2022 World Drum Corps Hall Of Fame Special Category Inductees

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The individuals to be inducted in three special categories into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame at a banquet and ceremony in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in November are familiar to audiences far beyond the drum corps contest field.

These categories are professional career achievement; the president’s award for lifetime contributions and international achievement.

Al Chez: Outstanding Professional Career Achievement inductee:
Trumpeter Al Chez became well known to late night viewers after more than 25 years performing on television; first on Late Night with David Letterman on NBC then joining the CBS Orchestra in 1997 to continue performing on the Late Show on CBS. He will be inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in November in honor of his Outstanding Professional Career Achievement. His long music career began at age nine when he joined the Saints, the local drum corps run by his father.

His drum and bugle corps activity includes performing as soprano soloist for several outstanding corps from 1978 to 1985: Garfield Cadets, Reading Buccaneers and Bushwackers. He also has a long history as an instructor with Garfield Cadets, Bushwackers, Oakland Crusaders, Buccaneers, Crossmen and The Cadets. In recent years he has been a consultant with corps including Empire Statesmen, Fusion Core and Jersey Surf. He judged general effect music in Drum Corps International (DCI) contests in 2011.

His contributions to music activity have been recognized by several other organizations. He is a member of the Cadets Hall of Fame, Crossmen Hall of Fame, Buglers Hall of Fame, New Jersey Drum Corps Hall of Fame, JP Stevens High School Hall of Fame.

He has performed at more than 25 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions; multiple presidential inaugurations and White House concerts, John Lennon’s 50th birthday celebration in Tokyo, the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games closing ceremonies and the Concert for New York honoring the men and women lost in the 9/11 attack.

While he was still involved with drum corps in 1979 he joined forces with Jon Bon Jovi to form Atlantic City Expressway, a band that played shore clubs in New Jersey for many years. He has also played with Tower of Power, the Robert Cray Band, Spyro Gyra, Sting, Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi, Snoop Dog, James Brown and other internationally popular groups.

He has recently toured extensively with Al Chez and The Brothers of Funk Big Band, combining classic rock, soul, jazz and standard music to create a unique and powerful new sound.

Moe Knox: President’s Award inductee
For more than 55 years, Moe Knox took thousands of photographs that now make up a pictorial history of modern drum and bugle corps activity. He began in 1958 when he was a new member of the Connecticut Hurricanes and carried on for more than five decades until digital systems eventually replaced conventional photography. He was a familiar sight at major drum corps championship contests and smaller local events where fans would crowd around his photo table to review and order their favourite pictures.

His photos illustrating marching arts activities have appeared in countless magazines, newspapers, individual scrapbooks and online photo galleries and publications. He received the first Drum Corps Associates (DCA) Heritage Award in 2014 before cheering spectators at JKF Stadium in Bridgeport, Connecticut. DCA considers his work over the years as the definitive photographic modern history of competitive drum corps activity in the country.

The first major competition he photographed was the 1963 World Open in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Drum Corps News published several of his pictures, leading to a long-term association. His relationship with Drum Corps World publisher Steve Vickers extended for decades.

His works range from wide views of the corps on the contest field to closer images of smaller sections and individuals. He was careful to include consideration of the background so the subject of the photo is highlighted properly or the background complements the main image. He considered factors such as the height of the stadium lights or whether the stadium structure would make it difficult to properly frame the photo. A favourite strategy was to shoot performers with a stadium light behind, creating a spotlight or halo effect.

Maurice “Moe” Knox Jr. grew up in Milford, Connecticut and has lived in the area ever since. After graduating from high school in 1953 he joined the United States Navy, serving on the U.S.S. Coral Sea as a gunner’s mate 3rd class. After his term in service, he went to work at Singer Sewing Machine in Bridgeport as a photographic researcher before becoming staff photographer at the Milford Citizen newspaper.

His background as a bass drummer in high school and the U.S. Navy Band eventually led him to the Connecticut Hurricanes and drum corps contests as his newspaper assignments allowed. He soon decided to give up his newspaper position to make a business out of shooting drum corps contests, with a partner managing the photo table while he was roaming the sideline taking pictures.

His love of marching music emerged while he was in grade seven, when he marched in the drum line of a 12 member Boy Scouts trumpet band. He played bass drum in the Milford High School Marching Band.  During his U.S. Navy boot camp indoctrination, he played with the Recruit Drum and Bugle Corps in Bainbridge, Maryland. This interest in marching music set the stage for joining the Connecticut Hurricanes late in the 1958 contest season. He took photos of the Hurricanes at practice and field shows through October, the start of a part time activity that eventually turned in to his full time business.

J. Mark Reilly: International Achievement Inductee
Mark Reilly is an internationally known performer, public speaker, educator and consultant widely considered to be one of the foremost military music connectors in the world. He is currently serving as the acting commander of the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the only unit of its kind in the armed forces. The corps is part of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment and recalls the days of the American Revolution, performing in uniforms patterned after those worn by the musicians of General George Washington’s Continental Army.

He is currently the president and CEO of the Washington Tattoo, which aims to present a world-class international music and arts festival to the Washington, D.C. metro area.

He holds degrees in music education from Northwestern State and Boston universities and is an adjunct professor at West Virginia University. He has been accepted into the American Military University’s Master of Business Administration program and has made presentations at such leading institutions as the Amsterdam Conservatory, the Royal College of Music and the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria. He is pursuing a Masters in Music Education through Boston University.

He was a student of World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Nick Attanasio and earned three Northeastern States Drum Corps Association snare-drumming championships. He joined the Old Guard in 2002 after graduating from Northwestern and over several years served as corps sergeant major, drum group leader, snare drum section leader and percussion arranger.

His wide ranging experience in cultural events around the world come from his collaborations with such groups as the Top Secret Drum Corps of Basel, Switzerland and its director Erik Juillard (also a World Drum Corps Hall of Fame International inductee), the King’s Guard of Norway, Her Majesty’s Royal Marines and the Pontifical Swiss Guard. He served as the percussion arranger for Top Secret from 2005 to 2010. He has performed in such prestigious events as the Virginia Military Tattoo; the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo; the Edinburgh Tattoo; the inauguration of U.S. president Barack Obama and ceremonies marking the arrival in Washington of world leaders President Hu Jin Tao of China, Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.

He has presented clinics on Swiss and American rudimental drumming at universities across the country, including the University of Iowa, Marshall University, University of Kentucky, University of Southern Mississippi, Northwestern State University and University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is endorsed by Mapex Drums, Majestic Percussion, REMO, Innovative Percussion, Sabian, Prologix, Loyal Drums, Buchler Trommelbau.

Posted by on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022. Filed under Current News, DCI World, FrontPage Feature.