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!


Good Deeds

South Milwaukee High School Band

South Milwaukee’s High School Band used Pioneerland for a full day of Rehearsal. On staff was Jacob Pike (2433) and Josh Hoeneke.(2611) doing the visual instructing. Using our front line Pioneer equipment, they prepared for their upcoming WSMA Field Contests.

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The Inbhear Mor Performance Ensemble rented our brass, battery percussion, and mallet equipment for their performances at DCI’s Open Class Contests and SoundSport Championship. They could not ship their own equipment as the cost would have been prohibitive. Then they needed a truck and driver.  RB to the rescue!  He drove and stayed with them all 10 days of their tour.  Our green Pioneer drums fit perfectly, as did the dragon bass drum heads. They had a crafted show that was perfect for corps fans, and the emotion and bursts of energy make them a crowd favorite. Notice the pictures of the “Truly Irish!” It was an all-age group of members from 9 years old to 48 years of age. Their director, Mr. Oisin, was also their drum major. Before they left back for home in Ireland, they experienced a “Cultural Day” in Chicago.

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Helping those in need is a part of our purpose.


Warren Township Central High School

This high school’s band under the direction of Mr. Chris Jenkins is once again renting our mellophones and baritones. Mr. Jenkins son, Mason, (#2194) marched in our drumline in 2012.

Oak Creek High School

Oak Creek’s marching band under the direction of Mr. Guy Gregg, is renting our tubas.

DCA Championship

This event took place in Williamsport, PA on Labor Day weekend.  We got to see former Pioneer Brass Caption Heads Donny Allen and Randall Bennett. They were working together to propel the White Saber Corps to a 4th place finish in the championship finals. Congratulations!!!  Pioneer also sponsored an ad in DCA’s program book wishing well to all Pioneer alumni marching in the all-age circuit. In addition to the DCA Championships, Roman Blenski and his wife Sue were in Allentown, PA for the World Hall of Fame meetings and banquet.

Pioneer Pride

If you have been at our Saturday or Wednesday evening Bingos, you'll notice that our shirts do not say “Better Every Day”, but rather Bingo Every Day! They come in lots of colors and are worn with lots of pride by our loyal customers. These Pioneer sponsors attend Saturday Bingo Games at the United Senior Center (4515 W. Forest Home Ave), as well as our Wednesday evening Bingos at the St. Francis Lions Club Community Center (3476 E. Howard Ave.) next to the Police and Fire Departments. Both Bingos begin at 6:30 pm.

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Position Available

How would you like to be our Merchandising Chairperson! We need someone to be in charge of our Souvenir Trailer. Responsibilities for this position include maintaining merchandise inventory, designs, and attending Corps/Guard related events. The Merchandising Chairperson will also work with the Pioneer webmaster to update & maintain an existing online store to allow for online purchases.

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In preparation for Pioneer's participation in the WGI circuit this upcoming season, Bobby Bonslater and Roman Blenski attended WGICON in New Orleans, LA.  They participated in a wide array of sessions at the convention. and learned about the many different aspects of Winter Drumlines, Color Guards, and Winds (a confusing name for mini-corps or indoor marching bands). It was also great to hear the words of encouragement from so many at the convention. People went out of their way to offer their help and encouragement.


Awards Banquet Postponed

Due to a conflict with band and football activities in Des Plaines, IL, the awards banquet originally set for September 29th will be rescheduled for a later date.

Annual All Drum Corps Alumni Picnic

This will be the 10th and final year for this picnic. It takes place on September 28th in Port Barrington, Illinois at the Fox River Preserves Large Pavilion (28034 W. Roberts Road - 1 mile west of Route 59 on Roberts Road-north of Route 22 on the South side of the street).

This beautiful and large facility on the Fox River is kept very clean. It has modern rest room facilities, many electrical outlets, BBQ grills and a fireplace. Picnic tables and benches are provided at the grove.  However, you are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets (and if you wish a pop-up canopy).

There will be no fee for anyone attending the picnic. However, there will be a monetary raffle since there are expensed incurred in acquiring the pavilion, etc. Your participation in the raffle will be much appreciated by the organizer!

Bring your own food and drinks (Liquor IS allowed on the premises). NO GLASS PLEASE! (Lake County Rules).  If you would like to barbecue, a grill is provided at the pavilion.  You will need to bring your own charcoal.

Update: Roman Blenski (Norwood Park Imperials, Imperials of St. Patrick, and Pioneer) has offered to bring FREE SODA and BEER for everyone! He is doing this in appreciation for those keeping “The Togetherness and Friendship We Share” alive!

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By shopping at, you can purchase everything that is contained in the regular The difference is that a portion of your payment to Amazon is donated back to the Pioneer Corps. Just type in the address, follow the prompts, choose Pioneer as the recipient of the donation, and then continue shopping like you normally would. You get good bargains, excellent service, and help our young members with our musical participation at the same time!

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Want to Help?

If you would like to help or be part of the Pioneer Corps, contact the Office at 414-327-2847 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  I look forward to hearing from you!

Better Every Day!

Roman Blenski