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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Six Degrees of Separation: The DCI Hall of Fame

Summer, 1998: prior to the start of the 1998-99 school year, my then band director, our drum major, vice president of bands, another executive board member, and myself, as incoming president of bands, piled into my director's car to head up the road apiece to Paoli, PA to J.W. Pepper to select the music for the coming year's field show. On the way, we listened to samples from various promotional CDs our director had received. A hot little track with latin appeal caught our ear as a possible opener, and when we got to Pepper, we took a look at the chart and decided that Touched by Fire by Larry Kerchner would be our opener for that year.

When we got back and started running the piece, my friend Brian, who was well connected in Delaware's music (particularly music theatre) community said "dude! He's from here! You know the Kerchners?"

And I did. Not Larry himself, but I had done a few productions at OperaDelaware with his two daughters. None of us had put two and two together, but unknowingly our Delaware band had picked a piece by a Delaware composer. It wasn't until years later when I became a big drum corps fan and began researching Delaware's drum corps history that his name came up again. I was familiar with Crossmen's stay in the First State, but I then learned of the corps Blue Rock, once based out of Wilmington, DE with whom Kerchner had marched. So from one Delawarean to another, here's to you, Mr. Kerchner, enshrined forever as a representative of the State of Delaware in the DCI Hall of Fame!
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