2019 Hall of Fame Finalists

Meet the 2019 Hall of Fame Finalists

Learn a little more about our wonderful finalists and what they have meant to Spirit of Atlanta

Will Campbell

Will Campbell

Marching Member 1999 - 2003, Percussion Staff 2004 - 2016

HOW HE CAME TO SPIRIT
Will Campbell (d. 2016) marched in the corps from 1999-2003 as a bass drummer. He immediately joined the staff and taught for more than decade, until he passed away unexpectedly from an aggressive form of cancer in 2016.

WHAT MAKES HIM HALL-OF-FAME WORTHY
Will Campbell was one of the most constant and consistent figures in the Spirit of Atlanta percussion family of all time. Spanning a number of directors and caption heads, Will was active and beloved season after season in his role as an instructor from 2004-2016. There are few staff members in Spirit's history with more years of service than Will Campbell.

WHAT HE IS OFTEN REMEMBERED FOR
Will's greatest sense of pride came from his involvement, both as a marching member and staff member for Spirit of Atlanta – a time which spanned many, many years. He wanted nothing more than to see the corps and its members be successful. As a teacher, his goal was to teach life lessons, not just music. He challenged his students to reach higher than they thought possible and encouraged them every step of the way. Teaching students to be well-rounded musicians came second only to helping them be well-rounded people. Despite all of his accomplishments and contributions to various programs throughout his life, he remained humble and deferred all praise to his students and peers. Will's life, though short, was a life of service to students and to the various programs with which he worked, including Spirit.

Tam Easterwood

Tam Easterwood

Staff, Management 1983 - 1987, 1990

HOW HE CAME TO SPIRIT
Tam Easterwood (d.1993) came to Spirit in 1983 as the primary rifle instructor for the corps' first co-ed colorguard. His went on to become Program Director, leading the way for the popular 1986, 1987, and 1990 shows.

WHAT MAKES HIM HALL-OF-FAME WORTHY
Tam was a vital part of the team that brought innovation to Spirit of Atlanta’s guard and visual programs, and his work helped Spirit of Atlanta win its only official caption titles: High Guard trophies in 1985 and 1987. He fostered a new level of achievement for the corps, and contributed to the design of some of Spirit of Atlanta’s most famous shows of all time.

WHAT HE IS OFTEN REMEMBERED FOR
His contributions to the corps are legendary and will never be forgotten. Even though he left the world too soon, his impact on Spirit of Atlanta lives on. His nomination letter says "Students in every walk of life still give him the credit for turning their lives around. He taught them self-discipline, demanded dedication and a level of commitment that wasn’t demanded anywhere else in their young lives.” Most remember Tam and simply think, “What if?”

Kassi Gulliford

Kassi Gulliford

Member 2001 - 2007, Volunteer 2008 - Present

HOW SHE CAME TO SPIRIT
Kassi Gulliford auditioned in December 2000 as a 15-year-old tuba player. She ended up on baritone in the 2001 hornline and held that spot every summer until aging out in 2007.


WHAT MAKES HER HALL-OF-FAME WORTHY
Aside from the sheer dedication it takes to march 7 consecutive seasons (a feat which only a very select few ever accomplished), Kassi was the quintessential Spirit member. She was never a section leader or horn sergeant, never played solos or even lead parts. What she did was lead by example in all things, and show hundreds of others how it is done along the way.


WHAT SHE IS OFTEN REMEMBERED FOR
While many would have needed a break after a 7-season career, Kassi immediately made the transition behind the scenes and approached her volunteer work the same way. From driving, working the food truck, and even teaching, Kassi gave Spirit her best while never seeking the spotlight. Her most notable contribution to the legacy was her efforts in creating and managing the “Field Your Delta” program which brought current members and alumni together in a very positive way.

Tommy Maddox

Tommy Maddox

Member 1977-1980, Staff/Board of Directors 1981-2004

HOW HE CAME TO SPIRIT
Tommy Maddox was a charter member whose marching career was only the beginning of a long affiliation. He served as part of the instructional staff for 12 seasons, also joining the Board of Directors and serving as Chairman.

WHAT MAKES HIM HALL-OF-FAME WORTHY
Tommy gave years of service well beyond his time as a performer. Whether teaching marching, handling business affairs, or being the corps in-house attorney when it was necessary, Tommy always made sure Spirit of Atlanta was always in good hands. Like many others, the corps was how he met his wife (a show hostess from Illinois whose job was to usher Spirit around their town). Most importantly, he was all-in for the Spirit family – no matter what was needed.

WHAT HE IS OFTEN REMEMBERED FOR
Being a quintessential “alto” among other things, always smiling and generating laughs. On the serious side, his work to help protect Spirit of Atlanta using his legal expertise cannot be overlooked. Tommy played a key role in creating the 501c3 corporation that still manages the corps today.

