News From the Top


This Saturday, July 25th will be our fourth Saturday of restarting our Bingo at the United Seniors 4515 W. Forest Home Ave.

Our Progressive game is at 58 numbers for $4,000.00 plus! You might like to try your luck! We will be open at 5:00 pm and the games will begin at 6:30 pm. You should arrive early, since attendance is limited to 125 people. Bring your mask and always be aware of social distancing. The Senior Center’s Staff is doing an excellent job of sanitizing the hall’s tables, chairs, and rest rooms. We appreciate their extra-ordinary efforts!

Tonight we will resume our Friday Bingo held at the St. Francis Lion’s Club in St. Francis. It will be on a limited basis, held only on Friday evenings. The normal Wednesday sessions are now on hold. Since we share these Friday night sessions with 3 other organizations, we will have only 6 dates until the end of this year.


This annual picnic, normally held in September, will not take place this year because a park permit for the event could not be given. As you know, the State of Illinois is seeing a huge risk with Covid Virus cases. This picnic has been held for the past 12 years and was a great time to socialize with corps’ alumni, as well as some great musical performances given by several different groups. This past year, Pioneer Corps served Pabst Beer and Coke products to all who attended for their appreciation of keeping the Corps Spirit alive.


Because of our changing and unpredictable times caused by the active Covid Virus, the original September 20th date has been postponed until hopefully the end of October. We still have some teaching staff openings, as well as opportunities to be involved in various capacities. If you are interested, please call our Office at: 414-327-2847

ALUMNI SUCCESS STORY - Jackie Bilder # 1787

Jackie, former Pioneer mellophone soloist, drum major, and instructor, has created an outstanding business in Blue Island, Illinois. Many of you will recall the St. Patrick’s party after the Chicago parade. But in spite of the Covid virus, the restaurant continues to do well. Carry-outs helped service, and the addition of a large outdoor patio that is exquisitely designed in addition to the front bar and restaurant makes for a great stop that you should come to whenever you are in the Chicago area. The cocktail bar is called, “NATURAL LAW.” It is located at 13404 Olde Western Avenue. Stop in and say hi to Jackie who continues to be, “Better Every Day!


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bingoBINGO IS BACK!....After canceling 18 bingo dates because of the Corona virus, we have re-started our SATURDAY Bingo games at the United Senior Center located at 4515 W. Forest Home Ave. in Milwaukee. The facility has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized from top to bottom. Social distancing signage has been placed to remind the customers. While the wearing of face masks is an option, the tables and chairs have been spaced out. Customers do have the option to move the chairs to sit with their friends as many have done……If you would like to play or help us out, come down on Saturday night. To help out, come around 5:30 pm. The games begin at 6:30 pm,  and usually end about 9:30 pm……  Our FRIDAY  Bingo games, located at the St. Francis Lion’s Community Center, located at  3746 East Howard Avenue, are tentatively scheduled to resume on Friday, July 24th.  More information will be posted later.

 pioneerlandPIONEERLAND….is still quite quiet. There is no marching, no soccer, or no bus trips. The police dog training continues and our friend, Tim Roberts parks some of his trucking company empty trailers on the north end of our property……Murray Davis, Diana Kupinski(#214) , Charles Mierecke (1769) , Roman Jr.(#701) and I have all taken turns cutting and trimming the three football fields. Normally the soccer clubs have cut it, but they still are not active because of the pandemic. So….the riding lawnmower gives us the opportunity as it travels 3 miles per hour, to meditate on our lives, past and present. Doing the trimming also takes a lot of time. Also the birds are very appreciative while we are mowing because it gives them the task of getting worms a lot easier. If you would like to enjoy the opportunity of volunteering for this peaceful endeavor, please call the Office at: 414-327-2847. It is a rewarding experience!

