Rockford Area Music Industry Recognizes Longtime Regiment Arranger

Rockford, Illinois – April 30, 2009 – One of Phantom Regiment’s own was honored for more than 50 years of contributions to music in Rockford. Jim Wren,Phantom Regiment’s principal brass arranger for more than 30 years, was presented with the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI) at its 18th annual RAMI awards ceremony held Thursday, April 30th at 7 p.m.

Established in 1990, RAMI has been honoring the best musical talent in northern Illinois since 1991. Phantom Regiment has been awarded Best Musical Outreach Organization several times during this time.

Jim Wren was a recipient of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award, an honor that has been granted to the individuals who have contributed the most to Rockford’s musical heritage. The coveted award, first bestowed upon Rockford’s Cheap Trick in 1991, will be one of Jim’s prized possessions as he reflects on his accomplishments and contributions to music education and the drum corps community as a whole.

Rockford native Jim Wren was the principal brass instructor and music arranger for the national champion Phantom Regiment Drum & Bugle Corps from 1968 to 1999. His “horn lines” along with his musical arrangements were admired throughout the marching music activity, attracting eager students from around the world.

As a member of the St. Thomas Crusaders in 1954, Jim got his first taste of the drum corps activity. He later became a charter member of the Phantom Regiment in 1956. After 5 seasons as a member, Jim joined the instructional staff in 1963 and later, became a Board member when the corps was incorporated in 1967.

Jim began arranging for the corps in 1968 and was the sole arranger until his retirement in 1999. His drive toward performance perfection brought the corps from a local start-up group of inexperienced kids to a polished national champion horn line in 10 short years. The corps’ ability to attract top-level talent for staff positions as well as corps membership, was a direct result of Jim Wren’s horn lines.

His list of accomplishments include:

* Elected to the Drum Corps International Hall of Fame in 1994
* 3-time National Champion Horn Line
* 4-time “Musical Effect” Champion
* 8-time Drum Corps “US Open” Champion
* 26 Consecutive Drum Corps International “Top-Twelve” Finalist Finishes

Jim married wife, Laura, in 1971, and together they raised their 2 sons Jimmy and Mathew. Jim continues to this day as a Phantom Regiment Board member, providing a calming influence made possible by years of experience at the very top of the marching music activity.

On behalf of the entire Phantom Regiment, congratulations Jim Wren on such a prestigious honor!