George Takei advancing on another frontier with his induction to World Drum Corps Hall of Fame for Distinguished Professional Achievement

Posted on April 28th, 2019 by Dan Rippon

George Takei, the actor, director, author and social activist best known for portraying Hikaru Sulu, the helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek television series, will be inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame for Distinguished Professional Achievement during the annual banquet and award ceremony to be held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on Friday, August 30.

As a teenager, he played baritone horn for the Commodore Perry Scouts drum and bugle corps, which was associated with Los Angeles Boy Scout Troop 379 of the Koyasan Buddhist Temple. The corps was sponsored by Commodore Perry American Legion Post 525 and the Temple.

His views about state and local politics, human rights and Japan-United States relations have helped attract more than 10 million Facebook page followers. He has received awards and accolades for his work on human rights and Japan-United States relations, including his work with the Japanese American National Museum.

A strong proponent for LGBT rights, he also takes special interest in discussions about immigrants and government immigration policy.

He is named after King George VI of the United Kingdom, whose coronation took place just a few weeks after his birth in 1937. During World War II, when he was just five years old, his family was moved from their Los Angeles home to an internment camp in converted horse stables at Santa Anita Park, then to the Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas and then to the Tule Lake War Relocation Center back in California. After the war they returned to Los Angeles.

After studying architecture at the University of California, Berkeley he transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles where he received a Bachelor of Arts in theatre in 1960 and a Master of Arts in theatre in 1964.

After working in movies for several years, in 1965 he was cast as astro-sciences physicist Hikaru Sulu in a second pilot production for Star Trek. When NBC accepted the show he continued as Sulu, playing the ship’s helmsman. Since then, he has also appeared in six Star Trek films. Regular appearances on the science fiction convention circuit take him around the world.

He began working in Hollywood in the late 1950s, providing the dubbed English voice for characters in the Japanese monster films Rodan and Godzilla Raids Again. Early in his career, he appeared in several Hollywood movies alongside such actors as Frank Sinatra, Richard Burton, Jeffrey Hunter, Alec Guinness, James Caan and Gary Grant.

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Two inductees in World Drum Corps Hall of Fame International category helped create flourishing drum and bugle corps community across Japan

Posted on April 28th, 2019 by Dan Rippon

Post Updated: June 12, 2019

Two men who have helped create interest and attract support for drum and bugle corps activity across Japan will become members of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in the International category at this year’s banquet and induction ceremony to be held Friday August 30 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Sadao Yokota, president of Dynasty Japan Corporation since 1983, and the founder of Marching in Okayama, one of Japan’s major long-running drum corps contests is generally considered the “Godfather of Drum Corps” in that country. Shinichi Onodera is the former drum major and subsequent director of the multi-time Japanese national champion Renaissance Vanguard.

Since the early 1980s, Sadao Yokota has worked tirelessly to stimulate interest to help create a drum and bugle corps culture in Japan by organizing clinics featuring well-known North American drum corps experts.

He has been president of the International Marching Institute since 1994 and was general coordinator of the Marching Okayama Drum and Bugle Corps Championship from 1993 to 2014.

He served as judge administrator for the Okayama Top State Drum and Bugle Corps Championship for more than 10 years. For the Marching in Okinawa Marching Contest, he has judged general effect music and general effect visual captions while also serving as judge administrator. He also served as contest advisor and took responsibility for activity management and the adjudication system for Drum Corps Japan Association.

Noting the entertainment value of the Disney World Future Corps, a small unit with music and visual impact, he organized a visit by Japanese marching instructors and band directors to Disney World. He then helped arrange financing along with the City of Okayama and Disney World Enterprises for a 1997 visit to Japan by Future Corps, the group’s first overseas tour, that has inspired Japanese units to create more entertaining shows with high general effect. He was named a Disney Future Corps honorary member in 1997.

In 1983 he began organizing Drum Corps International (DCI) observation tours to the United States for Japanese drum corps instructors and administrators, providing brass, percussion, visual and guard clinics as well as exposure to American drum corps in rehearsals.

At the same time, he facilitated drum corps tours across the Pacific Ocean in the other direction, arranging tours to Japan by such American drum corps as Concord Blue Devils, who have made three visits, Disney Future Corps, Primary Colors, Micro Magic of Orlando. This exposure to top American drum corps entertainment expanded the popularity of the activity across the entire country among both fans and performers, and provided superior educational opportunities for Japanese drum corps members and staff.