Sal Salas

Sal Salas

Visual/Design Staff 1983-1990, Consultant 1995, Program Coordinator 2017-Present

HOW HE CAME TO SPIRIT
Sal Salas arrived in 1983 and helped usher in a very new approach: a co-ed colorguard and a new approach to drill design and visual appeal. His impact was immeasurable, and the corps stayed strong in no small part to his contributions through the rest of the 1980s. He returned in 1995 as a consultant, and again found his way home in 2017, where he is focused on leading a design team that is again pushing Spirit of Atlanta back to prominence.

WHAT MAKES HIM HALL-OF-FAME WORTHY
Sal set in motion a number of things that made the mid 1980’s some of Spirit of Atlanta’s most successful years. More than anything, the team he helped assemble made Spirit’s Colorguard a national force, claiming two DCI Guard titles in 1985 and 1987. His return to the present corps and role in reviving the corps' competitive design is even more evidence of his impact to Spirit of Atlanta.

WHAT HE IS OFTEN REMEMBERED FOR
Sal has often said he felt a true sense of family from the moment he arrived in Atlanta. Sal will always be beloved for pushing Spirit to new levels, and for returning at a time when it was most crucial. The Spirit family love flows in both directions with Sal Salas.

Dr. Todd Snead

Dr. Todd Snead

Brass Caption Head 2009-2010, Asst. Corps Director 2011, Executive Director 2012 - 2014

HOW HE CAME TO SPIRIT
Todd Snead joined Spirit in 2009 as Brass Caption Head. He quickly rose to the level of Assistant Corps Director and then Executive Director, where he remained through 2014

WHAT MAKES HIM HALL-OF-FAME WORTHY
Todd Snead is perhaps best known for providing leadership for the corps through a period that saw Spirit climb back into DCI Finals in 2011, 2012 and 2013 for the first time since 2007. The creative and competitive success of the corps under Todd's leadership tells only a small fraction of the story. Like so many of Spirit's most important leaders and benefactors, the managerial and financial support that Todd Snead brought to Spirit during those years went a long way toward keeping the corps on the road.

WHAT HE IS OFTEN REMEMBERED FOR
Todd and Spirit's creative team developed a string of shows that are remembered as fan favorites and were a lot of fun to watch - and to perform. Spirit came back into national prominence during that important time. He was also instrumental in returning the corps back to its home town and reviving the original “Spirit of Atlanta” name.

Mark & Nora Whisenant

Mark & Nora Whisenant

Marching Members 1977 - 1981, Volunteers, 1981 - Present

HOW THEY CAME TO SPIRIT
Mark & Nora Whisenant were active in Spirit’s earliest seasons. Mark as a charter member on contra from 1977-1981, and Nora as part of a strong group of women cymbal players from 1978 to 1981.

T MAKES THEM HALL-OF-FAME WORTHY
No household has been more supportive of Spirit of Atlanta during the corps’ 42-year history. Through numerous “regime changes,” and the recurring highs and lows that Spirit experienced, the Whisenants were there with one single goal: The best interest of the marching members. They have been active in many key areas including everything from driving busses (Mark), managing souvenir operations (Both), serving on boards of both the corps and alumni association (Nora), and countless other important and thankless tasks. The Whisenants embody the lifetime bond many feel with Spirit of Atlanta.

WHAT THEY ARE OFTEN REMEMBERED FOR
For Nora, it’s the quiet dedication to corps success and ability to avoid the politics and drama that often occur. For Mark, it is likely the BBQ so lovingly prepared for many years for the annual picnics. (And his infamous nickname “Sasquatch”)

Tommy Whitten

Tommy Whitten

Volunteer/Board of Directors/Board President 1998 - 2000s

HOW HE CAME TO SPIRIT
Tommy Whitten’s arrival at Spirit of Atlanta came when his son auditioned for the 1998 corps. He quickly jumped in to serve in many important roles, starting as a volunteer cutting fabric for flags, and leading through food crews, logistics planning, and much more. His leadership skills drove him to accept a position on the Board of Directors where he eventually served as President.

WHAT MAKES HIM HALL-OF-FAME WORTHY
Tommy went above and beyond from the very start, and never slowed down. Tommy was instrumental in doing hands-on work and building teams to provide funding, insurance, food and supplies, busses, volunteers and many other important tools to keep the corps operating smoothly. His commitment went years beyond the time when his son aged out and did whatever it took to make the member experience the best it could be. He even went as far as hand-cutting deltas when a previous supplier could not, helping keep alive one of Spirit’s most important traditions.

WHAT HE IS OFTEN REMEMBERED FOR
Tommy Whitten offered more than time or money to Spirit of Atlanta. He offered friendship, loyalty, honesty, and a servant’s heart. When he took his family out for a meal during tour, it included his wife, his son, and usually 15-20 other corps members and staff. He helped struggling corps members and stayed true to his word doing what he thought was best for the corps. Tommy continues to support the corps from the stands and reminisces of all the fun times, hard times, and rewarding times with Spirit of Atlanta.

Cast your ballot now for the 2019 Spirit of Atlanta Hall of Fame