Dear Nomination Committee,
This letter is written in support of Mr. Michael Jones’ nomination for The Cadets Hall of Fame.
Honestly, I really didn’t know too much about Michael Jones and the historic legacy he’s had in the marching arts activity and with The Cadets until several years ago. Prior to that, I only knew of Michael Jones as the visual instructor and drill designer for the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Knight Club and the Cadets of New York City Drum and Bugle Corps. As a performing member, Michael stood out to me because of his creative and innovative genius and willingness to step outside of the drum corps norms to not only try to and test new ideas, but to make sure that the artistic concepts resonated with the culture of the performers.
In more recent years, I’ve worked with Michael Jones in a variety of capacities in my role as the Executive Director of BKSTEPPERS Marching Arts. As our organization strives to revive the marching arts activity here in New York City, Michael has been instrumental in our organization’s growth, serving on committees, being a personal advisor to me and an ambassador in the community for our work.
I wholeheartedly and without reservation endorse Michael’s nomination and subsequent induction into The Cadets Hall of Fame.
Should you have any questions, or require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
All the best,
It gives me great pleasure to nominate Mr. Cadet indeed Michael Lawrence Jones to The Cadets Hall of Fame class of 2019. As we all know, it takes a special person to become a Cadet and wear The Maroon and Gold. As all nominee is deserving of the HOF, I truly believe Mr. Jones is one to be inducted at this time in this class. I first met Michael in 1980 growing up in The Bronx NY. We were both involved in inner-city drum and bugle corps and competed against each other. We actually lived across the street from each other and became close friends from that point on. We would get together and practice for endless hours day and night. Teaching each other whatever we've learned to help each other out in perfecting our craft. Always an upstanding and well mannered young man who will go above and beyond to help anyone that is in need. He will ( and I have witnessed) practically give you his shirt off of his back, if you needed it, he will go without if it meant helping someone. I remember when I first came to Garfield, it was Michael who took me under his wings to help guide me through and showed me the brotherhood of what The Cadets are all about. With the will and patience to learn and assist, Michael was able to help so many over course of 9 years become a member of Tradition that's like no other. From 1983-1988 as a member of the drum line in the quad section, he was known to be a strong leader and role model for the Cadets, who help set the standards of EXCELLENCE for what we know today as the 10 time DCI World Champions The Cadets. With winning 4 DCI titles in 5 years and a member of the only perfect scoring drum line in DCI history. Michael has shared his talents in all areas of the corps. Upon age out, Michael joined the staff in 1989-1991where he assisted the corps to another championship. Bleeding Maroon and Gold, Michael was totally dedicated, devoted, and proud to do whatever it takes to continue this Tradition for many many years to come. My fellow Cadets, friends and alumni, please join me in helping nominate Michael L. Jones to the Cadets Hall of Fame class of 2016.
Carl Simpson (1984-1985) snare line..... FHNSAB
Michael Jones (OJay as I call him) has been part of my life for close to 40 years. Throughout that time he has always demonstrated inquisitiveness for the performing arts. Back as a young boy he would hang around the New York Lancer organization where his aunt and uncle were members. Eventually he made his way onto their drumline becoming an obvious asset and working his way up the ranks. Still very young, he branched out his talents by trying his hand at color guard becoming a sabre in the winter guard Park Avenue North. All the while as our own relationship was changing, as he grew both in age and knowledge he went from a little boy to a valuable member. Even though most of the members were usually older than him, at that time, he always thought he could hang with the BIG BOYS. Eventually gaining the courage and obvious talent to audition for the Cadets of Bergen County where I know he was a valuable asset, because I saw it. His enthusiasm and always striving to learn and be the best obviously proved that he could HANG WITH THE BIG BOYS. But it doesn’t stop there. When he returned to the city he still felt the need to share his expertise and newfound talents with youngsters in the inner city. Becoming program designer for the Cadets of New York City. Constantly trying his hand at new innovative ideas to share with youngsters that only needed the outlet in order to flourish. He was always able to make the people around him want to be their best. Till today OJay works with youngsters developing their natural talents for music and the performing arts. Teaching drumming as well as music reading.
There are so many things I can say about Michael Jones. But the one most important thing is that he has made me a better person by exuding that energy that is always so vibrant and contagious. I am so proud to call him FRIEND. I am so proud that he has the opportunity to become a Hall of ‘Famer in such a wonderful organization.
