class moment

“Class Moment” in the performance of
“Irish On Broadway
Connor Wigart #2632 and Erin O’Callighan #2639


rob steinWe are pleased to introduce you to our new brass arranger for the 2018 Season: Mr. Rob Stein!

Rob is an experienced writer, designer, adjudicator, educator and performer. Over 200 marching bands and drum corps across 40 states have used Rob's original compositions and arrangements, including The Baltimore's Marching Ravens, the largest music organization associated with the NFL.

As a marching member, Rob marched a total of eight years in DCI, six with the Jersey Surf ('99-'04) as a soprano soloist and drum major, and two years with the Concord Blue Devils ('05-'06) on upper lead trumpet.

Rob works full time as a composer/arranger and is the owner of Standing ‘O’ Marching. Before transitioning to full time composing, Rob was an elementary and middle school band director for 10 years. Rob is a graduate of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, holding both a Master's degree in music education and a Bachelor's degree in trumpet performance with an emphasis in jazz studies.
Rob is also a competitive pro natural bodybuilder, and training/nutrition coach.
Rob currently lives with his incredibly supportive wife, Katie, and two adorable dogs, in Flemington, NJ. Rob is extremely excited and honored to join the Pioneer team for the 2018 season!

Our many sincere Thank-You’s go to Mr. Ben Chaffee who has arranged the Corps’ music for the 2016-2017 Seasons. We appreciated his time and talents given to Pioneer. The music brought to us abundant applauses from our fans. His work was completed always on schedule and was always available. We cannot thank him enough. His White Sabers placed 5th place at this year’s D.C.A. Championship Finals. Thank you, Ben, and Better Every Day!
To Kevin Kurtz #2377, one of our Pioneer Visual Staff. He has been hired as the band director at Par ston High School in Parkston, South Dakota. Besides the high school band, Kevin will be giving lessons to students in grades 4-6, middle school band, as well as pep band, all in addition to marching band. Kevin has been teaching Pioneer for the past 3 seasons and drove the Pioneer Camper. What makes his new teaching career special is that he now teaches at the same school that he graduated at.

Recruitment has been on a successful roll:
We recruited at the Wisconsin State Music Association’s Marching Band Championships in the rain. Thank you to Josh Pier, Roman Blenski, Sam Karafotis # 1799, Joey Tackett #2291, and Matthew Hornbuckle #2607. All eventually wound up recruiting in the UWWW Field House,

On October 25-28 we will have a booth at the Wisconsin State Music Conference in Madison, WI. Mapex/Jupiter Company is sharing this booth with us for all 3 days.

On November 4th in Detroit, Michigan we will be recruiting at their Michigan Competing Band Association’s 48 band Championship. If you can come and help your corps by please do!

When you have any questions, want to check on rumors, have suggestions, or want to check about official pioneer information, please feel free to call us at the Office (414) 327-2847 or on Corps Director Roman Blenski’s Cell Phone (414) 333-2235. We enjoy speaking with you at your convenience…..Our official Corps Email Address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. When you email us, be sure to leave your telephone number for us to reply.

Now is a good time to earn your CDL (commercial) driver’s license. We are looking for some volunteers to drive next summer. We will train you, pay your fees, and guide you through the process. Whatever time that you could spare ( 1 weekend, 1 week, 1 moth, or whatever time you could spare would be very much appreciated!
You will need a
1. Valid Driver’s License
2. Pass a Written Test to drive a Bus, Truck, or Both
3. Pass a Road Test
4. Health Card from your Doctor
5. Pass a Drug Test from our Consortium
Pioneer will cover all of your expenses and the opportunity to be with extraordinary youthful human beings. Once you obtain your CDL license, it is yours! It might be a valuable tool for your future in becoming a teacher, bus driver or truck driver!
Fundraising continues. Any amount is appreciated. Donations are tax-deductible and you will be listed as an appreciated donor on a wall plaque at Pioneerland. Another similar camper will be purchased in the spring. It is a valuable tool, not only for the management team. Most importantly is that the trailer it pulls is used for the props to the field, not like the old days having the brass members carrying them. The 2 golf carts on the back of the trailer also are valuable tools. It has been noted that what job or errand can be done without a golf cart! J Maybe you should donate something!
On the agenda for the January DCI Rules Congress being held in January in Indianapolis, is the requiring of all teaching staff and some support staff to submit to a background check. Also on the agenda is the requirement that these background checks be retaken every 2 years. More information about this will be given by us (we are a voting member of D.C.I.) as soon as it becomes available.

