The Sound of Music once again filled the Pioneer’s indoor hall (all purpose garage), as the Kilties alumni corps used it for a two day rehearsal. They had about 40 horns and featured 10 snare drummers. It was really a treat to the ears of us corps people to once again hear the awesome sounds of a drum corps boldly playing as the doors were opened and the garage served as the stage. The Kilties’ players came from all over the Midwest.  Pioneer bought pizzas for the corps.

nft kilties 02Past Pioneer staff members were still playing, including Tom (percussion), and Jim Mertins (brass) Jim’s son, Eric Mertins, Pioneer Alumnus (#1028) also played mellophone. He is and was a highly talented corps member.

nft kilties 03Pioneer former instructor and Corps Manager, Dale Riebesel (1988 ’89) led the Kilties as drum major. He showed his firm style and excellent direction of the many Kilties’ favorite tunes of past years.

nft kilties 04Some past memories also flourished of Ken Norman, arranger and Composer who recently passed away. He was an icon in the drum corps activity for the past 60 years. He worked with almost every corps in the Midwest including Pioneer as a member of the teaching staff as well as music writer for several of our shows. However, first and foremost, his heart was always as a Kiltie.


Field conditions at Pioneerland are excellent with two seasons not marched on. The grass is thicker and many of the past bare spots are no longer because they were filled with top soil especially between the 40 yard lines.

“Mad Dog Training” continues to rent Pioneerland. They train various breeds of dogs for Police Departments and security duties.

Our new (Green) John Deer rider lawnmower, manned by Murray Davis, keeps our rehearsal fields well-trimmed. As shown, it can also be used as a snow plow in the winter. It has a lot of power and fun to drive.


The fleet has officially activated Bus 69. Upgrades include new glass windows (Thank you RBJ!), rear tire repaired, seats were all professionally steam cleaned by Milwaukee’s Adelman Cleaners, and the vehicle passed its yearly DOT inspection.

Renting spaces at Pioneerland is KBE Excursions Bus Company. The newer looking coaches are huge and almost new. The are 58 passenger buses look awesome!

Our first charter run since New Orleans will be for former Pioneer Drum Major, Jackie Bilder (“1787”). Her bar will provide a bus to Wrigley Field in Chicago for a rock concert on Saturday, September 18th.

nft bingo 01BINGO UPDATE

Our Bingo Games raisers continue to do well even under the Covid restrictions of only 125 people. We run Bingo every Wednesday and Saturday evenings. It is building a nice financial account to help build up our new Winds group, as well as the maintaining of Pioneerland’s many items.

We need floor workers and personnel to handle ticket sales. We ask if you would be able to help us occasionally like for one night? Your nice call to our Office 414-327-2847 would very much be appreciated. The Bingo Hall is located at 4515 W. Forest Home Avenue in Milwaukee.

Inft crossN MEMORY

We heard about the passing of Bob Cramer (#299) who played in the Bass Drum section. He lived in Cedarburg, Wisconsin at the time, and was in the corps with his sister, Betty (#290).

nft uniformsDONATION

We donated some extra uniforms from our Pioneer’s history to the Drum Corps Memorabilia Museum located in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. Roman and Sue Blenski were in that area for the Drum Corps World Hall of Fame meeting (where Roman is a member) and dropped off items for their preservation in the museum. Things from the D.C.M. and DCI II/III era were also donated. It is amazing about the museum’s collection assembled by Mr. Bill Ives, the museum’s curator. It is very orderly and easy to view with Bill’s good documentation. Besides the adjacent, we will post number of photos that Roman and Sue took at the museum at the bottom of this article.


Pioneer is known for this motto, but we're not the only group that has used it. It is interesting to note that the Kansas City Chiefs, N.F.L. football team used that moniker for the season. I am sure that each one of our Pioneer Family smiles when they hear the expression and brings back many memories to their minds of their corps seasons.



Additional Photos of the Museum Taken by Roman and Sue Blenski

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