The Troopers Hall of Fame Committee is pleased to announce this year's inductees into the 2019 Troopers Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame ceremony will be held at 1801 East E. Street, Casper, WY 82601 on Friday, July 12th from 12:00pm - 2:00pm. We hope that you can attend and celebrate the 2019 class!
Larry Davis joined the Trooper Cadets in 1972 playing soprano bugle. In 1974 Larry moved to the Troopers and was identified early on by staff for his musical talent and leadership ability. Larry later became a section leader and soloist on soprano and mellophone, and he played in the Troopers brass quintet that won the Drum Corps International Individual and Ensemble (I&E) world championship in 1978, in Boulder, CO.
After Larry’s age-out season in the fall of 1980, corps founder Jim Jones invited Larry to join the Troopers staff, which led to Larry’s tenure as one of the finest marching and color guard instructors the Troopers have ever been privileged to have. This is evidenced in 1984, when the corps (which placed 13thplace overall) placed 3rdin the on-field marching caption at DCI semi-finals. And in 1985: when the Troopers vaulted back into DCI finals at 9thplace.
After Jones’ retirement in 1987, Larry stepped up at a crucial time to maintain continuity as the corps’ assistant director. In 1989, Larry took on a key role in on-field programming and drill writing, collaborating with corps Director John Masterson under the pseudonym “Art Shirl.”
Larry always went above and beyond his role to support and mentor the young people in the corps. Former color guard member Gayle Walsh writes: “His focus and personal connections with us made it possible for us to accomplish far more than what many would think possible from a group of un-trained, teen-aged kids from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Through Larry, each summer we were transformed from a scatter of individuals to a serious guard performing at a level which never ceased to surprise us all.”
In 1990, Larry retired from the Troopers, and since then, he and his wife Michelle have created a wonderful family life in Colorado with their children, Kelcy and Cameron. Larry’s lifelong love of teaching and mentoring young people has continued for more than 25 years as a junior high school math and science teacher.
The Emmons Sisters: Linda, Karen, Marian, Marsha
Linda, Marian, Marsha, and Karen Emmons were a cornerstone of the Troopers throughout the 1960s and 70s. Together they exemplify the dedication of many Casper families who forged the Troopers’ identity, leading to championships and the co-founding of Drum Corps International. Marion and Marsha served as color guard commanders, instilling their devotion and work ethic through the entire corps.
In her nominating letter, Sue Masterson reflects, “the breadth of honor, loyalty, and dedication from these four marvelous women is unparalleled. Together we endured the fall of the porch (in 1979), though Karen didn’t come out unscathed. We experienced touring the deep South as well as Canada. And as all of us were in the guard, we experienced winter guard competition circuits as well. Who of us can ever forget Wednesday rehearsals at the armory, dyeing our silks, hauling around posting buckets, and winter competitions in California where it was nice and warm.”
The Emmons family eagerly opened their home and their hearts provide a home for out-of-town Troopers, doing to whatever it took to positively support the corps and its members.
Brenda Jefferies, who came to the Troopers in 1978 from California, recalls, “I learned the Trooper way of discipline from the Emmons’ sisters and a level of responsibility that has stayed with me my whole life.”
Mike Doherty, who came to Casper from Illinois in 1972, first listened to Linda tell of her history and experiences with the corps as a recent age-out. This left a lasting and memorable impression on Mike as a young man dedicating himself to the Troopers.
Jefferies recalls Marsha, in her white commander uniform, with great authority walking past the color guard and secretly ruffling their skirts to shoo away mosquitos the size of Cessna airplanes. “She made sure all of us color guard girls were looked after. Mosquitos were in our boots on our noses, and down our scarves during retreat. She gave us a little bit of relief. It still makes me laugh,” Jefferies wrote.
Linda’s love for the Troopers did not end after her marching years, as she encouraged and supported her siblings’ efforts to continue the Emmons legacy as Troopers. “Linda is truly the epitome of an Ambassador of the Troopers with Honor, Loyalty and Dedication to the organization,” wrote fellow member Jim Mikowski.
The Emmons sisters always pushed themselves to the high standards demanded of such a world class organization. And now: Linda, Marian, Marsha, and Karen take their rightful place in the Troopers Hall of Fame.