wgi windsFALL WINDS CORPS… is tentatively planning on starting on Sunday, September 20th from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. It will take place at the Grand Ballroom located at 3677 East Pulaski Ave. in Cudahy, WI (about 4 minutes from Pioneerland.)……Dr. Cecil Austin will coordinate the staff and instructional program. The design will be created by Dave Campbell. Robert Newman (#385) will be the percussion caption head and Jesse Reyes (#2433) will be the visual caption head. We are still looking for additional staff. The big requirement will be the availability on Sunday afternoons. Re-booting as a community-based unit will require a lot of recruiting especially for beginning students, as well as students with experience. Would you like to be involved and help teach? If so, at your convenience, call the Office: (414) 327-2847 or send us an email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it...... Depending on our recruitment success, drumline and indoor color guard lines are possibilities. This summer’s season will include parades, competitions, and some great travel social events….CALL NOW AND GET INVOLVED!

coronavirusNo one would have ever thought that the words above would be as relevant to our lives as they are today. My grandparents often spoke about the depression years of the 1930’s. My parents often mentioned the shortages and sacrifices of the World War II era. I recall my own childhood experiences of the Polio Outbreak years when we were confined to our homes. We, today, are now contending with a lot of unknowns while our lives are have come to an abrupt hold with no foreseeable date for positive changes, while we wait for anticipation of a concrete answer. What will the aftermath of recovery bring? Yes this is all very serious, but dwelling on the doom and gloom will hurt more than help. That is why we need to look at each day to find at least one thing positive to do or think about. Yes now more than ever we must put our Better Every Day way of life to the forefront. Being positive, being kind, being willing to help, etc. are all ways we can do this, not just for ourselves, but to be a positive influence on those around us.

challengeWell, all of this has made our wonderful Pioneer Corps activity come to a screeching halt. Granted with our personal health, families, careers, etc. being of top concern, and a lot of other activities stopped, Corps life has become a very low priority right now as we must be concerned with essentials. But being great at handling challenges as we are , we will eventually move ahead, stronger and more positive than ever!

changeI am certain that our activity will be changed, once we again resume. I’m not sure how, but I am sure it will not be the same as before.

wgiAs you know, our recruitment drive for a WGI Winds group has stopped. All of our Bingo sessions have stopped. There have been no bus trips. There are no soccer league practices at Pioneerland. There are no police dog trainings taking place at Pioneerland. All activities at Pioneerland have ceased.

whatSo what can we do? We can be in touch with each other. If help is needed we provide what we can. We can use this time to take care of other matters that might have been overlooked when time was not available before to take care of them. By all means take care of yourselves and put a strong emphasis on your personal health…. Pioneer people know how to keep going. I know it’s simpler said than done, but it is the right direction to take.

rebootWhen allowed, we will resume our REBOOT program. This will include WGI Winds group, early Parades, possible Band and/or Corps competitions, and of course some awesome Culture Days!

busSay GOOD BYE, PLAN B (bus 42)…..She has retired after 16 faithful years of service to Pioneer and helped out at least 5 other corps when they were in need. Plan B has been sold. This school bus hasn’t been needed for several years as our motor coaches have more space and comfort, as well as bays for luggage. Our Plan B gained notoriety as being used at the Drum Corps Midwest game days. She proudly became the focus point for the Bus-Pushing Contests which were always a big hit! We will miss you Plan B!

golden boyRemember….Mike Erickson #1134, a soprano player from the 1993 corps! The show was about the WW1 era “1917”. His nickname was Golden Boy and came to us from way up in Northern Wisconsin in a small city named Cable. Mike served 4 years in the U.S. Navy and now works for the Security Service in Chesapeake Virginia. He is married with 4 children and would look forward to hearing from fellow Pioneer members. His email address is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

stpatsIt all started here in October, 1961. The equipment room was by the large round window upstairs. Originally it was built as a church for the “Irish Immigrants” and was later converted to a school once the church was built. The corps rehearsed in the lower hall (basement) and the color guard used the small gymnasium upstairs. The building operates today as a Jesuit school primarily for the Spanish population of Milwaukee’s Southside.

