DCI and WGI Founders Remembered

Within just days of each other, two legends of the marching arts passed away in January 2016: Lynn Lindstrom, the founding executive director of WGI Sport of the Arts, and Bill Howard, a founding father of Drum Corps International (DCI) and longtime director of the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps.

“There are no words in my vocabulary to express how much Lynn Lindstrom meant to WGI and how much she will be missed,” says Ron Nankervis, WGI executive director and CEO. “Her vision in lifting WGI off the ground in the 70’s is the reason why the organization is so vibrant today. As we get ready to celebrate our 40th anniversary next year, she will forever be part of WGI Sport of the Arts.”

Lindstrom helped start WGI in 1978 when just 34 guards competed. At the time of her retirement in 2001, more than 300 guards participated nationally. Along with her husband, George, she led efforts that would eventually become WGI’s percussion and winds divisions.

Her legacy will continue through the Lynn Lindstrom WGI Scholarship Fund. A celebration of life will be held on April 30 in Denver, where Lindstrom supported Ascend Performing Arts, parent organization of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps.

William “Bill” Howard is known for his leadership in the early 1970’s when the small and struggling Madison Scouts grew and improved all the way to become the 1975 DCI World Champion. In 1971 he and four other directors formed the Midwest Combine, the organization that would later become DCI.

“[After his time as director], he continued to stay in touch either working as a board member or continuing to come back and help assist around 2007 as well,” says Chris Komnick, current executive director of the Madison Scouts. “He dedicated his life to the corps and will be very missed.”

The Madison Scouts’ “Drums on Parade” show on July 10 in Madison, Wisconsin, will be dedicated to Howard. A memorial service will occur during the event.

Photo of Lynn Lindstrom courtesy of WGI Sport of the Arts.
Photo of Bill Howard courtesy of Drum Corps International.

About author

Elizabeth Geli

Elizabeth Geli is the assistant editor of Halftime Magazine and a journalist/communications professional in Southern California. Her 11 years at the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Marching Band included time as a flute player, graduate teaching assistant, and student advocate. She holds a bachelor's degree in Print Journalism and master's degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from USC.