Cheryl Philhower-Gillick - Hall of Fame 2019

Created on Monday, 13 May 2019 11:34:28

To Whom it May Concern:


I am writing to you to strongly recommend Cheryl Philhower to the Cadets Hall of Fame.

As a member of The Cadets, we marched together thru the hard times in the feeder corp called the Plebes.

We both "graduated" to the Garfield Cadets when we struggled and climbed our way into DCI Finals .... something that should not be taken for granted.

Cheryl was and remains a devoted member as she has volunteered her time as an instructor and mentor thru the years.

But it was her devotion as a member when The Cadets went thru tough times and she made it all the way to the mountain top as  DCI Champion down in Miami in 1983.

I hope you make the right call for the hall.


Thank You,

Billy Conklin


Cheryl Philhower Gillick is an outstanding candidate for our HOF Class of 2019. Cheryl has a unique place in the history of The Cadets organization, as she marched most of her young life from the mid 1970’s to mid 1980’s, throughout an era that saw our corps lead the way in connecting old and new styles of drum corps. This was made possible with those special member’s who didn’t just talk about the Tradition of being in the drum corps that is forever conceived and attached to a little town called Garfield, but they lived and breathed it and they held it together when times were tough. Cheryl has happily spent her whole life filling and excelling in every possible role while making it look effortless. She is the unsung champion of anyone who has needed a place to sleep, a meal to eat, a smile and a word of encouragement. She is one of the members who would work for as long as someone else needed help to get past that part of the rifle routine, or drill move that hadn’t clicked yet, leading by example and help to get it perfect without boasting……spending hours to be there at a time in our history when a staff of 50 instructors didn’t exist yet. Meanwhile, her mom, Ruth Philhower, was a dedicated and loving part of a league of mothers who made sure the corps got the rest of everything done on tour with impossibly long hours and then cheering the loudest from the stands as The Cadets performed. Cheryl is that dedicated sister to us all, doing the same things her mom taught us “kids” and those members long after we were finished marching. Never asking for anything and never needing anyone to see or know what she was doing. Cheryl makes a difference.

We are a very special family that enjoys such a rich list of members that have given blood, sweat, tears, talent, and love to our family since 1934. A direct lineage that remains unbroken. So tremendous are the contributions of those like Cheryl, our story would never end if you tried to record all of it.

There’s definitely a field of dreams in drum corps, and it starts in Garfield, NJ and stretches as far as our new brothers and sisters continue to take it.

Please give the gift of the Hall of Fame with your votes to Cheryl Philhower Gillick, as someone who would never ask for it, never expect it…but would cherish every second of it and never let us down while she is doing it.


Dane DuFour
Member 1980
Staff 1981-1987


Dear Hall of Fame Committee,

It is my absolute pleasure and honor to write this Hall of Fame nomination letter for Cheryl Philhower-Gillick. I have had the pleasure of knowing Cheryl for over twenty-five years as an educator and friend during my time in the drum corps activity.

Cheryl had a remarkable marching career with the Garfield Cadets which spanned over eight years from 1978 to 1985. During the time from 1978-1982, as a member of the color guard, these corps laid the foundation for the first three of their 10 DCI championships in 1983. Cheryl aged-out at the conclusion of DCI’s first three-peat in 1985.

Since first meeting Cheryl, she has always bled maroon and gold and kept the corps close to her heart. Cheryl has worked and volunteered with YEA for over thirty years as an adjudicator and show coordinator dating back to the inception of the USBANDS circuit when it was the Emerson Radio Marching Band circuit in 1988. Cheryl has always volunteered for events and is always supportive of the corps and helps out when she can.

As an educator, Cheryl consistently displays the work ethic, compassion, dedication and focus we were all taught at the Cadets. Cheryl works tirelessly with her students and pushes them to be the best and never settle for anything less. Cheryl exhibits these traits every time she is in front of her students, which is why her color guard students have gone on to march with many of the top DCI corps during the summer and WGI groups during the winter. Along with her students, she also motivates those whom she teaches alongside with. Cheryl’s dedication does not allow fellow staff members to settle for anything less than greatness as well. It is always a pleasure to work with Cheryl in this capacity.

In closing, I support Cheryl Philhower-Gillick without hesitation for the Cadets Hall of Fame. Cheryl is a true Cadet and has exhibited this throughout her marching and teaching career.



Joseph Thomas Reichert
92,93,95 member
97,98 staff


To whom it may concern:

I’m writing this letter in support of Cheryl Philhower Gillick’s nomination for the Cadets Hall of Fame.

I’ve known Cheryl for 12 years through our jobs at Governor Livingston High School. Although we never met when we were each marching in the Cadets, I can safely say that she embodies everything I hold near and dear to my heart about being a Cadet.

Three words come to mind when I think of what it means to me to be a Cadet: Dedication, Community, and Excellence.

Cheryl’s number of years spent as a marching member and then as an Alumna eclipse most people I know in any activity they are a part of. She continues for years to be active in the Drum Corps, Marching Band, and Winter Guard worlds ensuring that these activities grow and flourish.

