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The Cadets Hall of Fame Committee has announced the following is a nominee for the 2011 Class of the Cadets Hall of Fame.

Patrick Zampetti

Nomination Letter

I am writing to nominate Pat Zampetti to the Cadets Hall of Fame. Pat’s long history and contributions to the Garfield Cadets, both on and off the field, as well as his dedication to living and teaching the “Cadets Way” make him highly deserving of the Hall of Fame honor.

Pat had a profound impact on me when I came to audition for the Garfield Cadets in the fall of 1983. I was 16 years old, inexperienced, and had no business trying out for the Cadets, who had just won their first DCI Championship. If it hadn’t been for the guiding hand of the snare tech Pat Zampetti that year, I may never have marched in drum corps. Pat had the knack for being tough on his students on the field, but caring and protective off the field. When Pat realized that I wouldn’t go away, he committed himself to driving to my house once a week to teach me and two other new members at our houses. It was over an hour drive each way – this kind of dedication and commitment were completely new to me. The confidence that Pat instilled in us that winter and spring helped us through a difficult summer in 1984. I learned very clearly from him that what happened “on the field” shouldn’t be carried “off the field.”

If anybody in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s personified the Cadets ethos, it was Pat Zampetti. He had been Cadet of the Year in 1980 and he had been an integral part of the mysterious and legendary building years, when the Garfield Cadets worked with diligence from worst to first. He designed the famous Garfield “G” logo that everybody identified with the corps, a symbol that marked everything connected with the Garfield Cadets – t-shirts to drill sheets. Pat embodied the Cadet standard of hard work, dedication, and poise that have become the hallmarks of the Cadets.

When I was inducted into the Cadets Hall of Fame last summer, I thought many times how people in the Cadets like Pat Zampetti had worked tirelessly to pass down this abstraction of “being a Cadet.” Pat Zampetti deserves to be remembered as one of those who left an indelible stamp on the organization.


Willy Higgins



Support Letters

This letter is to recommend Patrick Zampetti for induction into the Cadets Hall of Fame. In addition to his outstanding list of contributions to the Cadets during his time as a member and instructor in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Patrick has excelled in his position as Director of Marching Percussion at the University of Virginia Cavalier Marching Band. He has drawn upon his experience with the Cadets and inspired an entirely new generation of performers and individuals to raise their standards and seek excellence in all they do.

Patrick Zampetti and I have a lot in common: we both marched with the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, grew up in New Jersey, and teach the University of Virginia Cavalier Marching Band Drumline now. We also have a lot of differences: he studied architecture whereas I studied philosophy and religion, he runs his own architecture studio whereas I play and teach music, and he has a wonderful family and four children, whereas I am only one year older than his oldest daughter.

Despite being 29 years my senior, Patrick has influenced me in many ways, most notably being the profound educational mindset he has instilled in me from our few years of teaching together. At one of the first meetings we had about the UVA Drumline, Patrick said something that stays with me every rehearsal I teach: “It’s all about the kids.” Back then I had just finished several years performing with intensely competitive World Class ensembles in both DCI and WGI; I was prioritizing rudiments, beat downs, and sweat. However, Patrick explained his genuine concern for every member’s experience and how important it was to him that they were given an opportunity to excel at something about which they are extremely passionate. Patrick operates at a higher level, where ideas flow naturally into actions, regardless of who said what or why they might not happen. I was and still am inspired by his clear-­‐sighted insistence on doing what’s right for his students, while simultaneously trying to push the envelope and creating something truly exciting.

Furthermore, Patrick continually challenges those around him to appreciate and seek inspiration from our everyday experience in the world. In addition to teaching percussion, I am also an athletic trainer at a local CrossFit gym. Upon discussing my interest in functional fitness, Patrick suggested several insightful methods to combine the paths of drumming and physical training. From our conversations I have become involved in a couple ongoing projects linking these two modalities. Similarly, Patrick regularly advises members to relate their experience performing with the drumline to their academic and professional careers. Drawing upon his time with the Cadets, he always suggests students apply principles of rehearsal etiquette to their study time in the library. “Go slowly, and break it down into manageable pieces,” is a useful dictum that has worked at UVA for both rudimental percussionists and biomedical engineering students.

Patrick’s most lasting impression can be seen from the relationships he has established with his students. Affectionately calling him ‘Mr. Z’ or ‘Pat,’ he is often perceived as everyone’s favorite uncle rather than a belittling big brother. The members of the UVA Drumline feel comfortable sharing their lives with Patrick, and as such they have come to highly value their time spent with the “family” (as he likes to call it). He has created an educational atmosphere that both accepts the students as individuals yet also pushes them to improve as performers. At a very focused academic institution like the University of Virginia, Patrick has balanced the line between offering a positive musical outlet while simultaneously allowing space for heavy class workloads. Just as he did in the early 1980’s with the Cadets, Patrick is creating a culture of tradition, innovation, and excellence at UVA.