amazon smileAmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to Pioneer, the charitable organization of your choice. Every item available for purchase on is also available on AmazonSmile ( at the same price.You will see eligible products marked "Eligible for AmazonSmile donation" on their product detail pages.


 irish pioneer
paradeHAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY… the thousands of people who marched or have been a part of the Pioneer Corps! St. Patrick’s Day has a special meaning in their/our lives. It has been a first event of the new season, a first time playing outside and on the move, the first time putting on the uniform, and for many of us the first time realizing that there are so many Irish people and those who wish to be Irish in the U.S.A. The Milwaukee parades were modest, but the Chicago parades were a memory of crowds of people and dollars spent on celebrating the Irish. Every time that you see a shamrock, your head says, “Pioneer”, and your mind reminds you to be, “Better Every Day”.

freeFREE PRIZE….. Send to us via email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) a nice St. Patrick’s Day greeting (be creative!) along with your current mailing address. Garry Owen will send you a Green Shamrock key fob! You will be able to rub it for good luck!

rebootRecruiting has begun for our new Pioneer Performance Corps program!

As the program is developed, it will have traits similar to Small Drum Corps (SDCA) and DCI Sound Sport, but will ultimately take us in the direction of WGI Winds. 

The WGI Winds circuit takes place in indoor venues during the winter & spring months, with contests taking place on weekends only.  Competing groups in WGI Winds can can have between 10 and 47 members, and the shows performed in competition are between 4-8 minutes long.  Instruments of any sorts are legal to use in WGI Winds, and the new Performance Corps program will have many of the elements that we are used to including Brass, Color Guard, Percussion, and Electronics.

Our intent is to have the new Performance Corps program be a year-round activity, with membership primarily based in South-Eastern Wisconsin. Membership will be open to students between the ages of 13 and 21 years.

Rehearsals will take place on Sunday afternoons at the Grand Ballroom in Cudahy, WI. It is 2 minutes East of Pioneerland at the crossroads of Pulaski and Kirkwood Ave. At this time the first rehearsal is slated for late April. The exact date will be announced at a later time as we continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation, and adhere to guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

People with any instrumental experience are welcome, as well as those willing to learn as a beginner. Interested individuals can register online or call our office at 414-327-2847.

Watch for staff announcements and other activities in the near future!


Merry Christmas!
…to you all, especially to those who have been so helpful with Bingo, transportation, Pioneerland, and the Percussion Ensemble! We have much to be thankful for, and it couldn’t have been done without the time and effort given from the staff, members, alumni, and many others who have contributed their time, efforts, talents, and yes, generous financial donations.

We Have a New Rehearsal Site!
We are happy to announce that we have secured the use of an awesome indoor facility in Cudahy, WI called the GRAND BALLROOM located on the corner of Pulaski Ave. and Kirkwood. It’s is less than a 2 minute drive from Pioneerland and 1 block East of Cudahy’s main street, Packard Avenue. It is spacious with 2 floors of banquet halls, and individual rooms for individual lessons and sectional rehearsals.

Years ago it was called the Serenity Club and we used it on occasion for rehearsals (rain site) and Bingo. For the real old timers, it was called the Allied Veterans Post whom we ran several early May field contests at Cudahy High School.

Recently this building was purchased by Mr. Eugene Bonner who operates a school catering food service to 5 schools in Milwaukee. The gymnasium is now a beautiful ballroom with a dance floor. The bowling alley was removed and a now has been turned into a huge carpeted meeting room. The entire building has been made available to us for Sunday rehearsals!

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grand ballroom 3

If that was not generous enough, Mr. Bonner has offered us the use of a 26’ box truck that has an electric lift on the back of it. This will be used for the WGI Season and will props, the floor, and equipment. This entire opportunity comes to the corps at NO COST! In turn we have offered them parking spaces at Pioneerland as well asland usage for summer activities with his food/catering business.

