New York Skyliners Alumni Corps Prepare for 30th Season

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The New York Skyliners Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps wants YOU!

We always welcome new members in all sections, experienced or not. If you can play a horn or drum, twirl (or carry) a flag or rifle, or would like to learn and be a part of a musical unit steeped in the historical military style, please consider joining our ranks for this exciting season. Please visit our new website for more information including the schedule of rehearsals and performances

The New York Skyliners Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps have been entertaining crowds since being started in 1994 by former member(s) of the competing New York Skyliners Drum and Bugle Corps. The mission “To preserve and perpetuate the legacy music…” performed by the competition corps continues in 2023 as the Creative Team has designed a most entertaining music program for this special season.

In 2022, the corps resurrected the 1979 “Off the Line” arranged by Bob Pearson – “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story. Given the success of the 2021 Steven Spielberg movie, the corps has decided to expand upon the theme by incorporating condensed fragments of the popular 1974 Buddy Rich West Side Story chart arranged by Hy Dreitzer. That piece, which was used as the concert number in 1974, 75, 77 is a medley of West Side Story snippets and is quite long. In 2023, the beginning of the show will feature an abbreviated “Something’s Coming” from the 1979 chart followed by a ballad of “Maria” intro into “Somewhere”, and then an abbreviated, upbeat, and swingy reprise of “Something’s Coming”, all from the 1974 chart. The middle of the program will showcase the talented percussion section performing a Wes Myers penned feature. Following that, the ending of the show will be Melissa Manchester’s “Come in From the Rain” retained from last year segueing into “Every Streets A Boulevard (In Old NY)” from the 1953 Broadway musical “Hazel Flagg”. The legendary and recognizable NY Skyliners Signature, used timelessly over the years, originates from “Every Streets”, making it a perfect and complement ending to the show. The encore number can be no other than the 1942 hit “The ELKS Parade” by Bobby Sherwood.

2023 will be a year for the record books when it comes to Drum Major. Due to work/travel demand, long time DM Brad Coleman needs to step away from the corps and will be replaced by the legendary and iconic Jimmy Russo of Caballeros/St. Lucy’s fame. We are certain that Butch Anderson is smiling because as the story goes, this was a long time in the making. Back in the day, Butch was originally slated to go to Hawthorne from the Syracuse Brigadiers while Jimmy was expected to go to SKY as assistant to DM Walter “Winky” Winkelman. Jimmy happened to stop by a CABS drill rehearsal to watch and CABS Director Jimmy Costello unexpectedly offered him the DM position. Given that turn of events, Butch went to SKY. Both guys were a perfect fit. So, 2023 may very well be a match made in heaven.

The 2023 instructional staff is comprised of some very well-known names in the drum corps world.

  • Carl Ruocco (Show/Staff Coordinator – WDCHoF/NJDCHoF) – former snare drummer with SKY in the 60s/70s, Assistant Director of Star of Indiana, Director of the Crossman and Staff Coordinator of the Reading Buccaneers.
  • Frank Rogers (Asst. Show Coordinator- WDCHoF/NJDCHoF) – former member of Our Lady of Angels, visual tech for the Cadets of Brooklyn and Spirit of Newark, lifetime member and visual designer/instructor of SKY
  • Wes Myers (Percussion Caption Head/instructor – WDCHoF/NJDCHoF) – former member of St. Vinnies, Amboy Dukes, Ballantine Brewers, SKY (1965-70,74), instructor SKY (71-84)
  • Jack Murray (Percussion instructor – NJDCHoF) – former member of Oceanside Legionnaires (64-75), SKY Alumni (98-), professional drummer (71-83), instructor New Wave D&B Corps
  • John Herbert Molloy (Brass Caption Head/instructor – BHoF/Cadets HoF) – former member of Sunrisers, Bushwackers, Hawthorne Caballeros, Reading Buccaneers, Cadets, Cadets2, instructor Santa Clara, Cadets/Cadets2, Bushwackers, Fusion Core, current brass/music instructor Northern Valley HS, Old Tappan, NJ
  • Trish O’Shea (Color Guard instructor) – former Sundowners, Bushwackers, Syracuse Brigadiers, instructor Bushwackers (98-99), current color guard instructor Northern Valley HS, Old Tappan, NJ
  • Jimmy Russo (Drum Major – WDCHoF/NJDCHoF) – former member of Lady of Lourdes Cadets, Dumont Police Cadets, Fairlawn Police Cadets, Drum Major of St. Lucy’s Cadets
  • Bob “Jomba” O’Connor (Asst. Drum Major – WDCHoF/NJDCHoF) – former member of St. Pat’s Jersey City, St. Vinnies, SKY, professional musician, instructor Bridgemen, St Joe’s

Following the conclusion of the 2022 season, Rich Evans has decided to step down as corps director. The Skyliners Alumni would like to thank Rich for his many years of service as director of the corps. With that, a new administrative team is now in place.

The 2023 Administrative team is:

  • Director – Cathy Bonadonna
  • Assistant Director – Greg Cinzio
  • Business Manager – Debbie Nunn
  • Treasurer – Evelyn Krejci

The Board of Directors for 2023 is:

  • George Sullivan
  • Greg Cinzio
  • Debbie Nunn
  • Evelyn Krejci
  • Charles Vayda

The corps rehearses the 1st and 3rd Sundays of every month at noon in 2 primary locations depending on the schedule.

  • Dover American Legion, 2 Legion Place, Dover NJ 07801
  • Boonton Elks, 125 Cornelia St, Boonton NJ 07005

The New York Skyliners Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps is a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the State of New Jersey.

For more information,
contact our corps Director Cathy Bonadonna at skyalumdirector [at] gmail [dot] com
or visit us on Facebook at
or visit our website at

Posted by on Sunday, October 30th, 2022. Filed under Current News, DCA News, FrontPage Feature.