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The letters are in and many of you sent in beautiful and touching letters of nomination and support for those who you believe should be inducted into the Cadets Hall of Fame in 2019. This year six nominees will be reviewed by the Supervisory Committee where no more than half will be chosen to be members of the Class of 2019. Click the names below to read the letters of nomination and support for the candidates:

Ken Conklin 

Bill Gaeckle

George Hilger

Michael Jones

Michelle Owens

Cheryl Philhower-Gillick 

Sadie Wallace

Dear Cadets Hall of Fame Committee,

We write today on behalf of the hundreds of Cadets color guard performers who had the privilege of being taught by Michelle Owens between 2003 and 2008. It is with great pleasure that we nominate Michelle posthumously for the 2019 Cadets Hall of Fame class for the many reasons enclosed. Though Michelle herself was never a marching member of the Cadets, she proudly embodied the passion, dedication, commitment to excellence, and values of tradition and comradery of a true Cadet. In her 6 seasons as an instructor, she passed these values down to each of us as she undoubtedly shaped the Cadets that we were, inspired the teachers that we would all become, and helped to build the foundation, character, and integrity of the adults we all are today. When we fondly think back to our time at the Cadets, our memories would be incomplete without Michelle’s presence.

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


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,

Antonio Thompson 

Dear Cadets Hall of Fame,

I would like to support the nomination of Garfield Cadet George Hilger for election into the Cadets Hall of Fame. I marched with George in 1976-77. George grew up in Garfield, NJ so he took great pride in being a Garfield Cadet. I’m unsure if he marched in the Plebes. He was a leader, a mentor to new members, by welcoming them or helping them practice music or marching. George was a “team player”, dedicated and encouraged everyone whether in the horn line, drumline, or color guard. George was always a positive person, rarely in a bad mood and always smiling. His smile was always one of his best attributes. He was respectful and protective of the girls in the corps, quite the gentleman. His love for the Cadets was so obvious as his face always lit up talking about the corps. He was a great ambassador for the corps, talking with other members of other corps. His enthusiasm was always contagious. Lastly, he was a great baritone horn player. He was a 1976 DCI Soloist winner. I can also recall George being a “cheerleader” and encouraging the color guard horn players. When most of the other horn players tolerated us, George would listen to us play and applaud and give us confidence. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of being elected into the Cadets Hall of Fame.


Cheryl Beattie Koehler
Alumni color guard member 1976-1978



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