Besides the remodeled upstairs, the lower level still has a huge area with adjoining small rooms for sectionals, yes! This Christmas present will be put to use soon. Watch for upcoming times and rehearsal dates!



We regretfully announce the passing of Mrs. Carla Rubusch – Hohnstein who passed away on October 11th, 2019. She was a major force for Pioneer along with her sister, Patty Lonzaga , during the 1990’s. She worked in the kitchen, helped with bingo, and was a major contributor to the building of Pioneerland. Her son Jerry Hohnstein (#972) was a percussionist and drove both truck and our bus for 6 years. His sister, Nicole Hohnstein (#1186) was in the front ensemble for 3 years.

Carla can be remembered for her hard work for sure, but it was her wit and great sense of humor that just the mention of her name will put a big smile on all of the faces of those who knew her. In our corps’ prayer, the words, “The hard-working members of our corps” was definitely a true description of Carla. She definitely deserves a place in heaven’s St. Patrick Apartments.

Visitation: Saturday, October 26th from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Hartson Funeral Home located at 1111 W. Janesville Road in Hales Corners.


“Thank You” to the alumni of many Midwestern Corps who attended the 10th annual fall picnic. Talent was displayed by two excellent brass ensemble performances, proving that their abilities were not lost because of age!

Ken Norman and Roman Blenski showed off their huge collection display of the corps world from its beginning to the present. It was a cool day, but the “free” cans of Coke a Cola products as well as Pabst Blue Ribbon beer donated by our Pioneer Corps, was greatly appreciated. Many wore their corps jackets and gave Pioneer a bug thank you for the refreshments. However, coffee and hot chocolate might have been more appropriate for the cool weather. Thank you alumnus Bill Nylund for taking on the role of being the day’s bartender!


shamrock invitationYOU ARE INVITED!
You are most welcome to join us in celebration of our 2019 Pioneer Percussion Performance Corps Ensemble’s membership this Sunday afternoon at 2:00 pm.

Let’s all meet at Pioneerland (2000 E. Birchwood Ave. Cudahy, WI 53110). This was originally scheduled for September 29th, but due to football and band required commitments that our members had for that date, our banquet has been rescheduled for this Sunday.

Yes, we realize that gives you short notice, but if you have the time, a surge of Pioneer Pride, and $20.00 for a lunch/supper, come to Pioneerland. We will start with a tour of our ever-growing facility, a buffet feast by Irene’s Catering (Chicken & Polish Sausage) as well as well-deserved awards to our hard-working membership. They will also receive their shamrock medals. We will have a guest speaker, a slide presentation, and a very enjoyable afternoon for all. (Sorry, no bonfire!)

It takes place beginning at 6:30 pm at The Senior Center on 45th & Forest Home Ave. The Progressive Game has a $2,400.00 prize at 57 numbers or less for a Full Card!

Please continue using We already have received a nice check from them and when you purchase any Amazon product on this website, you continue to help Pioneer to be the best it can be!

Better Every Day!

Roman Blenski

From the end of July through today have been busy for the Pioneer in many ways. It has been unusually different from past summers. However, our purpose of serving youth and adults involved in corps life is almost at a maximum level.

South Milwaukee Heritage Days Parade

The Pioneer Percussion ensemble, along with several alumni, marched in South Milwaukee’s annual Heritage Parade on Saturday, July 27th. It was not a long parade, and took place just minutes away from Pioneerland. After the parade, Shari Drake prepared a spaghetti dinner for all. It made for a comfortable day. Senior members Bob Grotz and Chris Smith played. Alumni Bill Nylund (#159), John Schoenknecht (#444), and Kurt Mueller (#1004) were also joined by Don Schofield (Gilligan), Shari Drake, and Roman Blenski.

