The United States Association of Rudimental Drummers - Through the 20th Century

Through the 20th Century Drummers (10)

Jerry Whitaker's recent posts on the work of drumming legend, Charles, "Buck" Soistman reminded me that I meant to post something on a portrait I saw last weekend at the Fifers & Drummers Museum in Ivoryton, CT. The portrait was of Ferdinand Czarnowski, drum major for the Maryland Fifth Regiment. Besides having been the drum sergeant under the great George Bruce of the Bruce & Emmitt fame, he was the drum teacher of Charles Soistman. See the inscription on the brass plate of the portrait.

A couple of our USARD member were students of Buck and I thought, if they hadn't known this already, they would be interested in these photos.



Thursday, 03 May 2012 17:10

Dan English

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****** Under Construction ******

Below is copied from the Wikipedia article for the Lancraft Fife & Drum Corps:
Dan English
Daniel M. English was a world champion rudimental snare drummer who died April 14, 1931 at the age of 28. English was a member of Lancraft from 1918 until his death in 1931. He was also active in the executive committee of the Connecticut Fifers and Drummers Association.[6]
English learned to drum under the instruction of J. Burns Moore, a nationally prominent drummer and instructor, and long time percussionist with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. He became Lancraft Drum Sergeant after winning his first Connecticut snare drumming title in 1925; he repeated in 1926, '27 and '28. He also won the North East States, US National Championship, held in Brooklyn, New York in 1930, and the world title at Naugatuck, Connecticut in 1928.
English was both a player and instructor with the Yale University Band. He taught many young drummers with the St. Francis School Drum Corps, was an instructor for both the New Haven and West Haven Institutes of Music and their respective drum corps, and had many private students.
Sanford A. Moeller, a champion rudimental drummer, was so fascinated with the drumming style and ability of Dan English, that he learned all he could from him in several personal communications and meetings. In September 1931, Moeller drummed every step from Madison Square Garden to the Boston Armory for the opening of the American Legion National Convention. Lancraft, in full uniform, met and escorted Moeller through downtown New Haven and made him an honorary member of the corps that day**.[7][8]
[edit]Dan English Trophy
In memory of Dan English, a trophy was presented by Lancraft at the August 1932 State Convention held at Meriden, Connecticut. The Dan English Trophy was retired to Lancraft's Moriarty Hall trophy case in 1988.[7]
The inscription reads:
** The struck out sentence seen above indicates that there is evidence this statement might be incorrect - JAG
Sunday, 23 September 2012 01:00

Frank Fancher

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Early Rudimental Drumming Great Frank Fancher


Getting lost in the haze of time are some of the greatest rudimental drummers of all time. If it weren't for these champion drummers honing and refining the art, it's difficult to know where all styles of drumming would be today. Frank Fancher along with  J. Burns Moore and Moore's student Dan English were the super-stars of competitive drumming in period between the late 1800's and the early 1900's. 

Fancher is Shown Below With His 182 First Place  Trophies and Medals

Frank Fancher with Trophies


In this undated news clipping Frank Fancher is mentioned along with other notable champion rudimental drummers significantly, Dan English and Earl Sturtze.

Probably dating from the early 1930's this clipping shows, that in spite of the bad economic times, the awards given to first place winners were quite generous. Dan English won a new drum! And they visited Sing-Sing! 

Newspaper Clipping Fancher Mentioned



This page from a periodical of a now forgotten drummers association describes awards given not only to Frank Fancher, but also the youthful image of our U.S.A.R.D. Life Time Member and Hall of Famer, Nick Attanasio.  The many time champion and Hall of Fame snare drummer, Bob Redican is also mentioned.

MAPD Clipping



Frank's Uniform  medals and His Drum are seen in this photo:

Frank Fanchers Uniform and Medals

Saturday, 06 November 2010 16:25

Hugh Quigley of Lancraft F&D Corps 1988

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This video of Hugh Quigley performing 'The Connecticut Halftime' was pulled from the series of Yahoo links to Lancraft Fife & Drum Corps' VHS recordings of their 1988, 100th anniversary parade and muster. Hugh was a wonderful drummer and a kind and generous man. I was happy to have known for the short time before his death. Mr. Quigley was a many time winner of the Dan English trophy, which was given to the Connecticut senior individual snare drum champion (the trophy has since been retired). He won many Northeastern individual snare drum championships as well as national titles.

I received the links to the videos from Charlie Terzi. Thanks, Charlie!



Wednesday, 10 February 2010 08:31

Bobby Thompson

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Bobby Thompson


Bobby Thompson was one of the most influencial rudimental drumming teacher of the 20th Century.

If anyone viewing this page has biographical information on Bobby, please forward it us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

-Thanks -

From John Setaro - 11-27-2013:

"He was a drum instructor for the St. Andrews Bridgemen back in the 60s, of which I was a member. I played horn, but I always dreamt of being part of the drumline taught by Bobby! He was that influential on me as a boy. The precision he taught and the sincerity in which he went about his business is indelibly implanted on my mind! I remember it like it was yesterday! Clem Burke of the rock group Blondie was one of his students, and a second rate drummer until Bobby got a hold of him! I personally watched the progression and was in awe! To this day, when I see a drummer of any kind,I think of Bobby Thompson and how great a man I was in the presence of. Hats off to Bobby and his legacy!" 





