Drum Corps International
Friends and colleagues remember Col. Truman Crawford

Friends and colleagues remember Col. Truman Crawford

by Drum Corps International

Drum Corps International Hall of Fame member Truman Crawford, Colonel and Commanding Officer and director of the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps and a giant in the activity, passed away Monday at age 68. Here, colleagues remember Crawford: Major Brent Harrison, who succeeded Crawford as the commanding officer of the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps: "Col. Truman Crawford was a true innovator in the drum and bugle corps art form. He was a tremendous talent and a stickler for excellence at every level. The immense popularity and prestige of "The Commandant's Own" would not have reached the level of musical performance we enjoy today without his 32 years of hard work, dedication and leadership." Rod Goodhart, who was in the Air Force Drum Corps with Crawford, and arranged with music with him in the early 1960s, and taught the Yankee Rebels with him in 1969, 1970 and 1971: "Truman was my mentor. Forty-six years ago, as a very young 18-year-old member of the United States Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps in Washington, D.C., he opened up my world to teaching, writing and judging in the drum corps activity. I shall always be grateful for the opportunity of working with Truman. He had a special talent of bring out the best in you in word and deed." Steve Vickers, publisher of Drum Corps World: "Colonel Crawford was a wonderful individual who was prominent in the drum corps world for the last 45 years. I've known him since the mid-1970s, although I was aware of his involvement in the activity since the early '60s." "His influence on the drum corps world in general was far-reaching, since he judged, taught, arranged for, directed and was involved with many junior and senior crops through the years. "His passing is a huge loss for the activity." Roman Blenski, DCI Midwest division coordinator, who was inducted into the Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1991 with Crawford: "My memories of Truman Crawford will always be his style of brass performance with the Royal Aires, Argonne Rebels, Yankee Rebels and the Marine Corps. His style was very smooth and melodic, and aimed at pleasing the audience. As a judge, he was always a teacher, occasionally utilizing his military officer training to make a point with younger staff members. "As an administrator and a competitor, he was an advocate of fairness, emphasizing that when everyone has a chance, the whole corps program benefits." Dallas Niermeyer, DCI Midwest judge administrator and longtime DCI judge: "I think that Truman's influence in the drum corps world extends far beyond his work the Marines, but into the area of training drum corps arrangers, writers and judges. He was a huge influence on my judging career when I first began. Truman was one of those people who was known by everyone in the drum corps world over the years." Joel Leson, a retired U.S. Army Colonel who was organizing a reunion banquet for Crawford: "His loss is just a real terrible thing for the drum corps world." Dr. David Kampschorer, Drum Corps International Hall of Fame Coordinator: "While this loss was anticipated, it will take many months to come to grips without Truman's smiling face at drum corps activities. Truman will be in my prayers, and I hope everyone will light a candle on his behalf." Ed Dempsey, DCI manager of strategic alliances, who was instructed by Crawford in 1973 with the Hamilton White Knights and in 1976 with the Yankee Rebels: "He was an extraordinary instructor. He was demanding, but at the same time, really easy to be around."

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