Ken Conklin - Hall of Fame 2019

Created on Monday, 13 May 2019 11:08:13

To the Cadets Hall of Fame Committee,

I would like to nominate Kenny Conklin to the Cadets Hall of Fame.

Kenny was a quartermaster for the corps back in the 80’s. During that time his daughter Kathy and his son Billy marched with the Cadets. He did so much for all the kids during his this time. He worked tirelessly on their behalf.

But more importantly…for me…he was my first drum instructor. Without his instruction and guidance I would have never been able to join the Garfield Cadets. Kenny was a life changer.



Jack Day (snare 65-66)

I'm writing to nominate my father Ken Conklin for the Hall of Fame. He has always loved "Garfield". They've always been a part of our lives. My brother and I marched in the Plebes and then moved up to the "Big Corps". My sister also marched in the plebes. My parents even bought a maroon & white suburban when we were in the Plebes.

In 1970, when I was eight years old, my father brought me to my first plebes practice. I liked it right away. He drove me to all the practices, It didn't take long for him to get involved and jump in to help. He was quartermaster and also taught the drumline for years. He was there at all the parades and events to help out from the 50/50's to the Chinese auction, and the Cadets show at Garfield HS. I marched in the winter color guard circuit with the plebes for six years. He was there as quartermaster and helped us with our equipment. I remember when we lined up in the hallway before we went on, he'd come by and give each of us a Bianca blast for fresh breath. He also helped out each Friday with the corps Bingo night. I moved up to the cadets at fourteen and he became a quartermaster for them during my four years there. I marched the 1977 season through the1980 season. He drove the old equipment truck hoping it would make its destination and not break down. He kept all the uniforms and equipment in good care. He built the wooden holders for the shakos on the truck. At one point the equipment truck and the food truck were both having engine trouble so he drove both up to our house and worked on them himself. He and my mom went on tour with us and worked on the food truck always making sure we had enough to eat. He was always there willing to help out wherever needed. He has a lot of pride for The Cadets. The cadets have always been a part of our lives. Ken Conklin gave many years of continuous service to the corps he loves from 1972-1980 and should definitely receive a place in the hall of fame.

Thank You,

Kathy Breen 

My name is Pat Petrillo, and I marched in the Garfield Cadets snare line in 1978 and 1979.

More often than not, the people who work behind the scenes in any organization are the ones who do most of the work, and receive less in accolades.

Mr. Ken Conklin was one of those people for the Cadets for MANY years as a "Quartermaster extraordinaire".  He sweated over many a tour, fixed many bugles, built shelves on, and repaired many a tour truck, helped cook, drove around the country, and supported the organization in the years before there was a 'Yea".  He even helped to teach the "Plebes" back in the day. He did whatever it took for the kids of Garfield to be successful..a real "father figure" who we could always count on for anything, even money! Nothing was too small a job.

I am sincere when I say, that without his hard work and handy repairs, there were times we would not have made it to the field for a show.  He truly was a backbone in the years he served, one that the staff could also rely on for help.

Please accept this letter for his nomination to the Hall of Fame.  An unsung hero, truly worthy of our thanks and gratitude.



Pat Petrillo


I am writing this letter to support Mr. Ken Conklin for induction into the Cadets Hall of Fame. “Mr. C” served the corps in many capacities and in many ways. I came to know him very well through his role as our Quartermaster from 1977 through 1980. Mr. C. was one of the most dedicated, caring, and generous gentlemen I had the pleasure of knowing in my drum corps career.

Long before the Cadets had tractor trailers, they had a broken down equipment truck. Drums and shakos alike were tossed about until Mr. C. built cabinets for the snare drums and shelving for the shakos. It's easy to think of the Cadets as the state of the art corps they are now; however, it takes someone special to do so much for an organization during more difficult times.

Mr. C. also taught the Plebes drum line for years which "graduated" many members up to the Cadets.

But most important among his contributions, was always being a steady, friendly presence for the members of the corps. This is what I remember most about him. As a rookie snare drummer in 1978 – fresh out of high school band – it was very intimidating to just show up and start playing in a DCI drum corps. Mr. C. was always there for us, to help with whatever we needed. Always a true gentleman, and always a friend and a guardian, I could always count on Mr. C., and he made my transition to the “big leagues” of DCI an easier one.

I am very pleased to recognize the contributions of Mr. Ken Conklin, a true gentleman and friend of the Cadets, and support his nomination to the Cadets Hall of Fame.


Peter E. Castellano

Peter E. Castellano, Esq.
Cadets Snare Drummer 1978-1981
DCI Individual Snare Drum Champion


My affiliation with Mr. Conklin (that’s how I referred to him and Mrs. Conklin when I was in the Corps as a member), goes back to the mid-70’s. Actually, I believe he was already working with our Cadet Plebe organization since the beginning of the 70’s. This was during the time, right after our Cadet feeder corps had a separation of members, with the majority of the members leaving to form the Garfield Epoch corps, and the minority staying with the Cadet Corps. Mr. Conklin was the drum instructor for the Cadet Plebes, a volunteer instructor I might add, that wanted his son and daughters to grow up as members of the Cadet competing Corps. By the mid-70’s, both Kathy (the eldest daughter) and Billy, his son, had been moved up to the Cadet Corps – Kathy in the guard, and Billy as a snare drummer.  So, for Ken, his dream of watching his children march in a Cadet uniform was fulfilled.    

The Conklin’s were always working behind the scenes with both the Plebe Corps and the Cadet Corps. Mr. Conklin was not only a drum instructor, but he was a Quartermaster for both the Plebes and the Competing Corps, and even drove the Corps’ equipment truck. He worked bingo’s and other fundraisers, basically doing whatever was needed, all on a volunteer basis, and all for the good of the corps.

It is with the deepest respect and appreciation that I offer my support for the nomination of Ken Conklin into the 2019 class of the Cadets Hall of Fame.


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

About Us

Our Mission is to support the development of young people into magnificent human beings through participation in the performing arts.


For general information about YEA! and our programs please contact us at:

 info @
 P.O. Box 1998      
     Allentown, PA 18105