Colts Announce Hall Of Fame Class Of 2024

July 8, 2024

Colts Hall Of Fame

We are honored to introduce you to this year's class of the Colts Hall of Fame — spanning every decade of our 60+ year history.

The 1968 Colts Color Guard* may be the reason the Colts continue to exist today. Following the 1967 season, many members (then the Legionnaires) were frustrated with the limited performance opportunities and considered walking away from the corps. The Board of Directors instead hired three instructors to work with the corps — one to work with percussion, one with the brass, and the third to work with the guard and design the first field show for the Legionnaires — motivating the members for another season. The subsequent leadership and success of the 1968 color guard provided all members a vision of what could be. In the next four years, the guard led the corps to six state championships and cemented the direction of the Legionnaires, Colt .45, and the Colts for the years to come.

Geri (Osthoff) Nederhoff has always been known for her infectious positive attitude that spills over to everyone around her. Virtually every member she marched with — from 1972 to 1978 — comments that she led by example in everything she did. The enthusiasm she demonstrated as a member continues to this day as Geri now serves as the president of the recently reinvigorated Colts Booster Club Board of Directors. She also serves alongside JJ Miller in coordinating all of the volunteers for the Colts summer tour.

Bob & Carol Martin were two key individuals that played an enormous role in the early years of the corps. They arrived at the corps hall in the late 1970s, and were actively involved in many facets of the organization for the better part of 20 years. Bob was on the brass staff for the Colts in the early '80s and served as director of the Colt Cadets in 1984 and 1985. Carol served as a steadfast pillar of support, touring on the cook truck for about eight years and hosting out-of-town members in their home during many preseason rehearsals. The Martins had four children participate in the Colts.

Lauren (Paul) Sakowski spent twelve years with the Colts — marching in the cymbal line for three years (1998-2000) and teaching the cymbal line for nine years (2001-2009). As a performing member (1999), and as an instructor (2005), Lauren helped lead the Colts cymbal line to two DCI I&E Championship cymbal ensembles. More than anything, she instilled a competitive mindset in her performers and never let them settle for anything less than excellence. Many of her students (including current Colts visual caption head Jack Borland) have themselves moved into teaching roles. As a visual artist, Lauren designed the Colts triangle logo which appears everywhere from our letterhead to vehicles, to the corps hall, website, souvie merchandise, and worn as a tattoo by many.

Tom Lizotte began his tenure with the Colts in 2004 and it continues to the present day — primarily as brass instructor in addition to helping Colt Cadets as a program consultant. His institutional knowledge, sagaciousness, and calming demeanor have had an enduring impact on both students and staff alike. Tom’s mantra of “lifelong learning” epitomizes his philosophy and approach in teaching. By his own admission, he was not the best player. He reached the top of our activity by being organized, patient, positive, receptive to constructive criticism, and possessing a strong work ethic. Tom adds the Colts to his list of Hall of Fame memberships which also includes the Boston Crusaders, Massachusetts Drum Corps, and Maine Music Educators.

Bill & Luba Symoniak jumped in as hard-working and willing volunteers from the get-go shortly after their oldest son, Kyle, brought the family to Dubuque from the Twin Cities in 2001 with a desire to march drum corps. Bill joined the Colts Board of Directors in 2004 and served until 2022. He was Board secretary for most of those years. Separate from his Board duties, he became volunteer coordinator in 2003 — a role he filled until 2023. Luba was the best at stepping in where she was needed most. Whether it was as head cook, sewing, organizing souvies, laundry or a myriad of other tasks including many hours in the office on camp weekends, she moved effortlessly to where the next need existed.

Chris Tomsa joined the Colts brass staff in 2004. A year later, he took over as brass arranger — a role he would hold for nearly a decade. During that time the Colts became known for their beautiful, lyrical ballads. He arranged many memorable moments in the Colts 2007 production, Equinox, when the corps would go on to finish 10th at DCI Championships. Chris later spent two years as program coordinator and played a crucial role as assistant corps director from 2014 to 2016.

Carla Burgess-Tomsa always held reverance for the rich tradition of the Colts color guard. She spent 14 seasons in a wide range of roles — primarily as color guard caption head (2003–2011), caption supervisor (2012–2015), guard designer for many years, program manager and staff coordinator, and finally completing her 14th year (2016) doing what she loved best...teching the guard. Carla was often the glue that held the corps together on the road. Her demeanor was always no nonsense with an incredibly high standard of excellence, but she loved her color guard kids and they loved her back. Her guards were clean, and they often scored among the finalist guards at season's end.

You can read more of their stories in the Music On The March show program.

Please join us in honoring this amazing group of individuals who have dedicated so many years to the Colts Youth Organization. Our congratulations to all!

View the full listing of Colts Hall Of Fame members here.

*(All guard members are listed by their maiden names.) Guard captain: Barb Biver; Guard sergeant: Sue Smith; Rifles: Jane Green, Sally Green. Jane Hein, Jean Kress, Ginny Osthoff, Laura Schwartz, Jody Smith, Pat Leytem; Flags: Barb Bisanz, Ann Bodnar, Norma Gerstkamp, Chris Ginter, Joyce Glover, Cheryl Graham, Pam Guns, Lisa Haberkorn, Linda Herber, Sharon Hoffmann, Margie Howe, Mary Johanningmeier, Kay Kuperschmidt, Jan Lawler, Jean Ohnesorge, Diane Pape, Nancy Pape, Nancy Said, Cindy Schiesl, Linda Siefker

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