Reading Buccaneers Hall of Fame
Confer, Lortz, McMullen and Stoner join 107 other members of the Buccaneers Hall of Fame. Each of these individuals has made a lasting impact on the Buccaneers and the drum corps activity.
JULIA CONFER’s contributions to the success of the Buccaneers over the past thirteen years are vast and varied, making her a worthy inductee to the Buccaneers Hall of Fame. As a performer, Julia has been a standout member of the Buccaneers color guard for twelve seasons – 2005, 2007-2015, and 2017-2018. In 2017 she served as color guard co-captain. Her performance experience includes Apex Winter Guard, and her teaching experience includes stints at Brandywine High School and Cpex Winter Guard. Off the field, Julia has made significant contributions to the success of the organization, often with no fanfare and without seeking credit or accolades, but simply because she loves the Buccaneers. For the past five years, Julia has unselfishly volunteered her time and lent her artistic talent to designing items for the color guard's warm up uniform, and additionally the 2016 performance flags. She has also lent her passion for graphic design and video editing to create many poignant and inspiring slideshows and videos. Over the years, her emotional representations illustrating what it means to be a Buccaneer have been invaluable tools for recruiting new members and garnering alumni support. Beginning in 2017, Julia singlehandedly designed, organized, ordered and managed the merchandise inventory, reinventing it and, with the help of many dedicated volunteers, creating a record-breaking stream of revenue for the corps. She has also revolutionized the "souvie-stand" by creating an online store that generated several thousand dollars in revenue, as well as managing and promoting the corps (and its merchandise) through the use of social media. For the 2018 season, Julia designed and hand-painted all thirty of the iconic grass props that were essential to the corps' production of Here to There. For the past thirteen years, Julia has volunteered hours, weeks, months of her time and her contributions have ultimately become indispensable for the success of the Buccaneers, all while maintaining an unwavering commitment to her responsibilities as a performer on the field. There are many people who have contributed to the success of our organization over the past decade, but few have gone as far above and beyond as Julia to make such a significant impact on and off the field.
It is impossible to appreciate the historic and standard-setting run the Buccaneers have been on since 2005 without recognizing the role MARK LORTZ has played in the brilliant productions the corps has put on the field in each and every one of those years. An acclaimed composer, arranger, percussionist and educator, Mark has been a vital member of the Buccaneers design staff since 2003 – fifteen consecutive years and counting. Mark served as the Buccaneers front ensemble arranger from 2003 through 2011, and helped establish the Buccaneers percussion program as the gold standard in DCA. Since 2012, he has been the Buccaneers’ brass arranger, where the corps has earned more than its fair share of accolades in brass performance and design. For the past fifteen years, a hallmark of the Buccaneers’ programs is the ‘total team’ concept of excellence in every caption and every section, with a seamless integration of all sections and the sum total of the production being greater than the sum of its parts. Mark has been an extraordinary team player and has been instrumental in the corps’ success. His achievement beyond the Buccaneers is equally impressive. He was a percussionist with the Cadets of Bergen County from 1990 through 1992, and has taught and written for the U.S. Naval Academy Drum & Bugle Corps. He is currently Director of Music and Director of Bands at Stevenson University in Stevenson, Maryland, where he has been on the faculty since 2011. From 1996 through 2011, Mark was an award-winning music teacher in the Carroll County, Maryland school system. He is a much sought-after composer and arranger, and works with numerous high school music programs along the Eastern seaboard. He has been commissioned for numerous original works, including “The Caw of the Wild,” which is performed by the Baltimore Ravens marching band at every Ravens home game. He earned a University Fellowship at the Boyer College of Music and Dance of Temple University, where he is pursuing a Ph.D in music education. He has degrees in percussion performance, music education and music composition from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University. For his integral contributions to the Buccaneers for more than a decade-and-a-half, and for his considerable achievements as a music educator, composer and arranger, Mark Lortz has earned induction to the Buccaneers Hall of Fame.
MIKE McMULLEN’s devotion and dedication to the Buccaneers runs deep, and he has made an indelible impact on the corps as one of those stalwart members who continually give of themselves to the corps without significant fanfare or expectation of recognition. They’re just always there, doing their job or seeing how they can help, and they are instrumental to the corps’ success. Mike got his start in the activity playing soprano for the Emerald Cadets parade corps in 1971 and 1972, and he was a member of the New Horizon soprano line in 1978 and 1979. He played flugelhorn and mellophone with the Buccaneers from 1981 through 1986, before moving out of the area for work and family. Once a Buccaneer, always a Buccaneer – when Mike returned to the area he got back involved with the corps he loved. From 2010 through 2012, Mike played mellophone with the Buccaneers Alumni. As much as he enjoyed reconnecting with the organization, he had the ‘itch’ to perform with the competing corps again, and played trumpet from 2013 through 2015. He proved himself an exemplary Buccaneer, seemingly defying the effects of time and aging to be a three-time world champion. He didn’t rest on his laurels as a vet but worked hard to master the very difficult program given to the members. He was a leader and motivator to the younger members. His dedication was recognized by the visual staff in 2013, when he was named Most Improved marching member. Since 2016, Mike has been a member of the Buccaneers Honor Guard and has been a dedicated and reliable member of the support staff. He has also devoted countless hours on weekends in the off-season representing the corps at band shows recruiting members and promoting the corps. Mike is one of those Buccaneers who is ‘always there’ and is always asking how he can help the corps he loves. His many years of dedication to the Buccaneers have earned him induction to the Hall of Fame.
When you ask yourself the question, “What is a Buccaneer?,” RICHARD STONER is one of those people who comes to mind quickly. Dick joined the Reading Buccaneers horn line in 1966 and got to experience the thrill of winning a DCA championship. He was well-prepared for his first year with the Buccaneers, having marched with the Hershey Chocolatiers from 1958 through 1965. But he has above all else been an exemplary Buccaneer. He retired from marching in 1969 and spent the next two decades as a devoted follower of the corps along with his wife Nancy. They religiously attended summer contests and winter practices and always seemed to have their daughter Lynne and son Matthew in tow. After shows they were always right there to sing the corps song together. They instilled in Lynne and Matthew a love of drum corps and a passion for the Reading Buccaneers, which predictably led to both of them marching in the corps when they were old enough. In 1989, Dick joined the Buccaneer Alumni horn line on baritone, where he has been ever since – that’s 28 years. During his years with the corps he frequently opened his home to section practice. He was a early and active member of the Celebration Brass ensemble. He and Nancy continue to be devoted followers of the Buccaneers and still come to Alumni rehearsals together. His dedication to the corps is profound, as he shows great courage to continue marching despite physical challenges. Dick has an easy-going, professional demeanor which makes him a credit to the Buccaneers. His decades of devotion and passion for the Buccaneers and its rich history make Dick Stoner a worthy induction into the Buccaneers Hall of Fame.