The Madison Scouts, Forward Performing Arts, and the Madison Scouts Alumni Association are pleased to announce the 2023 inductees to the Madison Scouts Hall of Fame, including Ray Baumgardt, Scott Boerma, James Elvord, E.J. Hess, Lewis Kessler, Don Marcouiller, Sal Salas, Christos Theo, and Nick Venden.
The induction ceremony will be a part of the 70th anniversary of the Scouts home show “Drums on Parade” being held on Saturday, July 1 at Middleton High School in Middleton, WI. The induction will occur at the “Brass, Brews, & Brats” pre-show tailgate with additional recognition at the drum corps competition prior to the encore.
Ray Baumgardt (1940-1998) is most remembered for his work with the Madison Scouts as the principle brass arranger from 1969-1978, but overall he was one of the drum corps activity’s most prolific music arrangers. At the head of early “concept shows,” Baumgardt arranged “Alice in Wonderland” for the Madison Scouts as well as the Cavaliers’ groundbreaking 1971 “Circus Show.”
Throughout his drum corps career, Baumgardt created some of the most memorable drum corps arrangements of all time including “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue,” “McArthur Park,” “The Way We Were,” “Rhapsody in Blue,” “Ballet in Brass” and “Brian’s Song.” Ray was selected to the DCI Hall of Fame in 2010. Ray’s arrangement of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is still played by the Madison Scouts today.
Scott Boerma played lead baritone as a member of the Madison Scouts in 1984 and 1985 and joined the brass staff beginning in 1986. He assisted in the musical arrangements for the World Champion 1988 corps, then elevated as the full brass arranger in 1989, a position he held through 2006. He would return to the Scouts from 2015-2018 and is once again writing in 2023 for his 23rd season as brass arranger.
As an alumnus of the corps and long time staff member and arranger, there are few who have contributed to the Madison Scouts, the marching arts activity, concert band literature, and college band profession as much as Scott. He is an inspiring educator, prolific composer and arranger, and epitomizes someone who took the teachings of the Madison Scouts to heart.
James Elvord taught some of the very best horn lines in the drum corps activity, while providing insights on ways to improve brass judging that helped move the adjudication model away from counting errors (ticks) to an evaluative system. He pioneered and developed the system of adjudication used in SoundSport competitions during DCI national championship events.
While he was brass caption head and program coordinator, the Madison Scouts won the DCI World Championship in 1975, and won the high brass caption award three years in a row in 1973, 1974 and 1975. The Madison Scouts were also the U.S. Open Champions in 1970, 1974, and 1975. Since 1974, James has been a brass consultant with a dozen well known corps in the United States, Canada and Japan. He was named a member of the DCI Hall of Fame in 1997 and returned as Program Coordinator for the Scouts for the 2019 season.
Einar John (EJ) Hess (1893-1966) is one of the founding fathers of the Madison Scouts. In 1937, a group of Madison businessmen decided that Madison should have a drum and bugle corps. The men, E.J. Hess, Robert Gary, Tom Jones, and Bob Hess, wanted this corps to be composed of Boy Scouts. The first rehearsal was held on February 8, 1938 in the basement of the Christ Presbyterian Church with equipment borrowed from the Masons.
E.J. Hess was the first director and C.H. Beebe, Scoutmaster of Troop 20, was appointed quartermaster and became the Executive Director shortly thereafter.
Lewis H. Kessler (1900-1974), former Navy Bugler and engineering faculty member at the University of Wisconsin, began his service to the Boy Scouts in 1920, and was soon promoted to Assistant Executive of the Four Lakes Council. On December 3, 1920, Kessler would form the original Boy Scout Drum and Bugle Corps of Madison, Wisconsin and serve as its director through 1925 when the group discontinued operations.
Kessler would remain active within the Four Lakes Council and served on committees with both E.J. Hess and C.H. Beebe starting in 1936. In the fall of 1937, Kessler served on the advisory committee that helped restart a Boy Scout Drum & Bugle Corps representing the Four Lakes Council. If CH Beebe is considered the “father” of the Madison Scouts, then Lewis Kessler is the “grandfather”.
Don Marcouiller (1925-2018) took over as musical director of the Madison Scouts in 1950 and began what was to become the University of Wisconsin "connection" and the "Madison Style". As graduate assistant with the UW Badger Band, Marcoullier brought with him a keen sense of general effect, an understanding of what would really please and entertain a crowd. Marcoullier is the person most responsible for putting the Madison Scouts on a course which would place it at the leading edge of the drum corps activity.
In 1956, Don was named Director of Bands at Drake University; he served there until 1987. While at Drake, the band program achieved national prominence and he authored the groundbreaking technique book titled, “Marching for Marching Bands,” introducing a marching method that was widely adopted by marching bands across the U.S.
Sal Salas came to the Madison Scouts in 1975. He previously was a percussionist with the DCI Finalist Stockton Commodores where he picked up his rifle skills by watching and interacting with the Commodores spectacular rifle line. Sal has been the only person to join the Scouts as a marching member and be instantly promoted to instructor as a marching member. The Scouts finished with an undefeated season in 1975 as DCI Champions. Sal built a rifle dynasty with the Scouts. Most notable was the 1977 production of West Side Story where the rifles were prominently featured on the PBS telecast during New York, New York, and Officer Krupke.
Sal has run the gambit in Madison Scout history of being a member, being an instructor, and being the corps director, a position he held from 2003-2006. Sal is a member of the DCI and WGI Hall of Fames, as well as Spirit of Atlanta, Midwest Color Guard Circuit, and the Winter Guard Association of Southern California Hall of Fames.
Christos “Stos” Theo has been a part of the drum corps for over thirty years. He joined the Madison Junior Scouts in 1965, then played snare with the “senior” corps from 1968-1975. Chris joined the percussion staff in 1976 and served as the principal percussion arranger from 1978-1983.
Chris was co-arranger and percussion consultant during the 1984 and 1985 seasons, and was the principal percussion arranger for the 2006 Alumni Reunion Corps. In addition to his affiliation with the Scouts, Chris has been a percussion clinician, adjudicator, arranger, and consultant, for numerous drum corps and marching bands. Chris is currently a Professor Emeritus and former Department Chair for the Department of Art & Design, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Within the Madison Scouts alumni from the 60’s, Nick Venden is best known as writing the first arrangement for “Ballet in Brass” when he was only 18 years old, a piece played during the 1962 season. In 1963 he arranged the Stan Kenton version of Malagueña, a piece that would resurface many times in Madison Scouts history. Nick was the primary brass arranger from 1962-1966 before moving onto a successful professional musical career.
NIck has conducted multiple film scores at GlenGould Sound Hollywood; honored by the Chicago International film Festival award for the film score “Red”; and has conducted orchestras all over the world including Rome,Tokyo, Paris, Shanghai, and Baden-Baden. He currently focuses on the development of interactive experiences through virtual reality technology.
“The Madison Scouts Alumni Association is very honored to induct these great people into the Madison Scouts Hall of Fame,” stated Kent Eversmeyer, committee chairman. “The Hall continues to serve as our way of showing appreciation to those who leave a great legacy and foundation on which the Madison Scouts organization stands.”
The Madison Scouts Alumni Association (MSAA) administers the Hall of Fame through an annual process that results in a new class each year being inducted. More information can be found at www.MadisonScoutsAlumni.org