In celebration of 60 years of great drum corps in Rockford, we are bringing you into the lives of the members of Phantom Regiment, highlighting alumni from every decade. Fittingly, it only makes sense to start at the beginning, with some of the men who helped shape Phantom Regiment into the organization we know and love today. 

Don’t forget to leave your mark on the 2016 season by donating to our #60for60 campaign today!

Dan RichardsonDr. Dan Richardson 

When did you march in Phantom Regiment? Which section were you a member of? From 1956 to

Dr. Dan (center, with the high toes) as a marching member at 16 years old.

Dr. Dan (center, with the high toes) as a marching member at 16 years old.

1964 as a Baritone player.

Give us a quick run down of your life outside of drum corps: I am currently a Dean and Professor at National University of Health Sciences and a clinician at the Center for Health and Pain Management, having studied at Loyola University, for my BS, MS, MD, and PhD, and Chicago College of Naprapathic Medicine for my DN.  I have four brothers and a sister–my sister marched in the St Thomas Crusaders with me when I was 12.

Do you see any life skills you learned in drum corps applied in your daily life now? How has your drum corps experience benefitted you? I would not have gone to Medical and Graduate School if it were not for the discipline, learning, study skills and ability to perform hard work which I learned from being a member of the Phantom Regiment. I owe much to the Phantom Regiment as it has given much to me. The ability to get along with others in a positive manner has helped as well. Our founder, Alex Haddad told us we would learn that skill if nothing else and he was certainly correct. It would be difficult to repay the Corps for what it has given to me.

Do you have a favorite Phantom Regiment memory? Please share! Our first time making it into DCI Finals in 1974 and our trip to Hurley, Wisconsin were thrills for me. Our many wins at US Open and even our several 2nd places were important as well. However, simply looking forward to our weekend competitions in the Midwest where we never won anything were just a fun. I could not imagine why everyone my age as a teenager would not want to be in the corps having such a great time. The people I met who are still after 60 years my good friends tell the story of how close we were.

Dr. Dan is always on hand to make sure our members feel their best

Dr. Dan is always on hand to make sure our members feel their best

How have you stayed involved with Phantom Regiment over the years? I was a Horn Instructor, Program Coordinator, Director, Board of Directors member, and Medical Director over the many years of my involvement at one time or another, and sometimes all of the above at once.

Why do you think it is important to donate to Phantom Regiment? Because of the great experience the corps provides for the members and staff as well as administration. We do not have bingo or a corporate sponsor and rely on the member fees and donations for a large portion of our budget. Every dollar helps!!!

What is your favorite Phantom Regiment show? Why?My favorite was New World 1989 since it brought out the best in every section. Oh, there were so many I loved!! And I loved each of them since they were the product of so much hard work , dedication and love by the members and staff.

We look forward to sharing more stories with you this year! Who do you want to know more about? Let us know here