Drum Corps International
Introducing the DCI Hall of Fame Class of 2016
Photo by: Drum Corps International

Introducing the DCI Hall of Fame Class of 2016

by Chris Weber

Since 1985, the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame has honored individuals who have left their mark on the world of marching music. From instructors to designers to innovators, administrators and others, today's Hall is made up of more than 100 men and women influential in the history of drum and bugle corps.

Each winter, members of the drum corps community participate in a nomination process, informing DCI's Hall of Fame Committee of those whom they feel should be recognized as part of drum corps' legacy. In April, current Hall of Fame members and corps directors participate in an election process to decide who will join the ranks of this prestigious society.

Four individuals have been selected for induction as the DCI Hall of Fame Class of 2016. They will be officially honored and recognized during the week of the DCI World Championships in Indianapolis this August.


Denise Bonfiglio
Color Guard Instructor, Staff Coordinator

Many know her as the daughter of George Bonfiglio, founder of the 27th Lancers Drum and Bugle Corps and founding father of Drum Corps International. However, Denise Bonfiglio has paved her own impressive path through the drum corps activity via a career that’s already lasted more than 50 years.

Growing up on the east coast, Bonfiglio joined the Immaculate Conception Reveries before becoming a member of her father’s 27th Lancers. She excelled as a member of the corps’ color guard and stayed on as an instructor after aging out, teaching the unit’s legendary rifle line.

“During those years she worked with George Zingali, Peggy Twiggs and George Bonfiglio,” said 2015 DCI Hall of Fame inductee William Harty. “Together they created the success of the 27th Lancers, winning the hearts and respect of everyone who watched them perform.”

After the 27th Lancers ceased operations as a DCI drum corps in 1986, Bonfiglio brought her talents to other corps, including the Garfield Cadets and Star of Indiana. In 1987, she spearheaded the reintroduction of a rifle line into the Cadets’ color guard section.

Bonfiglio worked with the 1987 Cadets to shape an inexperienced group of performers into a cohesive and competitive unit. Among the members she taught to spin a rifle that year was April Gilligan, who became a Bonfiglio protégé and later led corps’ color guard section as caption head.

“Not having a clue even how to hold the rifle, it was going to be a long summer,” Gilligan remembered when first meeting Bonfiglio in ‘87. “She had no idea what she was up against in having to teach me, but her teaching style was soft and quiet, yet powerful, with results as we went on to win the DCI Championship.”

Since the 2000s, Bonfiglio has worked with Santa Clara Vanguard and in recent years has served as the corps’ staff coordinator. In that position she plays an important role as a liaison and facilitator between the organization’s design staff, instructional staff, and management and administrative teams.

In parallel with her drum corps activities, Bonfiglio has also been a widely regarded and respected individual within the Winter Guard International community. In 2000, she was inducted into the WGI Hall of Fame. In 2006, she was instrumental in reinstating the Santa Clara Vanguard Winter Guard program, an award-winning group with which she currently serves as director.

With an eye on the past and one on the future, Bonfiglio co-founded the 27th Lancers Foundation with her sister Janine McWilliams. The non-profit organization, in honor of their late parents George and Patsy, raises funds to provide scholarships awarded to DCI corps members on an annual basis.

And therein is perhaps Bonfiglio’s greatest achievement in drum corps—her willingness to teach and mentor up-and-coming talent while planting the seeds for future generations of corps members to perform and thrive.


Frank Dorritie
Brass Instructor and Arranger, Audio Producer

First as a performer and then a brass instructor and arranger, Frank Dorritie utilized his drum corps experience on the way to a storied career in the music industry as a Grammy-winning audio producer.

With performance experience in drum corps dating back to the St. Catherine’s Queensmen and Long Island Sunrisers, Dorritie got his start as an instructor and arranger beginning in the 1960s and ‘70s. Subsequently he’d lend his talents and expertise to a lengthy list of corps all across the country, from the Garfield Cadets to the Blue Devils and Santa Clara Vanguard.

“A fond recollection I have of Frank was his involvement with the Blue Devils,” 1996 DCI Hall of Fame inductee Dave Richards said. “Frank had a firm understanding of the jazz idiom and applied this talent quite well in getting the Blue Devils to perform the marvelous Wayne Downey arrangements with proper jazz fundamentals.”

Earning his stripes in the music industry over many years, Dorritie’s lifework as an audio producer has led him to nine Grammy nominations and two Grammy awards for his work with Cal Tjader and Art Blakely and the Jazz Messengers.

“Frank’s gift of gab, spirited personality, and eagerness to share information on any topic on the face of the earth shine through while standing in front of either a brass section or audio engineers,” DCI Hall of Fame member Wayne Downey said.