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DrumLine Battle

In conjunction with DCI Championship week, the annual DrumLine Battle competition took place in Indianapolis on Saturday, August 10th.  The Pioneer Percussion Ensemble performed three times as part of the festivities.  They were also joined by several color guard members, as shown in the picture below.  While the the older-aged corps lines beat them in the competition, they looked great!  The bright green T-shirts donated by John Schoenknecht (#444) made no doubt that the ensemble was Pioneer.  After the performances, all of the members had tickets to watch the DCI Finals. It was a hot day in Indianapolis, but the members enjoyed nice cool A.C. supplied by Bus #68. It worked great throughout the entire day! 

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St. Patrick's Day Parade Patches Have Arrived!

The patches for all of those who participated in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago have arrived. They are beautiful, as was the day of the parade. Those who participated please email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) me your home Mailing Address so we can be sure that you get yours! It will look great on your corps jacket!


Mr. Bonslater is floating the idea for members and alumni to participate in this highly publicized and attended in this parade in Downtown Chicago. Spread the news!

Pioneer buses helped out Mr. Fugh’s River West Pizza & Tavern with a 3 day bus load of customers to the Alpine Valley outdoor concert. They heard the group, “PHISH”, a nationally known band…The concert drew between 15,000 -20,000 fans each day! We also drove a load from a wedding party in Madison to the concert.


performance corps small
under the able direction of Mr. Bobby Bonslater, is doing very well. So far they have marched in The Harvard, IL Milk Days Parade, Three Oaks MI Parade, and the Libertyville, IL Parade. Crowds have been highly entertained by our fantastic percussion line. The color guard, being small right now is in need of many others to join. We appreciate the efforts towards that goal by Pioneer Veteran Megan Weaver #2527. Most of our members come to us from the area of Des Plaines, Illinois area along with about 5-7 students from Milwaukee. Mr. Andy Stawick has been teaching the percussion during rehearsals taking place mainly on parade weekends. With more upcoming weekend parades and performances, we sure would welcome more new members in the Drumline and especially in the Color Guard.

Pioneerland has soccer being played on it, buses are traveling, and Bingo is running. Now we are beginning to build up our membership base with recruitment…. parades….exhibitions, as well as some great experiences…. We now have, “PIONEER PERFORMANCE CORPS".




We are seeking members who would like to enjoy an exciting summer. The events will take place only on weekends for Rehearsals, Festival Event Performances, and Unique Socials. Our goal is to develop a solid corps of individuals in preparation for our entry into WGI’s World of Indoor Competition: Drumline, Color Guard, and Winds (an indoor mini-corps) .

Musical and Dance experience of any kind are helpful, but we are willing to help you develop your performance skills to a very high level. Beginners are even welcome!

All of the rehearsals are held at either Pioneerland (our outdoor rehearsal complex), or at the high school that is in Milwaukee. If needed, overnight housing is available.

The tuition is very reasonable! It includes: All Instruction, Uniforms, Instruments, Transportation, and Entry Fees into Contests and Social events.

This summer’s schedule allows for members to attend summer school obligations, having a weekday job, as well as a family vacation. Members can return home in the evenings. Again, for those coming from a distance, there are some housing options available.

For more information, please contact:
The Pioneer Corps Office: 414-327-2847 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The Corps Director: Mr. Bobby Bonslater: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Plans are underway to affiliate ourselves with a school/church in the greater Milwaukee area that can provide us with indoor rehearsal facilities and a recruitment base for new Pioneer members…..Do you have an idea or connection?... If so, please contact us! More news concerning this is coming soon!!!

