2018 Distinguished Professional Achievement inductees announced

Posted on April 3rd, 2018 by Dan Rippon


April 3, 2018

World Drum Corps Hall of Fame chooses two giants of the music world to be inducted this year for their Distinguished Professional Achievement


Diane Nicholeris, a former color guard captain who now performs with a major symphony orchestra, and iconic jazz pianist Chick Corea, who once played lead soprano on a single-valve bugle, will be inducted as members of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame class of 2018 at a banquet in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in late August.

Chick Corea, whose compositions such as Spain, My Spanish Heart, La Fiesta and dozens more have been covered by more than 50 competing drum corps since the early 1970s, and Diane Nicholeris, first violinist with the Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas, will be honored by the Hall of Fame for Distinguished Professional Achievement. They will join previous category inductees, astronaut Christopher Ferguson, actor John Ratzenberger, and fellow musicians Steve Gadd and Billy Cobham.

Both began their musical careers as members of local corps from small Massachusetts towns: Chick Corea in Chelsea with the St. Rose Scarlet Lancers, alongside the future arranging icon Jim Wedge, and Diane Nicholeris with the Sir Thomas Moore Squires of Braintree. Both artists credit their early drum corps experiences with providing the impetus for their highly successful careers. By recognizing their Distinguished Professional Achievement, the Hall of Fame acknowledges the inspiration they provide to all members of the drum corps community.

Chick Corea is the winner of 22 Grammy awards. With 63 nominations, he is the fourth most nominated artist in the history of the Grammys. He has also won three Latin Grammy Awards, the most of any artist in the Best Instrumental Album category. He is a DownBeat magazine Hall of Fame member and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Master.

His father, a jazz trumpeter and Dixieland bandleader in Boston in the 1930s and 1940s, introduced him to the piano at the age of four. At eight he took up drums, which later influenced his use of the piano as a percussion instrument. His first major professional gig was with Cab Calloway, followed by early performances in Latin bands led by Mongo Santamaria and Willie Bobo.

In 1968, he joined Miles Davis’ band, appearing on several ground-breaking recordings pointing the way to a new direction in jazz. He was part of the electrified Davis ensemble that appeared in front of 600,000 people at the Isle of Wight Festival in England in 1970. In the early 1970s, he took a sharp turn from avant-garde to a crossover jazz/fusion style with the album Return to Forever, incorporating Latin jazz. His band of the same name relied on both acoustic and electronic instrumentation and drew upon Latin American styles more than rock music.

Professor Diane Nicholeris, who instructs students of violin and viola at San Jose University, began her violin lessons at the age of 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.

Her childhood wrist injury influences her teaching and coaching techniques through empathizing with students’ problems to help them discover solutions that allow them to feel free to express their feelings through music.

The winner of the Hall of Fame’s 2018 President’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced shortly. During the first half of April, Hall of Fame members will vote electronically to select new regular members to be inducted in August.

Regular World Drum Corps Hall of Fame members are honored for their dedication, contributions and achievements over a long period of time in categories including administration, arranging, adjudication, instruction, innovation and design. Associate members have dedicated at least five consecutive years of service to any drum and bugle corps as a performer or in a support role.

The World Drum Corps Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization founded in 1976 by the late Vince Bruni, who served as director of national championship corps in two different eras: the Rochester Crusaders and the Empire Statesmen of Rochester.

The Hall of Fame honors individuals who have contributed significantly over many years to the development and continuing excellence of drum and bugle corps activity. The organization also seeks to preserve the history of the drum and bugle corps movement in North America by selecting a noteworthy junior and all age (senior) corps of each decade since the 1940s.

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2018 Regular Member voting has started

Posted on April 2nd, 2018 by Dan Rippon

Voting for Regular Members for the 2018 World Drum Corps Hall of Fame is now open and will remain open until midnight on April 15.  If your a Regular voting member and did not receive your email request to vote from Bob Zarfoss, please contact Bob directly at bobpatz1@comcast.net.

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2019 Cruise Information Posted

Posted on February 26th, 2018 by Dan Rippon

The 2019 World Drum Corps Hall of Fame cruise information has been posted to website.

Link to 2019 Cruise page

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Passing of member Vince Macciocchi

Posted on January 7th, 2018 by Dan Rippon

Canadian Hall of Fame member Vince Macciocchi passes away Christmas Day

World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Vince Macciocchi, who served as music director and brass instructor for many of Ontario’s top drum bugle corps for more than three decades, passed away peacefully at home on Christmas Day at age 88. He had been a Hall of Fame member since 2003.

