In horse racing, there are 13 Triple Crown winners. In statistical baseball and footbball records there are 12 and a mere three respectively. But in drum corps, it is rarer still.
Only one person has won the coveted “triple crown” of Individual & Ensemble (I&E) competitions — winning the Drum Corps International event in 1988, Drum Corps Associates in 2007, and the Percussive Arts Society’s 1988 top snare drum honors. That singular honor goes to the multi-talented, Jeff Prosperie.
Following his days as a performer on the DCI stage, Prosperie has served as a DCI percussion judge for the last 20 years, brandishing his talents both on the championship field and in front of Performers Showcase competitors.
Unfortunately, like last year, Prosperie will remove himself as I&E’s snare judge in this year’s virtual Performers Showcase, due to a conflict of interest. His son, Jeff Prosperie, Jr. with Louisiana Stars, will once again compete after an impressive second-place finish to the Blue Devils’ Brandon Olander in the snare drum category.
“The dad experience has been fulfilling, watching my son on his journey,” Prosperie reflects, “sharing his gifts and hard work with the audience while thoroughly enjoying himself in the performance.”
And Prosperie knows that thrill. His DCI performance pedigree is stellar with such notable lines as the Bridgemen, Star of Indiana, and Phantom Regiment. Serving as a Regiment instructor and designer in the 1990s, he moved into judging DCI and WGI competitions and became principal percussionist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra.
These days, he keeps his percussion chops tweaked both as a writer and performer with the West Point Band’s Hellcats. He is also a West Point Team Leader assisting in the prevention and control of COVID-19, a warrior on several ‘virtual’ front lines.
In reflecting on his I&E accomplishments there is one memory he holds from 1988.
“I had a performance of a lifetime my age-out year at I&E, performing for legendary judges Rodney Goodheart and Peter Funari. Afterward, they told me ‘You had a performance of a lifetime, and if you had gone on last we would have given you a 100.’”
As a judge himself, he finds fulfillment in watching performers grow from year to year. He said, “On numerous occasions I see students who I had previously judged incorporating input I gave the year before and it has been very satisfying.”