Hall of Fame’s Frank Ferraro passes, leaving a remarkable record of success

Posted on December 22nd, 2020

World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Frank Ferraro, who produced a steady stream of state and national championships with the Buccaneers of Reading, Pennsylvania, passed away Sunday December 20 at age 88.  He had recently been hospitalized before moving to hospice care at ManorCare Health Services in Laureldale, Pennsylvania.

A mass of Christian burial arranged by Edward J. Kuhn Funeral Home will be celebrated privately.  Donations in lieu of flowers may be directed to the Reading Musical Foundation (RMF), 201 Washington Street, Reading, PA 19601.  Established more than 80 years ago, RMF is a public charity providing financial support for music presenters in Berks County, music scholarships by audition and in response to financial need and extensive music outreach, including programs in most Berks County’s schools.  Donations may also be made through the RMF website at readingmusicalfoundation.org  

During a13 year period beginning in the late 1950s the Buccaneers ran up a remarkable record of success at state and national levels.  While he served as director of music, arranger and drum major, the corps won two Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world championships, three Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national championships, eight American Legion (AL) state championships and eight VFW state titles.  Before leading the Buccaneers, he established a similar winning record during eight years as arranger and director of West Reading Corps, winner of seven AL state championships and four VFW state championships during that time.

As a member of the West Reading Police Cadets drum and bugle corps in 1951, he won the VFW national soprano individual championship at the New York City convention.

He served as music director or arranger with such other corps as West Reading, Schuylkill Haven, York White Roses, Milton Keystoners and the Westshoremen.

He was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1991.  He is also a member of the Reading Buccaneer Hall of Fame and the Cavalcade of Bands Hall of Fame.  He was an original key member and creator of the Cavalcade, a non-profit organization including more than 100 member schools competing at the interscholastic level. The group’s motto is “Education Through Musical Involvement”.

He was a judge with the Mid Atlantic, All American, DCA and CBA judges associations, adjudicating for such major events as the Festival of States, Cherry Festival, Miss America parade and more.

A 1950 graduate of Reading High School, he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Music from West Chester University and a Master of Arts Degree in Music from Columbia University, then worked as a music educator in Pennsylvania public schools for 40 years.  He was Supervisor of Music in the Wilson School District for twenty-nine years before retiring in 1993.  Under his direction, the Boyertown Area Junior High School Band won the AAA National Band Championships in Washington D.C.

He is survived by his wife Linda, daughter Veronica Mascaro and son Frank J. Ferraro Jr, two brothers and three grandchildren.

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