Mr. Bobby Bonslater will organize rehearsals and some parades in June, using his students and new members as mainly a drumline and color guard. Our goal would be to begin brass participation with the first week of July’s week long rehearsals and performances. Bobby will also assemble the teaching staff and coordinate rehearsals. Of course, a lot of flexibility will be needed as our efforts will dictate the schedule. Anyone interested in performing with the mini corps or being an instructor for the summer youth initiatives should contact Bobby at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Mr. Bobby Bonslater is an educator, designer, and performer within marching arts. He’s had the honor and privilege of performing on the field and floor with Racine Scouts, Americanos, East Coast Jazz, Madison Scouts, Americanos Indoor, Pioneer Indoor, Kilties, Chops, Govenaires and the Chicago Bears Drumline. Bobby has earned an abundance or awards and recognitions in the marching arts that includes the 2007,2008 WGI Percussion Independent A Champion, 2014,2015 WGI Percussion Independent Open Class Silver Medalist, 2006-2019 WGI Percussion Regional Finalist, 2004 DCI Midwest Division III Champion, 2005 DCI Division II/III Grand Champion, 2006 DCI Division II Silver Medalist, 2009,2011,2015 DCA Class A Champion, 2012-2014, DCA Class A Silver Medalist, 2011-2014 DCA Individual Trumpet Champion, 2014-2017 Mellophone Individual Champion.

Bobby resides in Chicago as a performing arts instructor for Orion’s University. Through Orion’s University, Bobby is able to spread the art and discipline of pageantry arts to Pre-K through 8th grade aged youth in Chicago. He offers a specialized in-school music academy to south side elementary schools to expose young students to instrumental, choral and general music to better prepare them to be productive members of high school music programs. After school, many of his students participate in drill team, percussion ensemble and competitive color guard programs that are rarely offered to inner-city youth.

In addition to Bobby’s new role with Pioneer, he is currently the Program Coordinator and Brass Arranger for the Govenaires Drum and Bugle Corps, Director of Avant Garde Indoor Percussion Ensemble, Percussion Coordinator for Maine West High School, and Music and Visual designer for Phoenix Drumline and Eagan Drumline.

Bobby looks forward to being active in the rebrand and rebirth of the Pioneer. He has immediate goals to incorporate and form strong extracurricular summer/winter programs and in-school academies to serve as a core to the return of the historic field corps. Through hard work and determination, Bobby hopes to create an organization that is affordable, memorable and effective to youth and adults of all skill level in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.

Wish List is:


MAY 26

Rehearsal / Uniform Fitting



MAY 27


Waconda, Illinois




Harvard, Illinois



Canoe Day!




West Chicago, Illinois




Three Oaks, Michigan




Libertyville, Illinois



Off Day

Off Day




Lake Mills, Wisconsin




Waukegan, Illinois



Parade / Rehearsal

West Allis, Wisconsin



Parade/  Rehearsal

Menominee Falls, Wisconsin




Cedarburg, Wisconsin…

or Oak Creek, Wisconsin




Cudahy, Wisconsin




Shorewood, Wisconsin








Dingree Grove, Illinois



Parade and Travel

East Troy, Wisconsin



Cultural Day

Mackinaw Island



Off Day

Off Day



Off Day

Off Day



Parade and Alumni Day

South Milwaukee, Wisconsin



Rehearsal & Gathering of the Clan



AUG. 3


St. Peter, Minnesota


AUG. 4

Parade / Exhibition

Le Suer, Minnesota


AUG. 10

Mini Corps Competition

Indianapolis, Indiana


AUG. 18




AUG. 29

Travel to Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Williamsport, Pennsylvania


AUG. 30

Mini Corps Competition & Solo/Ens.

Williamsport, Pennsylvania


AUG. 31

DCA Prelims

Williamsport, Pennsylvania



Cultural Day

Niagara Falls, New York


SEPT. 28

Corps Banquet

Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Our goal is to assemble 40 to 50 students in preparation to compete and travel to WGI and MCCC Contests in the drum, color guard, and mini-Corps circuit “Winds” from January 2020 to April!

While alumni/age-outs/and former members can perform with the group at any time in the parades, exhibitions, or mini-corps (also known as winds / Sound Sports), These 3 events have been chosen particularly because of dates, locations, and festive opportunities to enjoy besides drum corps, and to participate for a more mature individual.

On Saturday, July 27,you are welcome to participate in the South Milwaukee Heritage Parade, the most popular parade in the Milwaukee area, formerly known as the Spectacle of Music going back to the early 1950’s. That evening you can camp out at Pioneerland and socialize at the “Gathering of the Clans” all night and the next day!

