Drum Corps International

Hugh Mahon - DCI Hall of Fame

Hugh Mahon

Inducted in 1985

A drum major with the Cadets and later the Hawthorne Caballeros in the early 1960s, Hugh Mahon returned to the Cadets as a drill instructor in 1968. Two years later he became director of the corps, pushing the concept of “total theme shows” and the formation of the UOJC, (United Organization of Junior Corps), which he sought to assist eastern corps in regaining national prominence.

“Hugh envisioned the UOJC as a vehicle for eastern corps to better control their fate; competitively, financially and organizationally,” Mahon’s longtime friend John Keays said.

Wanting more for the drum corps activity, Mahon contacted members of the Midwest Combine (which was the Midwest organization similar in scope to the UOJC) to work toward a common goal.

Dave Shaw, the first director of publicity and public relations for Drum Corps International, recounts that despite a less-than-enthusiastic reception from both members of the Combine and his own UOJC, “Hugh persisted to the point of being such a thorn in the paw of both groups that they reluctantly and very grudgingly agreed to meet at the American Legion Rules Congress in 1971 for some ‘discussion.’ That meeting, contrary to everyone's early intentions, resulted in the formation of Drum Corps International, a totally unanticipated development.”

Elected as DCI’s first co-director and serving as the DCI Eastern Coordinator, he later became a charter member of both the Cadets Hall of Fame and the DCI Hall of Fame, recognized for initiating a new era of drum corps.

Keays added, “Hugh currently resides in Kentucky and relishes the roll of spoiling his wife, daughters and grandchildren.”