To establish the importance of color guard visual pageantry in Japan, Sadao Yokota introduced Winter Guard International (WGI) activity to the country by inviting five-year consecutive WGI champion San Jose Raiders to Japan in 1992.

In 2010 he coordinated the initial visits to China of the Yokohama Scouts Junior Drum and Bugle Corps and AIMACHI at the Shanghai World Expo, at the International Shanghai Spring Music Festival. He introduced contemporary drum corps in Shanghai and promoted corps style marching to school bands. Chinese band instrument manufacturers have since shown increasing interest in drum corps activities.

Shinichi Onodera began his drum corps marching activity in Japan in 1969, continuing until 1997. He was a trumpet player then served as drum major from 1979 until 1991. In 1992, the corps travelled outside Japan for the first time, finishing ninth in Division II at the Drum Corps International (DCI)

championships in the United States. He left the corps in 1997 but still provided outside services, including coordination with U.S. staff.

Early in 1970, he started to volunteer with Japan Marching Band Association at competitions and other events. From 1999 to the present, he has coordinated technical productions for the Association’s several companies and venues. He has also handled coordination/communications between Japan Marching Band Association and Drum Corps International. For many years, he has also coordinated judging arrangements with DCI for Drum Corps Japan.

He continues to work to maintain good relations with domestic organizations in Japan and overseas organizations and bands.

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Seven new regular members will be inducted on August 30 2019

Posted on April 28th, 2019 by Dan Rippon

The World Drum Corps Hall of Fame will induct seven new regular members during the 2019 banquet and induction ceremony to take place in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on Friday August 30.

The inductees are: James Elvord, brass; Shirley Stratton Dorritie, visual; John Meehan, brass; Gene Monterastelli, administrative; Jay Morlot, administrative; George Oliviero, visual; Dave Vose, percussion.

The new members and their areas of specialization are:

Administrative: Jay Morlot of Norwalk, Connecticut

While under the direction of Jay Morlot, Harrison Bushwackers won six Drum Corps Associates (DCA) world championships. He served as director/president of Bushwackers from 1987 to 2011 and since 2015 has continued to serve as co-executive director and board member.

For most of those years, he also performed in the percussion section, beginning in 1982. He is widely admired for his vision and desire to see DCA and drum and bugle corps in general move forward. Among other propositions involving DCA, he proposed the use of B flat instruments.

His drum corps activities began when he marched in the percussion section of Hawthorne Muchachos in 1976 and 1977. From 1979 to 1981 he was a member of the percussion section of Fantasia III drum and bugle corps from Little Falls, New Jersey, formed by the merger of Impeerial Knights, Dynamic Royalairs and Valley Grenadiers.

He was named a member of the New Jersey Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2015.

Administrative: Gene Monterastelli of Casper, Wyoming

Since 2002, Gene Monterastelli has been offering his extensive visual instruction and management skills, at no cost to any of the corps he works with for two or three years. During this period, he has been a management consultant with Santa Clara Vanguard, Bluecoats, Pacific Crest, Mandarin and Oregon Crusaders. His earlier administrative duties included serving as Casper Troopers assistant director and visual caption head from 1966 to 1975. He was Phantom Regiment management consultant and visual staff member from 2002 to 2004.

His extensive involvement with Drum Corps International (DCI) includes serving on the three person DCI Hall of Fame screening committee for more than 10 years, serving as the DCI rules committee chair, initiating an annual DCI drum major seminar and education program. He also initiated the Jim Jones Leadership Award, presented to drum majors in a competition that includes conducting skills, an evaluated questionnaire and community involvement outside drum corps activities.

He was visual judge with the Central States Judging Association for more than 45 years up to 2012 and visual judge and caption head with DCI from 1976 to 2001.

Over a 50-year span, he served as visual designer and instructor for Ottawa Crusaders, visual instructor with Casper Troopers, and visual staff member with Phantom Regiment, Santa Clara Vanguard, Bluecoats, Pacific Crest and Boston Crusaders. His drum corps activity began in 1958, when he played baritone bugle for four years with Marquette Crusaders of Ottawa, Illinois.

He was inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Central States Judging Association Hall of Fame in 2000.