On Thursday November 28th, you are also welcome to participate in Chicago’s “Nationally Televised” Thanksgiving Parade. There will be a huge crowd and an excellent opportunity for the Pioneer Performance Corps and alumni to shine on a huge stage right here in the Midwest…Being a major festival at the same time and location makes it an additional event for the alumni and members in a tentative holiday social at Pioneerland.

On Sunday, March 10th, 2020 our annual Chicago’s Side Irish Parade will take place. The 2019 parade turned out to once again be successful. For 2020, let’s add on the evening before, a Concert Night. That will give us a chance to gather, socialize, and play some great past arrangements of many of your old favorites. Combined with the pioneer Performance Corps and Friends of Pioneer, this could be the “Premier” Alumni Event for years to come.

The answer is Yes…In design it will still serve young people and adults alike. With the focus being the 2020 WGI Winter Season, the possibility of returning to DCI’s Summer Tour on is still fresh on our minds but not a top priority. Priority shall be given to recruiting a local membership base in Southern Wisconsin/ Northern Illinois, developing and implementing a Health and Wellness plan as well as a diverse educational plan. However, much depends on the needs and demands of our prospective membership. This new approach will be similar, but less travel, less cost, and a shorter time commitment in the summer. However, by adding a year-around rehearsal/training programs, this gives us new light and direction from our previous 58 years. It’s worth a try!


Q: Will we charge dues?
A: Yes. The exact fee has not yet been set, but it will be minimal.

Q: Will the name be changed?
A: No! It will still be the Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps and Color Guard, Inc., but its winter divisions will be: Pioneer Percussion, Pioneer Color Guard, and Pioneer Winds. Pioneer has plans to sponsor and coordinate affiliate ensembles that may/may not carry the Pioneer name.

Q: Will all rehearsals take place in Milwaukee?
A: No. The Indoor Percussion Ensemble will rehearse primarily in the Chicago area. The Winds and Color Guard ensembles will be Milwaukee based as of now until we have a better idea of where our membership and staff will be located.

Q: Will the Pioneer Guard be mixed (men and women)?
A: Yes. That has worked well for us the past 3 years.

Q: What will the music be that we play?
A: For parades we will play Garry Owen (Theme Song) and Stars & Stripes. The music for exhibitions and the winter ensembles will be decided by the staff. While it will be ideal to program Irish music in our repertoire, we do want to design programs that on par to what’s mainstream in current Pageantry Arts. This may mean a conceptual design that doesn’t include a dominant Irish identity. But no worries, you’ll always hear a strain here and there to keep your Irish Eyes Smiling.

Q: Will each member get a number?
A: Of course. The next numbers will start with 2740

At the recent WGI’s Percussion and Winds weekend contest in Dayton, Ohio, we saw our past Program Coordinator and Drill Writer Mr. Dave Campbell, as well as our Percussion Caption Head, Mr. Josh Logan. Their Independent A Winter Indoor Group, NOMAD, made WGI’s Finals!

Mr. Bonslater’s percussion line, Phoenix Drumline of Hutchinson, MN made Semi-Finals for the very first time as a nationally competitive ensemble.

Mr. Charles Mierecke was in Dayton, Ohio for 3 days viewing drum lines and winds groups. Living and working in Chicago, he will be a huge help with our winter ensembles.

Many of Pioneer’s 2018 members were at the WGI Championships in Dayton, Ohio. Several of them took pictures with RB . It was surely a great feeling seeing these Better Every Day extraordinary human beings once again! If some of you could, would you share copies of those selfies with us?


To former Mellophone, Drum Major, and Mentor, Jackie Bilder # 1787 who presented us with beautiful flowers and a plaque at the post Chicago Southside Irish Parade party held at her restaurant, “Natural Law”. We were very surprised and appreciative!
The plaque read:

Presented to
Roman & Sue Blenski
In appreciation of 58 years
of dedicated service to the
Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps &
Color Guard
Organization with gratitude.