Her involvement with this activity as a whole and also with the individual members show her strong sense of community. When I first started working with her we instantly bonded over our shared history with the corps. Almost every day we talk about The Cadets. The Cadets of the past, the current Cadets, and the Cadets of the future. She is so well liked and admired by all that know her. And it’s hard for me to find a name in the activity that she doesn’t also have long histories and friendships with. Her roots in this community run deep.

Finally, her commitment to excellence that all Cadets strive for and achieve is evident in her work ethic in every facet of her professional and marching arts related life. I often come to her for advice when I’m teaching color guard because I know that she has the highest standards, knows how to reach them, and she will be willing to help my students achieve this greatness, too.

In short, I can’t think of a more deserving person to be inducted to the Cadets Hall of Fame.


Joe Miceli
Cadets Color Guard 2000


Dear Nomination Committee,

I would like to nominate Cheryl Philhower Gillick for the Cadets Hall of Fame. Way back in 1983, I was a rookie in the Garfield Cadets. Cheryl took me under her wing and helped me survive that first summer. Her patience, kindness and friendship were not only felt by me, but by everyone in the corps. Fast forward to today and Cheryl is still spreading her kindness and friendship to the Cadets of 2019.

Cheryl can be seen volunteering at camp weekends, collecting goodies for the kids, or silently behind the scenes helping a current member with their tour fees. Cheryl is a connector. She is truly a friend to those she marched with and with those that are currently marching and everyone in between. Just this week she introduced me to the current guard captain. We all shared a story or two and instantly that quick introduction turned into a new friendship.

Both my wife and I marched in the corps. When my wife was marching, Cheryl’s mother was an ever present supporter, especially of the color guard. My wife has many fond memories of how Cheryl’s mom and the other women made them feel loved and supported. Cheryl walks proudly in her mother’s footsteps to support the current members and let them know how loved they are too.

Please consider this nomination for Cheryl Philhower Gillick into the Cadets Hall of Fame.



Carl Boos
Garfield Cadets 83, 84
Cadets of Bergen County staff 89-92

Erica Boos
Cadets of Bergen County 91, 92


Dear HOF Committee,

I have known Ms. Cheryl Gillick since 1984 and I have known her in several different capacities. When I first met Cheryl in 1984, she was already a seasoned veteran living the Cadet lifestyle with a reputation for taking care of “out-of-towners”. I have been friends with Cheryl since those days of marching together and we have worked in many different capacities along the way. What has impressed me the most throughout these years is how Cheryl has carried that Cadet work ethic with her and has made it standard in every situation she has been in. I have seen evidence of that work ethic not only in the bands and drum corps we have taught together but also in her jobs at West Essex and Governor Livingston, church youth groups, band and guard judging, and even as an actor in a high school musical! There is no doubt Cheryl will be a benefit to the Cadet HOF.



Mark Fabio


Please accept this email as my nomination for Cheryl Philhower-Gillick

Cheryl was a plebe, graduated to Cadets in 1978.  She aged out as guard captain in 1985. She was there when the corps finished 16th and was a member of all 3 DCI champions from 1983-1985.  

She’s been active as an alumnus.  She was tabulator at the very first Cadets band show in 1988 and has remained active ever since through the CMBC, USSBA, and now USBands as show staff and as a Judge.  

Cheryl has taken what she learned as a life long Cadet and applied that ethic to the guards, bands and drum corps she has worked with in her life. I asked her for help with Cadets2 last year and she jumped in 110%.

Cheryl deserves this honor!


Tom Maiello



I have known Cheryl Philhower Gillick for over 40 years. I write this letter in support of Cheryl’s nomination for the hall of fame.

Through the years, the Cadets have had many names and uniforms. But it has always meant one thing. Teamwork, dedication and tradition. 

I have seen Cheryl wear many uniforms back in the day as well. The uniform of a plebe, the uniform of a Cadet during the lean years, and the one during the years of championships. I have also seen her wear the uniform of friend, confidant, and leader. And through it all, she has always shown that same teamwork and dedication the Cadets stood for. She still does. 

Please consider inducting Cheryl into the Hall of Fame. From a former Cadet, and proudly a lifetime friend. FHNSAB. 



To Whom it May Concern,

It is with great pride and admiration that I offer my official letter of support for Mrs. Cheryl Gillick. When I think of the strength and passion that Cheryl has, it becomes quite clear that these life skills have been cultivated through her time as a Garfield Cadet. The long journey that she had in helping to build a rich history in excellence and tradition helped to shape her into the positive role model that she is today. Cheryl was one of many young people that have come to utilize the life skills that were learned while a Cadet to be successful, caring, role models that maintain such a strong force in the marching arts and beyond. The concept of hard work is a given if you dare to dream of becoming a DCI World Champion Cadet and it is evident by the countless fellow alumni that sing her praises as well as the hundreds of young people Cheryl went on teach, mentor and support with love, and wisdom for pageantry and for life skills to aspire to be the best version of themselves. Mrs. Gillick has a long time supporter of each new class of Cadets through support as a fan and a donor to the alumni organization and has been even more generous with her time to donate whenever needed. I look to Mrs. Gillick as an inspiration of what a “True Cadet “is, was and what Holy Name will ALWAYS BE!

Durand Thomas
Cadet Alumni 90, 91,92

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