Fred Ford’s involvement in drum corps activity began at age nine in 1942 when he joined the American Legion-sponsored Owego Elementary School Drum and Bugle Corps, playing bugle bells. In 1948, he joined the Legion corps as a glockenspiel player. Returning home from service with the United States Army in 1956, he helped reform the Legion corps. As drum major and business manager, he guided the corps through many identity changes, from the Checkups, Vagabonds, Challengers, White Knight Challengers, to the Southern Tiersmen before disbanding in 1969. He helped form the Apalachin Mello-Dears, serving as business manager and director over a 20-year period. He has served on the board of directors of the New York Canadian contest circuit association; as president and show co-ordinator of the Penn-York Circuit; as president of Girls’ Corps International, succeeding Pepe Notaro. He became associated with the Empire Statesmen in 1993 and has served in various support staff and advisory positions since then. He is still the president and director of the Mello-Dears Corporation, which owns and operates a bingo hall and banquet facility, a redemption center and a charter bus company. Funds raised by these operations are used to promote the creation of new drum and bugle corps in New York’s Southern Tier.