Masters of the Marching Arts

Devoted to the past, present, and future
of drum and bugle corps and other marching activities

This Quarter’s Featured Articles

Eulogy for Jerry Noonan

Eulogy for Jerry Noonan

Francis G. Noonan

23 November 1958 – 24 September 2020

29 September 2020

St. Raphael Church, Medford, Massachusetts

By John Oppedisano

Lorrie, Sean, Sammy.  Michael, Patty, and Judy, other members of Jerry’s family, colleagues, friends and acquaintances:

Thank you all for coming, and as is the norm today, for watching. Your presence here today reminds us of the scripture’s counsel, “…that those who mourn are blessed for they shall be comforted;” and we are comforted by the knowledge that, somewhere up above, God is getting an earful of trumpet solos and double C’s.

How do you honor a legend?   Let’s start with the basics.

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2020 The Season That Wasn’t

2020 The Season That Wasn’t

“2020, the Movie.” Once upon a time, this would have been the title of a sequel to the film 2010, or a graphically esthetic date of a science fiction novel. More fantastically, it might have been a possible calendar date reality in which we got around town in our own,...

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Computer vs. Pencil

Computer vs. Pencil

The Question: Dear Larry, How do you feel about all the changes that have happened in our lives regarding computers changing the way you write, etc.? I have seen a few of your old hand-written charts and I love the personality of them. Now everyone uses music-writing...

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‘Hits and Misses’ in Show Design

‘Hits and Misses’ in Show Design

Top DCI competitors these days regularly leverage their wealth of resources to put out excellent shows. Over the last 10 years, six corps: Blue Devils, Santa Clara Vanguard, Carolina Crown, Bluecoats, Cadets, and Cavaliers have been at or near the top of the rankings,...

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Alumni Corps…Inaction?

Alumni Corps…Inaction?

In today’s column we will cover alumni drum corps action. Or shall we say inaction? The last time the United States experienced this low level (zero) of drum corps activity was during World War 1! When the war was over, American Legion posts across the country formed...

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The Ninth Soprano

The Ninth Soprano

A Conversation between Rick Wygant and Tad Faccini Rick spent six years in the hornline of the Garfield Cadets. We all know his distinctive tone quality, as he was the soprano soloist from 1984 through 1988. We became acquainted through social media, and I have asked...

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Bill’s Wish

Bill’s Wish

Having been involved in drum corps, band, and winter guard for over half a century, I’m usually pretty good at following orders, but I’ll readily admit to finally having to run laps and do push ups. You see, Rick (bless him for being back in full swing as we’ve all...

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Letters to Aunt Mildred

by Rick Connor
Many years ago, I became friendly with a lady at Mission Drums whose name was Mildred. She was at the show with her two sisters, Phoebe and Henrietta and her brother, Phineas. I found Mildred to be an astute drum corps fan who …
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Who Were Your Favorites?

Dear Aunt Mildred, I’ve missed you and your family, except for Uncle Phineas. He’s a bore. It’s great to have MMA back and I wish you lots of luck with your new web site. I think it’s going to be great. My questions are how have been dealing with the pandemic and who...

The Story of Aunt Mildred

Many years ago I became friendly with a lady at Mission Drums whose name was Mildred. She was at the show with her two sisters, Phoebe and Henrietta and her brother, Phineas. I found Mildred to be an astute drum corps fan who fell in love with the Princemen and their...

Was Jim Wedge Kidding Me?

Dear Aunt Mildred:  When I first met Jim Wedge he only drank milk and coffee. Now he drinks beer. I just don't know when he's kidding me now. He claims that the Alumni Corps of Revere has an age limit of 90. I know that seems pretty old, but I was at the show in...

Why Did Everyone Call Him Scotty?

Dear Aunt Mildred: I just got one question for you. A lot of people seem to think you have all the answers.The jury's still out in my book and I don't refer to the O.J. trial. I've been in drum corps for fifty or sixty years and everyone's always talking about this...

Why Did the Cambridge Caballeros Break Up?

Dear Aunt Mildred, My favorite corps was the Cambridge Caballeros and it seems that they broke up when they were at their peak. Why? Also, they had a short tenor drummer, who really looked old, and a chaperone who both had the same name, but with the drummer it was...

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