2019 World Drum Corps Hall of Fame Inductees Include International Members and George Takei

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A photo of the 2019 World Drum Corps Hall of Fame Inductees.

The World Drum Corps Hall of Fame (WDCHOF) inducted two individuals into the new International Division along with a roster of regular and associate members and George Takei for Distinguished Professional Achievement.

Founded in 1976, WDCHOF is an independent organization that recognizes individuals for their contributions to the drum and bugle corps community each August.

Sadao Yokota and Shinichi Onodera became the inaugural members of the International Division. Yokota is president of Dynasty Japan Corporation and founded Marching in Okayama, one of Japan’s long-running drum corps contests. Onodera is the former drum major and director of Japanese national champion SOKA Renaissance Vanguard.

Up until this year, all of the nominees and inductees had been from North America, says Roy Wilson, publicity director of WDCHOF. Through the last 15 years, the drum corps movement accelerated in several countries, such as Japan, Wilson adds. “The movement [is] very well established [overseas], so we’re kind of getting caught up with the reality of how the activity has changed,” he says.

WDCHOF also inducted actor George Takei, best known for his portrayal of Hikaru Sulu, the helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the “Star Trek” TV series, for Distinguished Professional Achievement. Before he became a “Star Trek” icon and social activist, he played baritone for the Commodore Perry Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, associated with the Los Angeles Boy Scout Troop 379 of the Koyasan Buddhist Temple. Though Takei did not attend the induction ceremony, he did submit a video thank-you message.

WDCHOF inducted seven regular members—Jay Morlot, Gene Monterastelli, James Elvord, John Meehan, Dave Vose, Shirley Stratton Dorritie, and George Oliviero—and seven associate members—Rick Anderson, Cherokee Merino-Baer, Tim Boardman, Gord Cupskey, Brian Moul, Doreen Sandor, and Daniel Staffieri.

Photo courtesy of Joseph Butz.

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