Visitation took place at the Steckley-Gooderham Funeral Home, 30 Worsley St., Barrie, Ontario on Friday, December 29 with a funeral mass at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, 28 Amelia St., Barrie on Saturday, December 30. In lieu of flowers, his family asked that donations be directed to Gilda’s Club of Simcoe Muskoka.

His lengthy involvement in marching music activities began when he performed with St. Mary’s, of Toronto, from 1939 to 1944, then served as director and music instructor of the band until 1962. During this time he obtained two music degrees: one from the Ontario Conservatory of Music and one from De La Salle Senior College in Toronto. He founded and was director of two of Canada’s best-known senior corps, the Jolly Jesters of Toronto and the Canadian Commanders, formed when the Jesters and Hamilton Viscounts amalgamated in the early 1960s.

He was also horn instructor for several of Canada’s top corps from 1950 to 1975, including De La Salle of Toronto, Preston Scout House and Guelph Royalaires. He served as brass caption judge for Drum Corps International (DCI) and Drum Corps Associates (DCA), and was chief brass judge for the Canadian Judges Association from 1962 to 1990.

He and his wife Eleanor had been married for almost 66 years. He is survived by four children,10 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He had retired from a long career with Canadian National Railway (Toronto Terminals) and participated on the board of directors in many organizations where he remained active, including the Franklin Fishing Club, and the Sand Pebble Resort and Isla del Sol clubs in Florida.

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Passing of member Dick Burns

Posted on December 17th, 2017 by Dan Rippon

November 23, 2017

Dick Burns passes away in Florida following heart attack

Dick Burns, a World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member inducted in 2003, passed away November 19 in Palm Coast, Florida after suffering a heart attack. A celebration of his life will be presented following the holiday season.

His drum and bugle corps activity began in the early 1950s. He was a lead soprano and soloist with the Blessed Sacrament Golden Knights from 1953 until 1963, and with Ballantine Brewers in 1964 and 1965.

He began arranging and instructing in 1962, and over the following 11 years taught six junior and two senior corps, including such well-known units as Golden Knights, Garfield Cadets, Stardusters of New Orleans, the Brewers and Stratford Connecticut Yankees. He began serving as the Golden Knights Alumni musical director in 1991.

He was one of the top three finishers in Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) solo soprano contests four years in a row; won 80 per cent of the individual contests he entered from 1959 to 1963 and won 70 per cent of the brass quartet contests he participated in during the same period.

He also served as brass judge with All American Judges Association, All States Judges Association and the American Legion Congress from 1965 to 1974. He graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor’s degree in music.

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Passing of member Irene McGrath at age 97

Posted on November 12th, 2017 by Dan Rippon

November 12, 2017

Hall of Fame’s Irene McGrath passes away at age 97 with family at her side

World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Irene McGrath passed away at age 97 at the Episcopal Home in Rochester, New York at 4:15 am, Friday November 10, from complications of pneumonia and heart failure, with children Patricia, William, Thomas and Shirley at her side. In 2000, she became the third member of her family inducted into the Hall of Fame. Her late husband Bill McGrath, Sr. was inducted in 1985 and son Bill McGrath, Jr. was inducted in 1994.

Visitation will be held Monday November 13 and Tuesday November 14 from 4 to 8 at Vay-Schleich & Meeson Funeral Home, 1075 Long Pond Road, Rochester. Her funeral mass will be celebrated Wednesday, November 15 at St. Thomas The Apostle Church, 4536 St. Paul Boulevard, Rochester. Internment will follow in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame scholarship fund may be made in her memory. For more information or to sigh the guestbook, visit meesonfamily.com

Her involvement in drum corps activity started by supporting her husband’s service in the United States Army Air Corps Drum and Bugle Corps. He was the Acting Commander and Drum Major of the 344th Training Division, Army Air Corps Drum and Bugle Corps of Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma in 1943 and ‘44.

After World War II, her efforts turned to helping her husband in his position as director of the Barnard Blue Devils of Greece, New York from 1949 to 1961. She was the secretary and assistant business manager of that competitive field unit and business manager of the Tournament of Champions, sponsored by the Barnard Blue Devils, in 1956 and ‘57 and the 1958 North American Open, sponsored by Rochester Crusaders. In 1955, she was recording secretary and vice president in the organizing and implementing of the Western New York Judges Association.