Michael Jones possesses all of the qualities of a HALL OF FAMER. And if you have the opportunity to have him as Hall Of Fame member in your organization you would be lucky.
To whom it may concern,
I am proudly writing this letter on behalf of Michael Lawrence Jones Il. Michael is an extremely hard worker and very talented. I always said that anything that my brother touches turns to GOLD. Whenever Michael sets out to do something he dedicates himself to it. Michael knew nothing about playing the drums especially the Quads but in 1980 he joined the New York Lancer drum and bugle Corp where he became an excellent quad player. Michael played those drums effortlessly. He was extremely dedicated to the drumline. He made it his business to make it to all of the practices on time.
After dedicating his self and time to the New York Lancer s for several years, Michael decided to challenge his self and try out for the Garfield Cadets. Michael made it into Garfield as a Quad player there where he dedicated his talents and time. He had to travel from the Bronx N.Y. to Bergen County everytime there was a practice or time to travel for shows. Michael marched with the Cadets until he aged out at the age of 21years old.
Michael continued to dedicate his time to the Cadets as a drum instructor. He also took time out to teach the inner city youths how to play the drums.
Today Michael continues to teach little children how to play the drums and he is currently playing the drums in a church.
He has inspired his nephew to march on the drumline of The marching Cobras of New York.
Michael Lawrence Jones II has remained a true dedicated musician for over thirty plus years. I urge you to please consider his nomination for the Cadets Hall of Fame.
To whom it may concern:
I have spent three of the most rewarding summers of my life with the cadets during the 96, 97 and 2000 competition seasons. That experience has helped to mold me into the person I am today. I learned so much about hard work, dedication, commitment and teamwork and I feel obliged to pass on this knowledge and experience to the individuals I work with and teach on a daily basis. However, before I could pass these life lessons on to others, they had to be passed to me, and I had to see these characteristics present in other individuals from backgrounds similar to my own in order to think that it was something that was even possible. It is for this reason that I nominate Michael Jones for the Cadets Hall of Fame.
In speaking of fame and its derived meaning from a societal standpoint, Michael is already a Cadet Hall of famer. I knew of him, and watched him on video before I knew him personally. I knew there was an individual who surpassed all odds and made the great Cadet percussion section, and not only marched but also taught this highly prestigious group. Then when we met, and got to know him I knew exactly what the Cadet name meant and how members from that organization just stood out among the rest. The level of professionalism and dedication he showed during his work with the NYC corps of the 90’s and early 2000’s can go unnoticed because these are not high profile groups, but make no mistake his presence there made a difference in the lives of so many it cannot be ignored. I hope this message finds you well, and I look forward to seeing his name on the ballot. I can be reached for additional comments if necessary.
This letter is in support of Michael Jones' nomination into the Cadets Hall of Fame. As a member of the NY Lancers Drum & Bugle Corps, Michael Jones was inspired to continually perfect his performing arts skills and became a drum corps afficionado, having marched from 1978 - 1982. He moved up the ranks in the percussion section from cymbals up to quads and his growth was very fulfilling to him and the NYL. In 1983, we were saddened when he informed us that he was moving on and was going to audition for the Garfield Cadets. He was like the favorite son that was leaving for college. Fortunately for NYL, his two younger sisters remained active in our Corps activity until age out. We wished Michael well and good luck, with no doubt that he would achieve his spot at Cadets. Talking about good luck, how much of a fantasy is it, to not only achieve a spot in the 1983 Cadets, but also achieve a "Threepeat?" Yes, Cadets' historic 3 consecutive championships was the first and last corps in DCI history to accomplish this. So, one can imagine how magical it was to be a Cadet during that championship era. Michael Jones not only was a former NYL, but also perceived as a drum corps god. Needless to say, Michael's determination and success opened up the flood gate in which many great NYL members followed his path to that Drum Corps Ivy League college, The Garfield Cadets. Daryll Pemberton, Timothy Greene, Jerede Brown and Edward Castro, to just name a few NYL following Michael Jones' path. Ever since then, Michael was still a valued NYL member in that he continued to support our corps and encouraged all, including his sisters and even marched with them in our winterguard, Park Ave North and East Side Drive in the 80's. When Michael aged out of Cadets, he was still making history having continued his Cadets tenure as an assistant percussion instructor in 1989-90. Michael continued to be involved in supporting NYC drum corps and even donated his Drill Design to the 2002 Cadets of NYC, just to give back to the young kids a continued quality visual experience.
