Drum corps icon Freddy Martin, the founding director of Spirit of Atlanta, former member of the DCI Board of Directors and the DCI Task Force on Adjudication, will serve as program, management and instructional consultant with Court of Honor in the coming season.
During the corps' 2003 inaugural season, Martin served as an informal advisor to both executive director Marc Kaufman and the instructional staff. For the 2004 season Martin will increase his involvement with the corps by accepting his new role. "Freddy's wealth of experience in all areas of putting a quality, competitive corps together will be a huge asset to us as we move forward," said Kaufman. "We've already had discussions on preparing for the coming season and managing the growth of the drum corps in such a way as to provide for the long-term stability of the organization. The insights he can offer our board and instructional staff will prove to be a huge asset as we make the adjustment from launching the corps to sustaining and growing it. " Court of Honor program and instructional coordinator Alan Armstrong echoed Kaufman's excitement. "Freddy brings to the table an immense amount of knowledge and experience as an instructor, director and adjudicator. I had the good fortune to march in the Spirit horn lines of the early- to mid-'80s under his instruction and then teach the corps with him during 10 seasons after that. I'm excited that another generation of students will benefit from his expertise in so many different areas." Martin said, "Starting the Spirit of Atlanta in 1976 was one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional life. I look forward to helping Marc and the entire staff as much as possible. I am proud of the Court of Honor philosophy of creating better young people. I do look forward to a long and rewarding association with Court of Honor." After founding Spirit of Atlanta in 1976, Martin took over as brass caption head in the summer of 1980, after brass arranger and instructor Jim Ott died in a van accident while on tour. Martin then served as director and brass caption head for the corps throughout the 1980s, generating some of the classic Spirit "glory years" corps. He began turning over responsibility for the horn line to others in 1989, and retired from the activity completely at the end of the 1993 season. After spending the better part of the 1990s away from the activity, Martin was asked to return to Spirit for the 2000 season as the instructional coordinator. He continued his close association with Spirit's instructional team through the end of 2001. In recognition of his lifelong contributions to the Spirit organization, he continues as the "director emeritus" for the organization. In the marching band world, Martin has served as a clinician and adjudicator in most of the 50 states and in England. He has been an active adjudicator for Bands of America for the past 25 years, judging more than 50 regional championship events and the BOA Grand Nationals 14 times. During his tenure as the band director at South Cobb High School from 1969-1979, the band grew from a membership of 17 students to a 284-member, nationally recognized program. After several years working outside of education, Martin returned as the director of the Buford High School Band in 1997. When he arrived at Buford, seven students were enrolled in the program. When he left, the band boasted a membership of 75 playing members and 22 guard members (in a school of less than 300 students). He currently serves as the director of bands for the Westminster Schools in Atlanta.