Wes Hobby, voice of drum corps for more than 40 years passes away at age 90
Milton “Wes” Hobby Jr., known widely as the voice of drum corps for more than 40 years, passed away at the age of 90 on November 14, 2018 at Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut. He was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 2010 for lifetime achievement in drum and bugle corps activity.
Anyone who has attended a major drum corps contest or listened to the introductions on classic Fleetwood Records contest recordings has likely heard the voice of Wes Hobby. He is also the narrator on the Fleetwood “Reflections” series of recordings.
For more than 40 years, he served as the stadium announcer at major junior and senior contests across New England and beyond.
He graduated in 1948 after two years of study at Boston’s School of Radio, Television and Theatre and worked as a staff member and sports announcer at a number of radio stations in New England. During his morning radio show on station WADS in Ansonia, Connecticut he began playing a drum corps selection on the air each day. There were no drum corps recordings available to the public yet: his selections were tapes borrowed from Frank Ogle of the Connecticut Hurricanes. The Hurricanes invited him to announce their contest in 1958, the first of a steady stream of engagements over the next four decades.
He was the announcer for such notable events as Drum Corps Associates (DCA) championships, the Barnum Festival, the World Open championships, Mission Drums, the U.S. Open championships, Blue Grass Nationals, Parade of Champions, the Grand Prix contest, An Evening With The Corps in Carnegie Hall, the Connecticut American Legion state championships, the SuperBowl of Music and Drum Corps International (DCI) East championships.
His voice has been heard by audiences in such well known venues as Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, Meadowlands Stadium, Newark Symphony Hall, University of Kentucky and many other local stadiums and concert locations.
A graduate of Bassick High School, University of Bridgeport and Leland Powers in Boston, he served in the United States Army in Germany during the Korean War. After serving in the military, he worked at many radio stations, including WSKI, WADS, WNAB, WICC and WSTC.
He is survived by Lorraine, his wife of 55 years; daughters Maureen O’Donnell of Monroe, Connecticut and Shaune Montini of Naugatuck, Connecticut and son Thomas Hobby of Brightwaters, New York; eight grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.
Visitation was held Saturday, November 17 from 10 am to12 pm, with a service at noon at Spadaccino & Leo P. Gallagher Community Funeral Home, 315 Monroe Turnpike, Monroe, Connecticut. Burial followed immediately at Mountain Grove Cemetery, Harvester Road, Easton, Connecticut.