Although Brian Harris’s career with the Troopers was mostly behind-the-scenes, Brian’s impact on the Troopers can be seen every day in the strong business and bingo operations that support our corps. By default, Brian’s career with the Troopers began in 1992 when his sister marched in the corps. As a host home for out-of-town members, Brian was submersed into the Trooper experience. Then in 1993, with the inclusion of males in the color guard for the first-time, Brian marched with the Troopers. During this time, Brian’s support of the Corps had created an employment opportunity for him in a bingo hall, an experience that would later prove to be invaluable as the corps broke ground on their first full-time bingo operation in the Spring of 1994.
Forgoing any future opportunities to be a member of the Corps, Brian channeled his bingo experience into this operation and was managing the hall soon thereafter – a responsibility he mastered quickly –and all before his 20th birthday.
Brian’s skills in business operations were readily observed by outside interests. After several years of managing the bingo hall, Brian left those day-to-day activities to successfully pursue a career in business management. During the period that followed, Brian maintained a love for the corps and volunteered, providing a critical (often daily) role of support and guidance for the business operations of the organization.
In 2005, amidst many organizational challenges and changes, Brian answered the call again and returned to a more hands-on role as Business Manager for the Troopers organization. Over the next decade, Brian was an instrumental contributor to a new administrative team. Never shying away from a challenge, Brian’s integrity and professionalism were essential in bringing strength and stability back to the organization.
Time constraints from his “real job” forced Brian to step away in the Fall of 2015, and Brian is now the CEO of Compression Leasing Services, Inc. Brian Harris' service to the Troopers more than qualifies him for induction into the 2019 Troopers Hall of Fame.
At age 13, drummer Mike Monterastelli joined the drum corps in his hometown of Ottawa,
Illinois. Carol Monterastelli, later to be MIke's wife of 51 years, was in the color guard of that same corps. Later, Mike went on to be a drill and color guard instructor. Mike’s brother Gene also joined the local corps, and in 1966, Gene moved to Wyoming to join the staff of the Troopers. In 1981, Mike moved to Wyoming to join Gene in the insurance business.
Mike’s involvement in the Troopers began as a fundraiser and parent. He and Carol opened their home to provide a place for dozens of Trooper members. Soon, corps founder Jim Jones tapped Mike and Carol to organize local housing for all out-of-town Troopers.
In the fall of 1987, Jones retired after 30 years as corps director, and Mike volunteered to assist new management with the transition to 1988 and beyond. Mike spearheaded key moves in public relations and marketing: serving as emcee and announcer during the Wyoming tours, and founding the Trooper Roll Call, a newsletter sent to alumni and fans that proved crucial for continuity.
In early newsletters, Mike was first to use the phrase “Long Blue Line” for Trooper alumni during a uniform fundraising campaign he led. From 1989-1991, Mike served as the corps’ financial manager. During the summer 1991, Mike stepped up when needed to serve as the corps’ tour director.
In a crucial move, Mike took the initiative to help establish the Troopers Board of Directors, which has provided stability and guidance for the organization for more than 30 years.
Former Corps Director Mat Krum reflected on Mike’s warmth and humor in dealing with the marching members of the Troopers: “He took the time to know us, a skill and gift of his that sure made a difference in a room full of young people.”
According to Executive Director Mike Ottoes: “It is not an overstatement to say that the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps may not still be here if it wasn’t for the efforts of Mike Monterastelli.”
The O’Hearn Brothers: John, Mike, Jim, Dick
The O’Hearn family is a cornerstone of Troopers history, with their involvement spanning from 1967-1981. The brothers John, Mike, Jim, and Dick exemplify excellence and what it means to be a Trooper.
In nominating the O’Hearn brothers, former Drum Major and Assistant Director Casey Smith wrote:
“All four of the O’Hearn brothers were unique in their own way, but they were all a part of the backbone of the corps for almost 25 percent of the Troopers’ existence. They personified the meaning of Honor, Loyalty & Dedication and truly helped make our corps the best it could be.”
Three of the four brothers were brass players in the baritone section, while Dick marched in the snare line. Fellow percussionist and corps founder Jim Jones often joked that Dick was the one O’Hearn brother who “got it right.” John was the section leader of the baritone line, but each one of the O’Hearn brothers was a leader in his own way.
