Once again we are invited to perform in the Chicago South Side Irish Parade taking place on Sunday, March 11th. This is the parade’s 37th year in which Pioneer has participated almost every one of those years. Previously we have played in Chicago’s Downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade as well as Milwaukee’s. However, because of the dates of those parades, we choose to do this parade which falls right in line with our March Camp date. While the South Side Chicago Parade is a fund-raiser, it is also a cultural experience. It is also our first uniformed outside performance of our 2018 Season.

The parade begins at 12:00 pm, lining up on 103rd and Western Avenue. Our Pioneer Corps will be featured at the end of the parade, which will also be televised throughout the Chicago area via Cable TV. It is a very large parade featuring a lot of want-to-be Irish people. Also it is amazing the amount of police watching and participating. There will be area drum corps members and staffs from the area getting their first glimpse of Pioneer.

After the parade, the corps will enjoy a provided Five Star Brown-Bagged Lunch, and for the occasion you will be treated to a genuine Irish Green Shamrock Shake! Be it rain, snow, or wind, the parade always goes on!

We will have the usual Pioneer bus drop offs at both Chicago’s O’Hare and Milwaukee’s Mitchell airports. Most likely you will arrive much earlier at these places than the usual 6:00 pm.

Members are asked to bring their Black Shoes & Black Socks. Be sure to memorize our parade tunes, (Garry Owen March & Stars & Stripes Forever), both are short and not at all difficult.



With your help, we have the opportunity to man the Pioneer Recruiting Booth at the WGI’s World Championships in Dayton, Ohio. It takes place from on the following Dates:



Pioneer will pay for your food and lodging, as well as some gas expense. This will a great opportunity to be exposed to a lot of new eager recruits. There will also be many guard and percussion instructors interested in sending their students our way. It will also earn you some patches to put on your corps jacket.



This season we are expecting to field a larger corps, larger than the past years. This will require more helping hands as well. It has been suggested by some members who are a bit short on their tour fees that some family members would be available to help, earning off some portion of the fee by helping serve food, drive a bus or truck, repair props, repair uniforms, etc. This would be a big help for Spring Training, when we do not travel much, or on Tour, even for a day or two, or even a couple of weeks. The parents will enjoy being with the corps and working a daily portion of the summer fee off of what their son or daughter might owe.

We will still look for volunteers, but if this can help to benefit members have an awesome summer experience, why not!

HERE’S THE DEAL! Talk to Roman Blenski or to Sam Karafotis with a calendar and let’s see where we can be of help to each other and the corps.



We are saddened by the passing of Mr. Johnny Lonzaga last week. He and his family were all part of the Pioneer in the 1990’s. His wife, Patty, was the Food Manager. His son, John, marched in the drum line and Melissa and Valerie performed in the Color Guard. Johnny was a steady coach bus driver whose humor and Hawaiian origins were all part of his easy-going mannerisms. The corps sent green & white flowers, honoring Johnny, one of our first and finest gentlemen.



In memory of our Irish heritage, Mr. John Schoenknecht (#444) has donated some Kelly Green T-Shirts for you!



Mr. Zak Brown (#1584) who will be helping out with the Front Ensemble during a busy WGI weekend. He is an excellent percussionist, a talented chef, and one of the finest instrument repairmen in the business!



Jordan Wood (Drummer) who is the leading Pioneer SOPY recipient with 14 donations!!! Also right behind her doing well are Shawn Lee (#2654) and Wade Freeland.



Audition try-outs will be held at the April Camp for an Assistant Drum Major and for two Conductors. The Drum Major position does require a multi-year commitment. Conductors are for this coming 2018 season. Opportunities to become a leader (by example) of extraordinary human beings for several summers. This is a rare opportunity, and if you are interested, be sure to contact any staff member or Roman Blenski. Conductors will be backfield or front side, have responsibilities for various pieces of equipment, and also frequently asked for information about the corps and its daily schedule. Interested people for any of these position should call 414-333-2235.



If you have email addresses of any former members or a person who you think might be interested in donating some money to our Electronic Sound Department, Pioneer alumnus and Sound Engineer, Robert McCowan (#2426) is looking for people to donate money to purchase electronic items that we need. The ever-evolving world of electronics in drum corps is requiring greater use of specialty electronic equipment, and we are in need. Many items can be purchased through Amazon. Please, any leads of donors for this projects will be very much appreciated. Contact ROBERT MCCOWAN at his email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Our Food department is in need of a leader. Our leader of the past few seasons, Mrs. Daphne Allen, is retiring, and Peter Biletzky has moved out of the area to Northern Wisconsin. Both of these fine people have served us extremely well and they deserve a break. Hopefully they will still, on occasion, be around. We are in great need of someone to take on this awesome task. Interested parties please contact the Pioneer Office: 414-327-2847.



March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, is the deadline for the $200.00 Discount on your Tour Fee, if it is paid in full, on or before this date. Again, Pay Pal has costly charges added on in addition to your tour fee payment! If you insist on using Pay Pal, make sure that you add the charges to the amount you are paying.