Brass: James Elvord of Chicago, Illinois

James Elvord taught some of the very best horn lines in the drum corps activity, while providing insights on ways to improve brass judging that helped move the adjudication model away from counting errors (ticks) to an evaluative system. He pioneered and developed the system of adjudication used in SoundSport competitions during DCI national championship events.

While he was brass caption head and program coordinator, Madison Scouts won the DCI world

championship in 1975, and won the high brass caption award three years in a row in 1973, 1974 and 1975. Madison Scouts were also US Open champions in 1970. Since 1974, he has been a brass consultant with a dozen well known corps in the United States, Canada and Japan.

He was named a member of the DCI Hall of Fame in 1997. Many people he mentored are also members of the DCI Hall of Fame, including Dan Acheson, DCI executive director and Scott Stewart, former Madison Scouts director. Both are also World Drum Corps Hall of Fame members.

He has served on the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national judging panel; been DCI brass adjudicator since 1982; served as music adjudicator with Central States Judging Association and Bands of America.

While serving as brass caption head or consultant from 1968 to 1980, he worked with Madison Junior Scouts and Explorer Scouts, Capitolaires All Ladies, Chicago Cavaliers, 27th Lancers, Santa Clara Vanguard, Colt 45s and Erie Thunderbirds. His drum corps activity began when he played French horn with Madison Junior Scouts in 1962 and 1963, then French horn and baritone with Madison Explorer Scouts until 1970.

Brass: John Meehan of Martinez, California

John Meehan’s brass performance, instructing and arranging skills have played a major role in keeping Concord Blue Devils at the peak of drum corps activity. He has won 13 DCI world championship titles, including one performing as solo soprano in 1986 and 12 more as instructor. Blue Devil horn lines have won 14 DCI Jim Ott High Brass Awards with his participation: twice as performer and 12 times as instructor. Blue Devils were World Music Contest champions in 2005.

He is considered the pre-eminent music arranger in marching arts activity, composing and designing for all levels and age groups including drum and bugle corps, marching bands, professional groups, Winter Guard International (WGI) groups. Groups around the world have performed his compositions, resulting in personal acclaim and praise directed at drum corps activity. His composing and arranging high school band clients have won many state marching band titles and Bands of America (BOA) regional titles, ldthen moved on to the finals at Bands of America Grant National Championships.

He is the lead designer for the System Blue and King marching brass instrument series. He is involved with development and production for the Sample Logic and System Blue sound libraries.

While serving as Blue Devils brass caption head and arranger, he has also been brass arranger for Kidsgrove Scouts of England, Pacific Crest, Yokohama Scouts of Japan, Velvet Knights, Skyriders and Santa Clara Vanguard. In 1993, he was trial music judge with Drum Corps Midwest.

All his performing years were in the Blue Devils organization, beginning with the C corps in 1980, moving to the B corps in 1983, then up to the A corps from 1986 to 1989

Percussion: Dave Vose of Cape Neddick, Maine

Dave Vose has consistently pushed his percussion sections to new heights of achievement during a drum corps career that began in 1962 playing both horn and drum with the Lawrence Chieftains. Since then he has set new standards year after year, starting with his term as head of percussion and arranger with North Star, formed by the amalgamation of corps from Beverly, Danvers, Melrose, Revere and Wilmington. Just two years after forming, North Star took top spot in percussion while winning the American International Open in 1977. The following year, North Star presented the first percussion pit on the sidelines and was the first corps to march with quad drums in the DCI finals. In 1979, North Star had the top percussion score in the World Open, then placed second in percussion in the DCI finals.

His Chrome Wall percussion feature in 1978 and 1979 featured drums along with dancers, vocalists, horns and other innovative features.

He was percussion arranger for DCA champion Reading Buccaneers in 1980. In 1983, his Boston Alliance percussion section defeated every drumline in the country except for Blue Devils and Santa Clara Vanguard.

In addition to working with the Buccaneers, he has served either as consultant, head of percussion and arranger, percussion instructor or writer with Suncoast Sound, Cadets of Bergen County, Boston Alliance, Boston Crusaders and Rhode Island Matadors.

He has judged all areas of percussion for Eastern Massachusetts Judges, DCA, Youth Education in the Arts (YEA) and Massachusetts Interscholastic Judges Association.

In earlier years, he played snare drum with Tenney Cadets of Methuen, Maine. Since the early 1990s, he has drummed with Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights, Mighty St. Joe’s and St. Kevin’s Emerald Knights.