In closing, I am honored to cast my vote for Michael Jones' induction into the Great Cadets Hall of Fame and once again, do not doubt that he will achieve this ultimate HOF spot.
Thank you for your consideration,
Jose L. Velazquez
Corps Operations Dir.
NY Lancers, Kips Bay Knight Club
Cadets of NYC, 1978 - 2003.
To whom it may concern
I am honored to be asked to write this letter of recommendation on behalf of Michael Lawrence Jones.
Michael is a dependable, trustworthy and hardworking individual.
At the age of 10 years old Michael has taken care of my sister and I after our parents separated
There were occasions when my mom could not be present because she worked two jobs that OJ (his nickname) made sure we got home from school and had dinner.
Michael has always been extremely talented and had no problems challenging himself in areas he had trouble in. Somewhat a perfectionist his persistence lead him to try out for The New York Lancers Drumline.
He was one of the youngest kids in the corp but that never stopped him. There were nights he came home very late due to the corp schedule and made sure my sister and I were ok.
Michael used his talents to escape the violence in the neighborhood were raised.
When OJ auditioned for Garfield Cadets and made it, we were extremely proud of him. He was able to stay out of trouble and harm's way because of his ability to travel with Garfield.
Michael used his skills and talents to ultimately instruct and give back to the inner city kids letting them know that basketball and football weren't the only options.
Please consider Michael's nomination.
Tanya Jones Wilson
Dear Garfield Cadets/Cadets Hall of Fame Committee-
I nominate the Great Michael Jones to the prestigious Cadet Hall of Fame, Class of 2019-
Willingness to help others
Lead by example
These words describe Michael Jones and the Essence of Being a Cadet.
Michael was a percussion marching member and section leader of the Garfield Cadets from 1983 thru 1988. He became a percussion instructor from 1989 thru 1990. He won 5 DCI titles and 2 DCI High Percussion Awards during his tenure with the Cadets, including the 1987 Perfect Percussion Score that still stands to this very day. In addition, Michael won countless Cadet awards as well. During his active marching years, Michael transcended the art of playing quads/tenors. He helped push the envelope on what could be played on the percussive instrument with a quality of sound that was unmatched during that era. He represents the essence of "Being a Cadet"- Hard work, dedication, tradition, class, respectful, humble, a willingness to help fellow Cadets, and lead by example. As a fellow member of the Cadet percussion section, I have seen first hand these innate Cadet qualities in action. I observed him numerous of times putting in extra hours of practice to ensure that his section was ready to perform the charts written by Thom Hannum and Tom Aungst. Most of this time was spent after hours or during shortened lunches. He was a true perfectionist with everything he did musically and on the field, never making a mistake even though I tried my hardest to get him to screw up all year long during his age out year. The uniform was made for Michael Jones in my humble opinion. He's already tall, but the uniform made him look like a Cadet God. He commanded respect by setting the example for ALL Cadets who had the honor of marching with him. After all, who do you know that had so much respect from not only the members but the staff that he would stop the ENTIRE corps if the tempos weren't correct or if there was an ensemble problem, and NO ONE would question him. When Michael talked, WE listened. He had NO problems ensuring even members of the brass and color guard sections were on their A game at all times.
Most importantly was Michael Jones the person. Fun, caring, humble, and supportive. He may not have known it then, but he was an example to not only his fellow Cadets, but he was an example to many minorities who grew up in the inner city of NYC. Many of us came from small inner city corps with very little funding, direction, and support. We looked at Michael Jones as INSPIRATION and as a role model. He made it!!!! And he did it with SO much joy, pride, and class. He did it effortlessly. He did it perfectly. We internalized that and said to ourselves, "I can do it too!!!" With that same inspiration and example, I too became a Cadet and had the honor and privilege to march literally right next to my role model from 1987 thru 1988. Through his inspiration and paving the way, there were MANY more like me that became some of the best and talented Cadets. And we owe it ALL to him.
Jerede D. Brown
Garfield Cadet- 1987 thru 1991 Percussion