Pioneer has plenty of exposure in the 2017 yearbook. Did you notice Guard Caption Head, JaMalh Wallace’s photo in the center of a circle of Pioneer’s full ½ page (29)? Our sponsor, Innovative Percussion (Page (106), John Schoenknecht #444 and Bill Nylund #159 receiving the DCI Volunteer of the Year Award (Page 140), Singers Jackie Hirn # 2428 & Gioncarlo Solerno and an unidentified guard lady (Pages 88-89). Thank you, DCI We appreciate the publicity.
We have heard from the director of the marching band, Maribel that our Pioneer members Shakira Sanchez #2652 and Mariana Rodriguez #2653 are alive and well as can be. To understand this, imagine your life without electricity and clean city water. Their school’s roof was blown off and the nearby river flooded the entire school. At this time communication is scarce because cell phone signals are almost non-existent.
During the “April Camp” we will be choosing backfield conductor(s). Among their obvious roles, will be to aid Drum Major, Jackie Hirn in assorted responsibilities. Members who are interested in being Section Leaders should contact their Caption Heads and Corps Director. Here is a chance to help and lead some extraordinary human beings from all over the world.

Please help us. We are looking for current information on the following Pioneer people.
Reward if found…You bet! RB

2378 Kimberly Amaya
Samantha Guerrero
2341 Jordan Lay
2568 Aaron Brown
2108 Theo Kaiser
2283 Matt Dupree
2281 LeKenneth Miller


K.C. KEELE #2613
His name is actually Kane but all call him K.C. He was our energetic spokesperson of the Front Ensemble, being in his first season (2017). His music career started as a saxophone player, and then switched to percussion for four years and is now in his second year of marching band at Wheaton Warrenville South High School. His parents, Susan and Jeff, work as a stockbroker and a homemaker. They generously let KC use the 2014 Camry for school transportation. His goal in life is to become a Professor of Psychology. His favorite color, of course, is GREEN! His favorite contest was in Lisle, Illinois. His favorite song: “ON MY OWN” his favorite cultural day was St. Louis, and his favorite friends were his fellow front ensemble members, as well as Baritone Kane #2610, Alex Pederson #2631, Trumpet Abbi #2608 and Ariana Jue #2651.

Chloe played tuba in her second season of Pioneer. Her nickname, also “Chloe” has been playing brass instruments for 9 years (trumpet, euphonium, and tuba). She has been in marching band for 6 years. Today she attends the University of Memphis in her second year as a full time student. Her parents, Heather and Scott, are both employees of the Veterans Administration. Chloe’s carrier choice is to work in Physical Education. Her favorite color is Blue, her favorite song is “MASTER OF THE HOUSE” Her favorite contest was Evansville, Indiana, her favorite culture day was the Canoe Trip, She wishes to send special thanks to: Will Kraus #2529, Johannes #2641, Armando #2352, and Patrick Murphy #2624 Chloe plans on trying out for the Color Guard for the 2018 Season.

In an effort to increase our profit margin we have changed our games and increased the prize money. It is a risk, but we had the good fortune to take over all of the Saturdays we have been sharing with the VFW Post #18. If you can, come on Saturday nights. Bring your friends and either play or offer to help with the game operation. We are trying to move towards the profitability we had before the “State of Wisconsin Non Smoking in Public Buildings” laws. We now are surviving with about 70% less profit than before those laws took effect. Better Every Day means that we must try to succeed. Come on down!
 bingo bash


Dear Pioneer,

Recent events and the commitments towards my degree and personal life have given me pause on my commitment to being an instructor with the corps. Therefore, after much thought and discussion with other members of the staff, administration, and my own friends and family; I have reached the conclusion that it would be in the best interest of the corps and its past, present, and future members; that I officially resign as a member of the instructional staff.

This activity is about the betterment of the students, achieving excellence with others, and how to find that internal drive to be the best possible version of yourself. That was, and will always be, my hope for anyone who is involved with the marching arts, on any level.

Austin Melcher

Thank you Austin for all you have done to make Pioneer Better Every Day! You were a faithful member who came to us from the Capital Sound Corps. You also did a great job teaching our Bass Drum Section this past summer. Your positive cheerful attitude will always be remembered. We wish you nothing but the best for your future. RB



There is no experience better than reaching down and lifting people up.

Better Every Day!