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Jim Ott

1995
Some people leave this world too soon. Unfortunately, Jim Ott was one of those people. However, Ott left his impression on the drum and bugle corps activity forever. He came from a "drum corps" family and was involved with the Stockton Police drum corps in 1964 at an early age. By 1968, Ott was arranging music for the Stockton Commodores as well as instructing their brass line. He continued his work with the corps until 1973 and helped them to top-12 status.

Ott went on to arrange for and instruct Blue Devils and Spirit of Atlanta. It was during these years that he arranged some of his best work, most notably “Georgia” and “Chase the Clouds Away.” Not only was Jim Ott a genius arranger, but a devoted teacher. It is said that Jim Ott could get more out of a 14-year-old who couldn't read music than most instructors could get out of a seasoned musician. Ott loved his "kids" and the feeling was reciprocated.

While Jim Ott's impression on the drum corps activity can only be measured by what he did until his untimely death, it is safe to assume that his contributions would be immeasurable had he still been around. His influence is still present in the brass arrangements of today, but many still long to hear the "Jim Ott" sound.

Ott passed away in 1980.
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