Established in 1985, the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame honors the outstanding achievements of marching music's passionate and committed administrators, creators, instructors, judges, and others who have made significant contributions through years of hard work, innovation, and direction.
Joining the DCI Hall of Fame ranks in 2023 will be Gino Cipriani and David Glyde. They will be honored as part of the 2023 DCI World Championships this August in Indianapolis and as part of a virtual induction ceremony taking place Sunday, August 6.
Brass instructor, caption head
While composers and arrangers make up a lion’s share of those commemorated in the DCI Hall of Fame, it’s often the instructors teaching the notes and rhythms of their musical scores who are ultimately responsible for inspiring performers to reach for excellence and to achieve greatness. Gino Cipriani embodies this notion, and as a brass instructor and caption head in the drum corps activity for decades, it’s something he has perfected.
“A quiet person, Gino has demanded excellence from his students, and year after year, his brass lines from the mid ‘90s on have been phenomenal,” said 2009 DCI Hall of Fame inductee Jay Bocook. “Through endless preparation and great instruction, his brass sections are always a force in the activity.”
Cipriani got his start in drum corps with the Florida Vanguards in 1979, performing with the corps as it transitioned to the Florida Wave between 1980 and 1982. Joining the Blue Devils from 1983 to 1985, he continued to hone his craft as a performer, soloist and section leader.
Switching gears from performer to instructional staff member, Cipriani joined the Blue Devils “B” educational team in 1989, before joining the staff of the Blue Devils in 1990. Here he’d teach for a decade during one of the most competitively dominant periods of time in the California corps’ history. Cipriani played an integral part in leading the Devils to multiple Jim Ott Best Brass Performance caption awards and DCI World Championship titles.
“During that undefeated (1994) championship year, (Cipriani) was the first to understand the benefits of warming up in a circle while bleeding crescendoing chord progressions, developing a seamless, perfectly balanced sound,” said Stephen Bentley, a fellow Blue Devils corps member and later instructor with Cipriani who currently serves as associate professor of piano collaboration and orchestral studies at the University of Utah Valley. “The 1994 Blue Devils horn line completely changed the standard and direction of DCI.”
In 2000 and 2001, Cipriani seized the opportunity to spread his wings even further on the instructional stage, assuming brass caption head responsibilities with The Cadets. There, Bentley says, “Gino crafted and refined his signature sound, focused on absolute ensemble clarity expressively performed.”
Cipriani spent time running the horn lines of the Magic of Orlando and Santa Clara Vanguard before returning to The Cadets in 2005, where he would lead the brass program until 2016 while racking up two more DCI World Championship titles and two more Jim Ott brass caption awards.
Beyond countless competitive accolades, during his time in front of some of the most talented horn lines in DCI history, Cipriani has had the opportunity to positively mold the lives of hundreds of future musicians and educators.
“His enthusiasm and natural sense of motivation provided an excellent role model for his fellow performers and students to emulate and respect,” said DCI Hall of Fame member Wayne Downey. “Gino’s unique and masterful teaching style has been a true inspiration to aspiring teachers across the country both in our activity and beyond.”
“Many of his students are now very successful band directors, and all of his students grow as performers and most importantly as people,” added Bocook.
Always on the lookout for new challenges and opportunities even decades into his DCI career, in 2017 Cipriani took on yet another post, this time with the Boston Crusaders to serve as director of music. As witnessed in previous stages of his career, Cipriani got right to work, helping the corps realize an instant surge in competitive placement, jumping six spots at the DCI World Championship Finals in just his first year on the job. With no signs of slowing down, Cipriani looks poised to pen yet another significant chapter in his storied drum corps career.
“Not many folks teach for 30 years in the drum corps activity.” Bocook said. “Not many reach the pinnacle of success that Mr. Cipriani has achieved.”
Music director, composer/arranger
For decades, the overall sound and musical direction of the Blue Devils — the vision of a “mad scientist” pulling together numerous ideas and viewpoints of an entire design team — has come at the hand of David Glyde.
“The Blue Devils’ creative process is unique because the concept and approach come first. Then, the effects, moments, and visual concepts are planned. Finally, the music is designed to elevate the entire production,” said 2002 DCI Hall of Fame inductee David Gibbs. “The challenges of interacting, collaborating, and creating with the number of people involved in this process are many, and we are fortunate to have a unique person on our creative team with just the right characteristics to meet those challenges.”
Glyde’s musical background in the drum corps activity is rooted in percussion. A drummer with the Troopers, Santa Clara Vanguard and the Blue Devils in the 1980s, he joined the staff of the Blue Devils in 1992 as a caption manager and arranger.
In 2003 he assumed the role of music director, a position in which he is charged with overseeing the overall design of the corps’ productions, ensuring that the musical ideas across the ensemble fit with and work to enhance the overall visual design of a show.
“Dave’s fresh and imaginative approach has set new standards in marching music year after year,” said 2022 DCI Hall of Fame inductee Richard Saucedo. “As a percussionist, his use of tempo and meter creates the perfect background for cutting-edge chord progressions and melodic material. Dave literally reinvents himself each time he designs a program and that leads to new directions and new standards for drum corps compositions and arrangements.”
Working with a diverse team of artists within the Blue Devils, many with varying viewpoints and concepts, Glyde sits in a unique position on the design staff to ensure everyone’s ideas are accounted for and pulled together into one cohesive package.
“Dave possesses a very unique ability to manipulate a myriad of ideas from multiple people into a focused and effective thought,” said DCI Hall of Fame member John Meehan. “Without Dave's amazing work at cultivating, coordinating, and executing these individual ideas, plus his own brilliant creativity, the Blue Devils, and drum corps, would not be where they are now.”
Within a drum corps organization as perennially successful as the Blue Devils where ego could rightfully play a dominant trait, Saucedo says that watching Glyde work with the California corps is a “lesson in humility.”
“Dave is about ‘team’ first and has always been about promoting and supporting Drum Corps International,” Saucedo said.
“He is calm, humble, and driven to bring standard-setting and innovative musical creations to the activity — without concern for personal credit,” Gibbs added.
Perhaps one of Glyde’s most significant contributions to the ongoing development of the drum corps art form was his early adoption of and support for electronics and amplification. But that’s just one example of his ability to continually reinvent his methods and bring new and original ideas to the table.
“His innovative approach to producing the musical book truly set the foundation for the Blue Devils’ successes over the years,” Gibbs said. “His show designs consistently bring a cutting-edge, innovative, fearless, inventive, and ground-breaking sound to the activity year after year.”