Later, she turned her efforts to helping the Point Pleasant Cadets/Emerald Cadets and Emerald Statesmen. Husband Bill was director of this unit: she was business manager and publicity director: all five of her children were in this junior corps. As business manager, she represented this competition corps in Penn-York and New-York-Canadian Association circuit meetings. She was also the business manager, publicity director and tabulator for the annual Sound-Off shows sponsored by the Emerald Cadets from 1960 to 1969. She was the assistant chairman of the Emerald Cadet Bingo Games from 1962 to 1969 and was the banquet chairman for the Emerald Cadets from 1958 to 1969.

She was also a staff writer for Drum Corps World from 1958 to 1965. She was a tabulator for the All American Judges Association from 1961 to 1973, the New York Canadian Association from 1962 to 1971 and the Penn–York Circuit from 1962 to 1968. She served as a secretary, tabulator and business manager for the color guard judges’ chapter known as Competitive Instructors Association from 1970 to 1974. She was the commander of the International Color Guard Circuit from 1965 to 1975 and chaired all the circuit meetings, coordinated the business for the organization and organized its annual championship competition.

When her husband succumbed to blindness in 1994 she assisted him as treasurer of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame from 1994 to 2001. She was treasurer for two of the Hall of Fame cruises. She was one of the original members and organizers of the Empire Statesmen Senior Drum and Bugle Corps of Rochester, New York in 1983.

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Passing of member Jim Allen

Posted on November 7th, 2017 by Dan Rippon

November 2, 2017

Hall of Fame’s Jim Allen passes away unexpectedly at home

World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member Jim Allen, 68, unexpectedly passed away at his home in East Amherst, New York on October 31.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011 and most recently served as chair of the visual screening committee as part of the new inductee selection process.

He had retired from the Amherst Industrial Development Agency (ID) in early 2016 after serving as executive director for 36 years.  He had suffered from congestive heart failure in the past few years.  He is survived by his wife Linda, daughters Jamie Allen-Powers and Lindsay, son Michael, sisters Karen McCoy and Nancy Fiorino and two brothers with many years of involvement in the drum corps community Tom and Donny, also a member of World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, inducted in 1995.

Visitation will take place Sunday, November 5 from 1-5 pm at the Amherst Chapel of Amigone Funeral Home, Inc., 5200 Sheridan Drive.  A funeral service will take place at 5 pm, followed by private interment.

Jim Allen excelled as an instructor and performer with a number of junior and all-age drum and bugle corps that consistently finished at the top in state and national championship contests.  He was visual designer for Syracuse Brigadiers from 1997 to 2007.  In that period, the Brigs won the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) title five times: in 1997 and four years in a row from 1999 to 2002.  He was also responsible for visual design with both of Rochester’s national-caliber corps: Empire Statesmen in 2008 and 2009 and the Crusaders in 1971 and 1973 and again from 1980 to 1983.

In the 1970s, he was visual designer at various times for Empire State Express of Elmira, Rochester Patriots and St. Joseph’s of Batavia when they won the Canadian Open Championship title.  He was also the brass instructor with St. Joe’s and Bayonne Bridgemen during that decade.

His lifelong involvement with drum and bugle corps activity began in 1956, when he played soprano bugle with the Dutchtown Ramblers.  He played soprano with Rochester’s Ridge Culver Statesmen for three years then was a soprano soloist with St. Joe’s from 1963 to 1970.  During that time, St. Joe’s won eight New York State American Legion titles and made the finals in the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national championships four times.

He served as assistant director and director with St. Joe’s and assistant director of American Patrol of Batavia.  He judged marching for the New York Chapter of the All-American Judging Association from 1971 to 1974 and with the New York Federation of Contest Judges since 1974.

He was the chair of the local organizing committee when the Drum Corps International (DCI) championships were held in Buffalo, New York in 1990 and 1995.

When he retired, he was one of the longest-tenured IDA directors in New York State.  As executive director of the Amherst IDA he strongly supported the concept of encouraging local business growth by offering tax benefits to projects that met qualification standards.    During his years of service, tax breaks to 370 local companies helped Amherst increase its tax base by about $570 million while creating more than 25,000 jobs paying considerably more salary than typical jobs in the region.

He graduated from St. John Fisher College in the Rochester area with a bachelor’s degree in political science, returning to school later to earn a master’s degree in urban planning from University of Buffalo.  Graduating in 1999, he immediately began teaching graduate students in UB’s department of urban and regional planning.  He also taught at Canisius College.


