MMA Archives

Articles and Photos from past issues

Enjoy browsing our ‘classics’ from the original Masters of the Marching Arts magazines

 

More volumes will be added as we go…. so come back again soon!

Maters of The Marching Arts - Volume One

Volume One Articles

MMA Cover Volume II Number 1

Volume Two Articles

Coming Soon

For Your Inspection

Here you’ll find a growing library of articles from the original print and new online magazines

Ralph Pace’s Contributions with the 27th Lancers

Ralph Pace’s Contributions with the 27th Lancers

By Jim Hager

In order to talk about the meteoric rise of the 27th Lancers in 1975, first we must step back and look at the 1974 season.

At the end of the 1973 season, the corps had graduated many members and the last of the true “original members” from 1968. Along with the age-outs and their experience, the departure of staff members Richard “Ike” Ianessa (RIP) in M&M and Jim Buckley in percussion left gaping holes.

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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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On the Shoulders of a Giant

On the Shoulders of a Giant

A Tribute to Ralph Randall Pace   By Joe Marrella We remember vividly those in our beloved drum corps activity who share their unique talent, dedication, creativity, and life philosophy, toward catapulting the activity and its performers to greater heights. Their...

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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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DCA

DCA

by H. Worth Ake The Senior World Championship circuit, Drum Corps Associates, has had an illustrious history of 32 consecutive years of international competitions, although no title show has yet been held outside the continental USA. DCA was organized in 1962 at...

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The Triumph of Sound

The Triumph of Sound

by John Fitzgerald Recently a contributor to the Netscape Drum Corps Newsgroup on the World Wide Web raised an interesting issue. She inquired as to what people thought was fundamentally more important in the activity, the music or the marching? This is a question I...

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The Check’s in the Mail

The Check’s in the Mail

Hi Aunt Millie, I love reading your different letters in this fine magazine. I do have one complaint though. Your editor, Rick Connor, sent this message to me with his latest issue, "Send your check or I'll kill you." Could you please tell Rick his tactics are a...

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Moon of Iowa to Become Art Corps

Moon of Iowa to Become Art Corps

DUBUQUE, IA - Pork magnate Harry Hamm, Director of the Moon of lowa Drum and Bugle Corps, has announced that his unit will suspend competition for 1997 and will instead take part in a series of unconventional artistic ventures. Hamm, whose corps won the National...

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Why the Ticks Stopped

Why the Ticks Stopped

The Ever-Changing Face of "Excellence" by George Oliviero "Have We Abandoned Excellence?" was a question asked of American society and workers, in general, more than ten years ago, in an essay by  Lance Morrow in Time magazine. The question is still relevant in...

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Beginnings

Beginnings

by Jack Weir The result was the same for all of us. The circumstances leading up to it differed in many cases but the effect never varied. We were stricken by the "Drum Corps Virus," i.e. chills, goose bumps, and an insatiable thirst to be a part of the group. Like a...

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The March on Massachusetts – Chapter 1

The March on Massachusetts – Chapter 1

The following is an excerpt from "The March on Massachusetts," a history of Massachusetts Drum Corps from the mid 1920s to the present. It will be available in early ’97. In the Beginning There Was a King *In the beginning, there was a king and this king ruled over a...

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Al Saia – World Drum Corps Hall of Famer

Al Saia – World Drum Corps Hall of Famer

On Saturday evening, August 31, 1996, Mr. Al Saia was inducted into The World Drum Corps Hall of Fame, founded in 1976. This is a most prestigious honor, as Al joins fellow New England corpsmen Scotty Chapell, Dom Bianculli, Earl Sturtze, Vinnie Ratford, Pepe Notaro,...

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Drum Corps in 1996

Drum Corps in 1996

Point - What's Right with Drum Corps in 1996? by Tom Lizotte To hear some say it, there isn't a lot that's right with drum corps in 1996. But while some would want to bring us back to the days of valve-rotor bugles, company front opening sets, and every other corps...

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From Chrome to Rope

From Chrome to Rope

Observations of a Drum and Bugle Corps Drummer in the World of Fife and Drum by Michael J. Cahill   As I grow older, I am truly amazed that I continue to learn a great deal - a fact that is astonishing considering that I was quite certain that I knew it all some...

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The Phantom from Methuen

The Phantom from Methuen

The national drum corps scene had a decided New England flair this past season in that several participants in several top corps have Massachusetts roots. Amy Grelle, daughter of Frank and Elaine Grelle, is a 20-year-old Senior at Merrimac College, majoring in...

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Gerry Shellmer – Unplugged!

Gerry Shellmer – Unplugged!

Gerry wasn't like the other drummers and instructors. Hell, he wasn't like anyone you ever met before, a unique, creative, intense and driven genius. He now resides in Wilmington, Delaware and his current passion is sailing. He screams at the waves, the seagulls, the...

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The National Contenders

The National Contenders

However checkered its history in winning championships may be, Massachusetts has traditionally featured many national contenders. From the late 1950s to the mid 1980s, this state had a formidable national presence that resulted in intense - often bitter - local...

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A Rift in the 27th Lancers?

A Rift in the 27th Lancers?

Dear Aunt Mildred, You're probably wondering why I sent this letter to you care of Masters of the Marching Arts. I happen to be a personal friend of your nephew, R.C., and he gave me the inside track on this new gig of yours and told me that you don't get paid if...

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I’m Bored – Aren’t you?

I’m Bored – Aren’t you?

By Gerry Shellmer In my opinion, listening to a drum corps percussion section is as musically boring as a politician's campaign speech. Imagine how interesting and musically rewarding a drum corps contest would be if the instrumentation were not limited to mere drums...

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