Monday, 23 March 2009 19:50

Charles "Buck" Soistman

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Thank you Charlie Kammer for submitting this fine article on Buck Soistman taken from the Maryland Drum & Bugle Corps Hall of Fame program book:


 1. Willis Hutton
34. Gary Rockwell
 2. Joseph Young
35. Kenneth Harbison
 3. Clyde Bowman
36. Ray Lombardo
 4. Louis Saidenberg
37. Bruce Baldwin
 5. Samuel Rotstein
38. James Hyden
 6. Friedrich Tovernick
39. Tracy Tyler
 7. John Baumann
40. Ed Troha
 8. Charles Hershey
41. William Messerschmidt
 9. Vince Battista
42. Herbert Rhoades
10. Karl Hershey
43. Susan Smith
11. Eddie Jenkins
44. William Richards
12. Edmund Ryder
45. Robert White
13. Bob Zipp
46. Gary Swiderski
14. Jack Behrend
47. Ronald Palmer
15. John Kane
48. Terry Heilman
16. Don Tanner
49. Myles Overton
17. George Carroll
50. Patricia Fisher
18. Chris Welker
51. Tim Huesgen
52. Jay Brown
19. Gary Mastoleo
53. Jeff Prentice
20. Sam Evans
54. Ed Asten
21. Jack Moore
55. Frank Carroll
22. Mike Johnston
56. Glen Gurnard
23. Richard Ecton
57. Steve Fydik
24. David Goldberg
58. Julie Angelis
59. Mario Ramsey
25. Glenn Luedtke
60. Michael Siberts
26. Thomas Kosik
61. Harold Summey
27. Don Moorehead
62. Tom Dell’Omo
28. William Platt
63. Larry Ferguson
29. Webster Grant
64. Rob Moore
30. Garwood Whaley
65. Mike Hooke
31. William Hinger
32. Joe Inman
33. Richard Brown


Tuesday, 27 January 2009 17:33

Vince Battista-USArmyBand Ft. Myer

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Moeller-Grand Republic Drum-The United States Army Band, Pershing's Own-Washington, D.C. Drum played at John F. Kennedy's funeral.
This is one of four drums that played a muffled cadence during the funeral procession of John F. Kennedy. His family looked to history to help shape the funeral and mourning ceremonies. The drum was modeled after one used during the American Revolution. Lent by U.S. Department of Defense, Department of the Army

Master Sergeant Vincent Battista, a member of the United States Army Band, "Pershing's Own," at Fort Myer, Virginia, was one of the drummers in President Kennedy's funeral process.

Sunday, 16 November 2008 22:17

John Heney, Sr.

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 Biography courtesy of The American Band Masters Research Center:

The Sousa Band percussionist, music educator, and historian, John usard3eph Heney, Sr. was born in 1903. Heney's professional band career began in 1924, when he joined the Royal Scotch Highlanders Band. He stayed with the Highlanders until 1925, when he joined McDonald's Highlanders Band (The Kilties). He remained with The Kilties until 1926, when he joined the John Philip Sousa Band. Heney performed with the Sousa Band during its last six years, as one of three drummers and xylophone soloist. During this time, the Sousa Band was not the only one to enjoy Heney's company, however. Heney also performed with the Sells-Floto Circus Band (aka Montgomery’s Concert Band), the Bertram W. Mills’ Olympia Circus Band, the Sparks Circus Band, the Hagenback-Wallace Circus Band, the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus Band, the Medinah Circus and Carnival Band, the Tom Mix Circus and Wild West Show.

The same year Heney joined the Sousa Band, he moved to St. Augustine, Florida, where he became the Band Director at Ketterlinus High School. Also during 1926, Heney became the Bandmaster at Stetson University, a position that lasted until 1935, when he became Bandmaster at DeLand High School in DeLand, Florida. His employment as Bandmaster at DeLand lasted 32 years.

While Bandmaster at DeLand, Heney was also active in the National Association of Rudimental Drummers (NARD), the American Bandmasters Association (ABA), and the Florida Bandmasters Association (FBA), of which he was made an honorary life president in 1941.

As his band directing career flourished, Heney still had time for other pursuits, such as running Heney's Superior Service Station, a local gas station, and the Heney School of Percussion, a private drum studio from which Heney gave lessons. In 1934, Heney also wrote and published a book, entitled The Correct Way to Drum: A Treatise on the Material Used in Modern Drumming. Besides The Correct Way to Drum, Heney also published 23 musical compositions and a number of journal articles in his lifetime. In addition, Heney spent time in the United States Navy during World War II from 1942 until 1945.

A member of the Sousa Band Fraternal Society, Heney was elected as archivist in November of 1969. During his time as archivist, Heney attempted to collect and preserve as much of the memorabilia from Sousa's life and the history of the Sousa Band and its members as was left in the personal collections ofm other Sousa Band members and their families. He attempted to ensure that Sousa's memory and music were remembered by consulting on projects to record Sousa's music in the present day and by pushing for Sousa's induction into the Hall of Fame for Great Americans. Heney died on September 1, 1978.