They came into the corps with varying musical experience but, unsurprisingly to their peers, quickly became among the top performers. Both John and Jim were soloists (in 1972 on “Black Saddles” and in 1976, respectively). Dick is remembered as one of the veterans who held the morale of the corps together through the 1979 season as the corps experienced an accident that injured several members while fighting relentlessly to return to the Top 12 of Drum Corps International.
The O’Hearns worked to help the corps and their fellow members succeed even if that sometimes meant making personal sacrifices. As the baritone section leader, John humbly played the 3rdbaritone part during his age out year because that was what the line needed. When Jim suffered a terrible injury in a motorcycle accident, he missed the 1975 season and had his leg in a cast for over a year. When the 1976 season came around, the doctors were not sure he would be able to even walk properly yet. Jim defied expectations to march the 1976 season and proved to be just as strong a marcher as he ever was.
Today, Mike lives with his family in Casper, while Jim and his wife Chris currently live in Virginia. Many alumni will tell you we lost two of the finest Troopers ever when John passed away in January 2014, followed by Dick in 2018.
In 2019 the Troopers organization welcomes John, Jim, Mike, and Dick O’Hearn to the Hall of Fame.
Gary joined the Troopers B Corps in 1962 and marched there for two years, 1963, and 1964. He marched in the A Corps from 1965 through 1970. Gary marched in the drum line, playing the bass drum, tenor drum, snare drum, and in the last two years played the triples. Gary was instrumental in developing the first double and triples with Jim McDaniel. They designed and modified old bass drums with brackets and metal vests to carry these drums on the field. Gary didn’t stop here. He worked with Bill Bailey to design aluminum sticks to hold different plastic ends in different sizes to attach to these custom sticks.
Gary lost his father in 1971, and didn’t march what would have been his last year. He stayed close to the corps and helped Jim Jones remodel the old post office. As it turned out, his last year was The “Fantastic Year” of 1970. In 1990 Gary became a member of the board of directors, and played an important role in keeping the Troopers alive and well during difficult financial times. His legal expertise helped the hard working board keep focused on the tasks at hand including the initial set up of the Troopers Bingo as sustainable income for the Troopers then and now.
Gary is an extremely bright man with a compassionate heart, and has used both to benefit his beloved corps. Gary has also made several generous financial contributions to the corps in addition to his living his life today with Honor, Loyalty, and Dedication. His main question for today has always been: “Is the corps providing a high quality experience for young adults?” Gary lives with his wife, Dona and family in Jackson, Wyoming. He has three children, Amber, Jeremy, and Kimberly who prefers Kimby.
Joel Williams is completing his 29th year of teaching instrumental music in Idaho. Mr. Williams graduated from Boise State University with a Bachelor Degree in Music Education. He toured nationally as a member of the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps in 1983 and 1984.
In 1999 and 2000, Joel served the corps as Brass Caption Head at an important moment in Troopers history, helping to bring the corps back to quarter finalist status, after years of not qualifying.
Since the 1990's, Joel has made the difference in dozens of lives having sent his student to the Troopers for over twenty years. "I am unable to dissociate my time with the Troopers from the influence of Joel Williams. In my eyes, biased though they may be, he deserves to have his name right next to the greats" said Bart Plocher, a former student of Mr. Williams and an alumni of the Troopers.
Joel led the Hornline at the 2001 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington D.C., which saw a combined alumni and member performing group.
Joel continued his steadfast support of the organization as President of the Alumni Association, coordinating efforts during the 2008 50th anniversary year celebration, which also saw the first Troopers mini alumni corps.
His support continues all the way into this season. He helped to secure the housing for the Troopers in Fruitland for their extended Spring Training, helping to make not only Drum Corps history, but Idaho State history in the process.
"In all of the work I've done with Troopers in the last twenty years, Joel Williams is one individual I can count on to help time after time. He's never let me down, and he's never let this organization down" says Michael Gough, Marketing Director of the Corps
He has taught in Mtn. Home and Fruitland, ID. Mr. Williams’ many years involved in the performing arts have seen him judge both marching and concert band festivals in Utah, Oregon, Nevada and Idaho. His bands consistently earn high ratings at festival. He is a Past President of the Idaho District III Music Educators Association and a member of the National Association for Music Education. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Music Educator for Idaho District III award, and has been recognized as the Outstanding Educator in the Fruitland School District. Mr. Williams is active on both local and State levels in the Idaho Education Association. Joel is married to Amy. They have two daughters and live in Fruitland, ID where they both are involved in teaching.