Chris Garay

2006 Cadets



I write to enthusiastically support Pat Zampetti’s nomination for induction into the Cadets Hall of Fame Class of 2012. It is an honor to join Pete Castellano, Chris Garay, Willy Higgins, and Dave Shaw— Cadets who marched from the 1950s through just a few years ago—in this effort to have Pat’s name added to the Hall.

Pat Zampetti is the first Cadet I ever spoke to, and to me he has been the Voice of the Cadets ever since, an exemplar of all it means to wear the maroon and gold. In the spring of ’82 I called the house in Teaneck, New Jersey, where Pat and other corps staff were living, and it was Pat who picked up the phone. I had just turned 15 and, despite six years of experience with various small corps, I was nervous about this bold attempt to break into DCI. Pat spoke to me with humor, kindness, and encouragement. Over the next few years, Pat taught me to play in a DCI snare line with the same qualities he had displayed during that call. Pat has a long, accomplished history with the Cadets and could be elected to the Hall of Fame for any one of his many roles with the corps, but I’d like to focus on his role as instructor.

In some ways, the story of the ’81 and ’82 corps has been eclipsed by the sea change that was ’83, but those first two years of the decade were an extremely important transition period, and Pat was right there. Now, of course, the Cadets are known for excellence in everything they do; then, it was a different story: the percussion section of ’82 was light years away from the heights of ’87. Although the ’82 corps as a whole may not have had the dire recruitment problems of ’80, the drum line in ’82 was put together at the last minute. Several of us never played a note indoors that year (unless you count Montreal’s Olympic Stadium)—our first rehearsals took place in April in Mahwah.

The snare line in particular was a mix of players of widely varying ages, styles, and skill levels attempting the inspired if often impossible arrangements of George Hopkins. Somehow, Pat was able to get us all on the same page. Pat’s snare technique is excellent—consistent, even, precise—and he helped us play that way. But that’s only part of the challenge Pat faced because, of course, ’82 was the first year of the George Zingali Era, and the drum line was challenged to actually move—more, faster, and in ways very different from what any drum line had ever done before. In the past, battery members barely left the comfort of the 50 yard line, let alone raced along oblique paths rolling their feet at 184 beats per minute.

We pulled it off in no small measure due to Pat’s outstanding instruction and leadership. We snares had to figure out not only how to play and move in our own right, but also how to unite with the rest of the battery when the tenors, basses, and, in those days, cymbals were flung far and wide across the field. And in an era when execution seemed to be more important to judges than musicality, we had to do all this with the “tick” system still in place. In the end, by August of ’82 the snare line was not the same ragtag crew we were in April. With Pat’s guidance, we and the rest of the battery got to a level high enough to propel the corps into third place in Montreal, winning the Percussion Excellence subcaption. Pat continued to do excellent work with the line in ’83 and ’84. With the arrival of Thom Hannum, the percussion section progressed even more, taking the musicality of the California corps to a new level. The success of ’82 was a huge first step in showing how a drum corps could integrate music and visuals in an exciting new way, and Pat had a lot to do with that.

When people write about being a Cadet, serious words are often used—excellence, discipline, dedication, honor, selflessness. Those values are of course important, and Pat certainly stressed them and embodied them himself. But being a Cadet is also about having fun. Pat never lost sight of that—and he instilled his own sense of fun in us. He knew that we were, essentially, at play—strenuous play, yes, but play all the same. We were having the times of our lives, but with its grueling physical demands, seemingly endless repetition, and the challenge of working with so many different personalities, drum corps could be tough. Pat’s humor and healthy sense of the absurd were keys to breaking up tense moments, and his stories of lawn mowers and rabbit-like movements in Midwestern fields made me wish I had gotten to the corps a few years earlier. Passing the baton of mirth, Pat always encouraged me to break into my “moose dance” whenever necessary. Pat took an interest in all of us, and he cared about how we were developing as players and people.

Pat was a creative teacher, and he made things interesting—at one rehearsal he showed up with a copy of W. Timothy Gallwey’s The Inner Game of Tennis for each of us. Pat was trying to get us to think about, well, not thinking about what we were doing. (You’d have to read the book.) Pat also struck a good balance in his teaching style: as he himself had been a “player-coach” during his years in the snare line, Pat recognized the need to have us drummers learn from each other in addition to learning from him. Many of the snares taught by Pat are now well-known instructors, arrangers, and band directors.