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Passing of member Bill Boerner

Posted on October 8th, 2017 by Dan Rippon

Hall of Fame member Bill Boerner, charter member of Skyliners, passes at age 91

Bill Boerner, a World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member who first played snare drum at age 10 in 1936, passed away during his sleep on October 4, 2017 at age 91. After serving in the United States Navy in the Pacific Theatre during World War II, he became a charter member of the New York Skyliners drum and bugle corps in 1946, later serving two terms as corps director. He was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1996.

Visitation will be held at Weigand Brothers Funeral Home, 49 Hillside Avenue, Williston Park, New York, on Monday, October 9 from 2 to 4 pm and from 7 to 9 pm. Funeral Mass will take place at St. Aidan’s Church, 505 Willis Avenue, Williston Park, New York on Tuesday, October 10, at 10 am. Interment will follow at St. Charles Cemetery, Pinelawn, New York.

Bill Boerner’s drum and bugle corps career began in 1936 and spanned more than five decades, during which time he was a snare drummer and drum instructor for a number of junior and senior corps. Between 1936 and 1943, he drummed with Bill Brown American Legion (AL) Post drum and bugle corps, American Patrol Naval Cadets, Charles W. Heisser AL Post fife drum and bugle corps, Grand Street Boys and Phoebe Apperson Hearst AL Post. After serving in the United States Navy, he became a charter member of New York Skyliners in 1946.

He was the drum instructor for eleven junior corps and three senior corps, including Skyliners, in locations across New York and New Jersey for almost twenty years, from the late 1940s to the late 1960s. His activities in the 1990s included marching with several fife and drum corps: the Sons of Liberty, the Minutemen, the Blue and Grey and the Whiskey Rebellion. He also participated in the Skyliners chorus, and belonged to the Skyliners Alumni Association.

During World War II, he was one of the first Americans in Japan after the dropping of the atomic bomb. During his business days, he worked as a sales representative in the leather industry, based in midtown Manhattan. He is predeceased by his wife Julie and granddaughter Courtney Elizabeth Lettieri, and survived by five children and six grandchildren.

Regular World Drum Corps Hall of Fame members are honored for their dedication, contributions and achievements over a long period of time in categories including administration, arranging, adjudication, instruction, innovation and design. Associate members have dedicated at least five consecutive years of service to any drum and bugle corps as a performer or in a support role.

The World Drum Corps Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization honoring those individuals who have contributed significantly over many years to the development and continuing excellence of drum and bugle corps activity. The organization also seeks to preserve the history of the drum and bugle corps movement in North America by selecting a noteworthy junior and all age (senior) corps of each decade since the 1940s.

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Presidents Message

Posted on September 27th, 2017 by Dan Rippon

From President Rich Templin:


“The Good – The Bad – The Ugly”

As we close another year, I would like to give all of our membership an overview of your organization. Our organization is alive and doing well; not only were we successful at accomplishing many goals, many other areas are experiencing revitalization.
The Banquet was again a huge success thanks to the efforts of Judy Miller, Pat Zarfoss, Gail Langan, Frank Dorrittie and Bill McGrath. From the opening reception to the induction of the Class of 2017, through the closing remarks, everyone in attendance had a wonderful evening, one filled with renewing relationships and  reliving memories with old friends, to developing new friends as well.  It was a night to remember.


“The Good”

  • Induction Class of 2017 – Rick Morey and his committee once again did a wonderful job at presenting another great class of inductees.  This task is never easy and as members, you should be proud that you take great pride in the voting process, with a response of 87% of our members voting.
    • A special thanks to Larry Hershman and Dan Rippon for their efforts to reestablish the electronic voting process.
  • Associate Membership – It’s with great pride that I thank both Bob Findley and Bob Bradley for their efforts to not only reconstruct the Associate Program with the induction of the class of 2017, the Associate Membership is now over 100 members.  Based on the efforts of these individuals and your support the Scholarship Program can once again be available to the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.
  • Website – We finally made it after many years of struggles.  If you have not yet visited the site I encourage you to take the time to see what has been developed (www.wdchof.org). To preserve the continuance of this program we have engaged the services of an outside organization (Penny Lane) to support and enhance the project.  Many hours of work and effort by Dan Rippon, Bob Zarfoss and the third-party vendor made the site what it is today.
    • Although Phase 1 of our website has been completed we have already started plans for Phase II Development and implementation.
  • Cruise – Bob Cardaneo has reported the cruise for 2018 has 50 people enrolled.  This is an increase over the past couple years.  However, out of the 50 people only 8 people are members of the Hall of Fame.  This program is a major financial contributor to the Hall of Fame – so if you are considering a vacation in the future I encourage you to consider this as an option.  Great times – good friendship and wonderful locations.
  • Officers Term Limit – The program has been formalized and the officer rotation process will begin in 2018.  This process will ensure new ideas, new energy and continued growth of the organization.
  • Corporate Partners – This was the first time that our organization received financial support by corporate organizations for the induction of our members for the class of 2017.  This effort would not have happened without the efforts of Frank Dorrittie and Ed Telecky.


