Buccaneers Announce 2013 Hall of Fame Inductees
The Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps and the Buccaneer Alumni Association announced today that Andrea Gwyn, Mary High, Marty Holahan and Dan Wildonger will be inducted into the Buccaneers Hall of Fame at the corps’ annual year-end banquet on Saturday, November 30, 2013.
“The Buccaneers Hall of Fame was established in 1995,” said Hall of Fame Committee Co-Chairman Louis D. Tierno, Jr., himself inducted in 2001. “This organization has been blessed with so many fine men and women who have given so much of themselves to make the Buccaneers the storied corps it is. Singling out only four people for induction every year is extremely difficult. But just the same it’s a tremendous pleasure for us to announce this year’s class and thank them for the indelible impact they’ve made on the Buccaneers and on the drum corps activity.”
Andrea Gwyn. The drum major of the 2012 and 2013 DCA World Champions seemed to burst onto the scene from nowhere in May of 2011. Many don’t know that Andi’s rookie season with the Reading Buccaneers was 1987, when she played soprano. After one season with the corps, Andi left to pursue her dream of marching in DCI, and she did so with the Cadets. She came back to the Bucs in 1990 as a member of the mellophone line, to pay back the organization that had helped prepare her to achieve that goal. As everyone knows, the early nineties were probably the most challenging years in the corps’ history, but Andi felt indebted to the organization that had given her so much. She did all she could to portray a positive image for the corps and worked tirelessly to help turn the corps around. In 1991, Andi became drum major and held that position until 1994. In 1993 and 1994, in addition to being the drum major, Andrea also assumed the role of Membership Manager. More than ever, the corps needed a positive role model that members could look up to and emulate. In 1991, 1992 and 1994, Andrea received the Most Valuable Member award, proving she was that leader. Twenty years later she has proven that she is that leader again today. She leads by example, exhibiting a tireless work ethic, a steadfast dedication and determination, and a positive attitude that is contagious. When she was asked to be the lead drum major in 2012, she promised that she would not let the corps down. She clearly exceeded that promise. The 2013 season marked Andrea’s ninth season with the Buccaneers.
Mary High began her drum corps career in 1963 with the Jr. Buccaneers in the color guard, where she stayed though 1972, eventually becoming Assistant Color Guard Captain. Mary had been a long time fan of the Buccaneers and many of her friends from her Jr. Buccaneer days became Buccaneers. In 1991, the corps didn’t have anyone to work the souvenir stand. Then-director and Mary’s long-time friend Ron Gehris talked to her about bringing her daughter Jamie out to join the Buccaneers to play in the pit, and not-so-subtly hinted that we could use Mary’s help with the stand. Mary jumped at the chance. Her help was important because back then the corps needed every nickel to survive. Jamie joined the corps, and Mary worked the souvenir stand from 1991 until 2007, bringing a significant amount of revenue into the corps that could not have been generated without her efforts. But that was only part of her contribution. Mary served on the support staff for many years, cooking, putting uniforms together, making flags, and anything else needed for the betterment of the corps. She often drove members to practice and shows in the 1990s when the corps could not afford buses. She did a lot of recruiting at high school band shows and still volunteers to help out at the Berks Jazz Fest and the home show. Although Mary never marched on the field with the Buccaneerss, there is no doubt she is a Buccaneer through and through. She stayed through the rough times and was a part of the corps’ rise to its current position atop the all-age activity. The Buccaneers organziation owes so much to Mary for going above and beyond, all for nothing more than the pleasure of knowing what she had done for her beloved Buccaneers.
Martin “Marty” Holahan is an accomplished brass player who came to the Buccaneers in the fall of 1975. His talents as a lead soprano were quickly recognized as he evolved to become one of the soloists in some of the best brass lines that the Buccaneers ever fielded during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. He marched with the competitive corps till 1981, winning championships in 1979 and 1980. In 1987, Marty returned to the organization as a member of the Alumni Corps. He picked up right where he left off and today is still performing with the Alumni Corps as lead soprano and soloist. With the alumni, Marty also assumed an instructional role from 1998 to 2000. Besides being a model Buccaneer, Marty is a true family-man and a true friend of the corps.
It’s hard to imagine Dan Wildonger as anything but a Buccaneer. The Buccaneers are so special because of the sustained hard work of a lot of committed people. Dan’s one of those people who is constantly working for the betterment of the corps, yet he’s not always visible and vocal about it – he does it because he loves the corps with everything he has and serves the corps and its members tirelessly. He was a marching member of the horn line in 1988 and again from 1997 through 2007. In addition, he has served on the Executive Committee as Secretary since 2005. He is blessed with tremendous experience and wisdom, he is quite an advocate for the ‘member experience,’ and is always involved in the corps recruiting activities. Dan leads by example and does all the little day-to-day necessities that go unnoticed. Things like, going to the field during the week to mow, being the first to the field on rehearsal days to unlock, jockeying trucks, watering the corps, lining the fields, etc. Suffice to say that the Buccaneers would not be as rich and proud an organization as it is today without people like Dan.
Gwyn, High, Holahan and Wildonger join 86 other members of the Buccaneers Hall of Fame. Each of these individuals has made a lasting impact on the Buccaneers and the drum corps activity.