Former Drum Corps International judge Rodney Goodhart passed away Tuesday, Sept. 3 at the age of 75. A 1990 inductee into the DCI Hall of Fame, Goodhart is credited for his extensive work as a percussion judge prior to and during Drum Corps International's formative years. A drum caption chairman and member of the judging task force, Goodhart had a significant impact on training judges, rule experimentation and other adjudication system changes and advancements. In his position, Goodhart was eager and willing to help those who he came in contact with, whether up-and-coming judges, drum corps staff members or performers. "When I was judging, [Goodhart] was the man who gave me passion for rewarding fine drumming," 2008 Hall of Fame inductee James Campbell said. "He knew how to coax the best performances out of a drum line. [He's] an inspiration." Goodhart is also credited as one of the first proponents of adjudication critiques, a system by which judges can meet with staff members following contests to offer input and advice on how a corps can work to improve its future performances. "Rodney was a mentor and teacher to many people in a variety of ways and the activity reflects his legacy of professionalism and putting the performers first," 2007 DCI Hall of Fame inductee Jay Kennedy said. "He had a great innate sense and sense of humor on how to get the best out of people—judges, instructors and performers."
Goodhart is a former sergeant in the United States Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps stationed out of Andrews Air Force Base in Washington and an instructor for the Yankee Rebels of Baltimore. He also is a 1984 inductee into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. A memorial service will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, at Hillside Methodist Church in Woodstock, Ga. (4474 Townelake Parkway) In lieu of flowers, the Goodhart family suggests donations to either Hillside United Methodist Church Music Ministry in Woodstock, Ga. or to Drum Corps International. A memorial fund will help provide scholarships for musicians participating in drum corps across the country. Contributions can be made to DCI in honor of Rodney Goodhart by calling 317.275.1225 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line "Donation in honor of Rodney Goodhart"). Read Rodney Goodhart's obituary. Read Rodney Goodhart's DCI Hall of Fame bio. Air Force photo courtesy Jack Meehan.
Goodhart (sixth from left) with the drummers of the U.S. Air Force Drum & Bugle Corps in 1960.