Here is the public communication from DCI dated January 10th, 2019

“After thoughtful deliberation this afternoon, the voting membership of Drum Corps International revoked the membership of Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps. As a result, the corps will no longer be permitted to participate in DCI.

In August of 2018, Pioneer received disciplinary action for policy violations, resulting in suspension from all DCI activities. Today’s action by the voting membership reflects the commitment of Drum Corps International to maintain the standards of excellence for all participating organizations.

Should Pioneer make operational and administrative improvements that meet DCI standards, it will be eligible to re-apply for Open Class participation for the 2020 season.”

It was a dark day in the history of the DCI Drum and Bugle Corps Activity because they sacrificed one of their own……

For the past ten weeks we have been fighting to maintain the Pioneer Corps' World Class status and DCI membership. Words cannot express the gratitude we feel for the hard working individuals who took on this challenge and the support we received from countless alumni and friends of Pioneer.

As I have done for the past 58 consecutive years, I am fully responsible and accountable for all policies and actions of Pioneer Drum & Bugle Corps and Color guard. I apologize for the mess that our good name is in, and I feel the pain and anger about this as much and more than any of you. Personally, I am hurting because it has not only affected me, but also my wife Susan, and my colleague, Murray Davis who have devoted their time and lives everyday determined to make Pioneer a great Corps for the benefit of the young people it has served and the countless volunteers and instructional staffs who have given so much over the years. They are also hurting! Words are hardly sufficient to describe the pain this has caused all of us in the Pioneer Family .

I say again, unashamedly, that I am responsible and shake my head in disgust with this mess. But until St. Patrick needs help in the Emerald Isles up above, I remain here to work. We will continue to serve youth by providing a great time and experience for youth and adults. I will need a lot of help as we move Pioneer into the future.

If you are angry or disappointed with me personally or the corps, I am sorry…… but I will make every effort to turn your negative feelings into positive ones. Furthermore, if you would like to start your own group, I would be more than willing to help you if you choose……it would be fun competing with you!, but please do not throw stones or words at us through social media. We are the Pioneer Corps Family and as members of that we can solve family issues by discussing them with us for a solution rather than behind our backs which tends to destroy rather than to unify.

Better Every Day!


This has truly been a rough week. We have lost 4 members of the Pioneer Family who have served us with their time and talents a combined total of at least 108 years. …..

We announce this with heavy hearts.

crossALBERT DOBYNS (#1171) He was a current member of our board of directors, a former contra-bass player in the Division II/III years (1994-2000), and had a gregorius personality. Al’s wife Brianna, and young son Theo live in the Milwaukee area.
crossJOHN NOONAN was also a current members of our board of directors, as well as Cavaliers board of directors. His daughter, Kimberly Noonan (#1469) marched in 1999. John specialized in taking care of corps housing matters, provided transportation for our staff, and helped at bingo and other fundraising events. His other hobby was raising miniature horses at his home in Harvard, Illinois.
crossMAXINE ACEVEDO was a Pioneer Bingo customer since 1979 when we first began Bingo as a fundraiser. Maxine, her sister, mother, and husband were steady customers at all of the different halls that we used throughout the years. Her sudden death of this faithful Pioneer supporter was a shock, and we will miss her positive demeanor.
crossPATTY LONZAGA was the mother of Pioneer members John (#1092), Melissa (#1082), and Valerie (#1063). All of these children marched in the years 1988-1995. Mrs. Lonzaga’s husband, Johnny was a corps bus driver during this time and she was the head cook for Pioneer. Patty also helped with Bingo and fund drives that the corps ran. There are no adequate words that can give justice to the great amount of thanks due to Patty and her family for the tremendous loyalty and amount of work they did for Pioneer. They truly were undoubtedly one of the hard-working members of the corps!

 amazon smile

There are so many items that has that you use in your everyday lives at very reasonable prices. The best part is that for each purchase you make, Smile Amazon gives a portion of the amount to the Pioneer! If you already use, you know how convenient it is to use and how you benefit from it. To help the Pioneer, you can get the same merchandise by using Smile Amazon. Here is a link that will explain more and get you on the way to some great bargains:

36550987 10156566809237059 7709047468289163264 nCHICAGO’S SOUTHSIDE ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE!

SUNDAY, MARCH 17th, 2019


So far, we currently have about 40 people signed up and we are looking for more! We would like to have former members, people who wanted to march Pioneer this year, staff, and alumni march, as well as some people who would like to help Pioneer. Let’s keep the tradition going!

The Parade takes place in Chicago on Sunday, March 17th. We could meet from 7am until 10am, get a uniform to wear, and rehearse to play “Garry Owen” and Stars & Stripes. Be sure to let us know if you can do it soon. Can your friends march along? Absolutely!

If you are interested in marching in the parade, please complete the parade application:

Parade Application

If you have any questions, please call us at (414) 327-2847 or email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Pioneer is Alive and Kicking

Garry Owen says,

“Life is like riding a bicycle….

You need to keep pedaling to keep your balance….”