Pioneers: Past, Present, & Future
St. Patrick’s Day
March 17th, 2019

Thank you and “Better Every Day”
Roman & Sue Blenski

Many of Pioneer’s 2018 members were at the WGI Championships in Dayton, Ohio. Several of them took pictures with RB . It was surely a great feeling seeing these Better Every Day extraordinary human beings once again! If some of you could, would you share copies of those selfies with us?

After solving the “jacket fire” crisis….we now have a new challenge. Davis Reed, our videographer cannot put the 2018 tour video together….We have the footage, but we need someone with the skills and corps knowledge to put it together. Does anyone have ideas???

The bass drum heads that had the dragon logo printed on them are still available. We have all 5 sizes, some new, and some are used! They would make a great decoration for your bedroom wall or dorm room!!! It would remind you of your hard work and dedication. $25.00 donation to Pioneer plus shipping.

This is our principal fund-raiser that is held every Wednesday and Saturday evenings, both beginning at 6:30 pm. This past Saturday, one of our customers who won the Progressive Jackpot, went home with a $4,375.00 payout! Could you use some extra cash? Come to play or come to help and meet Murray, Sue, Roman, Charity, Kris, and several other Pioneer volunteers.

PIONEER VIDEOS from 1989/90. 91, 92, and 93 are now available in both CD and VHS. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Ed Panko # 1005 Soprano, they were professionally made from the originals. Some are prelims, finals, and tour videos. By sending us a donation of $20.00, we will rush a copy to you so that you can relive the “Good Old Days)!

Mr. Patrick Krenz, the 44 year old son of Pioneer volunteers Joe and Bonny Krenz, suddenly passed away of a heart attack while getting a medical prescription at a Milwaukee Target store’s pharmacy. While Patrick never marched in the Corps, he often was with his parents when they helped. Patrick was a food service person with Marquette University. Bonny Krenz was a Pioneer cook for several of our summer tours. Joe Krenz helped out in several areas, especially with our bingo fundraiser. He was also the last Director of the Midwest Legends Senior Corps who rehearsed at Pioneerland. Prayer for Patrick’s family would be much appreciated. Flowers were sent by Pioneer for his funeral. Roman and Sue attended the service and a special Mass in Patrick’s honor held at St. Patrick’s Parish on S. 7th and W. Washington St. in Milwaukee. (The original home of our Corps.)

Amazon Smile Logo

Thanks to your efforts, another donation to the Pioneer Corps has been given to us from the Amazon People. It is so easy to use! For every purchase you make from a percentage is donated to help us. If you have not already, just type in the above address and designate Pioneer!

A one of a kind patch symbolizing your participation in the 2018 Chicago Irish Parade will be sent to you shortly. Do we have your current address??? Please send us an email of it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. also, keep in shape! Could we see you at the South Milwaukee parade or the thanksgiving parade at Downtown Chicago?

The Corps is officially sponsoring a team in the Wilson Premier Youth Baseball League. Like Pioneerland, they have a couple of acres about a mile away with grounds to serve the baseball youth. Their leaders are members of Milwaukee’s Southside Business Association. The playing grounds are meticulously maintained. It is a good partnership in the making!

A beautiful white blanket embroidered with “St. Joe Soccer 2011” with the name Katelynn Katie was found at Pioneerland. It is too beautiful to give to the Good Will as it may have significant memories for someone. Can anyone help us with contacting her Phone, email address???

Megan Justus, former Pioneer Pit Performer, also needs to call the Office (414) 327-2847, as her Pioneer Jacket has been turned in. Can anyone help with contacting her? Might you have her phone number or email address???

As we retool our direction, former members who are willing to help teach, manage, perform with our mini-corps or be involved in some way….We would like to hear from you. Your musical experience and Pioneer values would be a great help in keeping Pioneer alive serving youth…Please call or email us. We will enjoy speaking with you.


Mr. Garry Owen