Robby Robinson, founding director of the Crossmen, passes away February 14

Posted on February 20th, 2022

A World Drum Corps Hall of Fame member since 2008, Harold “Robby” Robinson, Sr. passed away at age 84 on Valentine’s Day February 14, surrounded by family members.  He had been experiencing major organ failure a few days previously while a patient at Lancaster General Hospital in Pennsylvania.  A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at a later time. 

In 1974, Robby Robinson was the founding director of the Crossmen drum and bugle corps, the highly successful group formed by merging two junior corps in the Philadelphia area: the 507 Hornets and Keystone Regiment.  He served as director until 1986.  The Crossmen finished in the Drum Corps International (DCI) finals 22 times in the 30 years following the merger.

Earlier in his drum corps career, he was a snare drummer with the Tri Community Cadets from 1952 to 1960.  He was the snare drummer in the percussion quartet that won the annual Mid-Atlantic Individual/Quartet title from 1956 to 1959.  He is a member of the Crossmen Hall of Fame.

He taught marching and maneuvering to the Haddon Heights Vagabonds in 1960, then taught the percussion section of the 1st State Cadets of Delaware from 1961 to 1963.  He was the marching and maneuvering instructor for the Bellaires of Belmar, New Jersey from 1961 to 1966 and Tri Community Cadets from 1968 to 1971.  He became director of Tri Community in 1971, then served as director of the Keystone Regiment from 1972 to 1974.

He judged the marching caption for the National Association of Judges from 1961 to 1985 and percussion from 1961 to 1975.  He was a member of the first DCI judging task force from 1981 to 1984.

His son Robbie Robinson Jr. is also a member of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, inducted in 2007.  He is the first drummer to win three Drum Corps International (DCI) individual snare-drumming titles.  He won the titles in 1979, 1980 and 1982.

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