Bill Gaeckle - Hall of Fame 2019

Created on Monday, 13 May 2019 11:11:19

I would like to nominate Bill Gaeckle for the Cadets Hall of Fame.

Bill was a marching member in terrific standing in the 1960's before joining the Marine Corps where he served as a drummer for the Drum and Bugle Corps.

I became acquainted with Billy in 1974. After the devastating 1972 season, when the Corps failed to make Finals at the first DCI championship due to a timing penalty, and a very tumultuous 1973 season the Corps was in trouble. Many staff and members had left the Corps we were was hanging on by a thread. I remember many rehearsals with no instructors and maybe 40 members total in attendance. Billy was willing to sacrifice his time and talent to help keep the Corps afloat. He was literally the only consistent drum instructor we had. The 1974 season started to turn things around. The Drum Line grew under his instruction and arranging and by 1975 we finally made it into the DCI Finals. Billy was an integral part in making this happen.

Billy not only taught us how to drum but to also be upstanding young men and women. His integrity and example of kindness and calm reserve rubbed off on us. I personally owe a lot to Billy for propelling me into a 40 year teaching career.

Please consider Mr. Gaeckle for the Hall of fame. Without his commitment to the Corps in the early and mid 1970's the Corps might not be here today.


Thank you,

Robert J Dubinski  1970 -1976
Bloomington High School South Director of Bands


I would like to support the nomination for Bill Gaeckle to the Cadets Hall of Fame.  I was in the corps in the 70's during some difficult years in which Bill became a drum instructor.  Since he was a Cadet alumni he was very interested in getting the corps back on track. With his knowledge of tradition, drum corps and his love for the corps he gave it his all.  He was a mentor and a friend to all. He was a large part of the reason that the corps became a DCI finalist in 1975. He was always up and ready for anything that was thrown to the Cadets.  To this day whenever you see Bill and his wife Chris he remembers you and his drum corps roots.

Beth McGarril
Garfield Cadets 1973-1975


I first met Billy Gaeckle as a snare drummer in the Corps during the 1967 season.  I also had the opportunity of marching with Billy’s brother, Michael, a soprano player.  Billy was one of our four snare drummers who epitomized what it meant to be a Cadet. Leading by example, and always with a positive disposition.

I then had the opportunity of meeting up with Billy during the 1974 season as our Primary Drum Instructor.  The Corps was undergoing a major rebuilding process after the 1972/1973 seasons, making nice strides, and Billy was brought in to complement the program.  He had the chance to work with my brother, Kenny, as one of the four tuned base players of the line, and had a profound impact on his life as well.

As a horn player, I enjoyed watching the percussion section rehearse.  With Billy at the helm, and Bob Dubinski as his percussion tech and section leader, the drum line of 1974-1976 continued to improve each year.

You work hard, you work together, and you work as a unit.  Billy led by example and was a wonderful addition to both the competing Corps as a member and a staff member.

It is with the utmost respect and admiration that I offer this letter of support for Mr. Bill Gaeckle to the Hall of Fame Class of 2019.



Greg Cinzio
Soprano Member and Drum Major (1967-1977)


Dear Cadets HOF Committee,


Missed him by one year. 

I am writing to support Bob Dubinski’s heartfelt nomination letter for Cadet member and instructor, Bill Gaeckle. As a member of a small Garden State Circuit corps in the mid 1970’s, I could only dream of being part of Billy’s amazing Cadet drum lines. As I look to the current website, I see the Cadets percussion staff listed with more than a dozen members. When Billy taught the line, he practically arranged and taught all of the percussion charts by himself…such class, such talent, and a tasty drum book too...he was amazing. In talking with other Alums, I learned of Billy’s respected status in the line, even as a rookie in 1965. He overcame tremendous hardship and was a dedicated member of the Maroon and Gold for years before leaving to serve his country with honor in the Armed Forces.

He returned to teach The Cadets in the mid 70’s and showed the same dedication, character, and leadership as he did as a member.

In 1977, my dream of becoming a Cadet Snare became reality but unfortunately, Billy left his position as drum instructor after the 1976 season. I missed the chance to learn from one of the most respected instructors the corps has ever known by just one year.

Now it is time for each of you on the committee to recognize Billy Gaeckle for his contributions to The Cadets as both a member and instructor and vote him into the Cadets Hall of Fame, Class of 2019.



Pat Zampetti
Cadets Hall of Fame, Class of 2016


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