John Pratt was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame in 1990. As a teenager, he studied with Norman Peth who encouraged him to join the “Appleknockers” Winnek American Legion Post drum and bugle corp. After enlisting in the United States Army in 1949, John was assigned to the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point. During his career as an Army Band musician, he became Rudimental Drum Instructor of Field Music and in 1959-60 published four books with Belwin, Inc.
While at West Point, he instructed several New York State drum corps including Rochester “Grey Knights,” Troy “Interstatesmen,” Kingston “Criterions,” Bronx “Kingsmen,” and the Newburgh “Ambassadors.” He also became a member of the All-American Drum & Bugle Corps and Band Association and the All-American Association of Contest Judges in New York State. Also while at West Point, John attended Fairleigh Dickinson University and in 1969, the year he retired from active military service, he graduated suma cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education. Later, he received a Master of Arts degree in English from William Paterson College of New Jersey. John has taught English at Hackensack High School, and Bergen Community College where he continues as an adjunct faculty member.
In addition to having numerous drumming articles, solos and collections published, as a poet, he has had over 50 poems published and received four major awards for his poetry. John Pratt is still active as a clinician, writer and instructor. In 1998 he was honored at a clinic he gave for the Canadian Associates Drumming Rudimental Excellence (C.A.D.R.E.) in Ottawa and was made an honorary member of the Ottawa Heritage Hands Drum Club.
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