from 1993 to 1995; visual caption and drill designer with Leigh Valley Chieftains from 1989 to 1992. Other responsibilities include Reading High School Band guard instructor from 1986 to 1988; marching band rifle instructor for Wissahickon High School Band from 1977 to 1979 and marching band and indoor guard instructor with Hatboro Horsham from 1973 to 1976. He was judging coordinator for Cavalcade of Bands from 2002 to 2004. He has been a visual judge with five different organizations: Drum Corps Associates (DCA), National Judges Association; US Bands, Cavalcade of Bands, Keystone Indoor Association.

Gregory Cinzio, a member of the Cadets Hall of Fame and the New Jersey Drum Corps Hall of Fame, has been active in the drum corps community for more than 50 years. He was a young drummer when he joined the Garfield Cadets in 1962. Three years later at the tender age of nine, he switched to soprano horn under the direction of Hall of Fame member Jimmy D’Amico. In all, he performed in field show competitions with the Cadets for 11 years. In the years since, he has served as a drum major, instructor, administrator, historian and researcher. He has instructed and performed with New York Skyliners alumni corps since 2006, and has served on the executive board. He helped Dave Shaw create the first Garfield alumni database, using an Apple MacIntosh computer. His research included interviews with eight charter members of the original 1934 Holy Name Cadets. He provided the historical content for the publication celebrating the Cadets 50th anniversary in 1984 and co-produced a 50th anniversary video.

Phil Dennesen first played French horn with St. Mary’s Crusaders in 1963. In the following years, he performed on mellophone as featured soloist with the Cardinals from 1968 to 1974, Legends of Drum Corps, St. Kevin’s Emerald Knights and Boston Crusaders Senior Corps from 2002. He has extensive experience as an administrator, including serving as a trustee with Crusaders Senior Corps and the Eastern Massachusetts Drum and Bugle Corps Association. He was director/organizer for the Cardinals Tribute Corps 70th anniversary in 2018 and co-director/organizer for the Arbella Tripute Corps 40th anniversary the following year. He has been a Cardinals Alumni Association committee member and volunteer since 1987. He was director of St. John’s winter guard, finalists at Winter Guard International (WGI) from 1992 to 1999. He volunteered at WGI regional and national championships for more than 10 years.

John Fisher has been a key contributor to Connecticut Hurricanes activities on and off the field going back to 1966 when he joined the horn line as a baritone player. He is a founding member, and first president, of the Hurricanes Alumni Association. He is also the Hurricanes first historian, creating an archive of the group’s history as well as biographies of all the members of the Hurricanes Hall of Fame and Members of Distinction. He has created a complete score archive and photo library containing more than 5,000 pictures. His audio library covers about 65 years of performances, while a video collection spans almost three decades of performances. He created and is web master of the alumni website, where the corps history is maintained. During his time with the organization, the Hurricanes won three Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championships and an American Legion national title. He is a member of the Hurricanes Hall of Fame and the Connecticut Alumni Hall of Fame. He has served on the Hurricanes board of directors for 30 years. In four seasons from 1977 through 1980 he served as a marching instructor while he was still playing contra in the horn line. He started his drum corps activities playing baritone horn with Oxford Explorers from 1963 to 1965.

Rod Keppel is highly regarded for his management and organizing skills as well high performance capabilities with many of the best known corps in upstate New York, including Rochester Crusaders, Ghost Riders mini-corps, Hamburg Kingsmen original and alumni corps, Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni and St. Joe’s Brass Ensemble. He is been an administrator with three active groups: business manager for Hamburg Kingsmen and St. Joe’s Brass Ensemble, board chairman of Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni. He is a co-founder of the Great Lakes Brass Alliance (GLBA), which aims to provide performing venues for brass ensembles and other groups from New York state and Ontario. GLBA operations were interrupted by the pandemic in 2020. From 1998 to 2004, he served as committee member and chair of the committee that presented The Classic, the popular spring concert at Theater On The Ridge in the Kodak complex in Rochester. He was treasurer for Rochester Crusaders in 2008 and 2009 and assistant director of Ghost Riders mini corps from 2008 to 2003. During the 1960s he played French horn with Dunkirk Murraymen junior corps, then went on to Interstate Ambassadors, Dunkirk Flying Dutchmen and Hamburg Kingsmen senior corps.

Gary Richardson joined the Summerville Shoremen Jr. Drum Corps in 1956 winning his first American Legion State Jr. Color Guard Championship in 1957 as “the rookie rifle guy”. He was a member of the Crusaders when they won the American Legion Sr. National Championship in Portland in 1965 and was a member of the N.Y. State Sr. American Legion Championship Color Guard from 1960 to 1967. He simultaneously led the Empire Statesmen and St. Joe’s Honor Guards, from 2004 to 2010. In 2011 Gary led a composite Honor Guard for the DCA finals consisting of 32 members in “A Salute to the Hero’s” with members from the Statesmen, Buccaneers, St. Joe’s, Reilly, and Brigadiers. The Empire Statesmen won Best Honor Guard at DCA finals in 2011, 2012, and 2013, until the corps ceased operation. Joining the White Sabers, Gary led them to five straight Best Honor Guard titles at DCA from 2014 to 2018. The Empire Statesmen and White Saber Honor Guards, under Gary’s command, led the opening ceremony at the I&E portion of DCA Championships from 2011 to 2018, and Gary was presented the Vince Bruni Showmanship Award at the DCA finals in 2016 and in 2018.

Posted by on Tuesday, April 26th, 2022. Filed under Current News, DCI World, FrontPage Feature.