Drum Corps International

Joe Marrella - DCI Hall of Fame

Joe Marrella


Inducted in 1995

The list of drum corps Joe Marrella has instructed reads like a who's who of drum corps. He instructed the Bluecoats, North Star, Empire Statesmen, 27th Lancers, Reading Buccaneers, Blue Rock, Troopers, Bridgemen, Muchachos, Belleville Black Knights, Brookhaven Crusaders, Westshoremen, Audobon Bon-Bons, Hadden Heights Vagabonds, Belles of St. Mary's, Media Fawns and the Haddonfield all-girl corps.

Marrella is considered the founder of the eight-man snare line, having initiated the idea in 1971 with Blue Rock. In a time when the emphasis on drumming was volume, Marrella's lines were technically superb, with many of his lines achieving a proficiency in June that most corps could only hope for in August. Though one of the best percussion instructors the activity has seen, he may be remembered best for his ability to analyze a drum corps program. He was so good at looking at a show and recognizing the necessary improvements, that some have called him a "show doctor."

The nomination letters presented on behalf of Marrella are filled with tributes to his teaching, creativity, wisdom, but mostly, his character. As one letter stated, "His most endearing quality is his gigantic and giving heart."