2017 Hall of Fame Finalists

Mike Morris

Mike Morris

Marching Member 1977 - 1979 | Tour Coordinator 1980 - 1990 | Board of Directors Member 1985 - 2013 | Unofficial Corps Photographer - Always

"Most of my dearest and closest friends, I met through Spirit of Atlanta. As a member, I watched the corps grow into a true family, and after aging out, I found myself wanting to remain as much a part of that family as I possibly could, in whatever way that I could. Even during the couple of years here and there when it was painfully obvious that I wasn't needed or wanted by the corps administration, I've tried to remain involved in some small way, if only by taking and sharing photos of Spirit's performances." - Mike Morris

Jim Ott

Jim Ott

Brass Arranger, Caption Head 1978 - 1980

"Some people leave this world too soon. Unfortunately, Jim Ott was one of those people. However, Ott left his impression on the drum and bugle corps activity forever. As arrangers for the Blue Devils and Spirit of Atlanta, he arranged some of his best work, most notably “Georgia” and “Chase the Clouds Away.” Not only was Jim Ott a genius arranger, but a devoted teacher. It is said that Jim Ott could get more out of a 14-year-old who couldn’t read music than most instructors could get out of a seasoned musician. Ott loved his “kids” and the feeling was reciprocated. While Jim Ott’s impression on the drum corps activity can only be measured by what he did until his untimely death, it is safe to assume that his contributions would be immeasurable had he still been around. His influence is still present in the brass arrangements of today, but many still long to hear the “Jim Ott” sound." - DCI Hall of Fame Bio

Dr. Ken Bodiford

Dr. Ken Bodiford

Executive Director 2001-2007

"My experience as the director of the Spirit of Atlanta taught me so many things that have been beneficial to me in my career. Also, it allowed me to meet hundreds of amazing people that truly loves the organization....from students (members) to adults. The most meaningful tie, for me, is knowing that when the corps was going through some extremely difficult times, I along with the administration of Jacksonville State University and several extremely dedicated alumni and parents helped keep one of the most sacred corps of Drum Corps International from folding and disappearing. When I see them on the field performing today I take great pride in knowing that I was a part of a group of people that helped keep the corps alive. " - Ken Bodiford

Brad Caraway

Brad Caraway

M&M Staff, M&M Caption Head, General Manager, Vice-President of the Board of Directors 1980 - 1990

"The lasting bonds of friendship and affection formed through the intense moments the drum corps experience can provide outweigh any hardship or discomfort endured along the way. It was always an honor and a pleasure to be associated with the creative staff, support staff, boosters and (mainly) the members of the Spirit of Atlanta. If they had not persevered and believed in what we were trying to accomplish, it would have been impossible. They grew with the effort, and the organization grew with them. I was proud to be there." - Brad Caraway

Margaret Collins

Margaret Collins

Volunteer 1978 - 1987 | Board of Directors 1983 - 1985

"I was a marching and concert band member when in middle and high school. I did not know of drum corps when my daughter became a member of Spirit in the fall of 1977. If I had been exposed to this wonderful activity back then, I am certain I would have marched. While watching practices and assisting with meals for weekend camps, I realized the need for volunteers for this non-profit organization, which would include several weeks in the summer of 1978 for tours of competitions out of state. Throughout the years, I have been impressed with Spirit members' contributions to band members by becoming band directors. Others have music as a career or as an enjoyable part of their daily lives. I am grateful for the continued friendships of members, staff and volunteers. It is such a close knit family with a love of drum corps and I am proud to belong to the Spirit family." - Margaret Collins

Will Campbell

Will Campbell

Marching Member : 1999 - 2003 | Percussion Staff/Bass Drum Tech 2004 - 2010, 2016

"For as long as I knew Will, Spirit of Atlanta was part of him. Many of his closest friendships were formed during his years as both a marching member and as a staff member. Spirit also played a large part in Will's development as an educator and as a man. As his wife, I learned that the way he showed his love for others was thru his actions. Will gave tirelessly and freely of his time to Spirit for many many years simply because he loved it so much. Will's last summer of his life was spent almost daily at Spirit all-days. He talked constantly that summer about how proud he was of his students and of the staff he was helping. Spirit was more than a job to Will; it was a passion. " - Courtney Emmett Campbell

Jim Clark

Jim Clark

Member 1977 | Staff 1978-1984,| Board of Directors 1985-1987, 2001-2010

"I think everyone who has ever been involved in Drum Corps recognizes the rewards of hard work and the satisfaction of sharing common goals. The Spirit family is just that, family... warts and all. You may not always like each other but you never stop loving each other. After living with a group of people on the road you begin to find out who you can count on. That’s a skill that can carry you a long way in life. I hope everyone looks back fondly about their time in Spirit. My most basic observation after all these years comes down to just one thing. I have met all of my best friends because of the Spirit of Atlanta." - Jim Clark

Mike Back

Mike Back

1979 - member 1980 - 1981 | Percussion staff/Percussion Caption Head 1982 - 1990 | Also served on Management Team and Board of Directors

"My time with the Spirit of Atlanta was life-changing. In many ways, it really helped to shape the person I am today. There is no doubt that my tenure with Spirit paved the way for me to enjoy a 30 plus year career as a music educator. The relationships and bonds that were forged with members, students, and staff are life-long and something I will always cherish. It is indeed an honor to be associated with the Spirit of Atlanta and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity." - Mike Back

Sal Salas

Sal Salas

Drill Writer/Design Team 1983-1990, 1995 | Winter Guard Consultant 2014 | Program Coordinator/Artistic Director 2017

"Being involved with the Spirit of Atlanta has been an experience of a lifetime. The sense of family was there from the first day I was there and continued throughout the years. The friends I have made at the Spirit of Atlanta from the beginning still are a part of my life and it is because of Spirit that these wonderful people came into my life. The sense of Southern hospitality was felt each and every day from the members to the staff to the administration. I am so proud to have been able to say I was a part of the Spirit of Atlanta. It truly helped shaped who I am today. I am grateful to call Spirit of Atlanta my home away from home." - Sal Salas

Tom Float

Tom Float

Percussion Caption Head 1978 - 1981

"Tom was a game changer for Spirit of Atlanta and percussion lines everywhere. When he and Jim Ott arrived, Spirit of Atlanta became a completely different drum corps. His teaching style is unique, using wit to enhance his incredible knowledge of rudimental percussion. The way he pushed his players drove us to strive for excellence, and helped shape what we all became as performers and in some cases, educators." - Chris Moore

Tam Easterwood

Tam Easterwood

Guard Staff/Program Coordinator 1983 - 1990

"Students in every walk of life still give him the credit for turning their lives around. He taught them self-discipline, demanded of them dedication and a level of commitment that wasn’t demanded of them anywhere else in their young lives. He made a difference. He is still making a difference many years later. The fire he lit inside so many of those he touched still burns bright and is passed on daily in hundreds of different ways. Because of the wonderful things we were all exposed to, those of us who were taught by him, who taught with him, or even just had the chance to witness him teach others, will never be the same. He had a fiery temper, a smile that could light up a room, and a laugh -- an infectious laugh. Anyone that ever spent much time around him got at least a little taste of all three." - Alan Armstrong