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Greatest Corps Director?


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Major Costa who molded Our Lady of My Carmel from Brooklyn passing his leadership skills to Joe Genero, Carman Cluna, Sonny Calvagna, Al Koch and more, who then led Our Lady of Loretta, St. Rocco's, St. Joe's Patrons/St Rita's Brassmen and on and on all the way up to the NY Skyliners and CT Hurricanes ... hard to match what he propogated throughout the drum corps lineage that followed him ...

Edited by ajlisko
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Jim Jones Casper Troopers.   Founded a junior corps in the "Middle of Nowhere" and groomrd them into a National Champion.  

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Jones set the prototype for the touring corps ... and his leadership spawned the likes of Emmonds, Meehan and Sanford to travel further West to define the future of corps like Santa Clara and the Blue Devil's ... all paying it forward ...

Edited by ajlisko
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This is a great question for those who have been on the scene for a while. Unquestionably there have been those who were "great" in terms of advancing their own corps, and some have already been noted here.

But a deeper question is suggested: Who was the greatest in advancing the entire activity?

It's hard to top Jim Jones for almost single-handedly modeling the notion that there could be drum corps virtually anywhere; or Mickey Petrone and Lefty Mayer for birthing and sustaining DCA; or the Bernerts for advancing the cause of gender equality. Don Pescione was once a corps director, as was Dan Acheson. They ultimately accomplished great things for all drum corps.

Then there are the ones like Jim Latham (Minnisink Warriors), Fr. Wochtecha (St. Vincent's), Art Forcier and Fr. DeProfio (St. Raphael's) and so many others who guided corps in the inner cities at a time when young people there were in desperate need of a positive outlet. (They still are.)

It comes down to how one defines greatness. I suspect there is more than one legitimate way and no best answer to this question.

Still, let's name all the great ones we can here. They deserve the recognition.

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How can there not be a mention of Jimmy Costello of the Caballeros? His accomplishments of over 25 National Legion/DCA Championships is amazing in any competition based activity, including sports. He also was the training ground for many in the corps who then went on to be successful directors in their own right. I think today's term is 'influencers'.

But, if we are to measure success by another dimension, let's consider the effect on the lives of people who played in the Caballeros. He helped many members in their personal, health and business lives for over 50 years. Quietly, without seeking recognition for it and even without drawing attention to the people who needed his help. There is a measure of greatness way beyond the won/loss record in our little corner of the world.

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Gunther is spot on. Coz is a fine example.

Just consider how many Cabs became instructors and went on to influence a couple of generations of drum corps participants. (D'Amico, Angelica, Hayes, Rodriguez,...et al.)

The success and renown of the corps from which they emerged, due in large part to Jimmy's guidance, provided them the street credibility to be "influencers" in their own right.

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