Fred Sanford Scholorship Fund


(June 22, 1947 - January 23, 2000)

Friends and family are establishing the Fred Sanford scholarship fund
PO Box 300166, Denver, CO 80203-0166
Through this scholarship fund - Fred will continue to teach forever!

Fred Sanford, one of the pioneers of contemporary marching percussion, lost his brief battle with cancer in Denver, Colorado on January 23, 2000. Surrounded by his wife and other family members, he died as he lived – with courage and good humor...and the "Freddy" smile.

Raised in Casper, Wyoming, Fred followed his older brother Ken, also a drummer, into the Casper Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps at the age of 12 in 1959. He was a proud member of the Troopers for ten years until he aged out following his 21st birthday in 1968. Although he attended school at California State University in Fullerton and taught the newly organized Anaheim Kingsmen from 1965-1967, each summer he would return to teach and perform with his hometown corps.

In 1968, Fred moved to northern California where he attended San Jose State and studied percussion with Tony Cirone. During this time he also began to instruct and write for another new drum corps – the Santa Clara Vanguard with whom he would work for 12 seasons. During his tenure there, the Vanguard drum line won an unprecedented five national "high drum" titles.

Following his graduation from San Jose State in 1970, he taught high school music programs in Bergenfield, New Jersey where he met Dennis DeLucia. "Fred Sanford made his mark on the world of percussion with his extraordinary arrangements for the Santa Clara Vanguard," recalls DeLucia. "For the first time in drum corps, percussion charts were magnificent orchestrations that beautifully captured the style and elegance of the music and made the horn line sound much better than it would have sounded by itself! My personal favorite – "Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra" (1974) – was a landmark in voicing, rhythmic interest and accompaniment that featured the drum line in the most musical way imaginable."

The ‘70s also saw Fred begin his association with the Slingerland Drum Company where he was instrumental in designing the TDR snare, Cut-a-way timp-toms and Tonal bass drums. He also began another important aspect of his career, teaching educational clinics on marching percussion around the country and eventually around the world. During that decade, Sanford also worked with the Madison Scouts, the Alberta All-Girls Drum & Bugle Band and The Blue Devils.

During the early 1980s, Sanford joined the Ludwig Drum Company as a Product Development Manager and Staff Clinician. In addition to his drum & bugle corps experiences, Sanford was the percussion coordinator for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and also worked with the McDonald’s All-American Band at various national parades.

Since 1985, he served as a marching percussion consultant for the Yamaha Corporation of America and developed the SFZ marching snare drum and the Power Lite Marching Series. Fred developed the Yamaha Sounds of Summer band camps which each summer attracted over 10,000 students who studied under Fred’s direction.

Fred Sanford was also active in the Percussive Arts Society, serving on the PAS Marching Percussion Committee as well as being the "voice" of the Marching Percussion Festival for almost two decades. Fred is a member of the DCI Hall of Fame.

"Thanks for everything, Fred," DeLucia states with emotion. "Your legacy will live on through your music, your disciples and your presence."

The Fred Sanford Scholarship Fund

The friends and family of Fred Sanford have started a scholarship fund in Fred's honor. It is our intention that through this fund Fred will continue teaching forever.

For this fund to survive and be successful it must be self-sustaining. We do not intend to be coming back to friends and business associates asking for support after this initial fund raising. We, therefore, will need the strong support of the percussion industry in particular to get this off the ground. Our hope is to raise a minimum of $100,000 in the next six months. This figure would allow us to give meaningful scholarships each year beginning with the fall of 2001.

We have been contacted by one particular performing artist, and have had interest shown by others, who would like to perform benefit concerts with all proceeds going towards the Fred Sanford scholarship fund. It is this type of giving that will make this project a success.

Other scholarship funds have been launched in memory of other great artists and teachers in the music and marching fields but unfortunately they have not sustained the sands of time. Interest and emotion wane after time and the opportunity is lost, we do not intend to let this happen with this scholarship fund.

Our desire is that one half of the scholarship dollars would be awarded to a marching band student in the field of percussion, the other half to a percussion line member participating in the drum and bugle corps activity each year. We will ask school band directors and drum and bugle corps directors to submit names of qualified recipients to our selection committee.

We have asked, and are honored that each has accepted, three highly qualified people to serve on the selection committee:
  1. John Pollard the band director for L.D. Bell High School, in the state of Texas.
  2. Ralph Hardimon-director of percussion for the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps in Denver, Colorado
  3. Jay Wanamaker-Vice President-General Manager for the Yamaha Corporation of America in Buena Park, Ca.
We have applied for a tax identification number so that all contributions will be tax deductible. The scholarship fund will be run as a non-profit Charitable Corporation.

Please take into serious consideration the benefits that this scholarship fund can have on the lives of promising young percussion students. And then, please find it in your heart to contribute generously so that Fred can continue to teach forever.
The Fred Sanford Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 300166
Denver, Co. 80203-0166

The Blue Devil organization sadly mourns the loss of Fred Sanford. We would like to encourage all of the Drum Corps Activity to help with this great cause. Thank you!
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