Never straying far from his drum corps roots, Dorritie has helped produce a number of projects for Drum Corps International, including “State of the Art,” a 1980 album that marked the very first multi-track recordings of drum corps, featuring the Blue Devils and Santa Clara Vanguard.

As part of that groundbreaking project, Dorritie was inspired to bring drum corps fans “into the arc”—meaning the arc-shaped formation that a corps’ horn line stands in while warming up—by memories of Dick Blake’s 1960s “Brass by Night” standstill recording of New York-area junior corps. As a member of St. Catherine’s Queensmen, one of the corps on the recording, Dorritie once remarked, “One of these days I’m going to make another recording like that.”

Dorritie holds distinctions as a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, the Buglers Hall of Fame, and the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.


Dan Farrell
Program Coordinator, Phantom Regiment

Joining the Rockford, Illinois corps as a baritone player at the young age of 12, Dan Farrell has called Phantom Regiment home ever since, as he has worked with the corps in a number of capacities for more than four decades.

Joining the corps’ brass staff in the 1980s, Farrell worked under the tutelage of DCI Hall of Fame members Jim Wren and Dan Richardson and quickly helped the corps maintain a consistent level of competitive success.

One year after he was tapped to take over as caption head of Regiment’s brass section in 1988, the corps won Drum Corps International’s brass caption award while achieving one of its highest finishes ever.

“The great brass lines for which the Regiment has been known through the years have been a product of Dan’s abilities,” said former Phantom Regiment brass arranger and 1994 DCI Hall of Fame inductee Jim Wren. “I can honestly say that he took my arrangements and turned them into ‘music.’”

In the 1990s Farrell transitioned into the role of Phantom Regiment program coordinator, a position he fills yet today. He has guided the creative process among Regiment’s design and instructional staff members, helping the corps to which he has dedicated his life achieve incredible success.

In Farrell’s first years as program coordinator, he took the Phantom Regiment everyone had come to know and expect and transformed it with a new and sophisticated style.

“From the intensity of ‘The Defiant Heart’ (1996) to the epic redux of ‘Spartacus’ (2008), Dan has put the audience first and foremost,” former Phantom Regiment brass arranger JD Shaw said. “His philosophy has always been one of putting the focus on entertainment and letting competitive success merely be a by-product of excellence.”

“Quite simply, Phantom Regiment and Dan Farrell have been synonymous for decades,” Phantom Regiment executive director Rick Valenzuela said. “The impact Phantom Regiment has had on the drum corps activity is because of Dan.”


Myron Rosander
Visual Designer, Santa Clara Vanguard

A dedicated performer, passionate instructor, and revolutionary visual designer over decades for Santa Clara Vanguard, Myron Rosander was also held in high regard as the heart and soul of the organization.

“His influence on the membership was profound,” Vanguard Executive Director Charles Frost said. “He served as a beacon of inspiration, history, and focus for what it truly means to be from Santa Clara.”

Joining the Santa Clara Vanguard as a French horn player in 1976, Rosander performed with the corps through 1980. Invited by Vanguard founder Gail Royer to join the corps’ visual staff in 1985, Rosander became a staple of the organization’s instructional and design staff for some 30 years.

In all, Rosander has been a part of four DCI World Championship titles—one as a performer in 1978, two as a visual caption head with the Vanguard “A Corps” in 1989 and 1999, and one with the Vanguard Cadets for their 2013 Open Class Championship production.

“Myron entertained us with his intricate visual designs that kept you on the edge of your seat,” said former Santa Clara Vanguard director Rick Valenzuela who had the opportunity to work with Rosander again in later years as executive director of Phantom Regiment. “He challenged the performers and staff members to reach new heights they didn’t think were possible.

“His design influence on so many well-known performances throughout his career moved people … He was a perfectionist whose goal was to provide a visual design and show concepts that would continue to push the activity, but still be entertaining for the fans, and worthwhile for the performers.”

Beyond the artistic formations he created for the football field, Rosander also shared a special connection with the corps members who brought his designs to life. He’d often take the time to address those performers from the heart, sharing his experiences and wisdom that had students hanging on every word and inspiring them to achieve their very best.

“Myron’s drill writing seems insignificant when compared to the value felt and respect he gave to each and every member who passed through the Vanguard,” Santa Clara Vanguard alum Amy Frost said. “We were taught by Myron to not only work on ourselves as musicians and marchers on the field, but to constantly readapt ourselves into humbled, respectable human beings off the field as well.”

Rosander was inducted into the Santa Clara Vanguard Hall of Fame in 2014. He passed away on December 20, 2015 at the age of 55 and will be inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame posthumously.