“The Bad”

  • Scholarship Program – Took too long to reestablish.  Although some contributions and associate membership fees were made, we had to rebuild the funds to support this program.  To make sure this program is solid for the future a portion of the funds will be held in reserve and only monies/interest above this threshold will be awarded for scholarships.  Only you, the membership, control the fate and success of this effort.  Associate membership understand your yearly contributions go directly to the scholarship fund and are not used for the Hall of Fame operating budget.
  • Pay Pal Account – For some time we discussed this process as an option for payment of yearly contributions, banquet, cruise and other obligations.  Finally, a test program was initiated at the 2017 banquet.  The full program will be rolled out in 2018. 


“The Ugly”

  • The ability to convince both the associates and regular members to financially support the efforts of the Hall of Fame.
  • All that has been and will be accomplished can only be done with your help – we all know it takes money to make necessary changes.  Be helpful, do what you can, everything helps.
  • Communication – with the help of the new website hopefully information will be more readily available to you, the membership.


In closing – it’s been a great year.  Help us continue this process.  I thank all the board members for their support and efforts to make our organization one that you can be proud to be in its membership.


One member and his perseverance and effort to attend the Hall of Fame events stands out. WDCHOF member Larry Darch attended the Hall of Fame banquet after missing several years because of illness.  Larry has been hospitalized for over 2 years.  He said “it was great to see so many friends in attendance.” 


We celebrate Larry’s improved health, and his making it to Rochester after two very difficult years. Let’s all not only be happy for Larry, happy to have seen him, but let’s use Larry as an example. Getting to our event should be every member’s goal. 

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Passing of member Maurice Legault

Posted on September 13th, 2017 by Dan Rippon

NEWS RELEASE: for immediate release
September 14, 2017

Canadian drum corps leader Maurice Legault passes away in Ottawa

Maurice Legault, a World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member since 1999 and one of the leading figures in the Canadian drum and bugle corps movement for more than five decades, passed away in his 84th year at St. Patrick’s Home in Ottawa, Ontario on September 12, surrounded by his family.

Friends and relatives were able to pay their respects to the family at a service in his memory held at St. Ignatius Martyr Church in Ottawa at 10 am on September 15. Condolences and tributes may be directed to Hulse, Playfair & McGarry Funeral and Cremation Services, at www.hpmcgarry.ca

He first became interested in drum corps activity in the Ottawa area in 1948. He marched in front of La Salle Cadets of Ottawa as drum major from 1962 to 1968 then served as drum major for virtually all of the province of Quebec’s top-rated corps over the next 25 years, including Campagnons d’Embrun, Les Troubadours de Hull, Les Diplomates de Quebec, L’Odyssee de Montreal and Les Dynamiques de Buckingham. He also marched in front of Kingston Grenadiers, Rochester Crusaders and Syracuse Brigadiers in the 1980s and 1990s.

For six year, he taught horns, drums, and drill to La Salle Cadets. Over the years, he performed every function: music arranger, horn instructor, drill writer and marching instructor, drum major, corps director, business manager, show organizer, fundraiser. He even drove the corps bus from time to time.

He was the recipient of the Ontario Award of Merit in recognition of his service to the drum corps movement in Canada. He was inducted into the Temple de la Renommee (Quebec drum corps hall of fame) in September, 1993. In 1990, he received a province of Ontario award of excellence in recognition of 15 years of youth work.

He and his wife Shirley (nee Mentzel), married for 58 years, had five children: Paul (France), Susan, Lynne (Gilles), Marc and Gilles (Laura) and 12 grandchildren. He is survived by his sister Pauline Amyot. He was predeceased by three brothers and three sisters.

Regular World Drum Corps Hall of Fame members are honored for their dedication, contributions and achievements over a long period of time in categories including administration, arranging, adjudication, instruction, innovation and design. Associate members have dedicated at least five consecutive years of service to any drum and bugle corps as a performer or in a support role.

The World Drum Corps Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization honoring those individuals who have contributed significantly over many years to the development and continuing excellence of drum and bugle corps activity. The organization also seeks to preserve the history of the drum and bugle corps movement in North America by selecting a noteworthy junior and all age (senior) corps of each decade since the 1940s.

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