Unanticipated Birth of Drum Corps International Ushered in New Era

Hugh Mahon instrumental in "fathering" DCI

If it wasn't for Hugh Mahon, DCI probably wouldn't exist today. 

hughmahonIn the beginning (I always love using that line) there was the UOJC (United Organization of Junior Corps), an organization that Hugh Mahon forged to assist in bringing Eastern drum corps back into the title picture after many years of taking a back seat to the Midwestern and far-Western corps.

A year later Don Warren and Jim Jones had their fabled conversation in a public urinal that led to the organization of the Midwestern Combine.

About a year after that Hugh Mahon grabbed the initiative and contacted Don Warren and Jim Jones to suggest some limited cross-organization cooperation. The initial reaction of the Combine member corps was "not interested," nor were a number of the UOJC corps particularly enthusiastic about the idea. Mahon persisted, however, to the point of being such a thorn in the paw of both groups that they reluctantly and very grudgingly agreed to meet at the American Legion Rules Congress in 1971 for some "discussion."

That meeting, contrary to everyone's early intentions or expectations, resulted in the formation of Drum Corps International, a totally unanticipated development for the men entering the room in Indianapolis to participate in a preliminary discussion called solely to investigate the possibility of some token cross-cooperation between the UOJC and The Combine.

Hugh Mahon was, therefore, not simply one of the founding members, he was in fact the "father" of it all. At that meeting Mahon was appointed the DCI Eastern coordinator, Dave Kampschroer the DCI Midwestern coordinator, and I, Dave Shaw, became the DCI director of publicity and public relations.

The new era of drum corps had begun.


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