It’s amazing that Pat was involved with the Cadets as much as he was. During his years as a member and instructor he was attending architecture school and working at demanding jobs. In becoming an architect, building his career, and then founding his own firm, Pat has been an example of the importance of using the skills and values learned from the Cadets in pursuit of endeavors outside drum corps. Pat always encouraged me to learn as much as possible—I think he must have discovered early on the secret that having varied interests helps you be better, fresher, and more creative in the pursuit you’re concentrating on at the moment.

I’ll end by addressing this great Cadet directly: Pat, I feel really privileged to call you my friend, and in the words of my father’s sidekick, that spritely Irishman we would see in the stands from time to time, “You’ll always be a champion!”

Respectfully submitted,

Gregory F. Malar

Cadets Snare Drummer 1982-1983



I have just finished reading over Pat's resume. It took my breath away.

I am called upon quite often to write letters of endorsement for the nomination of various individuals for this coveted Cadet honor, but I have never done so with the enthusiasm I feel for this endorsement. Prior to reading over his resume my only contact with Pat has been as a result of his continuing love of our corps and enthusiasm for everything Cadet. He has sent me a number of emails infused with this love and pride the past few years, but until now I never knew what a crucial and pivotal role he played in keeping our corps alive and propelling it to greatness.

This magnificent Cadet, this magnificent man has done it all. Read his resume for yourself and you will understand my enthusiasm for this nomination, and my awe of the character, talent, and scope of accomplishment clearly evident on every line.

I believe that virtually everyone who has ever worn the maroon and gold is already in a very special hall of fame. We place great importance on character and values as the lynch pin of the Cadet experience. Periodically, however, a Cadet rises above the rest of us, and leaves a mark on our corps so permanent and so profound that it requires special recognition. That is why the Cadet Hall of Fame exists, and why Pat Zampetti, like the rare few super-Cadets who preceded and followed him, stands forever as the "ideal" to which we all aspire.

I am somewhat infamous for not knowing when to stop writing once I start. As I read down Pat's long resume I realized that I could easily write multiple pages on each line and each accomplishment. Tempting though that is to me, I think that all it will take is for you to read his resume for yourself to see why he has been nominated by admiring Cadets who marched with him, and others who followed and came to respect him, even many years later, as the instructor who most influenced their lives and advanced their skills.

There are, however, three things on that resume that grabbed me emotionally. The first was the love for the man that shines through on Pat's nomination by Pete Castellano 78-81, and the enthusiastic endorsement of Greg Malar 82-83. It was Greg who contacted me and requested that I give consideration to adding my own endorsement. I feel honored to be asked. This, to the best of my knowledge, might very well be the first time that Cadets from different decades so widely separated by time and memory, have joined together in support of one very special nominee.

There is buried deep within me a love for the Garfield "G," and now knowing that Pat was the graphic artist (another of his many talents) who designed that iconic emblem of the great Cadet corps of the 1980s, fills me with gratitude.

Finally, I remember with great clarity, sitting up in the stands during those years, marveling at the mind-boggling genius of George Zingalli, and marveling more than anything else at the first percussion line in drum corps history to actually be a marching part of that artistic breakthrough. My jaw fell open then as I watched in amazement, and the effect created hasn't diminished over all these years. Thank you for making that happen Pat. It was a monumental achievement that revolutionized our activity.

If for nothing else (and there is a great deal "else"), Pat entered the realm of Cadets who have made a contribution to the corps that transcends whatever else any of the rest of us might have done, and entered a Hall of Fame which, though not yet formalized, should be!

I ask each and every one of you, my fellow Cadets, to read what Pat Zampetti has done as a Cadet, as a staff member, as a musician, and as a human being...and to then cast your vote for one of the most deserving Cadets our corps has ever produced.


Respectfully submitted,

Dave Shaw 50-58



When it comes to either nominating or sending a supporting letter regarding the nomination of Patrick Zampetti. The only question: I would have is with his credentials as well as the type of person Pat is; how has he not already been elected?

I have had the pleasure of marching with Pat many years ago when I marched in the 70s and have seen his profound influence in regards to making people better musicians and better people of character; as well as witnessing many times Pat having the heart of a Cadet! It takes a special person to have that special lions heart, while practicing that sense of meekness of service which we are commanded by our Lord to practice in our lives . Pat walks that walk in doing everything over and beyond anyones expectations and possesses a true servants heart; and with that said. It is my distinct pleasure to support his nomination and sharing of his hopeful expectancy that this fine man will have his dream come true in being elected into the 2012 Cadets Hall of Fame.