Dave Vose is currently a Berklee College of Music professor and the author of Music in Motion, a text used for teaching marching methods at Berklee. He is an international artist/clinician with Zildjian Cymbals and Yamaha Corporation of America.

He was inducted into the Massachusetts Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2002, after receiving that group’s Thomas J. Long high achievement award in 2000.

Visual: Shirley Stratton Dorritie of Knightsen, California

As one of the Concord Blue Devils first staff members, Shirley Stratton Dorritie led the way in the transition of traditional color guards from military to modern, making use of multiple pieces of equipment and pioneering the use of color, costumes and various props. During her time as color guard instructor and choreographer from 1971 to 1984, Blue Devils won DCI world championships four times and took the best color guard award in 1984.

Her dedication, passion for the activity, creativity and constant innovation opened the modern era of visual arts programming and design by emphasizing an artistic approach that changed the look and role of drum corps guards, making them spectacular visual components of shows. Throughout a drum corps career that spans more than 40 years as performer, instructor, visual designer, innovator and manager she has made a huge impact on every aspect of drum corps activity and impacted the lives of many students, staff members and adjudicators.

She holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology with a certificate in Sport Psychology, specializing in training performers of all types for optimal achievement. She is the author of four levels of the WGI Certify online judge training courses; e-Adjudicate Academy’s Judging 101: The Basics for Marching Band and the chapter titled Why The Guns? Color Guard from Military to Modern in Drum Corps World’s History of Drum Corps volume II.

She became a DCI Hall of Fame member in 2009 and received the Winter Guard Association of Southern California Order of Excellence in 2018.

Since 1983, she has been visual adjudicator with DCI, WGI, BOA and Marching in Okayama. She has been general effect judge with WGI since 1994; director of judge education with Winter Guard Association of SoCal since 2011 and judge development manager with WGI since 2016.

Since 1971, she has served as instructor, caption head, consultant or coordinator for drum corps including Blue Devils, Freelancers, 27th Lancers, Santa Clara Vanguard, San Francisco Renegades, Arizona Academy. She has also served as business manager and assistant director with Blue Devils, assistant to the Santa Clara Vanguard director, and business office manager for Blue Devils.

She marched with the Blue Devils guard from 1968 to 1977, carrying a rifle then serving as color guard captain.

Visual: George Oliviero of Walnut Creek, California

Geoege Oliviero, already a member of four halls of fame, is a well-known pioneer who has written and implemented philosophies regarding general effect, visual and design analysis and scoring systems that

have been in use for many years.

He is a member of the Massachusetts Drum Corps Hall of Fame, Color Guard Netherlands Hall of Fame, DCI Hall of Fame, WGI Hall of Fame. He also received the World Music Contest Award as a Friend of WMC.

He has been a visual caption judge with various organizations since 1966 when he began 30 years of service with Eastern Mass. Judges. He has also served with the New England Band Association, DCI and WGI as visual caption head. He has been a visual judge with the Western Bands Association since 1998.

Through the 1960s and early 1970s, he served as visual instructor with several nationally-known northeastern groups: St. Kevin’s Emerald Knights, St. Anthony’s Band, IC Reveries and 27th Lancers. He has also served as designer and visual instructor with Boston Crusaders and Boston College Band.

His activity began in 1958 as a horn player with Everett Statesmen from 1958 to 1960. He then spent two years each in the horn lines of Cambridge Caballeros and St. Kevin’s Emerald Knights.

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2019 Regular Member voting is underway

Posted on March 24th, 2019 by Dan Rippon

Voting for Regular Members for the 2019 World Drum Corps Hall of Fame is now open and will remain open until midnight on March 29.  If your a Regular voting member and did not receive your email request to vote from Bob Zarfoss, please contact Bob directly at

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Flyer for Drum Corps Cruise 2020

Posted on March 24th, 2019 by Dan Rippon

Click on the below link for a flyer for The Drum Corps Cruise 2020. We still have rooms left in our group.

If you have any questions or would like to join us next January, please call Bob Cardaneo at 1-800-519-0050

Drum Corps Cruise 2020 Flyer

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Come aboard for Hall of Fame cruise from Fort Lauderdale on January 19, 2020

Posted on February 24th, 2019 by Dan Rippon

Everyone is welcome to join the fun on a World Drum Corps Hall of Fame seven-night round trip cruise of the eastern Caribbean that sets sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 19, 2020. Ports of call along the way include Philipsburg in St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas and a day at Coco Cay, Bahamas before docking back in Florida on January 26.

