Drum Corps International
The DCI.org interview: Bruno Zuccala

The DCI.org interview: Bruno Zuccala

by Drum Corps International


Bruno Zuccala
Bruno Zuccala, assistant director and color guard coordinator of the Cavaliers, has a marching music resume, spanning 37 years, like no other. He began his drum corps career at age 9, and has spent the last 19 years with the Cavaliers. "I just want to say that it has been a wonderful part of my life," Zuccala said of his drum corps experiences, which have lead him to Japan and Italy in instructional capacities (for a full rundown of his resume go HERE). When he's not on the road with the Cavaliers, Zuccala is assistant to the administrator and a classroom teacher for the Seneca Valley School District in Zelienople, Pa. "I learned so much from so many people, but Steve Brubaker pushed me to always challenge my process and to look at the BIG PICTURE. I hope that my students continue the teachings we all shared to their students and the next generation," Zuccala said. Other than drum corps and Cavalier activities, the Butler, Pa., resident enjoys traveling, being with friends and music. DCI.org: How did you get your start arranging and coordinating color guard? Zuccala: I began coordinating color guard at Norwin High School in 1984. It was a collaborative effort with the design team. DCI.org: Do you have any anecdotes about how you got started? Zuccala: It was a natural progression from teaching and setting up the basic program. DCI.org: Did you participate in color guard in high school or college? Zuccala: I marched and taught the General Butler Vagabonds for 13 years. I began in 1967 as a 9-year-old. DCI.org: How do you start the process of coordinating? Zuccala: Scott Koter, program coordinator, filters all the information to me from the designers, and I work very closely with the caption heads to implement changes, details, nuances. Michael Gaines and Andy Toth work together with the specifics and design and I implement them. We all work very closely together.

DCI.org: How closely do you work with the other members of the Cavaliers' leadership team? Zuccala: Since I have many roles at The Cavaliers, I work with everyone. I am the assistant director, color guard caption head, and a member of the board of directors. DCI.org: What other color guard coordinators do you admire? Zuccala: Scott Chandler (Blue Devils) and April Gilligan (the Cadets). I also respect the younger coordinators, Tim Newburn (Glassmen) and Jennifer LeSeth (Madison Scouts). DCI.org: What advice would you give to young people who aspire to design and coordinate color guard routines? Zuccala: Look at the program holistically. Make sure there is a balance within the program. Observe and learn how to treat the students and the entire staff with respect. DCI.org: Do you have any favorite Cavalier road anecdotes? Zuccala: The guys always laugh at me when I say "One more time" -- it never happens. DCI.org: What has been your favorite corps performance ever? Zuccala: Cavaliers 1991, Cadets 1984. DCI.org: How do you keep yourself choreographically current? Zuccala: Work with young designers and staff members. DCI.org: What do you do for ideas? Zuccala: Research ideas and recall from my experiences. Most important, I work with the design and instructional team. DCI.org: Do you have any rough ideas for which direction the Cavaliers' color guard will head visually in 2004? Zuccala: (We will) Continue to challenge the members for a holistic approach to color guard. Continuing to be a major component of the program visually and musically. DCI.org: Describe what you think a Cavaliers' color guard will look in 2015. Zuccala: Keeping the integrity and philosophy of the organization. Being physically and mentally challenging to those members.

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