Our special celebration on February 28th, to honor Cecil, was an outstanding success. 85 people attended dinner and offered their experiences with Dr. Austin. Former students, former teachers, family, and Pioneer Alumni and guests were all generous in their praises of his work. He accompanied some drummers from his Oma Ana African percussion group which lit us all up with enthisiasm, We all robustly joined in singing “You Are My Sunshine” and “Happy Birthday.”

We continued our party with a great family style meal with broasted chicken, Polish sausage, and all the fixings that went along with it. Barbara (Foloran) Syzmanski made a brief creative book of history about Cecil’s accomplisments and activities to help remind him about Milwaukee Tech High School, UW Whitewater UW Milwaukee, and about the many Corps that he both played in and taught. Some of his history includes being an outstanding wrestler at Milwaukee Tech and University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. Cecil earned a Doctor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, He was a high school principal at Milwaukee North Division High School, He was a Professor at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He also taught many bands, ensembles, and Corps.

Pioneer would like to thank every person in attendance that took the time to show Cecil your appreciation for all he did for you and for your Corps.

A great motivator, a great instructor, a great mentor, and a great friend


cecil gathering 01
Barbara Syzmanski (#190), Robert Neuman (#385), Wally Johnson (#440) & Roman Blenski
cecil gathering 02
Sue Blenski & Margie Risch (Zahn)(#195)
cecil gathering 03
Drum head signed by all!
cecil gathering 04
John Schoenknecht (#444), Friedel Cramer (#1054), Murray Davis & Roman Blenski
cecil gathering 05
Dr. Dale Riebesehl, Roman Blenski, Chase Tonar (#2163) & Chuck Brunner (#688)
cecil gathering 06
Dave Poker (#472) & Roman Blenski
cecil gathering 07
Carol Frank (#675), Renee (#?), Ellie Gonzales (#758), Iris Sanchez (#650) & Roman Blenski
cecil gathering 08
Dr. Cecil Austin - Happy 78th Birthday!

St. Patrick’s Gathering + Play Bingo!
Saturday, March 16th, 2024 2:30 – 5:00 pm
The Taj Palace
3665 East Grange
Cudahy, WI 53110

st pats gathering bingo

All alumni are invited to meet, socialize, and play Pioneer Bingo. There will be IRISH snacks, and a history of the Pioneer Corps Jacket.

Last year, Mr. Mike Alvard won the $6,220.00 jackpot! This year’s jackpot will be high again. Two large tables will be reserved for all Pioneer Alumni and friends. What a great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day together again!

The third session will offer (5) $225.00 games after which a snack of Jimmy John’s Subs, Gardetto’s crunchy snacks, and a drink bring the grand total of $4500.00 to be given away that night…Come see the beautiful hall, support your corps, and win some money!!! Don’t forget to wear your Corps Jacket, Hoodie, Corps shirt, and all of the GREEN that you can put on!

belle city brassBELLE CITY BRASS

On March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, the Belle City Brass will perform a Celtic Tribute Concert! There is no admission charge FREE! (donations will be accepted) It takes place at the Sacred Heart Parish at 2201 Northwestern Avenue in Racine, WI

The Belle City Brass Band began years ago when Ken Norman (former Pioneer arranger) organized this group. Mr. Jim Mertins now the president of the band. You will remember that Jim Mertins taught the Pioneer hornline in the 1990’s. His two sons became fine brass players with us and his daughter was also a member.

The band has about 50 brass players and a handful of percussionists. Most of its members played in Corps during their youth. These outstanding professionals are now or were band and orchestra directors as well as soloists.

Sacred Heart’s Parish building has excellent acoustics for music. Yes, you will feel as well as hear the wonderful music. It’s almost as exciting as being at a Corps show, except you will be treated to comfortable seating (not wooden bleachers with splinters 😊) There are no props or jumping around either… I will not be surprised if you hear a tune or two that you played in Corps, because it is a Celtic Irish concert!



pioneer land update

Pioneer Needs a New Entrance Gate

Yes again, the grass is becoming green after a mild winter. However, at this time, we need a new entrance gate, even though our signs and the food truck are blocking half the entrance. Semi-trucks from neighboring businesses, see that our entrance is a dead end, so they drive through it, making a U-turn into the color guard field making a mess tearing apart the grass with huge ditch holes from their tires. It is not fun trying to mow the lawn maneuvering around those ditch gauges. We also have people coming into Pioneerland dumping garbage, building materials, old furniture in the back corner. Unfortunately, we are the ones who have to clean up all of the messes ourselves, costing a lot of money. So that is the reason that we need a new gate that we can lock to help prevent most of these challenges.



Yes, the time is coming when all Pioneer Alumni are to report to Pioneerland! Since we are about 4 months away, we are giving all of us ample time to keep that special date clear to come. Don’t worry, you will not have to run to the stop sign and back to build up your endurance. The only thing you will need is a healthy appetite and be ready to enjoy some fun with your Pioneer Family!

This gathering will take place the same day as the Air Show. I think it is the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds turn to give a lot of excitement! Being a stone’s throw away from the airport, The maneuvers take place from the shore of Lake Michigan to our airport! So between all the festivities of being with our Pioneer Family once again, you will have the extra advantage of viewing a spectacular air show!


It has been determined that with the rising cost of maintaining, licensing, insurance, and the ever rising cost of fuel, that is all exceeding the value of our buses. When the time comes that when we get our WGI Winds Group, Drumline, and Color Guard groups together, we can use one of our buses that we have in partnership with the K.D. Bus Company. This company stores their buses here at Pioneerland and have large charters throughout the U.S. They are becoming more successful and known throughout our area. So along with their daily increases of success, they are able to purchase newer vehicles. K.D. Bus Company donates to the Pioneer for using our facilities to park and maintain their vehicles. They have been very neat and helpful in our needs also.



Videos and photos from the past years of Corps seasons are available. Just give a call to the Pioneer Office: 414-333-2235 and we will be more than happy to help you!


Better Every Day!
And not all in one day!
Roman Blenski