Who’s in your hall of fame?

by Vic Colaianni, DCW staff

This article originally appeared in the April 2008 edition of Drum Corps World (Volume 37, Number 1).

By the time these lines of print hit your mailbox, this year’s class of DCI Hall of Fame nominees will have been announced and the nominating committee may have even made their selections for the class of 2008.

Growing up in Canton, OH, the term “hall of fame” was etched my mind at an early age since the Pro Football Hall of Fame was a mere three miles from our home and each summer hundreds of thousands of football fans would descend on the area for “Hall of Fame Week”.

In fact, in 1989 an annual drum corps competition was added to the annual festivities and is one of the more well-attended shows each summer. It has been a privilege to see stars such as Bart Starr, Roger Staubach, Terry Bradshaw and others up-close.

Reflecting on some of the more memorable football hall of fame members earlier this month (February), the DCI Web site happened to pop up on a computer screen and the nominating process for the DCI Hall of Fame appeared. Reading the criteria and guidelines for their selection process sent reflections and memories in a different direction. While names such as Dennis DeLucia, Gail Royer, Jim Jones and Larry McCormick may be at the forefront of some people’s minds, the aforementioned all being DCI HOF members, what about those folks who have yet to be named to DCI’s hallowed hall, or better yet, what about those individuals or groups who may never make it?

Over a period of nine years of marching involvement in the drum corps activity, I was fortunate to cross paths with many who impacted my life in positive ways. In fact, some of them still remain a daily or weekly thought. Never mind that it’s been over 20 years since I have seen or heard from some of these people.

So that begs a few questions and further thoughts.

Just what criteria should we consider to be our “hall of fame” nominees? How many people would be “members” of our own hall? Would the wider public at-large even have a clue who any of our hall of famers are and why they would be hall members?

The answers to these questions may widely vary, but one thing will be consistent. The impact our own hall of fame members have had on our lives is something that no one can compare or take away from us. Another constant may be that some of our “hall” members may have changed the course of a life for the better and possibly even steered the road of a career path, or even a significant life event.

Whatever the criteria that we set for our own halls of fame, a lingering question should always remain and eventually be answered — who is or would be in your hall of fame?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has 247 members. DCI’s hall has 83 members. Your “hall” may have more or less, but the important thing is that we take time to reflect and remember those in the activity, or even outside of it, who have changed the course or direction of our lives in ways that we should forever be grateful.