Fred Johnson’s drumming career started with military bands. In 1946, he began drumming with the 180th Air Cadets. In the early 1950s, he drummed with the 8th Signals Regiment of Toronto, then joined the Second Signals, the group which became Canada’s Marching Ambassadors in 1954. He remained in the Ambassadors organization until 1970 as a drummer, instructor and member of the board of directors.. He also taught drumming and did field show design for such top-flight Canadian corps as Preston Scout House, La Salle Cadets of Ottawa, Sarnia Sertomanaires, Grantham Township Scarlet Princes, York Lions, Niagara Falls Memorial Militaires, Hamilton Viscounts, and Kitchener Flying Dutchmen. He was the Canadian individual snare drumming champion three years in a row: 1951, 1952 and 1953. He has judged with the Canadian Judges Association, Drum Corps Associates, Drum Corps International and the Red Carpet Association. He served as DCA’s drumming quality control manager, successfully designing a system to implement a contest scoring system for the “degree of excellence” concept first proposed by Eric Perrilloux. In the early 1990s, he founded Canadian Associates Drumming Rudimental Excellence (CADRE), a group dedicated to promoting rudimental drumming. The annual CADRE “Shake” weekends of workshops, exhibitions and good fellowship, held in southern Ontario in October, attract drummers from as far away as New Jersey.