The cruise is an annual fund raising event for the Hall of Fame, offering a great opportunity to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, family reunion or just enjoy a week in the sun during a dreary stretch of winter weather.

Royal Caribbean cruise shop Allure of the Seas offers spacious staterooms, Broadway-style shows and nightlife and a range of dining opportunities including maki at Jade Sushi, endless buffet choices at the Windjammer Cafe or a fine dining five course dinner at 150 Central Park restaurant.

There will also be plenty of options for keeping the waistline trim, including a 40-foot on-deck climbing wall, a zip line suspended over nine decks, an on-deck surfing simulator. You may choose instead to relax in a spa, select a good book from the shipboard library and lay back in one of the many whirlpools throughout the ship.

Cabin choices include ocean view or outside balcony locations with prices ranging from $1,070 to $1,199.

Details regarding a pre-cruise hotel package will be available by September or October 2019. For more information about the cruise, contact World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Bob Cardaneo at telephone (302) 945-4620 or email

More details are available online at

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2020 HOF Cruise Info Posted

Posted on February 17th, 2019 by Dan Rippon

Information and links for the 2020 World Drum Crops Hall of Fame cruise have been posted on our website.

2020 Cruise Web Link

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Hall of Fame’s Steve Gadd wins Grammy for top Contemporary Instrumental Album

Posted on February 17th, 2019 by Dan Rippon

See Original Article

World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Steve Gadd’s self-titled album was named the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album during the recent 61st annual Grammy Awards. He had previously been nominated in the same category for his 2016 album titled Way Back Home: Live from Rochester, NY.

A native of Irondequoit, next door to Rochester, he is one of the best-known session and studio drummers in the music industry, featured on more than 600 albums since he began recording in the late 1960s. He was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in September 2016 for Distinguished Professional Achievement.

In his early years in Rochester, he played snare drum with a number of area drum and bugle corps, including the national champion Rochester Crusaders. He credits his drum corps experience for teaching him the power of team members playing together, practicing hard trying to sound like just one person.

The Grammy award is the latest in a steady stream of honors over many years.

He was named to the Rochester Music Hall of Fame in 2018. In 2005, he received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music for outstanding contributions to contemporary music. He was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame the same year. In 2003 he received the Zildjian American Drummer’s Achievement Award. He received the Drummer’s Collective Award in 2002.

He has been a member of the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame since 1984. In 1961 was one of about 70 high school students from across the country selected to play in the School Band of America, which visited 12 cities in six European countries during a four-week tour.

He’ll be returning to his hometown area on June 21, 2019 when his band headlines the Rochester Jazz Festival, performing at Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre

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San Francisco Symphony ‘Playbill’ features Hall of Fame’s Diane Nicholeris

Posted on January 28th, 2019 by Dan Rippon

First violinist Diane Nicholeris, inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in September 2018 for Distinguished Professional Achievement, is featured in the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) Orchestra’s Playbill, as part of an ongoing series to introduce musicians to SFS orchestra fans and supporters.

The Playbill article is available at:

A former color guard captain with the St. Thomas Moore Squires of Braintree, Massachusetts, she credits her early drum corps experience with providing the impetus for her career.

Now an instructor of violin and viola students at San Jose University, she began her violin lessons at age 10, hoping to inspire her father to take up the instrument again. One year after she began lessons, she broke her wrist riding an escalator and needed extensive surgery. Because of the range, motion, and use of the hand that violin playing required, practicing became a good form of physical therapy. Although doctors did not expect her to regain any wrist function she persisted for six years to regain about 70 per cent use of wrist motion.

She studied with Joseph Silverstein at Boston University and Sylvia Rosenberg at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, where she received her Bachelor of Music Degree. Studying at Tanglewood she met Jahja Ling, former Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, who suggested in 1984 that she audition for a violin vacancy. In addition to since providing more than 20 years of service to the orchestra, she has appeared as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic and the Music Academy of the West Orchestra in Santa Barbara, served as concertmaster for the Monterey County Symphony and enjoys performing chamber music concerts throughout the bay area.

She maintained her connection to drum and bugle corps over the years, occasionally judging contests.

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2018 Presidents Message

Posted on December 28th, 2018 by Dan Rippon

Link for PDF File of Presidents Message

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