Harold "Robby" Robinson named DCI Hall of Fame Member

Crossmen Productions is proud to announce, for the second year in a row, DCI has chosen one of Crossmen's greats! We couldn't be more excited to share in the excitement and the moment that is Robby's. Crossmen congratulates Robby and the entire Robinson Family.

The following is from DCI's HoF announcement:

The following is from DCI's HoF announcement:

DCI Hall of Fame Class of 2020
Harold “Robby” Robinson

Crossmen founding directorA snare drummer with the Tri Community Cadets in the 1950s and later a drum corps instructor administrator and judge, Harold “Robby” Robinson would most notably go on to be the founding director of the Crossmen. 
 
“As daunting of a task as it is to run a drum corps, an even more daunting task — arguably the most daunting task — is to create a drum corps,” said 2019 DCI Hall of Fame inductee Bob Morrison. “And the greatest of all tasks is to create a drum corps that goes on to have a significant legacy in both DCI and the marching arts. This is precisely what Robby Robinson did.”

Robinson got the Crossmen up and running in 1974 as a merger between two smaller suburban Philadelphia-based corps, the Keystone Regiment (where Robinson was a staff member) and the 507 Hornets. First competing on the Drum Corps International stage in 1975, the new Southeastern Pennsylvania corps quickly rose to prominence as a perennial DCI World Championship finalist. 

According to Morrison, who was a member of the Crossmen from 1979 to 1982, running the corps became an “all in” endeavor for Robinson and his family members. “The Crossmen became their way of life,” he said. “Their home in West Chester (Pennsylvania) became the ‘corps hall’ serving as the administration office, sleeping quarters for members who traveled in for weekend rehearsal, food hall, equipment truck parking lot, and instrument repair shop … Robby even helped finance the organization with his own personal funds.”

In addition to his work starting the Crossmen, Robinson is also credited with playing a part in the founding of Spirit of Atlanta in the mid 1970s. While touring the southern United States, DCI Hall of Fame member Freddy Martin invited the corps to perform for a local Atlanta television station. Martin says that Crossmen performance is what convinced the head of the station to sponsor Spirit, allowing Martin to get his new corps up and running in 1976. 

“There has never been a doubt in my mind that Robby was as responsible as anyone for creating the Spirit of Atlanta,” Martin said. “During those formative years, Robby was always there for me and the corps … It is hard to believe that one great man could have been responsible for the creation of two of our greatest corps.” 

As the Crossmen experienced its fair share of ups and downs over the years, at the center of all that Robinson did and sacrificed for the corps always was the experience offered to the young performers within its ranks. 

“The caring he had for all of his ‘kids’ was amazing. It was a true family,” said 2015 DCI Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Sacktig, who joined the Crossmen in 1982 at 14 years of age. “In my short time there I learned the ideals of teamwork, community, striving to be your best and a never-give-up attitude.”

Robinson is a charter member of the Crossmen Alumni Association Hall of Fame, inducted in 1999.

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