Best Regards

Lawrence Ignaczak(Iggy)

Garfield Cadets and Plebes Soprano (1967-1979)



I am writing this letter to support Mr. Pat Zampetti for induction into the Cadets Hall of Fame.  I believe strongly that Pat has earned this distinction through his outstanding contributions to the Cadets on many levels: as a world class player and instructor, as a leader among his peers - showing us all what it means to be a Cadet, and as a key contributor to the Cadets return to World Championship status in the 1980s.

A World Class Player and Instructor

Pat was a snare drummer with the Cadets for four years, from 1977 through 1980.  For three of those years, 1978 through 1980, Pat was the center snare, and Drum Sergeant.  I marched in the snare line with Pat for all three of those years, and I can tell you that Pat is a world class snare drummer.  It is only by marching and playing side-by-side with a drummer, show after show, year after year, that you come to appreciate the sum total of their musical talent.  Pat’s unrivaled quality and consistent playing was inspiration to all of us in those drum lines, and in those corps, as he literally set the pace for the corps he marched in. 

Pat aged out in 1980; however, he was writing parts and attending judges meetings long before that.  Pat then officially joined the staff, where he taught the drum line from 1981 through 1984.  Along with the fine staff assembled during that time, Pat helped usher in the Cadets unique sound and approach to the activity that would lead to the unprecedented three-peat DCI Championships of 1983, 1984, and 1985.  Once again, Pat taught the same way that he played, with calm and consistency.  He showed respect to each player, and earned each player’s respect in return.  Pat’s teaching continues to this day, in his role as the Percussion Caption Head for the University of Virginia Marching Band.

A Leader – What Does it Mean to be a Cadet ?

Through Pat’s dedication and character, he taught all of us what it means to be a Cadet.  Pat led by example, both on and off the field.  He inspired me to be a better musician, and a better person.  Pat was always prepared, and always gave every ounce of himself on the field.  But off the field is just as important.  Pat took the time to ‘tend to his flock,’ making sure everyone was OK.  Lending a hand or a kind word if anyone had a problem; he showed genuine compassion for others, and showed particular concern for the younger members of the line.  Pat also helped with everything from giving people a ride to practice, to driving the equipment truck.  Whatever needed to be done to help the Corps, Pat did it.

Pat was a fierce competitor, and always wanted us to be our best.  However, he also displayed good sportsmanship, by showing true respect and appreciation for other corps.  Always a fine gentleman, Pat was the first to offer a hand in friendship to individuals associated with other corps.  Pat received the prestigious Cadet of the Year Award in 1980, in recognition of these qualities.

A Transformational Leader – The Cadets Return as World Champions

Pat’s contributions transcend any particular drum line or corps he marched in or taught.  Pat saw the larger picture facing the Cadets during the late 1970s and early 1980s.  With difficult years in 1978 and 1979, the corps faced the real possibility of having to fold in the winter of 1979/1980 due to lack of membership.  A strategy was born at that time, to bring qualified new members to the corps from Mississippi.  Pat literally drove the van to help bring those folks up to march – 35 hours round trip.  But in addition, it was necessary to retain a core group of veteran members so that the corps would be highly competitive.  Pat was a leader among that group as well, having led us through those difficult years.  The strategy proved successful, and the Garfield Cadets triumphantly returned to DCI Finalist status in 1980.  This could not have happened without the leadership and dedication of Pat Zampetti.  The 1980 corps’ success, in turn, set the stage to build for the World Championships to come.

As the 1981 season began, Pat took his rightful place on the staff, and instantly put his talent and dedication to work.  As a result of the tremendous success in 1980, recruitment was no longer a problem, and has not been a problem to this day.  The corps rose steadily, to 7th place in 1981, 3rd place in 1982, and as we all know, DCI Champions in 1983, 1984, and 1985.  Pat’s service at this time was instrumental in blending the old with the new, and helping to shape the new and unique sound of the corps, and of the highly acclaimed drum lines of those years.  An architect by training, Pat even designed the famous “G” logo that has appeared in so many places through the years.  Pat helped the corps in so many ways to endure some of the darkest days ever, and went on to lead the Cadets back to the very top - World Championship status – a place where the corps remains today.

It is for these reasons that I strongly and wholeheartedly support Pat Zampetti for induction into the 2012 class of the Cadets Hall of Fame.  


Peter E. Castellano, Esq.

Cadets Snare Drummer 1978-1981

DCI Individual Snare Drum Champion



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