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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


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,

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.

Sharyland USBands Austin 2018-9751 copy.jpgThe 2019 Fall Marching season continues to gain momentum as membership numbers increase across the country. With more bands signing up earlier, many of our most popular events are filling up and bands are encouraged to register now to secure their spots.

"We're thrilled to see so many bands signing up so early in the year," said Vicki Ferrence Ray, Executive Director of Youth Education in the Arts. "We had a great 30th Anniversary season last year and our team has really tried to keep that momentum going. During the winter months, we've really worked to create a structure that provides the maximum value for band programs."


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