Hall of Fame members toast Len Piekarski and Glenn Opie
On Saturday afternoon, two more drum corps greats were inducted into the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame at a well-attended reception during the Drum Corps International weekend of meetings and seminars in Denver. The Class of 2003 included Len Piekarski and Glenn Opie. Piekarski wrote drill for The Cavaliers and instructed the corps from 1957 to 1968. The various junior and senior corps he worked with won 11 junior and senior corps national championships. According to Piekarski, "This was the biggest honor I've had in my life. It was as great a feeling as winning a national championship. I instructed from 1952 through 1968 with two winning corps and I judged into the 1980s. I faded out from the activity, but after the ceremony I feel like I could easily go right back into what I did before. This is such a great feeling, a once-in-a-lifetime thing for someone who's 77 years-old." Opie was director of the Argonne Rebels from 1949 through 1973 and has been a lawyer in Great Bend, Kan., since 1956. During his years with the corps, the Rebels won 13 American Legion state championships, three American Legion national championships, and an assortment of other awards. Opie expressed his emotion at being inducted, saying, "My wife (Hall of Fame member Sandra Opie) and I have been out of active corps for about 30 years. To be here was pure chemistry. Seeing all those people in the audience, it all came alive. In the audience was the nuts and bolts of the organization. Knowing what the organization has done and what it's going to do, it's one of the proudest moments of my life to be part of it and be accepted by it." David Kamspschroer, Chairman of the DCI Hall of Fame, stated, "It continues to amaze me the live history that we pass on to the younger generation of drum corps by coming to this ceremony and listening to the inductees talk about their experiences in drum corps." Visit the Hall of Fame section of the DCI Web site for details on how to nominate someone for the Class of 2004. Nomination materials are due by February 14, 2004.