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!

Jim Wren    Jim Wren

Jim Wren

Jim during his years as a marching member

When did you march in Phantom Regiment? Which section were you a member of? 1956-1962, Brass section

Give us a quick run down of your life outside of drum corps: I am a retired Safety Engineer, and attended Northern Illinois University (class of 1962), earning a BS in Marketing. My family is Laura (wife), a part-time Legal Secretary, Jim (son), an Astrophysicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Matt (son), an Administrator at Rockford Memorial Hospital. We also have two Daschunds: Pytor Tchaikovsky (Pete) and Duke Ellington (Duke).

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? When Alex Haddad started the corps, he always said that the corps would teach you how to “get along with people”. Still true!

Do you have a favorite Phantom Regiment memory? Please share! With 60 years of memories it is very difficult to single out any favorite memory. For me, it is the people I have met and worked with that are my favorite overall memories.

Jim Wren talks with Freddy Martin at the 2012 Sinnissippi Concert in the Park

Jim Wren talks with Freddy Martin at the 2012 Sinnissippi Concert in the Park

How have you stayed involved with Phantom Regiment over the years? I was Brass Arranger for the corps from 1968 to 1999 and a member of the Board of Directors from 1967 to1986 and 2000 to present

Why do you think it is important to donate to Phantom Regiment? In addition to helping with the obvious needs of the organization, donations give one a sense of “ownership” when seeing and hearing the corps perform.

What is your favorite Phantom Regiment show? Why? Over the years, when I have been asked this question, I always answered that my favorite show was the one I was working on for the next year. The years that I now remember most are: 1978, 1981, 1986, 1993 and 1996.

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